Felxible, IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH, or WI

Executive Director, Needmor Fund

The Organization

In 1956, Duane and Virginia Secor Stranahan created the Needmor Fund to facilitate their family’s charitable giving and carry forward their parents’ legacy of community stewardship. The work of the Needmor Fund continues to be informed by the energy, vision, and generosity of these forebearers. As members of the Needmor board and family members learned more about community organizing, they were drawn to the determination of communities to demand change and challenge inequitable systems in the name of a just society. Organizing can be an effective platform for change across many different issues, but at its core it is centered in tenacity, intelligence, and courage — a testament to human potential. With that foundational understanding about the vital role organizing plays in our democracy, Needmor is deeply committed to funding people exercising their rights and demands for a just society through organizing.

Position Overview

The Executive Director will be guided by and work in partnership with a dedicated board to focus and implement the mission, vision, and values of the Needmor Fund. They will leverage learnings, perspectives, and experiences to advance people power through funding and advocating for community organizing. Working closely with the Operations Director, they will be responsible for managing the administrative and grant-making operations and will guide the strategic direction of the fund.

Vision and Strategic Leadership

·        In partnership with the board, lead a strategic planning process that articulates and advances Needmor’s vision of a democratic and just society though community organizing.

·        Champion community organizing within the philanthropic sector and build relationships between philanthropy and leaders in community organizing.

·        Represent Needmor at conferences and other convenings that inform or advance the work of the Fund and/or the field of community organizing, and advocate for the importance of funding capacity building and infrastructure of movements regionally and nationally.

·        Review and coordinate the fund’s Shareholder Activism activities in partnership with consultant.

Programmatic & Organizational Management

·        Facilitate board consideration and approval of grant selections through diligent oversight of grantmaking programs including research and grant application review.

·        Oversee overall operations, ensuring the continued alignment of systems, policies, and procedures required to facilitate the Fund.

·        Ensure compliance with all IRS regulations and other laws pertaining to operation of a private family foundation.

·        Supervise staff, lead performance evaluations, and support opportunities for their development and continued learning.

·        In conjunction with external financial managers and other advisors, oversee management of the Fund’s resources to ensure they are mission aligned and in compliance; prepare and continually monitor Needmor’s annual budget to ensure it is aligned with board policy.

·        Serve as liaison to the Fund’s investment managers, and in partnership with the Finance Committee, ensure that Needmor’s investments reflect the goals set forth in its Investment Policies.

Board & Committee Partnership and Governance

·        Support the engagement, recruitment, and onboarding of board members as key thought partners and advisors to advance Needmor’s mission.

·        Build on a strong culture of partnership and collaboration between the board and Executive Director to continue to foster transparency, clear communication, and trust.

·        Support and encourage the involvement of Board and family members in deepening their learning and engagement on behalf of Needmor, its grantees, and the field of community organizing.

·        In support of board learning, arrange annual learning tours highlighting the work of Needmor grantees and the issues being addressed through organizing efforts.

·        Provide timely and transparent reporting of financial health, investment performance, program updates, or any concerns that could adversely affect the Fund’s operations.

·        In partnership with the board chair, plan for and ensure smooth operation of regular board and committee meetings including the timely preparation and dissemination of the Board docket, agenda, and background materials.


The Executive Director will bring a highly relational approach to management and deep appreciation for the field of community organizing. They will be a humble and values driven leader who values the opportunity to be fully involved in all aspects of the Needmor Fund. Previous grantmaking experience is helpful but not required. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Connection to the Mission

·        Passion and appreciation for the field of community organizing and an understanding of its contribution to racial and social justice across diverse communities, ideologies, and economies, preferably within the context of the Midwest.

·        Commitment to funding community organizing and building authentic relationships with grantees that reframe the power dynamics between grantees and funders.


·        Experience developing strategy in partnership with a board, coalition, or other advisory group.

·        Familiarity with the potential grantee landscape and knowledge of base building, faith-based organizing, and other ways people build power in their communities.

·        Innate ability to foster and manage relationships across issues, geographies, levels of seniority, and lived experience.

·        Understanding of the unique dynamic of a family foundation and sophisticated approach that blends a commitment to the Fund’s roots and expertise of nonfamily board members; ability to work across multiple generations and build connection to a larger purpose and mission.

·        Authentic and sophisticated communicator (written and verbal) with the confidence to step into the spotlight when the moment calls and a leaderful approach to share that with others.

·        Ability to see opportunity to amplify the Fund’s work through influencing peers and partners


·        Outstanding project management skills with the ability to deliver high quality results on time; advanced problem-solving and decision-making skills and the ability to multitask.

·        Team orientation and collaborative spirit required in a small organization; self-starter with the ability to work independently toward common goals and objectives.

·        Previous experience managing and supporting staff and working collaboratively with a board.

·        Positive, can-do attitude paired with a collaborative and inclusive style.

·        Bachelor’s degree preferred or the combination of 10 years of relevant lived and professional experience applicable to the role.


The salary range for this position is between $125,000 – 165,000.

How To Apply

More information about the Needmor Fund may be found at: www.needmorfund.org

This search is being led by Carolyn Ho and Catherine Seneviratne of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

The Needmor Fund is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Sign up