Battle Creek Community Foundation
Battle Creek, MI
Founded in 1974 by Leonard White, Robert B. Miller, and Harry Davidson, the Battle Creek Community Foundation is housed in downtown Battle Creek and seeks to make the community a better place to live by creating ways people of all means can invest in the prosperity of their community. Today, BCCF is a complex organization with many ‘tools in its toolkit’ to serve responsively to immediate and strategically to long-term needs of the Battle Creek community. Some of the ways BCCF supports progress include:
Fundraising and Grantmaking: The legacy of BCCF and its commitment to the future of Battle Creek has depended largely upon the building endowment which is currently $129 million dollars and pass-through donations from donors. Over the past 49 years, BCCF has received gifts from community members, corporations, and organizations that amount to Over $148M. The Foundation’s grantmaking supports nonprofit programs, organizations, community-oriented charitable efforts, and scholarships in three strategic focus areas: health, education, and livable community.
Scholarships and Youth Engagement: BCCF has a deep history of engaging the young people of Battle Creek in its work, both through the Youth Alliance Committee (YAC) in grantmaking and through scholarship funds. BCCF has awarded over $22M in scholarships since its founding, making a positive and powerful difference in the lives of young people in Battle Creek.
Fiscal Sponsorship and Fiscal Agent: Additionally, BCCF supports impact by serving as a fiscal sponsor/fiscal agent, property manager, passthrough grant sponsor, and business/nonprofit incubator.
Community Convening and Community Mobilizing: BCCF is an important convenor and host for cross-sector collaborations that help plan for and address the most pressing community needs. In a recent example, BCCF worked with a dedicated community to facilitate the homeless shelter taskforce in 2020 to address overnight and day shelter needs and secured sustainable funding to cover operations for what is now the Battle Creek Shelter.
In the transition to new leadership, the Foundation has the opportunity to leverage the diverse range of funds, strategies, and methods both within and beyond traditional grantmaking that are available to the Battle Creek community in a refreshed commitment to impact for the future.
BCCF’s strong volunteer board of local leaders who represent the interests of the Battle Creek community, the generosity of donors, and the dedication of volunteers and staff will continue to guide the vision and work of the Foundation.
Battle Creek Community Foundation (BCCF) is seeking nominations and applications for the position of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Foundation’s next transformative leader will support the prosperity of the community through strengthening relationships, mobilizing resources, and directing them to critical community needs.
The Foundation’s outgoing CEO has provided nearly three decades of visionary, high impact leadership. In this transition period, the Foundation is reflecting on its accomplishments and has recommitted to its purpose to serve the most pressing needs in the Battle Creek community. The new CEO will embody BCCF values as a mission-driven professional dedicated to the Greater Battle Creek Region. They will be committed to collaboration and be knowledgeable about the ways a community foundation can mobilize and direct resources to support progress. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will work closely with the board and a talented staff to articulate the next strategic direction for the Foundation’s work.
The ideal candidate will be an inspiring communicator and proven fundraiser with a strong record of collaborative and successful community leadership. They will demonstrate seasoned managerial skills for leading complex organizations and high-performing teams to maintain a healthy culture of collaboration, transparency, and accountability. Candidates should be prepared to offer examples of leading processes that facilitate cross-sector alignment and build lasting and trust-filled relationships. The successful candidate will bring equity fluency and deep commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values, strong listening skills, humility, passion, and the highest level of integrity to this important work.
THE BATTLE CREEK COMMUNITY
To truly understand the Battle Creek Community Foundation, one must first understand the Battle Creek community. Located in southern Michigan within easy driving distance of many of Michigan’s larger metropolitan areas, Battle Creek is home to a population of 91,900 citizens within the Battle Creek region, and also home to prominent global organizations like the WK Kellogg Co and Kellanova, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Post Cereal. Because of this, Battle Creek has always operated in a way that reflects a much larger community and nurtures diversity through a variety of rural, suburban, and more urban neighborhoods and neighborhood infrastructures, including 4 public school districts, that come together in a charming main street downtown with new and emerging restaurants and businesses. Battle Creek has always had a rich philanthropic history, with multiple private foundations in the region including WKKF, which is one of the largest foundations in the country.
