Executive Director, Foundation for Youth Investment
Carlson Beck - San Francisco, CA

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The Position: Executive Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: San Francisco, California (potential for organization’s office to be determined by Executive Director’s location)
The Foundation for Youth Investment (“FYI”) develops and transforms underserved youth by investing in effective programs and creating strategic initiatives that connect children and youth to the great outdoors.
The Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council created the Foundation for Youth Investment in 2010 to continue its legacy of youth grantmaking and strategic initiatives and to establish a sustainable funding source for youth development in California.
The Foundation for Youth Investment has built on the work of the Stewardship Council; collectively these two organizations have awarded over $13 million in grants to support organizations that positively influence the lives of youth through outdoor activities. Since 2006, these outdoor programs report that more than 300,000 youth have been impacted through life-changing outdoor experiences.
Fulfilling a Need
Outdoor experiences transform young lives. These experiences help to increase academic achievement, reduce obesity, teach teamwork and cooperation, prepare young people for the workforce, and develop the environmental stewards of tomorrow.
However, far too few children and youth are taking part in outdoor experiences, suffering from what many experts call a “nature deficit disorder.” Investing in outdoor programs for them pays huge social dividends, yet the field of outdoor and environmental education is grossly underfunded.
Currently, foundations give less than two percent in total annual environmental charitable giving. FYI was created to ensure that all young people in California have the opportunity for transformational outdoor experiences. FYI adds value by bringing more funding and resources to the field.
The Work
FYI is a grantmaking organization of people who are extremely passionate about finding and investing in organizations that connect underserved youth to the great outdoors. It supports programs across diverse communities, and it looks for unique methodologies that benefit youth in academics, health, and career development. FYI knows that children and youth who have exposure to great outdoor programming will become the adults who care for nature.

Beyond making grants to organizations, FYI initiates strategic solutions, such as the Outdoor Educators Institute, designed to reduce field-wide barriers to getting young people outdoors. As an advocate and funder, FYI plays a pivotal role in bringing together outdoor practitioners and organizations to share what works.
More information about Foundation for Youth Investment can be found at www.fyifoundation.org .
The Executive Director manages, directs, and oversees all operations of Foundation for Youth Investment. S/he provides business and organizational leadership, technical support, and guidance to the Board of Directors. In addition, the Executive Director provides strategic and operational leadership toward the implementation of the Foundation’s goals, and identifies and develops key relationships to nurture partnerships and establish leadership in the field of youth outdoor education.
Some of the organizational needs that the Executive Director will be responsible for providing leadership for and management of include: 1) navigating the start-up nature of the organization; 2) initiating the strategic planning process with Board and staff; 3) raising the visibility and brand awareness of FYI to funders and donors as well as the broader community; 4) building a fundraising Board of Directors and promoting collegial dynamic and active engagement; 5) attracting and retaining high caliber staff; and 6) implementing an effective fundraising strategy and plan with a compelling message for support.
The Executive Director will be managing an annual operating budget of approximately $1.2 million and a small staff.

Organizational Leadership, Management, and Strategy

Articulate a vision for FYI in the field that is based on the mission and values statements.
Oversee the creation and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and initiatives, and recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
Manage all organizational operations and start-up activities, including facilities, staffing, human resources management, technical and professional support, legal, accounting, financial planning, technology, and communications/public affairs.
Lead the transition from a sole grantmaking organization to one that also seeks philanthropic funds from foundations, corporations, major donors, and individuals; this will be a key measure of success.
Ensure compliance with the Major Grant Agreement with the Stewardship Council that stipulates managing overhead expenses and continuing a minimum threshold of grantmaking each year; compliance with the Agreement is a significant objective for the Executive Director.
Promote an organizational culture that fosters passion for Foundation for Youth Investment’s mission, cooperation, open and frequent communication, teamwork, and a common organizational vision.
Ensure ongoing and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems.
Build, lead, coach, develop, and retain Foundation for Youth Investment’s high-performing staff.
Actively engage and energize Foundation for Youth Investment’s volunteers, Board members, event committees, partnering organizations, and funders.
Ensure effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the Board, funders, and other constituents.

