About Faith in Action
Faith in Action is a global movement of people of faith and moral courage organizing to create societies free of economic oppression, racism, and discrimination in which every person lives in a safe and healthy environment, is respected and included, and has agency over the decisions that shape their lives. Faith In Action supports grassroots faith-based community organizing in 22 U.S. states and a dozen countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
We believe that when people join across faith and spiritual traditions, they can transform the world. They can build enough power to stand up to corporate and special interests profiting from racial and economic oppression and environmental destruction. For fifty years, our mission has been to build and support strong multi-racial, multi-faith, people-led organizations that relentlessly press for social change, working toward a world based on love, dignity, and liberation.
Faith in Action plays a unique role in building a larger movement for change. This contribution flows from its capacity to engage large numbers of people through trusted community institutions, speak prophetically about the moral dimensions of political choices, and authentically bring people together across race, class, religion, sexual orientation, urban/suburban/rural, region, and countries to make concrete progress on racial and economic justice.
Faith in Action supports a network of organizations in more than 200 cities in twenty-two U.S. states, and in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Hungary and Slovakia.
Our network includes 37 state and local member-federations in the U.S. These independent organizations represent more than 3,000 congregations with a collective multi-faith membership of more than two million families. Faith in Action collaborates with our member federations by offering leadership development, training and coaching, political analysis, joint policy-change campaigns, and deep partnerships in developing and executing organizing plans and strategies. Faith in Action also raises and regrants millions of dollars each year.
Faith in Action and its member federations focus on a range of issues in the U.S., including voting rights and voter engagement, immigrant justice and citizenship, economic and criminal justice, and climate equity. Faith in Action has played an important role in campaigns to cover all children with health care, pass the Affordable Care Act, reform foreclosure and financial reform laws, raise wages and benefits for low-wage workers, protect immigrants from deportation, make school funding more equitable, interrupt gun violence, and end mass incarceration.
Globally, our network is leading organizing campaigns for land rights, access to clean water, unemployment compensation, investment in education and health, and reforming international aid policies to support locally-led development.
Faith in Action seeks an Executive Director with a deep understanding and appreciation for the practice of multi-faith community organizing that is Faith in Action’s unique contribution to social change. They will lead the organization in service of domestic and international member federations to achieve even greater levels of strategic influence and impact – knowing that these external indicators derive from a healthy organization with talented staff and strong partnerships with network members and allies, and a solid reputation in the field. The Executive Director will help Faith in Action to build a powerful global multi-faith community organizing culture that creates spaces and opportunities for leaders and clergy to use their power and boldness to create a new kind of existence in community and allow people to discover their own brilliance, talents, and abilities to transform their cities, states, countries, and world. This is an incredible opportunity to lead a dynamic organization with a strong reputation of leading and winning campaigns and delivering impact in partnership with a growing U.S. and global network of multi-faith social justice organizations. The timing of the current political, social, economic, and environmental moment is ripe for a new leader to build on Faith in Action’s rich history and chart a course for the future that is powered by many faiths, vision, and heart.
Reporting to the Faith in Action Network Board of Directors, accountable to the grassroots leaders and clergy who power Faith in Action’s member federations in the U.S. and globally, and working in deep collaboration with an exceptional national staff of 30 people, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Faith in Action staff, programs, growth, sustainability, and the achievement of its mission.
The ideal candidate will be a collaborative and thoughtful leader with deep experience and understanding of the practice of community organizing and grassroots leadership development, ability to provide leadership to a faith-based, spiritually motivated social change movement, and demonstrated capacity to work through and add value to a network of U.S. and international organizations. They should bring a deep understanding of the pervasive impacts of racial capitalism, a demonstrated commitment to racial equity, a movement-building sensibility, and talent for leading the implementation of bold and visionary ideas.
The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:
- Galvanize the team to achieve the organization’s vision for itself, the Federations, funders, supporters, and partners;
- Work with the senior leadership team to build the infrastructure of the organization; ensure systems, processes, and work plans across the organization are aligned to a common vision and that day-to-day operations are set up for maximum impact; ensure strategic priorities are reflected in an actionable plan with measurable milestones and outcomes;
- Provide inspirational and compassionate leadership and maintain a participatory, inclusive, and collaborative culture that ensures that Faith in Action is a place where talented, mission-driven people can come, stay, and do their best work;
- Maintain excellent, consultative, and deeply authentic relationships with the senior leadership of Faith in Action Federations through field visits and collaborative work, including international Federations;
- Provide supportive and empowering leadership for a diverse range of extraordinarily passionate, committed, and skilled team members at the National and Federation levels; foster a culture of candor, authenticity, collaboration, and heart;
- Build the web of the Faith in Action Network to connect domestic and international federations to each other and the national organization;
- Lead Faith in Action’s fundraising and friend-raising strategies and initiatives, building fundraising capacity across the Faith in Action Network and ensuring a community of committed, engaged supporters;
- Co-construct collaborative organizing campaigns by Faith in Action network organizations to change public policies to end racial injustice, poverty, and economic oppression in the U.S. and across the world;
- Grow Faith in Action’s network of organizations in new cities, states, and countries;
- Serve as the external ambassador and lead spokesperson for Faith in Action, its Federations, and the practice of faith-based community organizing and grassroots leadership development with the media, donors, elected officials, and other external stakeholders;
- Provide strong partnership and collaboration to the Board of Directors, ensuring open lines of communication and high levels of engagement.
