Senior Vice President of Strategy, Impact and Operations, CFLeads

The Organization

CFLeads is a national network of community foundations working together to build strong communities. As the only national organization exclusively for community foundations, we work with hundreds of community foundations each year that are committed to increasing their local impact through community leadership.

 CFLeads is committed to advancing racial equity within our organization and across the community foundation field. In May, 2021, the CFLeads board adopted a Racial Equity Statement to guide the work of the CFLeads board and staff. CFLeads’ strategic plan embeds racial equity throughout the work of the organization.

 CFLeads Vision

We envision a world in which community foundations are vital partners in building communities where all residents are prosperous, healthy and secure.

 CFLeads Mission

Our mission is to help community foundations build strong communities by advancing effective practices, sharing knowledge and galvanizing action on critical issues of our time.

CFLeads Values

  • Learning. We believe that organizational excellence and effectiveness are driven by a commitment to ongoing learning.
  • Knowledge. We believe information of all kinds — including data, research and lived experience — is essential to the ability to lead, set sound strategies, and solve problems.
  • Respect. We value and consider each other in all of our interactions.
  • Collaboration. We believe in creating solutions together, harnessing the ideas, knowledge, and experience of a wide range of individuals and institutions to create the best results.
  • Equity. We believe inclusion and representation matter and that the input and voices of those most impacted by issues and decisions are needed to create the healthy, thriving communities at the core of our mission.

Signature Programs

CFLeads’ work is guided by a desire to advance the momentum identified in Going All In. Going All In builds on the significant progress community foundations have made in the previous decade and responds to the growing desire for a common path forward to achieve better outcomes for all. Three areas of momentum in particular show great promise and potential for the field: Insisting on racial equity, amplifying community voice and influencing public policy and systems.

We offer a wide range of peer learning opportunities designed to help community foundations grow their capacity for community leadership*, including:

  • Executive Leadership Institute – a unique learning opportunity for small groups of community foundation CEOs, Vice Presidents, CFOs, and CEO/Board Chair pairs to advance their organizational practice. Described as “magical,” “a game changer,” and “the best professional development experience in my 30+ year career” by participants.
  • Issue Network – a community of practice for community foundation teams around an issue of common concern. Past networks have “set the bar high” and provided “precious learning time” for participants. Funded by national foundations including the California Wellness Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, issue networks are iterative, experience-driven, team-based, and action-oriented. Refined over the past decade, these networks are based on a strong theoretical framework that promotes data- and resident-driven goals, supports cross-sector problem-solving, and focuses on systems change.
  • Setting the Table for Community Leadership is an experience where staff at all levels can become grounded in the concepts of community leadership; thereby helping their institutions to step up, be bolder and lead change — change that builds strong, resilient communities where all people can thrive. Setting the Table is offered in partnership with regional philanthropic-serving organizations (PSOs) from around the country.

*Developed in 2008 by the CFLeads National Task Force on Community Leadership and updated in 2013 by the CFLeads Cultivating Community Engagement Panel to include practices related to resident engagement, the Framework for Community Leadership serves as the foundational document for the field on community leadership.

Position Overview

The Senior Vice President of Strategy, Impact and Operations works closely with the CEO and all staff leads on programs to advance CFLeads’ strategic objectives to: (1) build community leadership capacity for impact; (2) galvanize progress on community issues; (3) share knowledge for community change; (4) organize the field for improved community outcomes; and (5) lead with operational excellence.

The position will be a part of the management team that drives the overall strategy for the organization and represents CFLeads on a local, regional, and national basis. With a current annual program budget of $2.7 million and a staff of 11 the Senior Vice President of Strategy, Impact and Operations will develop deep knowledge of each project, program operations, and business plan, and will focus on the following three areas: program leadership and management, external relationships, and knowledge management.

Key Responsibilities

The Senior Vice President of Strategy, Impact and Operations will take on the following responsibilities:

Program Leadership & Management

  • Enhance, flesh out, and implement organizational vision as established in CFLead’s Strategic Plan and the CFLeads Business Plan that embeds racial equity throughout the work of the organization.
  • Facilitate the annual strategic planning process and collaborate with the CEO and the management team to align organizational strategies, goals, and priorities. Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and impact.
  • Lead and manage high-priority, strategic, and special projects, programs, and initiatives, ensuring timely delivery, stakeholder engagement, and resource allocation; identifying potential roadblocks and developing solutions to keep projects on track.
  • Ensure that program delivery is consistently high quality and in alignment with the mission and values of the organization.
  • Provide thought leadership and innovative insights to guide CFLeads’ growth, expansion, and impact.
  • Lead programming team in ensuring streamlined processes, efficient resource allocation, and effective project management.
  • Design and implement capacity-building initiatives that equip community foundations with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to drive sustainable impact in their communities.
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain diverse high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, and performance.
  • Serve as a facilitator and/or co-facilitator of programs.
  • Develop and refine program strategies aligned with CFLeads’ mission and goals; ensure that programs are designed to maximize impact and meet the evolving needs of community foundations.
  • Lead the development of new initiatives and programs, from concept to implementation, including conducting research, gathering stakeholder input, and creating detailed project plans.
  • Regularly assess program outcomes and impact and make data-driven recommendations for improvement.


  • Drive cross-sector collaboration across the organization to address complex community challenges.
  • Work with staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management.
  • Provide leadership in the development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.
  • Play a key role in driving organizational change by facilitating communication, managing stakeholders, and addressing concerns as new initiatives are introduced.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance organizational effectiveness and implement best practices.
  • Implement and lead a continuous quality improvement process throughout the programs, focusing on systems/process improvement.

External Relationships

  • With the Program Leads and Director of Fund Development and Marketing, expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing programs and the growth of CFLeads; cultivate existing relationships and develop new funder relationships.
  • Manage relationships with partner organizations.
  • Cultivate and nurture relationships with community foundations, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and other stakeholders.
  • Serve as an organizational spokesperson on program issues; represent CFLeads at industry conferences, events, and in media engagements.
  • Work with the CEO on the management of external initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the development team to identify funding opportunities, secure grants, and build relationships with donors and partners to support CFLeads’ initiatives.

Knowledge Management & Innovation

  • Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge that is generated by the programs.
  • With the Director of Fund Development and Marketing, develop dissemination system to share organizational learning with our community foundation partners.
  • Ensure that key project outcomes and/or policy, advocacy, and legislation are evaluated and leveraged for maximum community and organizational impact.
  • Work collaboratively with the management team to integrate cross program activities and functions.
  • Stay at the forefront of trends in philanthropy, community development, and social impact.
  • Develop innovative approaches that inspire community foundations to become catalysts for change.
  • Contribute to thought leadership content, publications, and research that elevate CFLeads’ profile.

Desired Skills and Attributes

  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and excellence in organizational and project management with the ability to achieve strategic objectives and manage a budget.
  • Strong track record of effectively leading a performance-based and outcome-based program and staff.
  • Experience developing and operationalizing strategies that have taken a program or organization to the next stage of growth while centering racial equity.
  • Track record of building and developing strong, collaborative teams.
  • Persuasive, credible, and polished communicator both orally and in writing.
  • Strong fundraising experience.
  • Integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed with demonstrated passion for CFLeads’ mission.
  • Solid judgment and demonstrated leadership skills.
  • A team player, who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates.
  • An individual who is able to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex, entrepreneurial environment with multiple priorities and rapid growth.
  • Knowledge of the community foundation field either as a staff, board member or volunteer.
  • Strong analytical skills and basic business intuition.
  • Strong work ethic.


  • 10+ years’ professional experience in strategy, advocacy, operations, philanthropy or program development.
  • Advanced degree, with at least 7 to 10 years of management experience.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.

CFLeads is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Salary Range: $154,000 – $175,000

How To Apply

Please submit resume and cover letter by October 23, 2024, to: Mary L. Thomas, President and CEO, CFLeads, at

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