A dismal 12 percent of philanthropic giving reaches local organizations globally. Less than 2 percent of philanthropic giving for climate reaches organizations led by women or Indigenous people. For far too long resource and investment decisions in philanthropy are made without the leadership of the people who contribute the least to – and are most impacted by – large-scale global problems like climate change and inequality. Thousand Currents exists to change these practices and ensure resources reach those who are most effective at solving the complex and systemic challenges the world faces — frontline communities.
For nearly 35 years, Thousand Currents has invested in and learned from more than 1,000 community-led initiatives in over 50 countries. Today, the organization funds over 200 initiatives each year that address food sovereignty, economic justice, and climate justice. Thousand Currents partners with an ecosystem of organizational formations, including, but not limited to, movements, grassroots groups, and grassroots-based research institutions in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America. The organization practices solidarity philanthropy. This means they provide core, flexible, and long-term support, and honor the leadership, right to self-determination, and transformative solutions of partners. Additionally, through its robust donor education and organizing programs, Thousand Currents educates, trains, and supports donors and donor advisors to practice solidarity-based philanthropy for systems change.
Thousand Currents understands that the world is currently at a crossroads with threats from interlinked challenges like the climate crisis, growing inequality, and increasing authoritarianism. The organization sees this moment as philanthropy’s clarion call, a time for bold leadership and action. To that end, Thousand Currents has set an ambitious ten-year vision of moving at least $250 million to grassroots groups and movements in the Global South. Over the next three years, the organization seeks to double its grantmaking, expand donor education initiatives, and strengthen its communications work. This newly designed role of Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships will play a pivotal role in helping Thousand Currents grow its work and achieve its vision of meeting these unprecedented times with an unprecedented scale of resources.
For more information on Thousand Currents, please visit www.thousandcurrents.org.
Thousand Currents is a trusted funder of grassroots formations and movements and a respected leader in the field of donor education and solidarity-based giving. Over the past 6 years, the organization has experienced tremendous growth year-to-year from an annual grants budget of approximately $1 million to $10 million and it is now poised to scale its work even further. The organization seeks to double its grantmaking and grow its donor education and narrative change programs to new heights.
To advance their ambitious goal, the Thousand Currents team seeks an experienced fundraising and development leader for a newly created role of Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships. This Vice President will play a critical role in driving a values-aligned approach to co-create, build, and sustain relationships with donors and partners across the organization’s fundraising portfolio, including individual giving, major gifts, and institutional donors. This leader will help Thousand Currents meet its budget year to year and achieve its bold targets over the coming decade.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Vice President will oversee the philanthropic partnerships team composed of individual giving, institutional giving, and communications staff. Together, with leadership from the Vice President, the philanthropic partnerships team will successfully develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising and communications strategy that produces a sustained, informed, and energized donor base to support Thousand Currents’ work. The Vice President will help the organization articulate and implement a fundraising vision that communicates the critical importance of centering community priorities and the pivotal role Thousand Currents plays in advancing systemic changes in society.
The leader will understand that the most effective fundraising is rooted in programs and will develop a strong relationship with the programs team to achieve fundraising and communications objectives. The Vice President and the philanthropic partnerships team will also work closely with the learning and donor education teams to develop and disseminate knowledge and creative products, and support donor education and organizing initiatives.
Compensation & Benefits
Thousand Currents practices a non-negotiable salary policy to foster pay equity. The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $160,000 – $180,000 with a generous benefits package. Benefits package includes: 100% premium paid health, dental, and vision insurance coverage for you and your family (if applicable). Short and long term disability, life, and AD&D insurance. The organization also provides wellness reimbursement, work from home reimbursement, and an opportunity to participate in our 401K plan with 3% matching contribution. Additionally, Thousand Currents offers 13 paid flexible holidays, 9 sick days, and vacation at an accrual rate of 15 days per year for the first two years, along with internal systems that engender a culture of mutual accountability to personal ecology, transparency, open communication, and opportunities for professional, personal, and leadership development. The successful candidate must have the capacity and willingness to undertake occasional travel.
