The Tow Foundation
Hybrid (New Canaan, CT)
Established in 1988, The Tow Foundation is a family foundation committed to promoting justice, wellness, and access to opportunities so that individuals and communities can thrive. Grounded in its work in Connecticut and New York, the Foundation supports visionary leaders and nonprofit organizations that serve historically marginalized populations, helps individuals contribute to their communities and champions advancements and experiences that make it possible for all people to live a healthy and joyous life. To accomplish its goals, the Foundation and its staff of 13 annually disperse approximately $25M in grants to fund innovative nonprofit organizations across its five impact areas: Equity and Justice, Medicine and Public Health, Arts and Culture, Higher Education, and Civic Engagement.
At an exciting moment of growth and continued impact, the Foundation seeks nominations and applications for a Vice President, Strategy and Impact (VP).
A member of the Senior Leadership Team, the VP is an experienced senior leader who will increase and enhance the Foundation’s effectiveness and impact by helping to set organizational strategy and priorities, nurturing external partnerships, and leading the programmatic and communications functions of the Foundation. The VP reports to and will act as a senior advisor to the President. Together they will engage and leverage the counsel of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, with particular emphasis on the next generation of family members. The VP will supervise a team of senior program staff and various communications and event-related consultants and vendors.
As a key member of the Foundation’s leadership team and a visible representative of the Foundation in the field, the VP will be entrusted with the following responsibilities:
Programmatic Strategy & Leadership
The VP will lead a team of talented program staff and partner with the President to advance the Foundation’s programmatic goals. Some of the responsibilities the VP can expect in this area include:
• Partner with program staff to identify and support grantee partners with attention to strong relationships and impact.
• Serve as primary advisor for the President’s Strategic Impact Fund and other discretionary grant portfolios. Coordinate and communicate between these funds and impact area work.
• Ensure programmatic process and structures align with organizational strategy and are implemented efficiently and effectively.
• Supervise and support senior program staff, providing guidance and strategic analysis related to grantmaking, program budgeting and portfolio performance and refinement.
The VP will guide the Foundation’s communication function and amplify the Foundation’s voice and the work of its grantee partners. Some of the responsibilities the VP can expect in this area include:
• Oversee the Foundation’s communications function and consultants, including the production of a strategic communications plan, online content, media relations, external engagement materials, and all publications.
• Proactively identify and work closely with staff on opportunities to advance the Foundation’s thought leadership through its communication capacities.
• Identify and prioritize speaking and external engagement opportunities for the Foundation’s President and Chairman, including the preparation of any advance materials and logistical decisions for these engagements.
• Supervise and manage external consultants and vendors for communications deliverables.
The VP will serve as a senior organizational leader and will act as an advisor to the President, lending expertise, insight, and leveraging partnerships to help advance the Foundation’s long-term vision. Some of the responsibilities the VP can expect in this area include:
• Act as strategic advisor and partner to the President on the Foundation’s short- and long-term strategy, including program budgeting, scenario planning and board engagement.
• Work in close collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team to translate the Foundation’s vision into actionable programmatic and communications activities.
• Keep a pulse on trends in the field and develop strong relationships with philanthropic, nonprofit, business and government partners to inform organizational strategy.
The VP will be essential to the Board of Directors’ education and engagement by providing strategic advice and learning opportunities and planning strategic retreats with support from the President’s Executive Assistant. Some of the responsibilities the VP can expect in this area include:
• Partner with the President in effectively engaging the Board of Directors, providing insight and perspectives that inform the Board’s strategic thinking and programmatic decision-making.
• Support Board committees for special projects and new initiatives. Serve as the project manager for internal implementation of committee action plans.
• Design opportunities to engage and prepare the next generation of family members to become members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and support them in this role.
• Supervise the President’s Executive Assistant on all aspects of board support and administration, including design and planning for board meetings, site visits, and other special events.
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:
Abilities and Attributes
• A relationship-driven connector and bridge builder capable of building relationships of trust quickly and bringing people together to innovate, collaborate, and address challenges in a way that centers humility and fosters an ego-free environment.
• A proactive and diplomatic communicator who is comfortable working with diverse constituencies while maintaining a high level of discretion and confidentiality.
• A strong, values-based leader and manager able to oversee and support several junior and senior staff members and consultants.
• A strategic, analytical thinker who has a strong sense of self and personal presence.
• A demonstrated leader in the field of nonprofit, social impact, and philanthropic strategy with a track record of innovation and executive leadership across multiple issue areas.
• Comfortable serving both internally and externally as a spokesperson for the organization.
• Successful in engaging with key stakeholders, sector peers, the media, and the public.
Desired Qualifications and Experience
• 10+ years of professional experience that includes executive leadership, developing knowledge and strategy, forging partnerships and relationships across organizations and teams, and leading teams focused on communications, strategy, and partnerships (required).
• 5+ years of multi-level management experience, including across teams (required).
• Bachelor’s degree (required); master’s degree in nonprofit management, organizational development, public policy or a related field (preferred).
• Experience working within nonprofit organizations (required) and family foundations (preferred).
• Advanced project management skills with demonstrated success in defining milestones, delegating tasks, and meeting deadlines.
• Experience working directly with boards of directors of nonprofit organizations.
• Record of success getting buy-in from a variety of stakeholders to advance key projects.
• Seasoned in communications, social impact, and partnership strategy, with a demonstrated track record of success in overseeing executive communications, high-level events and convenings.
• Highly developed communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills.
• Ability to manage competing priorities and meet deadlines, with strong organizational capabilities and a positive attitude.
• Highly proficient in Zoom, Slack and all Microsoft Office applications; understanding of MacOS, iOS mobile technology and business apps.
• Familiarity with databases, project management systems and collaboration apps such as SharePoint, Salesforce, Asana and board portals.
• Deep understanding of nonprofit and philanthropic landscape in Connecticut, New York, and nationally.
• Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to advancing the Foundation’s mission and impact areas.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
The salary for this position is $200 – 220K annually. The Tow Foundation offers a generous benefits package, that included medical, dental, and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, and a 403(b) with an employer match. The Foundation also offers its employees generous paid time off, including 10 holidays, 15 days vacation time, 6 sick days, and 2 additional personal days annually. The Foundation offers half-day Fridays in the summer and the office is closed annually for the week between Christmas and New Year. In addition, the Foundation offers a tuition reimbursement plan and provides staff with the opportunity to make discretionary grants annually to nonprofits of their choice.
In Person Work Expectations
This position requires working in-person a minimum of two days per week at the Foundation’s offices in New Canaan, CT. Attendance at additional external in-person Foundation events or meetings may occur throughout the week.
Regular travel is required within New York and Connecticut for grantee meetings and sector events, with occasional travel required outside of the region.
Employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in accordance with CDC guidelines (original dose plus two boosters) unless a legally required accommodation is requested and granted.
How to Apply
More information about The Tow Foundation may be found at: towfoundation.org
This search is being led by Emily Wexler and Stephanie Guidry of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are 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.
The Tow Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, veteran status, physical/mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.