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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).
The Executive Director, in partnership with the President, Board and leadership team is responsible for leading The Pollination Project in its next phase of development. This role is a full-time exempt salaried position ($80k-120k). This position requires an individual with passion for The Pollination Project’s mission; someone with creativity; curiosity; initiative, drive and the ability to lead a diverse team working remotely around the globe. We are looking for someone who can dream of something beyond expectations and help make that dream a reality for The Pollination Project and our grantees. We are looking for a leader who knows how to work collaboratively, in community, and with an eye to helping staff grow and evolve. We are looking for someone who has the ability to lead and inspire a team of committed individuals while fostering a healthy and balanced work environment.
The ideal candidate for Executive Director will balance incredible attention to detail with an ability to think creatively within such an innovative organization. The Pollination Project sits on the edge of the comfort zone of grant making and we need an ED who finds being on the edge a place for growth. This role requires a very strong understanding of organizational development: you will oversee administrative, operational, technological and financial systems that require attention to detail. We are looking for someone who will be able to closely hold our core values and mission as they expand and oversee multiple grant-making programs and departments.
This is a full-time remote position, flexible location within North America, with some light travel. The expectation is that you will be largely available during the hours of 9am- 5pm Pacific time (with some flexibility).
The Director will oversee administrative, operational, technological and financial systems of the Organization. This includes:
- H/R: Hire and supervise key staff, volunteers and global team members. Ensure organization is operating in compliance with HR law; oversee personnel policies and procedure development and implementation, secure workers comp insurance, manage employee health insurance and wellness plans. Oversee global team of 40+ people, directly supervising 5-8 team members and coaching senior staff as supervisors and managers
- 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.
- Finance/Legal: Partner with Development lead to ensure sound financial targets are developed and met while TPP programs/staff are properly resourced to support their efforts and work toward their goals.
- Board of Directors: Partner in staffing the Board including organizing and facilitating board meetings where needed, managing minutes and Board compliance issues. Operate with transparency and in a way that supports board engagement in TPP growth.
- Engage with Board and leadership team to help design, develop and implement an even more robust and innovative grantmaking program.
- Oversee a grantmaking team that handles applications, review processes, grant making logistics and reporting/evaluation. This includes creating a community of staff and volunteers and developing shared values in the grantmaking process.
- Co-create innovative grantmaking programs in partnership with outside funders and key grantees.
- Oversight of grantee metric collection and communications about impact; Develop non-traditional forms of tracking, building on organizational theory of change.
- Engage staff and volunteers to design and support the evolution of a “grantee services” program that provides value added support including peer to peer networking, promotion, and training for grantees.
- Management of special award and grantmaking programs where needed.
- Grow our capacities from a lens of organizational values grounded in our theory of change.
Work closely with the Board and leadership team to shape and guide organizational mission, vision and strategy. Support the Board in optimizing the use of their time to forward the organization’s goals. Create and manage an advisory board if needed/warranted.
- Passion for and experience in other groups that align with our mission and values.
- A positive, creative, problem solver with an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Strong emotional intelligence and the capability to communicate with people of all different backgrounds from often disparate viewpoints.
- 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.
- Extraordinary level of cultural competence and experience working with diverse communities successfully.
- Proven ability to work well with and oversee virtual teams.
- Dedicated to both internal and external transformation and cultivating the qualities that deepen their ability to serve.
- Ability to work with, facilitate and utilize Boards of Directors and advisory boards.
- Skilled manager of staff,interns, and volunteers and basic sense of personnel processes and best practices
- A candidate whose experiences and life path show clear alignment with the values of the Pollination Project
- Understanding of value of true community engagement as it relates to philanthropy
- Desire and ability to create communities of trust and shared engagement
- Strategic Orientation and leadership, including the ability to help set aspirational vision and align the organization around it.
- Ability to provide mentorship and guidance, and create space for individual entrepreneurial energy and skill building for growth
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.