Apr 02, 2024

Chief Executive Officer - The Durfee Foundation

$260,000 - $330,000 yearly
  • Walker and Associates Consulting
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
Full-Time Executive Management (CEO/ED) Strategic Planning

Job Description

After an exceptionally long, creative, and joyful partnership with transformative leaders, The Durfee Foundation has embarked upon planned leadership transitions and seeks a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO will lead a family- and community-oriented organization that is primed to thrive in its next evolution. Reporting to the Board of Directors - composed of multigenerational family members and community members outside of the family - the CEO will manage the foundation’s small, dedicated team. The CEO will bring personal commitment to and passion for gaining and sharing knowledge, engaging deeply with community stakeholders, and supporting nonprofit leadership across Los Angeles County.  

THE FOUNDATION 
 
The Durfee Foundation is a private family foundation that supports individuals and organizations in Los Angeles County, with a special emphasis on community development and nonprofit leadership. The Durfee Foundation is named in honor of Dorothy Durfee Avery who, with her husband, R. Stanton (Stan) Avery, established it in 1960. Since that time, the foundation has awarded more than $35 million in grants, primarily in the Los Angeles region.  
 
Governed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven Family Trustees and three Community Trustees, The Durfee Foundation invests in people and possibilities in Los Angeles County, where the foundation’s history lies and where funding needs are great. With assets of approximately $60 million and annual grantmaking of approximately $2.9 million, Durfee is led by a dynamic staff of four and supported by a strong team of core consultants. 

Durfee embodies an authentic approach building trust-based relationships with individuals and organizations that share ideals of creativity, risk-taking, equity, integrity, fiscal care, and continuous learning. Durfee nurtures deep connections by building networks beyond traditional boundaries and identifying where the greatest difference can be made. Partnership in building networks that may leverage new opportunities is critical to Durfee’s culture. 
 
Durfee is a patient grantmaker, recognizing that results often unfold over time. Inspired by its founders, whose legacy of openness and curiosity guides the foundation forward, Durfee continually seeks new ways to meet the needs of the Los Angeles community. 

THE POSITION 
 
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will have overall strategic operational responsibility for Durfee’s staff, programs, and execution of its mission. 

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES 
 
Leadership & Management: 

  • Actively engage with Durfee board members, staff, consultants, and community to advance the mission and stakeholder interests via core programs: The Lark Awards, Sabbatical, Stanton Fellowship, and Springboard Fund
  • In partnership with the Board, engage in regular strategic goal setting and recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals 
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence through the continued implementation of Durfee’s approach to trust based philanthropy via a culture of transparency and responsiveness that actively learns from partners and invests in leaders who are deeply rooted in the communities they serve
  • Direct human resources including maintaining a strong, supportive organizational culture; hiring, onboarding, developing, and offramping staff and consultants; conducting annual performance evaluations; and setting equitable annual staff compensation 
  • Provide consistent excellence in management and oversight of finances (including the budget, audits, and tax filings); operations (including facilities and contracting); programs (including strategy, implementation, and evaluation); and communications (including database, website, and online system management)  
  • Demonstrate fiscal prudence and strategy in supporting financial advisors and the Board in management of the Foundation’s endowment and investments, including budgeting and multi-year cash-flow and payout projections
  • Work with the Board Chair to recruit, orient, and “onramp” next generation and community Trustees
  • Work closely with the Board and staff to identify opportunities to continue to elevate existing programs, as well as new areas for program exploration, design, and implementation 

Communications & Field Advocacy: 

  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications - from web presence to external relations - with the goal of creating stronger connections and a trusted brand 
  • Use external presence and relationships to expand visibility and seek partnerships
  • Represent Durfee at conferences and among nonprofit and philanthropic peers
  • Speak publicly with passion around Durfee’s mission, values, and results in a way that inspires investment, partnership, and collaboration in alignment with Durfee’s goals  
    Convene and facilitate engagement with Durfee stakeholders with skill and emotional intelligence
  • Stay abreast of foundation and nonprofit trends broadly, and in LA, serving as a source of timely information and valuable guidance that promotes the continual learning of the Board, team, and community 

Planning & New Programs: 

  • Work with the Board to explore and prioritize new program ideas and design, test, and implement new programs responsive to the needs in LA County 
  • Build collegial partnerships to advance Durfee’s mission
  • Be an external local, regional, and national presence that publishes and communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes of local programs as a model for regional and national replication 

Hiring Organization

The Durfee Foundation

Qualifications

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE 
 
The ideal CEO candidate: 

