DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY
Development and Communications
Job Description and Organizational Background
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO:ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW:
The Pollination Project seeks to unleash the goodness in each person we come into contact with (and beyond), therefore becoming a formidable antidote to apathy and indifference. We make small grants to individuals and small start-up organizations who seek to spread compassion in their communities and the world at large. Since we began, The Pollination Project has made nearly 3,000 grants in 112 countries. Through pollinating and amplifying the good in our grantees, we hope to create the conditions for new ecologies of compassion consciousness in society.
THE JOURNEY OF THE POLLINATION PROJECT:
When The Pollination Project was first envisioned, the idea of making small grants to individuals and incipient organizations was far from sure, and conventional wisdom was against us. We were told that overhead was high when making any sized grant, but especially when giving grants of less than $25k. It was believed that unproven applicants would not be as efficient nor effective in funding relative to larger and established groups and that we wouldn’t find enough qualified applicants to give out hundreds of grants each year. Others said that unless we picked a single issue to focus on, we’d have difficulty finding donors and building the required expertise to locate fundable projects. Foundations said that without proper background checks and vetting, small grantees were likely to waste funds or commit fraud, especially in the developing world.
There were many other reasons veterans within philanthropy doubted why our project would succeed. Five years later, however, The Pollination Project has proven that making microgrants to changemakers globally, based on a network of relationships, grounded in mutual trust, at low administrative costs, isn’t only possible, but can be superior to conventional philanthropy. We’ve also experimented with additional value-add ingredients to refine what “Pollination Philanthropy” means to us. We strive to push power to the edges by allowing the grant making decisions to be made by the people who are most affected by the grants, those who are from the region or part of a similar demographic – many of our decision makers are past grantees themselves. We value transparency and have a grantee and applicant bill of rights which include a commitment to giving feedback on why a grant application was denied and providing a guaranteed timeline until an applicant gets a response on their application. We question dominant paradigms in grantmaking and actively push against them through actions such as funding illiterate applicants, prioritizing intersectional projects and funding regardless of age (young or old). We have become an organization where concepts such as diversity, equity, and compassion are more than words, they are the core of who we are and where the process is our product.
TPP is entering the next stage in our journey, far beyond the proof of concept we were challenged with in 2013. With nearly 3,000 grantees all around the world, many of whom have become important leaders in their communities and their respective movements, there are competencies, resources and networks waiting to be utilized, connected, and amplified.
As an organization, we are holding questions such as: How can we better ladder our existing grantees so they are more capable of achieving their potential? How can we spread the idea of Pollination Philanthropy among donors such that small grants become a necessary component of every large foundations portfolio? When someone in the world, feels called and capable of skilfully improving their community, how do we make sure they know we exists as a potential resource? How do we expand our access to resources so we can support all qualified applicants and deepen our funding of stellar grantees? How can we support grantees so their project can continue relying on other forms of capital besides grants? What partnerships can we make with justice groups, foundations and NGOs that have knowledge around training and project development? And, most importantly, how can we, the staff and board of TPP, accomplish all of the above while both maintaining the core values which brought us here, through an even deeper process of inner transformation?
We are holding these questions for the next stage of our journey and seek leadership that can hold the space for the answers to clearly arise as a common wisdom and clear inner call.
LEADERSHIP AT THE POLLINATION PROJECT AND HOW YOU FIT IN:
Since its inception, we’ve chosen to question existing paradigms of philanthropy in ways beyond the size of our grants and our democratized grant approval process. We’ve prioritized intersections of issues over clean silos, volunteerism over careerism, and internal transformation along with external impact. Anticipate a role that is inspiring, challenging, and creative. Don’t expect to be a standard non profit executive. This is more like an entrepreneurial opportunity, where your role is much about being a ladder then a leader, where your own personal growth sets the ceiling for the organization and is therefore prioritized. We are looking for someone that can include multiple constituencies, from the board to staff to grantees to impacted communities, in conversation over how we can uproot apathy and amplify compassion. We believe an integration of these varied constituencies will generate new ways to expand kindness, deepen relationships, and transform conventional currency effectively into its more valuable siblings (compassion, courage & wisdom).