Battle Creek is an increasingly attractive area for industry investment. With a range of new and established manufacturing corporations, a thriving health care complex, and a longstanding history of entrepreneurialism, the future of jobs in the Battle Creek area is promising.
Battle Creek is a town where many people seem to know each other and will wave hello to visitors. Battle Creek is a town ready for its next collective unifying vision, informed by the realities and aspirations of the community. Understanding the needs and wants of the community are the key element to success at the Battle Creek Community Foundation, and in turn, the key element for the success of the President and CEO.
THE CEO OPPORTUNITY
With an unwavering commitment to the mission of BCCF, the next CEO will continue to refine and build the Foundation’s infrastructure and funds to support positive change for the community. The CEO will bring insight and understanding of best practices in a community foundation’s role as a community convenor for citizens, colleague funders, and public, private, and nonprofit leaders to articulate a clear set of goals for the Battle Creek community as well as aligned roles in service to goal achievement. The CEO will be a craft leader in facilitation and participatory decision making to support collective impact and will nurture opportunities for community members to be a part of priority setting in funding. The CEO will lead opportunities to educate and build understanding across stakeholders about the variety of ways the Foundation can channel or host funds in support of impact in a “for the community, by the community” model that empowers and inspires the community to participate in rewarding and impactful work. Finally, the CEO will celebrate progress and uphold the integrity of BCCF by advancing inspiring narratives about the future of Battle Creek and managing a staff and leadership structure that is accountable to a public set of values. To that end, the CEO will provide:
Leadership & Vision
In 2020 and 2021, BCCF worked with a consulting firm to create a five-year strategic plan for 2022-2027. In the first year, the CEO will have an opportunity to influence parts of this plan that focuses on strengthening the longevity of the Foundation and making impactful investments to address community needs. In future years, the CEO will bring skills in strategic planning and planning processes that center participation, equity values, and community empowerment to align staff, board, community, and partners to a shared set of values and decision-making priorities for BCCF’s next chapter. They will have an opportunity to review, validate, and revise the Foundation’s strategic plan in service to shared community goals and with respect to the various ways the Foundation can support their achievement. This work will require clear and inspiring vision, leadership, and management of programs that build upon the past work of the Foundation and meet ever-evolving community needs. The CEO will model what it means to nurture honest, authentic, and accountable relationships with all stakeholders. This includes building strong relationships with individuals across the Battle Creek community and with public, private, and nonprofit partners who directly address community needs. A successful CEO will embody and actualize an organization-wide commitment to deep listening as well as working with and learning from community members and partners.
Board Engagement and Support
In this next era for the Foundation, the board has an opportunity to model collective action for the Battle Creek community and the new CEO will bring skill and experience with nonprofit governance in order to mobilize the Foundation’s skilled, diverse, and passionate board in service to community progress. The CEO will work with the board to clarify processes that build transparency and accountability in organizational governance, financial health, and compliance. The CEO will foster a culture of ongoing learning, engagement, and influence among board members to drive the sustained leadership of the Foundation. The ideal candidate will have strong board-facing experience and foundational knowledge of nonprofit governance to support organizational effectiveness.
Community Engagement & Relationship Building
Aligned with BCCF’s mission and vision, the CEO will spend time to get to know and build strong, trusting relationships with the residents of Battle Creek and invite them into the next chapter for the Foundation’s work as a vehicle for community led community progress. The CEO will bring emotional intelligence, equity values, and multi-cultural fluency to their presence in times of challenge for the community, healing and repair, and in times of joy and championship for community successes. The CEO will embody and actualize an organizational-wide commitment to meaningfully engaging, working with, and learning from all community members and partners in order to translate that learning into well-resourced programs and projects that reflect the immediate and long-term needs of the community in next level strategic planning. The CEO will understand and continue a long-standing commitment to community leadership and will co-create together with the community a next level vision for the work ahead.
