Opportunity to lead fundraising and development for the premier
youth leadership program in agriculture: The National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization has a sharp focus and clear objective: develop leaders for agriculture. Each year, FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of over 550,000 student members by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
The National FFA Foundation works with business and industry, organizations and individuals to raise funds to recognize achievements of FFA members. The Board of Trustees of the National FFA Foundation has engaged Kincannon & Reed to help recruit its President to raise, invest, and manage funds to benefit the National FFA Organization. Our client seeks a proven leader with a strong entrepreneurial vision to create systems and structure, lead its staff to carry out this important work, and build relationships and partnerships with individual, corporate, governmental, and philanthropic donors in support of the National FFA Organizations distinctive mission.
The Organization and its Foundation
Since its founding in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, the organization has grown to have an outsized impact on American agriculture. Millions of agriculture students have participated in hands-on work experiences through FFA, enabling them to apply knowledge gained in agricultural education classes. Students whose lives are impacted by FFA and agricultural education achieve academic and personal growth, strengthen American agriculture, and provide leadership to build healthy local communities, a strong nation, and a sustainable world.
In 1988, the official name changed to The National FFA Organization ( www.ffa.org ) to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture and the fact that production farming reflects only a small part of FFAs impact on the agriculture, food, and related industries. FFA membership is also increasingly diverse with over 40% females, 34% of the members are from suburban and urban areas, and 16 of the 20 largest U.S. cities have FFA chapters. FFA prepares students for more than 300 careers in agriculture, including business, science, food safety and security, and production.
Today, more than 11,000 FFA advisors and agriculture teachers in nearly 7500 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands deliver an integrated model of agricultural education providing students with innovative and leading-edge education, enabling their students to grow into competent leaders. More than 54,000 student members attend the annual National FFA Convention each year.
FFA operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for the FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. However, FFA receives no federal funding, and national dues are just $7 per student. FFA programs are primarily funded through sponsorships and private donations at the local, state, and national level raised through the National FFA Foundation (website).
The National FFA Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works with business and industry, organizations, and individuals to raise funds to support FFA activities and recognize members achievements. In partnership with the National FFA Organization, the Foundation focuses on six strategic themes, including sustainability, diversity, food and agriculture literacy, collegiate recruitment, agriculture science and global awareness, and hunger relief.
In recent years, the Foundation made significant improvements in its performance, efficiency, and effectiveness and implemented new processes and programs. Numerous experienced development professionals joined the staff. The Foundation has dramatically grown its contributions from individuals, and corporate donations now total more than $15 million annually. The Foundation Board has aggressive fundraising goals and seeks a new leader to take the Foundation to the next level.
Located at the National FFA Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, the President reports to the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees and is responsible for planning and leading fundraising, building and managing staff and budgets, and maintaining the Foundations external relationships. More specific responsibilities include:
Establish/review the Foundation's vision, mission, strategy, and supporting annual and long-term goals with Board.
Inspire and direct 24 staff members to achieve strategy and annual goals of the Foundation. Identify, recruit, develop, and retain top-quality staff members committed to the Foundation's mission and support them with appropriate infrastructure.
Direct and participate in the Foundation's fundraising efforts. Identify and evaluate opportunities for funding. Build and maintain strong working relationships with donors and partners. (Role will require frequent domestic and occasional international travel.)
Serve as primary liaison between the Foundation and the National FFA Organization while encouraging staff to collaborate in identifying opportunities to provide resources and support. Work closely with state FFA foundations to ensure alignment necessary to maximize donations at state and national levels.
Represent Foundation to other organizations and the general public while strengthening its brand and public profile.
Ensure the Foundations stewardship of donated funds represents best practices; monitor and support management of its investments and endowed funds; and oversee the design and operation of best practices for development support (e.g., gift processing, acknowledgement, endowment management, grant monitoring, and reporting, etc.).
Prepare Foundation's annual plan and budget for approval by Board. Manage implementation of budget and ensure Foundations fiscal responsibility, long-term sustainability, and management of restricted and unrestricted donations.
Ensure the Foundation complies with laws and regulations relating to operations of a nonprofit foundation.
Proven fundraising and development skills, including a successful track record in identifying, cultivating, and stewarding individual, foundation, and corporate donors in a range of development activities (e.g., major gift fundraising, annual campaigns, capital campaigns, events, planned giving, etc.).
15+ years of leadership or senior executive responsibility with a nonprofit organization, including a working relationship with a strong volunteer board of directors.
Knowledge of and appreciation for agriculture and FFAs heritage, culture, and potential and an understanding of FFAs special characteristics and values and its supporters and friends.
High proficiency in training, developing, and retaining skilled, experienced, and committed staff.
Proven financial management skills (required) and sufficient knowledge to supervise Foundation investment advisors.
Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, and presentation communication skills.
A bachelors degree. (Graduate study/degree preferred.)
Ideal personal characteristics:
A strong, effective executive presence and leadership style that reflects confidence and integrity and inspires trust, respect, and engagement from stakeholders at all levels.
An innovative and entrepreneurial self-starter who can lead an organization to meet strong growth goals.
A creative thinker who can develop, communicate, and implement a vision and strategy for the Foundation's growth.
A leader who is a team player and consensus builder and makes effective use of the diverse talents and experience of Foundation board members. A strong relationship builder with donors.
A collaborative leader who will develop a strong working relationship with the National FFA Organization.
For consideration as a candidate or to suggest a prospective candidate, please contact in confidence: