Chief Executive Officer at United Philanthropy Forum

Full Time

About United Philanthropy Forum 

As the largest and most diverse network in American philanthropy, United Philanthropy Forum (the Forum) holds a unique position in the social sector to help increase philanthropy’s impact in communities across the country. We are a membership network of nearly 100 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), supporting more than 7,000 funders, who work to make philanthropy better. The Forum envisions a courageous philanthropic sector that catalyzes a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper.


The Forum has created a new kind of philanthropic network that brings together regional PSOs' deep regional roots and connections with national PSOs' deep content knowledge and reach. Given our network's scale and scope, we can lead change and increase impact in philanthropy in a deeper and broader way than any other organization in our field. To learn more about The Forum please visit


About the Opportunity

Following several years of steady leadership and sustained growth, the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will have the exciting opportunity to shape the next chapter of impact for the United Philanthropy Forum (the Forum). The CEO will work with the Forum’s engaged, mission-aligned staff and committed Board of Directors to drive member engagement, network connections, equity-centered programming, and ongoing value for the network’s members. 


Our ideal candidate will bring a track record of leadership in a highly visible, externally facing role, as well experience in the philanthropy and/or PSO space, a strong orientation toward building lasting relationships and network connections, a well-developed executive leadership and change management tool kit, and a proven alignment with the Forum’s mission, particularly our racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments


Areas of Leadership

Future Planning, Adaptive Leadership, and Bold & Inspiring Vision: In partnership with staff, board, and members, clarify the mechanisms that advance the organization's mission and vision. Articulate a visionary plan for the next three to five years, with an eye toward the 10 years beyond that. Clarify essential roles and contributions the Forum can make within the larger sector. Update internal practices, by-laws, and finance procedures. Focus on operational proficiency, remote organization considerations, and revenue diversification.

  • Key Qualifications: 
    • Senior executive leadership experience, including setting and driving vision and strategy at the organizational level
    • Track record of strong partnership with a board of directors, acting as a bridge between board and staff
    • Demonstrated orientation toward ongoing learning, growth, and development
    • Track record of navigating complexity and providing a fresh perspective
    • History of driving and prioritizing equity-focused programming, policies, and processes
    • Strong internal management and operational skills, including financial acumen and mixed model funding experience
    • Innovation in organizational operations and change management
    • Alignment with the Forum’s mission to lead, strengthen, inform, connect and mobilize a national network of organizations that advance philanthropy's impact for the common good

Build Upon and Model Organizational Culture: Maintain continuity and alignment with the current leadership style, directly managing six members of staff. Continue building racial equity internally and externally. Lead with an emphasis on breaking down silos, and promoting collaboration and integration across the Forum’s pillars. Assess and evaluate organizational structure to right-size staffing capacity and roles within the first six to 12 months. 

  • Key Qualifications:
    • Outstanding leader of people and teams, with a history of building engaged, thriving teams and organizational cultures
    • Adaptive leadership style, with ability to support individuals, teams, and organizations through change
    • Ability to resolve and transform conflict at the individual and organizational level
    • Leadership practice that actively centers equity and inclusivity in management and decision-making
    • Strong communication skills, with a history of driving transparent, responsive, and inclusive decision making processes

Membership Engagement and Organizational Networks: Conduct a thorough network and field assessment to determine sector standing and influence, as well as understand needs and priorities across the network. Identify ways to maximize national and regional relationships. Prioritize racial equity commitment and strengthen relationships. 

  • Key Qualifications: 
    • Comprehensive understanding of the organization's diverse network 
    • Background in network management and strategic innovation
    • Active community engagement and effective communication to diverse stakeholders
    • Experience working within the philanthropy / PSO sector
    • Understanding of network dynamics, conflict resolution, and transformation

External Representation: Emphasize national branding for philanthropy and build on organizational strengths. Strengthen public policy and advocacy capacity. Ensure visibility and understanding throughout the membership.


  • Key Qualifications:
    • Comfort and ability to represent an organization to external audiences
    • Experience with public policy and advocacy work
    • Demonstrated history of thought leadership as a representative for an organization or sector


Fundraising & Revenue Generation: Develop a strategy to evolve and grow fundraising. Refine the business model, including an evaluation of current programming, network supports, and future direction.


  • Key Qualifications:
    • Strong fundraising skills for resource mobilization, including a track record of successfully driving revenue diversification


Compensation and Benefits 

The Forum offers a comprehensive salary and benefits package, including 100% employer paid health coverage; employer contributions to a retirement plan; dental and vision coverage; short- and long-term disability insurance; and generous vacation, holiday, and sick and medical leave. The salary range for this position is $260,000-$280,000, commensurate with experience.


Location and Travel

There is flexibility for this position to be remote, though the Forum currently maintains a DC office that the CEO should be able to get to easily and regularly. We anticipate regular travel for this role, including for team and board meetings, member engagement, conferences, and other network-related events.


How to Apply

This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners, a talent strategy and executive search firm that partners with social impact organizations and centers equity and inclusivity in search.


Commitment to Equity 

A key strategic priority for the United Philanthropy Forum is to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy. The Forum envisions a courageous philanthropic sector that catalyzes a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper. It is not possible for us to achieve this vision without addressing racial equity. Externally, we strive to be a leading connector, convener and collaborative partner for all regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) on racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Internally, we work continuously to embed racial equity in all aspects of our work.


Equal opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles of United Philanthropy Forum, where employment and promotional opportunities are based on individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to age, disability, gender, gender identify, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, marital status, military status, pregnancy or childbirth, race or color, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected category as established under law.




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