About Houston Endowment
Houston Endowment is a private foundation that has served the people of Greater Houston for over 80 years. Inspired by the legacy of its founders, Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones, Houston Endowment works with others to achieve the Joneses’ vision: a vibrant community where all have the opportunity to thrive.
Today, Houston is the fourth-largest and most diverse city in the country. Houston Endowment’s work centers on the belief that every resident of Greater Houston should have an opportunity to thrive and to participate in the decisions that impact the region’s future. With anticipated funding of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years, Houston Endowment promises to stay in step with the needs of its ever-evolving, ever-rising city.
In 2022, Houston Endowment moved into a new building designed to reflect the Foundation’s values and enhance its ability to convene and collaborate with its partners across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Mission | Houston Endowment advances equity of opportunity for the people of Greater Houston and enhances the vibrancy of the region.
The Foundation brings together the right expertise with the right funding and the right leadership to address some of the region’s most pressing needs.
In 2019, Houston Endowment’s Board approved a strategic framework that prioritizes Civic Engagement, Public Education, and Arts and Parks, as well as provides flexibility to address emerging opportunities and challenges in our region where the Foundation can have significant impact. Our work is supported by our Learning and Evaluation function, which deepens our understanding of these areas, helps grantees in evaluating their own work, and identifies what works.
The Foundation takes a portfolio view of its work to drive positive change in each area:
Civic Engagement | The Foundation seeks to increase informed civic engagement in our region, specifically in immigrant naturalization, voter participation, and independent local journalism. Program goals include guiding new Houstonians toward citizenship, enabling Greater Houston to achieve the highest voter turnout per capita among major metropolitan areas in the United States, and ensuring access to high-quality, nonpartisan, and community-focused journalism. For example, to realize its goal of making Houston the citizenship capital of the U.S., the Foundation supported a public-private partnership with city, county, and grantee partners and nonprofit organizations to expand naturalization resources and services that will help the more than 300,000 legal permanent residents in Greater Houston attain citizenship as well as the right and opportunities that go with it.
PreK-12 Public Education | Recognizing the critical role of teachers, the Foundation aims to strengthen a pipeline of well-prepared and supported teachers. To combat the ongoing teacher shortage, Houston Endowment invests in innovative collaborations among public schools and universities to create effective pathways for new teacher preparation. For example, the Foundation sought innovative partners such as Brazosport ISD, which partners with Brazosport College and INSPIRE TEXAS | Educator Preparation by Region 4 to offer a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). The program supports teacher candidates with sufficient preparation to become a full-time teacher and increases the likelihood that candidates stay in the classroom long-term. In addition, the Foundation supports initiatives that develop and sustain high quality schools that are accessible to all families, so that every student graduates with strong prospects for their future.
Arts & Parks | Houston Endowment supports the robustness of Houston’s local arts and cultural organizations – from world recognized institutions to emerging organizations. We believe arts and greenspaces are essential for strong, engaged communities. For example, to strengthen collaboration among Houston’s seven cultural districts, the Foundation supported a pilot grant to allow cultural districts to “dream big” and initiate a strategic co-planning process to determine how to systemically preserve, strengthen, and sustain arts and culture access in Houston that in turn will attract investment, economic growth, and creative and cultural engagement.
Emerging Opportunities and Challenges | Houston Endowment maintains the flexibility to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges that impact Greater Houston. For example, the Foundation’s work in supporting the unhoused was recently featured in the New York Times, and Houston Endowment recently invested $15 million in four key local partners to reduce homelessness, bringing its total investment in this work to $45 million.
Learn more about Houston Endowment by visiting the Foundation's website.
Houston Endowment seeks a strategic and collaborative leader to join a well-established and respected philanthropic organization that has been making a positive difference in Houston for over 80 years. With substantial financial assets, a talented professional staff, and an engaged and supportive board, the Foundation is well-positioned to have significant influence on some of the region’s most pressing issues.
Reporting to and working closely with the President & CEO, the VP of Programs will be part of an executive team that works closely with the Board to develop and execute Houston Endowment’s organizational goals. In addition, they will lead a highly talented team of seven direct reports: Program Directors (Civic Engagement; Education; Arts & Parks); Director, Grants Management; Director, Learning & Evaluation; Operations Manager; and Executive Assistant.
