Sarasota, FL

Vice President, Knowledge and Equity, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

The Opportunity

Supported by an exceptionally committed board of community and business leaders—all donors to the Foundation—the CEO and growing Leadership Team of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County (CFSC) have leveraged the organization’s four decades of philanthropic service to the region along with fresh energy, increased funding and a renewed commitment to the Foundation’s highly successful donor-centric service model. As a result, one of Florida’s most prominent philanthropic entities in one of the state’s most generous communities is poised for even more substantial charitable impact. CFSC has been a respected philanthropic force since its founding in 1979. By providing a highly-personalized link
between donors’ dreams and the community’s needs, CFSC ensures that visionary givers have a trusted partner in their commitment to make an enduring impact on the community and causes they treasure.

CFSC believes that everyone can be a philanthropist. Accordingly, CFSC purposefully champions the community goals of its donors, committing at every turn to help individual community investors achieve the maximum impact for the philanthropic dollars they entrust to the Foundation.

The appeal of this approach is manifested by the $418 million in assets now held in the Foundation’s 1,500+ funds. Last year, the Foundation granted over $21 million in grants and scholarships focused on donor dreams in areas such as education; health and human services; the arts; animal welfare; and the environment. CFSC is among the top 10% of community
foundations nation-wide and one of the largest in the state of Florida. CFSC, named one of the Best Places to Work in Sarasota-Manatee in 2018 and 2019, embodies a set of seven core values:

  • Compassion
  • Empowerment
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Quality
  • Stewardship
  • Inclusiveness

The future for the Foundation, its supporters and the communities they serve looks very bright indeed, even as the area has very real needs that philanthropy can effectively address. Florida is unusually well positioned to benefit from the southern shift in the country’s population and focus, and Sarasota County’s natural appeal will help ensure the area continues to be among the state’s most attractive locales, whether for full-time inhabitants, seasonal residents, visitors or investors. The pattern has been building for quite some time, and Sarasota’s secret—a low-key but highly livable community—is rapidly becoming publicly recognized across the country.

Earlier this year, local residents made official something the Foundation had known for a long time: Sarasota County is an exceptionally generous community. More specifically, in just one day, 58,974 donors to CFSC’s 24-hour online Giving Challenge (, donated more than $18.4 million for 687 local nonprofit organizations. Since 2012, the Giving Challenge has raised a combined $58 million for local nonprofits. The Giving Challenge is but one example of how CFSC welcomes all community philanthropists.

A dedicated advocate of excellence in philanthropy, CFSC is accredited by the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations. Perhaps more important locally, the Foundation is widely regarded as a collaborative partner by hundreds of
nonprofits serving the people of Sarasota County and the surrounding area. Complete information on the Community Foundation of Sarasota County can be found here at

The Locale

The Foundation is located near downtown Sarasota, FL, in a purpose-built headquarters building which was created by the Foundation in partnership with a generous donor specifically to encourage utilization by other community-enhancing organizations. Last year alone, the Foundation hosted more than 12,000 individuals from area nonprofits for community-enhancing initiatives at no cost to the users.

Sarasota is a family-friendly community renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, from ballet to bodysurfing. Area beaches were cited by Forbes magazine as the best in America, and our
vibrant arts infrastructure, eclectic international cuisine and no state income taxes were other highlights that put Sarasota at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of best places to retire in 2020. Located on Florida’s west coast, south of Tampa and north of Ft. Meyers, Sarasota is one of America’s most livable communities and is rapidly increasing in its diversity and inclusivity. Sarasota County School District is one of the best in the state, having been rated an “A” district consistently Sarasota enjoys an exceptionally favorable climate. For example, the average low temperature in February is 53°, and the average high is 74°. In July and August, the hottest months, the typical range is only from 73° to 91°. Year-round, the averages are 63° and 83°, respectively.

Position Overview

The Mandate

CFSC seeks a collaborative, effective and courageous Vice President, Knowledge and Equity to lead its efforts to build a thriving and equitable community through a powerful blend of research and datadriven knowledge of community challenges and nonprofit partners. The VP will utilize resources and initiatives available at the Foundation – including The Giving Partner ( and the Giving Challenge ( – to develop innovative, high-impact community strategies and advance solutions that strengthen nonprofits to be more effective and efficient in achieving positive community outcomes. The role will strategically consult with donors and liaise with the Philanthropy Team to ensure donors are steeped in community needs and impact opportunities and have the information needed to make powerful investments in the community consistent with their goals, values and the Foundation’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) framework.

The VP will work with and guide the team to advance the Foundation’s commitment to DEI, which is rooted in the belief that the strength of our community is in its diversity and that, together, we strive to address issues and create opportunities so every person can achieve their full potential. The VP will do this through recruiting and retaining diverse talent, building cultural competence within the organization as well as developing strategic partnerships and trusting relationships with thought leaders and nonprofits dedicated to advancing under-represented populations and providing education, trainings and convenings to advance DEI capabilities and competencies.

As this is a new position, the VP will have the exciting opportunity to refine the role to better fit their expertise and interests in alignment with the needs of the Foundation, donors and community.

The VP, Knowledge and Equity will:

  • Oversee the tracking and monitoring of community data relevant to emerging community needs, CFSC’s initiatives and its commitment to DEI including Community Indicators – a template of key indicators to track community problems and assess progress with a DEI lens
  • Oversee activities related to enhancing The Giving Partner database with a focus on results and DEI indicators; understanding sector dynamics, opportunities and challenges; identifying and incubating data-driven innovations; and tracking the contributions of the nonprofit sector, both the direct economic impact and the downstream benefits associated with key initiatives, to improve educational and career outcomes
  • Provide strategic and programmatic leadership for CFSC’s DEI initiatives in collaboration with the Board DEI Task Force and staff
  • Work with Vice President, Community Impact on donor engagement and strategies to help donors build data driven, innovative plans around community impact
  • Collaborate with Vice President, Community Impact and Manager, Grants to develop and manage strategy for grantmaking activities from field of interest and unrestricted funds
  • Assess skill and capacity gaps in nonprofits and build strategies to address them, including serving as a resource in building their DEI capacity, to ensure nonprofits have improved effectiveness and efficiency
  • Manage and monitor project work plans and budgets
  • Manage staff – Manager of Nonprofit Services and Nonprofit Data Manager
  • Lead data and learning components of the Giving Challenge
  • Represent CFSC at community events, conferences and other related venues before and after regular business hours and, occasionally, on weekends

The successful VP, Knowledge and Equity Candidate demonstrates the following qualifications:

  • 5-10 years of related experience working in and as part of community facilitating engagement, participatory learning and community partnerships in data- and impact-driven environments
  • A degree, preferably a Master’s Degree, in nonprofit management, liberal studies, organizational development, or other related field, or work experience in excess of 10 years may be substituted
  • Demonstrated success as a collaborator and relationship-builder, with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build coalitions and collaborative working relationships with a broad range of diverse individuals and groups to achieve results
  • Knowledge and understanding of nonprofits and their resources, effectiveness and efficiency with demonstrated experience assessing skill and capacity gaps and building strategies to address them; direct grantmaking experience is a plus
  • Deep commitment to and knowledge of modern DEI concepts and proven track record of driving positive outcomes in leading DEI initiatives
  • Experience overseeing the tracking and monitoring of community data and skill in identifying actionable insights from a range of quantitative and qualitative research and data
  • Demonstrated effective people and team leadership and project management with the agility and ability to build trust and credibility, shepherd change and drive results
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills with the ability to facilitate difficult discussions; create and strengthen partnerships; align an array of efforts; and articulate the importance of DEI to donors, community and other key stakeholders
  • Must be an innovative, strategic and results-oriented leader with a broad vision for the role of diversity in achieving the foundation’s objectives for a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture, internally and externally
  • Demonstrated success in working collaboratively to develop and implement recruitment and retention strategies focused on building a diverse workforce

The successful VP, Knowledge and Equity Candidate has the following Technology Qualifications:

  • Proficient use of Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Proficient experience with nonprofit data bases and grants management/reporting software
  • Ability to self-support for basic computer and network problems

How To Apply

CFSC is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a national strategic management consulting and executive search firm committed to DEI – for this search. To apply, email a cover letter, resume and list of three references (one combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred and candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to references) to by December 11, 2020. Use the subject line: VP, Knowledge and Equity. Questions or Nominations? Email us at

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