New York, NY (Remote)

Executive Director, Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation

The Organization

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) is an advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers. Our mission is to improve the daily lives of professional restaurant workers by building a deeper sense of community and self-efficacy. RWCF engages in grant making, impact investing, issue advocacy, and community building efforts to influence industry practices, public policies, and public perceptions.

Our focus areas are:

Wage fairness and career ladders: to ensure that every restaurant worker is paid a reliable wage that is enough to pay the costs of living in their community and save for the future; and to provide workers with the skills and opportunities they need to climb career ladders in the hospitality industry

Gender equity and sexual violence: to increase gender representation and equitable treatment in all jobs at all levels of the hospitality industry, especially those with the greatest prestige and compensation; and to create greater awareness of what constitutes consent and the ways employers can prevent sexual assault and harassment by owners, employees, and guests

Racial equity and support for immigrant communities: to increase representation and equitable treatment of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and immigrants in all jobs at all levels of the hospitality industry, especially those with the greatest prestige and compensation; and to ensure that restaurants do not take advantage of, or discriminate against, vulnerable immigrant workers, regardless of their documentation status

Mental health and substance use disorders: to help restaurant businesses create more caring, accommodating, and healthy workplaces; and to provide access to programs that support restaurant workers struggling with substance use disorders and mental health challenges

Additionally, RWCF has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with our Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund.

Organized in 2018, RWCF is in its early stages of development. RWCF has a 20-member board, roughly half with deep expertise in the restaurant industry and the other half with nonprofit/foundation experience, that is currently responsible for oversight of RWCF’s strategy and operations as well as strategy implementation.

Position Overview

RWCF is now seeking a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader to help refine and drive the organization’s strategy, further develop its core communications and programming, build out critical systems and operations, and lead its fundraising and development efforts across all current and potential sources. This creative leader would also build RWCF’s capacity to support and sustain RWCF’s work and operations, leading a team of consultants, vendors, and, over time, part-time and full-time employees.

This opportunity is ideal for someone who thrives on building and innovating and is comfortable with both designing and leading an organization – its goals, priorities, operations, capacity, and structuring – based primarily upon a proven framework and board conversations amidst a tremendous amount of unknown. The inaugural Executive Director will have the support of a deeply engaged, all-volunteer board of directors that is organized around seven distinct volunteer committees: Audit/Finance/Investments; Communications/Marketing; Development/Fundraising; Events/Community Engagement; Governance; Grantmaking/Nonprofit Partnerships; and Public Policy.

The Executive Director will step into an organization that has experienced extraordinarily positive fundraising success and enters the 2021 fiscal year in a strong financial position with a fast-growing donor base. However, in an operating environment with many unknowns and a short organizational history, the inaugural Executive Director will be challenged to solidify the organization’s reputation and fundraising to grow this innovative community foundation to long-term financial sustainability.

Finally, this leader must be able to embrace and lead within a flat leadership structure while ensuring that RWCF incorporates an equity and justice lens throughout its work and operations.

Responsibilities include:

Organizational Leadership

  • Implement and refine organizational strategy envisioned by the board
  • Develop and coordinate both long- and short-term strategic plans
  • Design, manage, and adapt a work plan that sets the pace for RWCF, celebrates wins, course corrects, and advances strategic goals
  • Lead and grow the team by nurturing an effective organizational workforce, culture, and morale, including recruiting and developing team members
  • Facilitate strong outcomes across the organization by preparing for and following up on critical meetings and generally creating the conditions for success across internal teams-       Ensure that team members are aligned and coordinated in achieving each of their respective objectives, actively collaborating to achieve organization-wide goals
  • Troubleshoot and strategize to address operational, program, and project challenges
  • Build and maintain effective relationships with thought leaders, strategic partners, and key networks; leverage relationships to advance RWCF’s work
  • Monitor and report on organizational goals, outcomes, and strategic progress

Programmatic Leadership and Execution

  • Collaborate with team members to provide oversight for all programs
  • Create programmatic goals with well-defined metrics
  • Develop partnerships with other organizations and businesses to maximize grant-making and programmatic resources
  • Provide leadership assistance in the development of RWCF’s Racial Justice Fund by collaborating with the Fund Director and Steering Committee
  • Provide organizing support to the Restaurant Managers Network and nurture its volunteer leadership
  • Develop a system for communicating with and about businesses participating in the Restaurant Futures Loan Program
  • Develop a deep understanding of community foundations, and how they can operate effectively within the law and support nonprofit organizations that advance RWCF’s public policy goals
  • In partnership with the Finance Committee and advisors, develop impact investing strategies that provide financial returns to RWCF and advance its charitable mission

Governance and Board Relationship

  • Build and maintain a strong partnership with the board by clearly communicating initiatives, successes, and opportunities
  • Work with the President to prepare for all board meetings and ensure they are sequenced for maximum integration and impact
  • Attend and lead relevant sections of board meetings
  • Ensure that RWCF’s volunteer committees are meeting regularly, communicating with each other, and productively engaging their members to maximize volunteer activities that build on organizational priorities

Communications Leadership and External Relations

  • Become an authority on RWCF’s program areas and serve as the organization’s primary voice to media, funders, nonprofit partners, and the larger restaurant community, advocating for RWCF’s issue areas across all media channels and in speaking engagements and public events
  • Work in partnership with RWCF’s social media director and Communications Committee to build and maintain strong relationships with external stakeholders, and the systems for tracking them
  • Work with team members to create and maintain collateral, website, and presentations to both inspire and inform


  • Advance and implement a comprehensive development strategy
  • Identify and cultivate new funding streams
  • Develop and oversee all major grant proposals; coordinate grant reporting requirements
  • Work with development team member(s) and the board to plan and execute all fundraisers and special events
  • Represent RWCF effectively with donors, partners, and other stakeholders

Financial Management

  • Working with the Finance Committee Chair and RWCF’s accounting firm, manage finances by aligning revenue and expenses with strategic priorities, including budgeting, financial planning, and reporting
  • Monitor RWCF’s financial position, including revenue and expenditures

Operations Support

  • Oversee effective administration of RWCF’s operations
  • Oversee design and building of organizational processes and systems throughout RWCF to increase capacity

Key Qualifications:


  • Dedication and enthusiasm for RWCF’s mission and a proven passion and commitment for racial justice, social justice, and equity
  • 5+ years of strategic leadership and operational experience
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to lead in start-up environments or an ability to apply experiences in established nonprofit organizations to a start-up environment
  • Ability to develop, manage, and improve systems and processes
  • A commitment to teamwork and collaboration


  • Restaurant or hospitality industry experience, and the ability to compellingly discuss those personal experiences in the context of RWCF’s public policy advocacy
  • Experience working with varied constituencies and functions across diverse stakeholders
  • Significant nonprofit management expertise
  • Project management experience
  • Media experience

Personal Attributes

  • Excellent communications skills
  • Strategic and innovative thinker
  • Amazing storyteller
  • Thrives while leading in ambiguous situations

This position will be remote. Compensation package, including benefits, is competitive. The salary for this role starts at $125,000. The Executive Director’s performance and salary will be reviewed during the first year of employment with a potential for an increase in salary, based on management, communications, and fundraising successes.

RWCF welcomes applicants from historically underserved and marginalized communities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

How To Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line: RWCF Executive Director.

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