Board Governance

Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors and its committees; seek and build Board involvement with strategic direction for the organization.
Build strong relationships with the Board of Directors based on partnership, mutual trust, respect, and open communication.
Assist the Board of Directors in the identification, recruitment and engagement of new Board members.
Promote the Board of Director’s engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource/financial development, membership development, and overall organizational wellness.
Support Board member education and decision-making process through training and guidance.
Work closely with staff and Board members to coordinate Board meetings; ensure all relevant reports, notes, and financial information is distributed in advance of Board meetings in a timely manner.

Fundraising, Communications, and Outreach

Oversee fundraising planning and implementation, including identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, establishing strategies to approach funders, submitting proposals and managing fundraising records and documentation.
Oversee the development of a diverse funding base.

Oversee implementation of sustainable outreach programs and strategies.
Manage efforts to build and maintain effective working relationships with various constituencies, organizations, and communities throughout California.
Oversee all public relations and volunteer management activities; act as a primary spokesperson for Foundation for Youth Investment and provide leadership in public outreach programs, as well as media relations.
Lead the development of outreach materials, tools, and publications including the website, social media efforts, annual reports, and other marketing collateral.

Grants Administration

Refine Foundation for Youth Investment’s grantmaking and program strategy and further its leadership in promoting the value of getting youth outside.
Oversee all aspects of Foundation for Youth Investment’s giving program, including the development of the annual grant making plan, fiscal and legal compliance, relevant due diligence, board reporting, and evaluation efforts.
Develop strong, collaborative working relationships with grantees, peer funders, and philanthropic and nonprofit leaders.


Strengthen the foundation’s role in the field of youth outdoor education and experience through activities such as funder collaboratives, training, capacity building and networking opportunities, surveys, and program-specific research.
Investigate and recommend areas for strengthening organizations working in the field, including, but not limited to, program initiatives, gatherings, sponsored programs and targeted and specific outreach.


Minimum of 10 years of senior management experience, in positions of increasing responsibility and authority.
Significant knowledge of and experience in philanthropic institutions required.
Experience with youth development and/or education program management.
Demonstrated experience in start-up organizations, nonprofits, and youth and/or outdoor/environmental education program management in California.
Demonstrated commitment to outdoor/environmental education, underserved youth and youth development; knowledge of current and evolving trends in educating and facilitating the growth and development of youth and outdoor/environmental education issues.
Success at fund development, including knowledge of, and success in, attracting foundation and corporate grants; ability to identify, steward, and solicit donors.
Demonstrated experience in securing private and foundation funds for youth-related projects, with experience in grant writing.
Experience working with and developing an effective Board of Directors.
Experience managing a complex budget.
Demonstrated ability to successfully implement programs targeting disenfranchised groups.

Education: Undergraduate degree required. Advanced degree, e.g., MBA or MPA, is strongly desired.
Commitment to FYI’s mission and values.

Significant and proven leadership skills developed through several years in senior management positions; ability to inspire and motivate others internal and external to FYI.
Excellent organizational development, marketing, communication, administrative, and personnel management skills essential.
The ability to foster a healthy organizational culture, to encourage teamwork and collaboration; strong interpersonal skills; effective at conflict management.
High level of comfort and competency with working with a diverse constituency, and exceling in a multi-cultural environment.
Computer proficiency a must.
Excellent oral and written communication skills including comfort and proficiency making presentations to, or participating constructively in, groups of varying size, backgrounds and opinions.
Strong diplomacy and communication skills; ability to be sensitive and inclusive of various perspectives.
Ability to facilitate finding common ground among diverse individuals and organizations.
Well developed multi-tasking abilities.
Exceptional work ethic.
Able to make difficult decisions.
Impeccable integrity and trustworthiness.

A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered, commensurate with experience. Relocation assistance, if necessary, will be offered.

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