George Family Foundation
January 29, 2021
The George Family Foundation seeks an experienced nonprofit executive to serve as its next President. The President’s role is to provide leadership and management oversight for the development, coordination, and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and grantmaking activities to ensure that the George Family Foundation (GFF) and Next Generation Fund (NGF) mission and business goals are achieved. The President provides the primary interface with founders Penny and Bill George and with the other directors of the Foundation and NGF advisors.
The President is appointed by and reports directly to the Board of Directors, under the leadership of its Co-Chairs. The President also works closely with investment advisors, the contracted CFO services (currently CliftonLarsonAllen), other key vendors, and the staff of the George Family office. The President hires and leads GFF’s staff, consisting of one full-time program officer, one full-time grants and administrative manager, and contracted consultants providing financial, investment, and communications support. Staff work from the George Family Foundation office located in the lakes area of Minneapolis.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation expects to name a new president by the fourth quarter of 2021, coinciding with the retirement of the current president and allowing time for overlap in order to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibility and a seamless experience for grantees.
About the opportunity
Having established professional management for the Foundation in 2010, GFF has since focused on strengthening its organizational mission, values, and strategic impact as well as its grantmaking processes and governance structure. The Foundation values transparency to the public and has a strong track record of information sharing through regular news releases, annual reports, and a commitment to responsiveness to inquiries.
The next President will guide the Foundation strategically to increase the long-term impact of its grantmaking. In 2021 Penny George, who has chaired the Foundation since its inception in 1994, is being joined as co-chair by Bill George. Over the coming decade, next generation family members are expected to take on leadership roles as Penny and Bill George reach a natural age for transition to new roles. There will also be consideration of broadening board membership to include directors from the community. The Foundation’s corpus is expected to grow through ongoing giving from the founders, as well as planned giving upon their deaths.
Compensation and benefits
The salary range for the position is $175,000 to $220,0001 for full-time work. The Foundation provides generous benefits.
About the President’s Responsibilities
The President is the organization’s principal leader and carries responsibility across strategic, administrative, financial, and philanthropic functions. The President represents the Foundation on behalf of the Board, interfacing with many and varied public constituencies as well as grantees, grantseekers, and the nonprofit sector.
- Vision/strategic planning: Consistent with the mission of the George Family Foundation, the President, in conjunction with the Board of Directors and the Board Co-Chairs, develops strategies to increase the Foundation’s impact in advancing the goals of its focus impact areas that will be incorporated into its strategic plan and long-term goals. This includes working with the extended George family to prepare them for future involvement in the Foundation.
- Grantmaking: The President, with assistance from the Program Officer and Grants and Administrative Manager, leads all grantmaking activities, and develops in-depth relationships with major grantees. This includes executing grantmaking strategies; overseeing proposal intake, review, financial analysis and staff comments; grant evaluation and interim reports; site visits; creation and execution of grant agreements; special project development and implementation; and preparing materials for Board review (two meetings per year), the annual July board retreat in Colorado, and any other board meetings or calls.
- Financial management and budgeting: The President is responsible for managing the finances of the Foundation. This responsibility includes preparing annual budgets, monthly and quarterly cash flow reports and balance sheets, and regular tracking and reporting on the financial health of the organization. The President works with the Board Treasurer, CFO, and any contracted financial advisors or auditors to ensure responsible reporting of the organization’s financial activities and investment performance to its Board and external stakeholders. The President is also responsible for the accurate and timely distribution of authorized funds to grantees.
- Personnel management: The President is responsible for hiring and providing leadership to the GFF staff with the goal of maintaining a cooperative and professional working relationship with staff of the George Family Office and part-time and contracted employees and Foundation advisors. Since the Foundation’s intention is to maintain a very small staff, the President is personally involved in all aspects of the Foundation.
- Board relations: The President keeps the Board and NGF advisors fully informed of all matters affecting the George Family Foundation and provides administrative support to the Board and to the NGF. The President oversees compliance with local, state, and federal laws necessary to keep the Foundation in good standing and maintaining its legal status.
- Board Secretary: The President serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors and the NGF (ex-officio) and performs or properly delegates and oversees the performance of the following duties: attend all meetings of the Board and NGF and record all votes and the minutes of all proceedings of the Board; perform like duties for any committee of the Board when required; give notice of all meetings of the Board, as required; and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board or the Board Co-Chairs.
- Public relations and website: The President is responsible for the development and execution of annual public relations and website activities, supported by other Foundation staff and outside communications consultants. The President is also responsible for overseeing content development and editorial functions for the annual report.
- Events and convenings: The President provides primary oversight for all Foundation events, meetings, and convenings. With the Board Co-Chairs, the President determines annual event and convening goals, including those that the Foundation sponsors and those in which GFF participates. The President provides leadership to GFF staff and consultants in executing all GFF events, meetings, and convenings.
- Community relations: The President is the primary voice and representative of the George Family Foundation. The President is expected to be knowledgeable about and involved in the regional and national philanthropic and nonprofit community, particularly in the key funding areas of the Foundation.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation seeks first and foremost a candidate who is aligned with GFF’s mission and values and who has both strong strategic and operational leadership abilities. The President should have the ability to work closely with George family members as well as the experience, public presence, and empathy to lead a philanthropic organization.
The successful candidate is most likely to be a mid-career individual, with 15 or more years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector in a field related to one of the Foundation’s six focus areas. Such experience will ideally include not only staff roles with increasing responsibility, but also in at least one role as board member. Direct philanthropic experience is ideal, as is knowledge of philanthropic practices and processes.
In addition, the Foundation seeks candidates who have:
- Experience facilitating and participating in visioning, strategic planning, and organizational processes that enable the Foundation to increase the impact and effectiveness of its grantmaking, while demonstrating leadership in its target areas.
- Experience energizing and inspiring colleagues, and in leading with integrity, purpose, and a concern for colleagues’ wellbeing.
- Experience writing for, speaking to, and presenting before boards of directors, external constituents, and media representatives.
- Experience with investment policy, the regulatory environment for foundation endowment management, non-profit accounting processes and requirements, and the development and management of operating budgets.
The Foundation has developed a list of personal qualities sought in the President:
- Understands the nature of a first-generation family foundation and the family’s desire to be primary in determining funding strategies;
- Impervious to the tendency in philanthropy for staff to amass and leverage their power from having the ability to give money away;
- A sound strategist who focuses on outcomes and impact and sees possibilities in the face of obstacles;
- Agility in adapting to rapidly changing conditions;
- Willingness to roll up one’s sleeves and do what’s necessary to work with a small staff on a collaborative basis;
- Analytically strong and able to come to conclusions in an appropriately timely manner;
- Holds people and organizations accountable in a positive way; diplomatic with backbone;
- A continuous learner, humble in admitting error;
- Seeks engagement with grantees, stays close to leadership, keeps current on what may be changing in their spheres of influence;
- Open to critique, seeks input; adept at addressing interpersonal conflict;
- Gracious and respectful, sense of humor is a bonus.
How to Begin the Application Process
Candidates are encouraged to send a letter of interest to Sarah Lutman, Principal, 8 Bridges Workshop, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates should share their relevant experience and describe the reasons for their interest in this particular position at this time in their working life. Board members want to know why you seek the position, how your experiences have prepared you to succeed in the role, how the role aligns with your personal purpose, and why the timing feels right for you to lead the Foundation at this point in your career.
The selection process will include preliminary screening by the Search Committee and 8 Bridges Workshop, preliminary telephone or Zoom interviews with 8 Bridges, reference checking, and finalist interviews with individual board members. The process will also include submission of writing and work samples and a psychological assessment.
Please submit your letter of interest no later than 5:00 PM Central Time on Monday, March 15, 2021.
This position announcement and links to GFF news and information is available on the 8 Bridges Workshop website.
All applications will be kept confidential.
About the George Family Foundation
Penny and Bill George created the George Family Foundation in 1994 in order to give back to the community that supported their personal and financial success. The Foundation’s mission is to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good. The Foundation’s assets were valued at nearly $63 million at the end of 2020; grantmaking totaled $5.2 million.
The Foundation’s giving is focused in six major focus areas: Integrative Health & Healing; Authentic Leadership; Community; Environment; Spirituality & Mindfulness; and Youth Development.
In 2019, the Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary and published a timeline of benchmark activities in its annual report. The timeline notes significant grants made to support integrative health and healing, authentic leadership development, progressive spirituality and faith-based social justice efforts, culturally meaningful healing practices, and women’s health. The timeline also identifies key organizational development activities, such as the addition of family members to the Foundation’s Board, the hiring of professional management, and the development of the Next Generation Fund. The 2019 and prior years’ reports are available on the Foundation’s website.
The Foundation’s grants have been balanced between Minnesota organizations and leading national organizations that enable it to have significant impact in accomplishing its strategic objectives.
For more information about the George Family Foundation, please visit the website at georgefamilyfoundation.org.
Sarah Lutman <email@example.com>
8 Bridges Workshop
No phone calls please