The Greater New Orleans Funders Network (GNOFN) was founded on August 29, 2015, following the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and 5th anniversary of the BP Oil Spill and the recognition that despite over $1 billion in philanthropic investment, disparities had only deepened in New Orleans across every spectrum, including education, economic development, healthcare and housing—particularly within Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian communities, and compared to counterpart white communities. Key local grant makers, like the Foundation for Louisiana, and national funders, like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, launched GNOFN to center the values of equity and justice through a platform for philanthropic partners to increase resources and build power for communities of color in Greater New Orleans.
What we believe is that investments can be strategically deployed to help people build power and the people themselves can build a more equitable and a more just community. We must trust and invest in folks who are closest to the problem as they will be the ones to have the solutions. We also acknowledge that it is our own institutional biases and prejudices that have indoctrinated us to overwhelmingly support white-led nonprofits. Color-blind grantmaking, even when grounded in a well-meaning attempt at equity, is the crux of the problem. Strategic philanthropy through a restorative justice lens recognizes the source and the cost of this accumulation of wealth and radically shifts wealth and power to the communities most impacted by extractive capitalism and white supremacy. GNOFN recognizes the need for more strategic philanthropic investments that radically shift wealth redistribution in New Orleans and beyond. We must change how power is wielded by re-examining the use of power and authority in philanthropic systems and organizational hierarchies and aim toward power with others rather than power over others.
In this movement moment, this moment of racial uprising in our country, all institutions are going to have to be accountable to the communities they seek to serve. At the Greater New Orleans Funders Network, we’re trying to test out new models for philanthropic investments that center community needs. For example, we created a participatory grant-making process wherein grantees came in, they told us what they needed and what they planned to do. We then documented what they said and submitted the document as their grant proposal. They just had to show up and have that conversation. We’ve also used our bully pulpit, our influence, our access to open doors for the folks who are directly impacted by these problems.
GNOFN Director Essential Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the GNOFN Director include but are not limited to the following:
● Provide strategic guidance and future visioning for the network across all domains including programs, membership, governance, field building, communications etc.
● Cultivate an organizational culture, internally and externally, that is aligned with GNOFN’s core values of equity and justice
● Lead the implementation of GNOFN’s strategic plan via exploration of how to operationalize the following:
○ Community Engagement – How is the larger New Orleans community engaged with GNOFN from advocacy to grantmaking to membership?
○ Grantmaking – How can GNOFN continue to pilot innovative approaches to grantmaking that reduce the burden on grantees and support cross-sector investments?
○ Learning & Advocacy – How can GNOFN support the creation of a community-driven, multi-year, proactive advocacy agenda as well as continue to respond to opportunities in real time?
○ Organizational structure – How best should we structure the network for future sustainability and impact?
● Secure and manage all of GNOFN’s contracted consultants including Action Table facilitators and admin support, communications, evaluation and other consultants as needed ○ Convene Action Table facilitators and admin monthly to provide updates and source cross-table opportunities
○ Convene Action Table co-chairs and facilitators at least once annually
○ Support development of and approve GNOFN communications materials
○ Support development of GNOFN evaluation materials
● Staff GNOFN Executive Committee and Board of Directors ○ Meet with GNOFN co-chairs monthly
○ Meet with GNOFN Executive Committee bimonthly
○ Support Board of Directors meetings four times annually
○ Support recruitment of GNOFN Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Officers
Fund Development & Financial Management
● Manage GNOFN’s budget as set by the Board of Directors ○ Support development of GNOFN annual work plan and accompanying budget at Q4 Board of Directors meetings
● Oversee fund development and management in collaboration with GNOFN fiscal sponsor ○ Work with GNOFN members to secure annual membership fees
○ Secure additional funding as necessary
○ Meet monthly with GNOFN’s fiscal sponsor to review budget to actual
○ Support development of grant proposals and reports as needed
Membership & Programs
● Lead recruitment of GNOFN Members
● Oversee the development of programming in line with the strategic plan ○ Includes at least one annual convening as well as other programming such as trainings or webinars
● Represent GNOFN at meetings and conferences
● Develop relevant partnerships for GNOFN
GNOFN Director Essential Qualifications & Characteristics
● Deep knowledge of the South and an understanding of the philanthropic community and social movements, policy and systems change infrastructure in the South.
● A minimum of 5 years of management experience leading small to midsize teams and supporting volunteer boards/governing bodies in philanthropy
● Experience grantmaking in one or more strategies that support structural change (Community Economic Development, Policy & Systems Reform, Civic Engagement, Youth Development, Community Organizing)
● Knowledge and training in racial and gender equity and/or dismantling racism and oppression analysis.
● Facilitative leadership style, with the ability to articulate vision, align process and programs with values, strategy development and managing people with diverse personalities and work styles.
● Excellent communication skills, including public speaking, writing, and the ability to communicate clearly, diplomatically, and effectively.
● Adept in building and maintaining strong partnerships and working collaboratively with a committee, staff, philanthropic leaders, and professional colleagues. ● A task-oriented, skilled manager and doer, which can handle multiple demands in an effective manner.
● Ability to use research analysis to identify opportunities for strategic partnerships.
● Proven ability to establish and maintain relationships with key leaders, foundations, philanthropic organizations, and individuals in the South and Nationally.
● A bachelor’s degree is required.
How To Apply
To be considered for this position, candidates must submit a resume’ and cover letter to the official search email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to recommend a potential candidate, please email us at email@example.com and include the appropriate candidate contact information for us to follow up.