Oct 20, 2023

Executive Director

$140,000 - $175,000 yearly
  • NPAG
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Full-Time Executive Management (CEO/ED) Fundraising/Development Strategic Planning

Job Description

Michigan Founders Fund (MFF) has a vision for Michigan to be the most successful, inclusive, and community-minded startup ecosystem in the country. MFF works to drive density amongst founders, which, in turn, increases access to capital and talent. MFF Members are high-growth entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who are committed to organizational values of connection, culture, and community and have made the Michigan Pledge (1% of equity, profit, or carry) to a Michigan-focused grantmaking fund to financially support impactful organizations across the state. To do this work, MFF designs and implements robust, founder-first programming to further relationship-building, startup advancement, and community impact, while coordinating statewide initiatives in talent development and ecosystem-building.

MFF is a small, but mighty team of leaders with various experience across the tech industry, social impact, and philanthropy. The team is united by a passion for uplifting high-growth startup builders as a core economic driver for the future of Michigan.


Entering its fifth year of operation (third year as a standalone statewide entity), MFF is looking for a highly skilled Executive Director who is excited to build upon a strong foundation and take the organization to the next level of growth as a member engaged, led, and serving nonprofit enterprise. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee the strategic and operational efficiencies of MFF’s programs and staff and help to design and implement next level nonprofit infrastructure that will help to meaningfully and strategically engage members, a growing board, and a growing team in the future of the organization and its programs. This entrepreneurial leader will not only understand current trends in technology and high-growth startup ecosystem development, but will also have experience in developing business models and fundraising that can translate to nonprofit success. Experience in designing, recruiting, and activating a lean staff infrastructure to best serve a member informed and led programming is critical and demonstrated ability to establish strong relationships with Michigan-based community groups is a plus. Experience with the process and incentives in venture supported growth and sale events is also a plus. Above all, the Executive Director should be highly effective in a leadership role that requires clear public presence, communication skills, and decisiveness. Key opportunities for the next Executive Director include:

Strategic Visioning

  • Build and lead an effective team that’s dedicated to fulfilling the organization’s mission to expand and serve a network of high-growth organization entrepreneurs in their pre-seed and seed stages through highly successful programs, community engagement, and fundraising strategies.
  • Embody and actualize an organization-wide commitment to preserving the founder-led and community-focused values of MFF.
  • Create business plans in collaboration with Board of Directors for achieving goals and objectives oriented toward organizational growth.
  • Lead professionalization and development of Board of Directors to support organizational growth.

Fundraising and External Partnerships

  • Develop an actionable plan for growth-focused fundraising and managing monthly cash flow by working with Staff and Board on annual fundraising and additional keystone events.
  • Meet aggressive annual fundraising goals, in partnership with Board of Directors, by securing financial support from mission-aligned foundations, corporations, individual donors, and government funding sources.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to further increase community awareness and expand programs.
  • Oversee all external communications, including website, marketing collateral, newsletters, and social media.
  • Serve as the face of the organization by being the main spokesperson and participating in external events to increase awareness, visibility, credibility, and market brand.

Organizational Leadership

  • Work closely with a committed and growing Board of Directors and leverage committees to assess and address issues affecting the organization.
  • Oversee daily operations of the organization, providing executive direction for program strategies and efficiencies, compliance, and quality assurance.
  • Manage staff members whose experiences, cultures, and languages reflect the community served by the organization.
  • Identify and address staffing requirements for efficient operations and maintain a strong work culture that attracts and retains people while driving the organization’s mission.
  • Comply with all national and local regulations.

Hiring Organization

Michigan Founders Fund


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:

  • Seven or more years of experience in senior management with nonprofit organizations.
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent professional experience) in business, human resources, and/or finance; advanced degree is a plus.
  • Knowledge of leadership and management principles for nonprofit organizations as well as for profit enterprises to best support the startups and founders that MFF serves.
  • Proven success in fundraising and budget management.
  • Strong experience in public relations, public speaking, and marketing.
  • Proven success working with a Board of Directors.
  • Entrepreneurial experience, with an innovative approach to business planning in a nonprofit setting.
  • Dynamic and charismatic team leader and player who enjoys being the public face of an organization.
  • Excels in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  • Excited by supporting entrepreneurs and solving problems - service mindset.
  • Bias towards action and forward thinking.
  • Enjoys working with and managing multiple stakeholders across economic development, entrepreneurial development, government, academia, creative industries, etc.
  • Exceptional verbal, written, and visual communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications Include

  • Experience founding or working within a high-growth startup or venture capital firm.
  • Professional experience working across other national and/or international startup ecosystems.

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Community/Capacity Building, Foundation/Grantmaking




The compensation range for this position is $140,000 - $175,000 and is commensurate with candidate experience.

Application Instructions

More information about Michigan Founders Fund may be found at: www.michiganfoundersfund.org

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Nominations may be sent to Sharon <sharon@npag.com>. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

If you need assistance and/or accommodation during the application or recruiting process due to a disability, please note that in your submission.

Michigan Founders Fund is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Apply Now