Executive Director at Cause Effective

New York, NY
Full Time

About Cause Effective

Cause Effective transforms nonprofits by partnering with mission-driven leaders to achieve social change. We work with leaders to develop, employ, and expand effective fundraising, governance, and organizational strategies to advance equity and justice.


Founded in 1981, Cause Effective has supported visionary and committed individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector by providing strategic guidance, tactical training, and coaching support to boost the governance and fundraising productivity of executive directors, development staff, and board members. Our thought leadership provokes the sector to focus on strategic concerns in fundraising and governance relating to equity, access, and ensuring that all professionals have their rightful seat at the table. Cause Effective envisions a future in which nonprofits thrive with empowered leadership and abundant funding to achieve an equitable world.


Each year, Cause Effective helps over 1,500 nonprofit organizations of all missions, types, and sizes across the New York metropolitan area to raise more money, deepen their relationships with donors, create compelling communications, and build stronger boards of directors. More than 85% of Cause Effective’s clients are based in and serve low- and moderate-income communities. 


Since 2017, our groundbreaking Money, Power and Race: The Lived Experience of Fundraisers of Color report has been eliciting crucial dialogue on how the intertwined issues of race, class, money, and power are embedded in nonprofit fundraising and governance. We are especially focused on influencing the sector to confront the biases that are endemic in the sector, as well as eradicating the conditions that thwart professionals of color to thrive in fundraising. Cause Effective’s innovative and multifaceted initiative in this area, Preparing the Next Generation, strengthens the sector by addressing this racial and leadership equity gap. Work is underway to launch national replication and expansion for this highly successful program in 2023. 


The Cause Effective team is composed of senior consultants with years of development, communications, and governance expertise. All 17 staff members are committed to creating a thriving future for Cause Effective. Across tenure and seniority, the team is involved with decision-making and driving forward strategic priorities related to programming, financial sustainability, fundraising, and communications, with attention to building efficiencies and deepening our board/advisor engagement. Benefitting from digital resources, our fully remote team leverages a virtual work model and convenes regularly in our home base of New York City. 


About the Opportunity

On the precipice of exciting expansion, Cause Effective seeks a new Executive Director to bring a growth-oriented approach to building on the strengths of the organization’s 40-year history and looking at new opportunities in the future. The Executive Director will benefit from a new strategic plan, a seasoned staff and network, and a compositionally diverse and committed Board of Directors as they apply their expertise in entrepreneurial leadership. Leveraging Cause Effective’s current work to reach new geographies, while continuing to build and support communities in the New York City area, will be the top priority for the Executive Director. 


The team supporting the Executive Director currently includes four direct reports (Director of Programs, Senior Director of Consulting Practice, Senior Director of Operations, and Senior Director of Strategy & Innovation) as part of a staff of nine (including the Executive Director) with eight Affiliate consultants who engage in programmatic partnerships on behalf of Cause Effective. In 2023, Cause Effective will have an expected budget of $1.5m, with generous funding from foundations, corporations, the public sector, and individual donors. Fee-for-service consulting with nonprofit clients supports about one-third of the budget. 


Cause Effective is governed by a 13-person Board of Directors that brings together professionals in philanthropy, fundraising, corporations, governance, and consulting. Working as a resource to the Executive Director, Board Members offer their expertise as thought partners, ambassadors, and strategists.  


Areas of Leadership

Ideal candidates for the Executive Director role will offer a broad set of leadership skills, with deep experience in fundraising and partnership-building and a demonstrated commitment to equity and justice. The expected areas of leadership and associated key requirements are listed below. We encourage the interest of candidates who hold a majority of these experiences and skills, even if not every requirement listed. 


Mission, Vision, and Strategy: Serve as the organizational leader with energy and creativity around the intersection of consulting, fundraising/philanthropy, and leadership development in the New York area and nationally. Apply a focus on equity and justice, understanding the importance of movement-building and philanthropic investment to advance professionals of color in the nonprofit sector. Articulate vision for Cause Effective’s growth and expansion, in alignment with a new strategic plan approved in January 2023 and slated for 2023-2025. Partner with staff and Board to assess, refine, and evolve the Cause Effective business model. Identify and pursue viable opportunities for partnership and growth. 