This is a new position and therefore TPP will allow you, as a philanthropy specialist, to step into a new space of possibility using innovative techniques. You’ll establish relationships to solve a wide variety of problems and have a chance to be part of a team that supports you in reinventing self, philanthropy and TPP. The role requires someone with an ability to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising, donor relationship and creating strategic communication/ fundraising plans through various media outlets while having an incredible attention to detail to manage budgets, reports, communications, meeting and growing funding for programs, and handling large donor bases.
This is a full-time salaried exempt position ($70K-$110K DOE) with generous benefits package. While most of our team resides in California, your location is flexible within North America. However you will be required to be online and available 9am- 5pm Pacific time (with some flexibility) and be willing and able to take several trips a year to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet with our board and team members.
Fundraising Program Development & Implementation
Create and execute a donor development program. This includes events, direct mail, web-based/social media fundraising, small group fundraising strategies, foundation proposals and reports. It also includes developing donor collateral to solicit and close donations; plus project managing all aspects of the donor acknowledgement program such as tracking donors in the database and ongoing cultivation activities.
- Conduct evaluation of current fundraising approach and develop recommended strategy and budget targets for expansion and growth.
- Help increase awareness of the concepts of Pollination Philanthropy and microgranting within broader philanthropic community.
- Work closely with Executive Director and Board to expand engagement in appropriate areas of donor relations.
- Explore array of philanthropy opportunities including expansion of current donor base via direct mail/monthly giving program; major donor cultivation; events; web-based/social media and community fundraising activities and a planned giving program.
- Development/maintenance of database, reporting systems and robust acknowledgement program
- Deepening relationships with Foundation partners.
The Director will work with the Executive Director and Board to develop and manage budgets with particular emphasis on meeting and growing funding for programs.
Illuminating the Work
Oversee all aspects of the communications and outreach of TPP including:
- Manage website team and proactively making changes to the site.
- Review various social media metrics and optimize website and social media presence for engagement.
- Supervise social media team.
- Project manage videos to highlight TPP and grantee activities.
- Build collaborations with other NGOs to “cross-market” each other’s work and build alliances that incline an intersectional framework
- Tease out threads of the TPP and grantee stories which are accessible and relatable to a broad audience and galvanize them into action.
- Normalize the act of stepping up and utilizing one’s unique capacity for goodness to make to impact in the world.
The Director, in conjunction with the ED, will oversee administrative, operational, technological and financial systems of the Organization. This includes:
- Culture: Embody and inculcate core values of the organization such that they deepen over time through practices. Meet stakeholders ‘where they are,’ such that relationships and process-orientation is prioritized. Build a collective capacity to engage with grantees from the perspective of colleagueship. Create shared organizational practices that permeate life in our work, and beyond, such as mindfulness, gratitude, veganism, collaboration and generosity.
- Data: Work closely with the leadership team to help with oversight of the grantee metric collection and communications about impact; Develop non-traditional forms of tracking, building on organizational theory of change.
- Document a structure for the expansion of TPP’s work in the world such that we have sufficient resources to give grants to all worthy applicants and current/new grantees are further resourced to their efforts to expand compassion consciousness.
- Proven experience in a wide range of fundraising strategies; experience in developing and managing fundraising programs and cultivating donors.
- Capacity to do the required tasks without strong process orientation
- Experience and confidence in creating and managing budgets and organizational finances, financial reporting. IRS and legal compliance.
- Impeccable attention to detail and the ability to handle small administrative processes (like generating donation acknowledgement letters.)
- Big picture vision for automating systems and project managing database and other technology projects geared towards streamlining operations.
- Skilled manager of staff and interns, basic sense of personnel processes and best practices.
- A positive, creative, problem solver with an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Highly motivated, self-directed person who can operate with little oversight but maintains a high level of accountability and integrity in how work gets done.
- Proven ability to work well with and oversee virtual teams.
- A candidate whose experiences and life path show clear alignment with the values of the Pollination Project.
- Ability to work at home and collaborate virtually with a global staff
- Exceptional relational skills
- A passion for helping others
The Pollination Project is committed to a just and equitable society wherein all people are treated equally, opportunity is justly distributed, and all voices are heard. We affirm and seek diversity in gender, race, color, ethnicity & national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), class, religion, ability, life experiences, and background as both a positive contribution to our organizational environment and a critical asset for informing and enabling our work. With this in mind, we are committed to maintaining a work environment that recognizes, understands, respects, and encourages the unique contributions of each member and we approach every hiring decision with a commitment to workplace diversity.
The Pollination Project is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or conditions Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions (ARC). Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.