  • Is committed to Durfee’s mission to support change through investing in individuals
  • Is passionate about Los Angeles with deep knowledge of the nonprofit sector across LA County  
  • Has worked in a senior leadership role in the nonprofit, philanthropic, or public sectors  
  • Has experience supporting the development of nonprofit leaders
  • Has a demonstrated track record in creative program design
  • Brings a history of sound fiscal stewardship
  • Is an innovative, strategic thinker
  • Is inclusive, emotionally intelligent, collaborative, and generous
  • Embodies patience and curiosity with tolerance for risk-taking and experimentation
  • Brings experience as and enjoys being a connector, coach, facilitator, and/or capacity builder who is invested in and energized by gaining and sharing knowledge

Durfee encourages interest by leaders who bring aligned expertise, skills, and attributes which might include some of the following Desired Qualifications and other relevant professional and/or lived experiences:

  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships as well as support the growth, development, and governance of a diverse multigenerational family and community Board with new membership cycling on every three years
  • Ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures through convening and facilitation with the ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills with a bias towards listening; persuasiveness and passion in public speaking; and excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Seven or more years of effective senior leadership and management experience at a nonprofit and/or in philanthropy or the public sector with excellence in personnel management and the ability to coach, manage, and develop high-performance teams and set and achieve strategic objectives
  • Track record of having developed and operationalized strategies and programs that have advanced an organization’s mission through strategic thinking and creative program design with tolerance for risk-taking and experimentation
  • History of sound fiscal stewardship with demonstrated experience in designing and managing a complex, balanced budget of at least $3 million with comfort working with advisors on investment management a plus
  • Passion for bringing leaders together across sectors in a way that allows them to learn from and contribute to one another, working creatively in partnership
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to planning
  • Integrity, honesty, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed leader

 

LOCATION 
This is a full-time position based in downtown Los Angeles requiring deep engagement with local stakeholders. The ideal CEO will currently live in the Los Angeles area with local knowledge and roots. Candidates currently in other markets but with experience and connections in LA may apply but must be willing to relocate. Durfee trusts its team to do their jobs well from wherever they may be and wants to ensure they have the tools and support needed to do so. While great work can be done remotely, Durfee also deeply values the time that the team has in-office together and the CEO makes determinations about remote work schedules with the team currently in-office typically four days a week.  

Industry/Service Area

Foundation/Grantmaking

Level

Executive

Benefits

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

The anticipated annual compensation range is $260,000 to $330,000. All candidates with the experience and skills to fulfill the role – regardless of compensation history or background – are encouraged to apply. The target starting salary for the CEO will be close to the midpoint of the range at or near $295,000, commensurate with experience. The comprehensive benefits package includes generous health and dental insurance coverage; long-term disability and life insurance; a retirement plan; vacation; sabbatical policy; sick, parental, medical/disability, and other leaves; transportation benefits and more.  

Application Instructions

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Durfee is well-positioned to conduct a thoughtful, impartial, and effective search. Durfee brought together a diverse set of family board members of different generations and community members who all love and know Durfee well to form a Transition Committee to make essential decisions for the search and oversee the search process. The Transition Committee - composed of three family board members and four community members who are not eligible to apply for the position - will conduct the first round of interviews and select finalists to proceed to interviews with Durfee’s Board. In addition to its members, the Transition Committee receives tremendous help and input from a trusted Transition Consultant who is another Durfee fellow.  

The Transition Committee’s first task was to hire a search firm to help conduct the search process. After a competitive process, the committee selected Walker and Associates Consulting - a California-based, BIPOC- and woman-owned strategic management consulting and executive search firm that has been serving foundations and nonprofits locally, regionally, and nationally for 30 years. Like Durfee, Walker is small, family run, and is known for nurturing its networks and conducting its work with a high degree of personal touch.  
 
To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and list of three references (references will not be contacted without advance notice) to durfee@walkeraac.com by Friday, May 3, 2024 at 5:00 pm PT. Use the subject line: CEO Application. Please submit PDF or Microsoft Word files only, preferably with all materials in one combined file. Resume review begins immediately.  
 
Questions or Nominations? Contact Jeannine N. Walker, President and CEO of Walker and Associates Consulting, at jwalker@walkeraac.com.  

The Durfee Foundation is an at-will equal opportunity employer who recognizes that its work rests on the shoulders of Angelenos whose courage, innovation, and lived experience are making LA a better place. Durfee nurtures a culture of trust and inclusion in all interactions, especially with people from historically marginalized groups. Acknowledging the inherent power imbalance held as stewards of financial resources, Durfee looks for opportunities to share that power. Durfee strives to actively learn from, partner with, and invest in leaders who are deeply rooted in the communities served. Durfee does not unlawfully discriminate in the provision of employment opportunities, benefits, or privileges; create discriminatory work conditions; or use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment, if that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, based on a protected classification under federal, state, or local law. As such, Durfee welcomes individuals of all races, religions, national origins, ethnicities, ages, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identities, marital status, veteran status, medical conditions, formerly incarcerated people, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance to apply.

 


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