Fundraising & Fund Mobilizing
The CEO will authentically and passionately represent BCCF’s work externally to the community, funders, partners, the media, and civic leaders to share and build funding support for a shared strategic and transformative vision for sustaining the prosperity of Battle Creek. The CEO will work closely with the board to strengthen and diversify funding streams to and through the Foundation and to enhance strategic mission-related investments. This work will include developing a customized fundraising strategy for BCCF’s growing work in its priority pillars of health, education, and livable community. The CEO will work effectively with the Foundation’s investment managers to manage funds and fiduciary reports and have a strong knowledge of investment strategies to share with current and new donors. Finally, the CEO will nurture existing strong alliances and trust filled, regular communication with other funders in the community as well as establish new collaborations with other mission-aligned funders.
The CEO will oversee all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, finance, and a seasoned and dedicated staff team in support of effective grantmaking and other activities toward impact. The CEO will ensure effective business operations, which includes aligning growth with mission, planning for sustainability, and advancing grantmaking practices that are aligned with the organization’s core values to advance equity. As a proven manager and facilitator with high emotional intelligence, the CEO will lead from an inquiry-grounded orientation, one that seeks to engage a wide range of voices and synthesizes these differing perspectives into rich and actionable insights that inform the organization’s decision-making. Recognizing the need to nurture BCCF’s wealth of talent and leadership, the new leader will commit to developing the staff professionally to build their careers for the future of the Battle Creek Community Foundation. The new CEO will seek to partner collaboratively with management and staff in this work and can expect the strong staff to continue providing the excellent service the Foundation is known for, to inform a sustainable and effective strategy that attracts and retains exceptional and diverse talent. The CEO will also lead BCCF’s two supporting organizations: the wholly owned subsidiary, Kool Family Community Center; and multiple non incorporated affiliates, each with a separate board and some with staff directly tied to the Foundation.
The ideal candidate will be a caring, invested, and values-based community leader who is driven by mission, understands and demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity, and has lived experience in the communities that BCCF serves. This person will be inspirational, collaborative, and of the highest integrity. Success in this role will require an inclusive and energetic leader with an expert ability to work with a clear focus within the community, as well as lead with listening, meaningful community engagement, and the resolve needed to deliver inclusive impact.
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Connection to the Mission
• Passion for supporting and empowering the vibrant community of Battle Creek. Familiarity with Battle Creek or a community of equivalent size and scope as well as the ability to bring experience, relationships, and resources relevant to community needs is highly desired.
• Deep experience in transformative approaches to community development and economic development with knowledge, understanding of, and experience in community development strategies.
• A nuanced and well-honed analysis of the interplay of race, place, and socioeconomic status in the work to transform communities and a strong and demonstrated commitment to equity values.
Organizational & Operational Leadership
• Demonstrated ability to build trust and being a team leader and player who motivates and educates other team members and understands the value of interpersonal relationship building.
• Demonstrated success raising and mobilizing funds for community benefit.
• Demonstrated experience in operational management, organizational design, complex budgetary management, and staff recruitment and retention; a process for regular review and revision of established systems and processes to support a culture of continuous improvement.
• Demonstrated track record in providing leadership for the development and execution of strategic vision.
• Demonstrated ability to establish priorities that align with a strategic plan and manage multiple agendas and partners effectively.
• Leadership style that uses collaboration, participatory practices, and collective impact strategies to accomplish work, demonstrating the ability to build trust, and being a team leader and player who motivates and educates other team members and understands the value of interpersonal relationship building.
• Past success in engaging and managing strategic external and internal partnerships that work to transform communities.
• Strong oral and written communication skills, including experience speaking publicly in diverse forums.
• Strong presentation skills and demonstrated poise and confidence with small and large audiences including the Foundation’s board, media, conferences, etc.
Values & Management Style
• Participatory leadership approach and humility, with deeply honed experience building relationships with community members, residents, and community partners.
• Ability to establish trust, engage partners and community, and act with intentionality and accountability.
• Powerful communicator one on one, in small group settings, and with large audiences. Ability to authentically share the mission of BCCF that draws in others and works toward shared goals and alignment.
• Collaborative leadership style and commitment to community driven leadership; internal management style that breaks down silos and fosters mutual learning and cross team collaboration.
The salary range for this position has been set at a total compensation between $180K and $220K, commensurate with experience.
How to Apply
More information about Battle Creek Community Foundation may be found at: www.bccfoundation.org
This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website. Nominations should be sent to Sharon Gerstman at .
The Battle Creek Community Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.