The ideal candidate is able to lead communications and development departments; manage remote teams; has a proven track record of meeting ambitious fundraising goals; is an experienced team builder; and holds a deep commitment to fostering a collaborative, values-aligned, creative, and vibrant work environment. This leader will have helped organizations scale resources in the past, grow fundraising teams, and is excited to utilize their skills to ensure movements and frontline communities are sufficiently resourced.
While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional competencies and personal attributes:
Commitment to Justice and Equity Globally
• A commitment to Thousand Currents core values and guiding principles, which include feminisms, self-determination, multiplicities, decolonial praxis, and internationalism;
• Ensure values and principles underpin fundraising and communications strategies and work;
• An understanding of the indispensable role that movements play in building social change and a passion for supporting their visions;
• Develop and lead a high-performing remote team rooted in social justice and equity values to execute on philanthropic strategies;
• Able to engage and inspire potential and continuing funders, partners, and allies to support transformative systems change.
A Strategic and Visionary Development Leader
• Collaborate within and across teams to develop and implement a philanthropic strategy to secure the resources needed to support systems-level change in the Global South;
• Partner with senior leaders to ensure organization-wide strategy is reflected in all aspects of fundraising, philanthropic partnership, and donor education;
• Develop a transformative vision and strategy for resource mobilization and inspire the team to be aligned with that vision and core purpose;
• Understand the critical role communications plays internally and externally, with the ability to inspire and mobilize their team, and articulate and advance innovative communications strategies and milestones that generate support for the organization’s work.
Community-Centered Fundraising Expertise
• Develop and maintain a big picture view of the community-centered philanthropic landscape, including funding trends and key sources of philanthropic support;
• Manage engagement with funding partners – new and existing – and identify opportunities for new strategic partnerships with values-aligned funders;
• Experience working in close partnership with senior leaders, staff, and funders on strategy and implementation for community-centered fundraising initiatives from strategy through implementation;
• Develop and manage systems to generate high-quality proposals, reporting, and other funder communications in collaboration with program and communications staff.
A Relationship Builder and Collaborator
• Driven by a deep, relational understanding of a collective approach to movement-centered action with a commitment to sharing and dispersing power in all aspects of work;
• Skillfully navigate a complex fundraising and philanthropic landscape with nuance and keen understanding of various perspectives;
• Adeptly gain the confidence and respect of the Thousand Currents team, board, funders, partners, and community advocates;
• Lead with trust to develop collaborative working relationships with fellow senior leaders, team members, and external partners to produce meaningful and impactful change;
• Manage engagement with funding partners – new and existing – and identify opportunities for new strategic partnerships;
• Demonstrated experience working in close partnership with senior leaders, staff, funders, and on fundraising initiatives.
Team Builder and Manager
• Foster relationships and develop processes to ensure staff at all levels and from all backgrounds to feel authentically welcome, valued, and included;
• Identify capacity gaps, and grow and expand the team in alignment with fundraising strategies and organizational vision;
• Demonstrated leadership in motivating, managing, and leading staff to successfully realize individual and collective goals aligned with overall organizational strategy;
• A supportive and empathetic leader with the ability to provide constructive feedback to empower staff and cultivate an effective and collaborative team culture;
• Prior experience leading communications and development teams and an excellent manager of people;
• An organized leader with demonstrated experience in articulating bold fundraising milestones and meeting them;
• Experience working with executive teams and Board.
In addition, strong candidates will offer:
• Experience leading highly collaborative communications and development teams in a senior or executive capacity;
• Experience with donor organizing and advocacy, and prior experience mobilizing resources for community- or movement based work;
• Experience fundraising for an organization of equal or greater size to Thousand Currents and experience stewarding all levels of individual and institutional giving;
• Experience with ultra-high net worth donors and 7- and 8-figure gifts;
• Expertise in compelling storytelling in written, spoken or visual formats;
• Fluency and experience with overseeing databases and software like Salesforce;
• Ideally 8-10 years of progressive fundraising experience, including senior management experience.
How to Apply
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Michelle Bonoan, Jennifer Smith, and Marisa Chock of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Express interest in the role by filling out our Talent Profile, or email Michelle, Jennifer, and Marisa directly at , , and . All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email . If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Thousand Currents is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
Learn more about how we can help you with your search on the Koya Partners website.