Key Requirements: Senior-level professional experience within fundraising, philanthropy, and/or nonprofit capacity-building work, such as organizational consulting. History of leadership within the nonprofit sector and with demonstrated commitment to advancing the capacity of professionals of color. Previous experience implementing a visionary strategy and supporting ambitious organizational growth from an executive position. 


External Partnerships and Brand-Building: Engage with partners, constituents, and donors to actively increase Cause Effective’s revenue, including foundations, individuals, corporate, and government sources, through grants and donations. Actively develop and sell consulting services to nonprofit clients. Position Cause Effective’s expertise and serve as an outward-facing thought leader specific to fundraising, governance, and philanthropy, including leadership development of people of color. Lead Cause Effective in strengthening its overall organizational communications and brand.


Key Requirements: Significant experience with professional fundraising or philanthropy, including building and managing complex partner and donor relationships. Previous service as an organization’s senior-most fundraising leader or business development leader will be a priority. Capacity for public-facing thought leadership through writing and/or public speaking with an eye toward brand-building. Clarity around the importance of external relations and marketing to broaden an organization’s brand.  

Program Management and Growth: Ensure high-impact delivery of all programming through collaboration with Program management and staff at all levels. Build expansion for Cause Effective, making use of current and newer relationships to establish programming and presence in geographic areas beyond NYC, while continuing to leverage Cause Effective’s long history and strong reputation with NYC-area nonprofits. Guide staff in providing coaching services that are based in client respect and partnership development. Partner with Program management and staff to apply creative and innovative thinking to create programs that will reach target audiences. 


Key Requirements: Capacity to understand and strategize around Cause Effective’s core programming: consulting, training, and leadership development centered on fundraising, governance, and communications. Experience managing staff performance to ensure high-quality and consistent programming. History of scaling or replicating programs to broaden revenue and reach, from regional to national.


People Leadership: Drive a positive and equitable organizational culture through clear communication, transparent decision-making, and staff engagement to ensure values alignment across the organization. Develop inclusive decision-making frameworks for accountability that align project planning and staffing to the strategic vision and priorities. Hire, retain, and serve as a coach and mentor to fully remote staff with varying levels of experience, using Asana, Salesforce, and other digital tools.


Key Requirements: Commitment to leading with values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Senior management experience, with a history of successfully directly managing a combination of seasoned professionals and early-career staff through active coaching, supervision, and team-building, both in-person and remotely. Support the long-term growth of the team. 


Organizational Management: Oversee the Cause Effective budget, human resources, and other operational systems, working closely with Operations management and staff. Lead the development of infrastructure, project management, and workflow systems that support and optimize a structure for client services and cohort management. Build and evolve systems to foster expansion and scalability. 


Key Requirements: Financial acumen to manage a consulting business model or capacity to lead finances in a practice that combines fee-for-service and donations as sources of revenue. Experience demonstrating a strong understanding of budgeting and planning. Capacity to partner with administrators to manage day-to-day operations.


Board Partnership: Recruit, engage, and retain effective Board Members who contribute to Cause Effective’s mission, work, and national expansion goals. Partner with the Board to deepen their ability to support the organization’s growth and revenue objectives. Provide ongoing partnership to Board Members with open communication and thorough preparation.


Key Requirements: Experience supporting and partnering with boards or other advisory leadership bodies to ensure the active and effective participation of members. 


Salary, Location & Benefits

The salary range for this role is $165,000-$185,000, based on experience. This is a full-time, exempt role, based in NYC. While the position can be fulfilled from a remote workspace, the Executive Director will be expected to be easily accessible to NYC for meetings throughout the week. 


Cause Effective seeks to achieve impact through a diverse and inclusive workplace that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each individual. Our vision and values are reflected in all our decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, Cause Effective actively seeks people who bring a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. Cause Effective is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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