The Executive Director will be passionate and accomplished with a demonstrated ability to manage a large, dynamic, and evolving organization dedicated to spreading the practice of community organizing. They will be committed to Faith in Action’s mission and have the skills to drive the organization’s vision and impact through collaborative strategic planning and leadership grounded in empathy, kindness, and humility.
The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Mission, Vision and Values Alignment
The Executive Director will embody the values (https://faithinaction.org/about-us/faith-in-action-values/) and mission of Faith in Action, and as a result, will inspire and motivate others. An empathic, confident leader, the Executive Director will center people in the work, even when making difficult decisions. They will lead by example demonstrating empathy, respect, and inclusivity. The Executive Director will be driven by a deeply rooted passion for faith-based organizing with unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values, and the ability to lead Faith in Action in a genuinely multi-faith manner. They will understand that their purpose is to make it possible for people most oppressed and marginalized to join together into teams, organize defined communities into powerful organized constituencies, negotiate with public and corporate decision-makers, win material improvements, and change policies and systems to make society more democratic and equitable.
The Executive Director will be a strategic, visionary, and results-oriented leader who will inspire National and Federation staff, grassroots leaders and clergy, and the Faith in Action Board, to see where Faith in Action could and should be going and lead the organization forward in a collaborative manner. The Executive Director will bring proven experience operationalizing a vision and ensuring that an organization’s strategy, structures, systems, and processes are aligned and functioning for maximum impact. They will have a commitment to focus Faith in Action’s resources on supporting and growing the network of state and international Federations working for change from the bottom up. In addition, they will have a history of winning campaigns that center the people and issues too often excluded from political power. Ideally, the Executive Director will have experience in organizing themselves, if not in leading organizers.
The Executive Director will have the skills and experience to align Faith in Action’s operations and will lead with clear communication and transparency. They will lead in such a way that minimizes siloes within the organization and ensures maximum efficiency in order to attain the organization’s mission. They will be a systems thinker with the ability to balance internal and external demands, identify opportunities or challenges and work to leverage or mitigate them, and allocate resources strategically. They will be an adept non-profit manager.
The Executive Director will have experience leading staff with care, intention, and high emotional intelligence and cultural competence. They will be committed to the professional development of their staff and invest in the leadership development of staff at the Network and Federation levels. They will actively promote a sense of collective ownership within Faith in Action.
The Executive Director will bring experience building effective relationships and fostering collaboration across a complex organizational structure, ensuring programs and teams are communicating, partnering, and working in concert toward a broader vision and set of goals. They will be an experienced collaborator who is skilled at listening to, and learning from, staff and Federations and apply a proactive and transparent approach. The Executive Director will lead with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion and will be able to foster an environment and organizational plan that is welcoming and inclusive of people of different faiths, perspectives, backgrounds, generations, and cultures. The Executive Director is accountable to the Federations through the Board, which includes individuals from the Federations.
Fundraising & External Relations
As the leading fundraiser for Faith in Action, the Executive Director will proactively fundraise and friend-raise for Faith in Action and its Federations. They will bring a demonstrated track record in fundraising, ideally with knowledge of and existing relationships with relevant and aligned funders. They will have equal experience or ability in developing relationships with movement partners, political leaders, supporters, and other important stakeholders centering relationship building. The Executive Director will be comfortable representing Faith in Action and its Federations in public, with philanthropic partners, in media, and in cultural organizing spaces, as well as with elected officials including members of Congress. They will bring experience advancing and disseminating an organization’s mission and seeking out opportunities to participate in public forums, movement spaces and press outlets. They will have experience acting as a negotiator with key partners, creating buy-in through persuasion with stakeholders, and speaking clearly to the issues that are most important to Faith in Action.
Faith in Action offers an innovative culture of conspiring, collaborating, and co-creating. The salary for this position is commensurate with experience, in the range of $220,000 - $250,000 annually; plus benefits.
Faith in Action is a fully remote organization; however, travel is expected and required.
Trisha Sutrisno, Shelby Woods, and Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials by completing a Talent Profile. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Faith in Action provides Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Faith in Action complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
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 NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the 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.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.