With an annual program budget of $80-100 million and a staff of 20, the Vice President plays a central role in overseeing the development, implementation, and assessment of the Foundation’s program priorities, ensuring they align with the Foundation’s mission and values.
Key responsibilities include:
- Deliver strategic insight and expertise that maintain alignment toward the Foundation’s shared goals and guide informative, ongoing reporting of program progress and trends to the President and Board.
- Provide senior leadership aligned with the organization’s vision, mission, priorities, and values, promoting cohesiveness throughout the organization.
- Ensure effective execution of program strategies and priorities, fostering accountability, learning, and adaptability.
- Play a central role in developing the Foundation’s program areas, identifying opportunities that align with the Foundation’s program strategic framework, building partnerships with key stakeholders, and promoting synergy across the Foundation’s program work.
- Stay at the forefront of community impact by exploring practices, lessons, and emerging trends from the philanthropic sector and beyond, identifying issues of importance to the Foundation’s work.
- Provide clear leadership and performance expectations for the program team to align expertise for success, ensuring day-to-day work, resources, and decision-making are tied to broader organizational goals.
- Cultivate a dynamic team and organization culture, modeling a leadership style that encourages collaboration, reflection, and accountability.
- Serve as a senior representative of the Foundation, raising visibility and amplifying the Foundation’s influence across the region.
- Maintain a meaningful presence in the community, forging connections with key leaders and representing the Foundation at pivotal meetings and events.
Houston Endowment embraces diverse experiences and perspectives as a cornerstone of our values. The next Vice President of Programs should be an individual who embodies a tapestry of professional and personal qualities, bringing energy and focus into catalyzing positive impact in Greater Houston.
A Passionate Advocate for the Mission
You have a proven passion for improving the quality of communities. Your strategic leadership style is not just inspirational but visionary, as you are energized to elevate the work and increase its impact for the Greater Houston community. You embrace different perspectives internally and throughout our community. Your unwavering integrity, humility, and ethical fortitude make you a trusted pillar within the organization.
A Visionary & Experienced Grantmaker
Your philanthropic and grantmaking experience enables you to translate bold concepts and big ideas into actionable and measurable plans. You are comfortable with challenging norms, offering innovative solutions that redefine success and drive impact. Your analytical expertise and critical thinking are your compass, guiding you toward impactful and thoughtful decisions. With a track record of utilizing successful learning and evaluation approaches, you ensure the effectiveness of programming, measurement, and results.
A Seasoned Leader of Teams
As a seasoned executive, you thrive on empowering and nurturing a team of talented individuals. Your emotional intelligence and executive presence form the cornerstone of your grounded leadership style, encouraging openness to feedback and a culture that values every voice. Your transparent communication style ensures that ideas flourish within an environment that embraces both collaboration and accountability to tangible goals.
A Master Builder of Relationships
You communicate in a way that resonates across diverse audiences, highlighting your ability to synthesize and distill complex information in a clear and persuasive manner. You effectively cultivate trust-based relationships with community partners, funders, the internal team, and the board of directors. Your enthusiasm for collaboration fuels initiatives that drive lasting impact. You have a proven ability to leverage individual strengths and teamwork to meet organizational goals.
A Culture & Results Champion
You foster an inclusive culture that sparks innovation and embraces learning. Your track record showcases your ability to succeed in cultivating a culture that thrives on open dialogue, healthy questioning, calculated risk-taking, and sound judgment. You are driven by results, turning data and opportunities into actionable strategies that maximize community impact.
This isn't just a role; it's an opportunity to shape the future of Greater Houston by amplifying our unwavering commitment to advancing inclusive and impactful change.
At Houston Endowment, we celebrate and champion diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply.
Are you ready to join a dynamic team and contribute to positive change in the Houston community?
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $330,000 – $375,000.
In addition to salary, the candidate will be eligible for the Foundation’s comprehensive employee benefits programs, including health, dental, and vision plans, time off, life insurance, short- and long-term disability as well as matching 401(k) and pension retirement plans.
Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement, which is being led by Molly Brennan, Corina Benitz, & Gina Wrolstad. Express interest in this role by filling out our Talent Profile or emailing the search team directly at email@example.com. All inquiries and discussions are strictly confidential.
Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group 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.
Houston Endowment is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.