At this exciting point in its evolution, the Couch Family Foundation seeks a dynamic and passionate leader to become its inaugural Executive Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for strategic leadership across the Foundation’s portfolios, the day-to-day operations of the organization, and the execution and continued refinement of a recently updated long-term strategy to meet an audacious goal for every child in New Hampshire to have access to high-quality care and education.
This is a significant opportunity for an energetic and collaborative leader to impact the early childhood landscape of New Hampshire. With humility and conviction, the Executive Director will serve as an ambassador for the organization and will be responsible for helping to identify strategic grants and community partners to accelerate the Foundation’s work across the state.
About The Couch Family Foundation
At the Couch Family Foundation, we envision a future where children can be safe, healthy, and thrive. The mission of the Couch Family Foundation is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of children and their families by creating quality and equitable opportunities to help them lead healthy, fulfilling lives. The Foundation has historically partnered with organizations who work to improve children’s health and well-being, early learning and development, family resiliency, and community vibrancy in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. Building on our momentum in the Upper Valley, and encouraged by work happening across the state and the nation, the Foundation is broadening our commitment to equitable, affordable, and quality early childhood education and care across the entire state of New Hampshire.
Guiding the work of the Foundation is an enduring commitment to six principles:
- Commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the work
- Treat grantees as valued partners and those they serve with dignity and respect
- Collaborate with community partners to create sustainable and positive change
- Build statewide awareness and support for more effective and equitable public policy
- Encourage creative thinking and risk-taking to foster innovation
- Use research and community engagement to inform the work
In 2021, through the Foundation’s grantmaking, over $4M was invested in the community with aspirations to increase statewide funding over the next several years. In addition to a continued focus on the Upper Valley region, the Foundation is committed to increasing and deepening its strategic partnerships and funding across New Hampshire. As the Foundation looks to the future, the opportunities statewide in New Hampshire will be built around:
- Advocacy: Helping to build a robust landscape of advocates — including strong organizations at the state level, within regions, and grassroots organizations — with the tools necessary to drive toward equitable policies that expand access to early care and education.
- Provider Supports: Ensuring providers of early care and education across New Hampshire — especially those serving children and families of color — are supported and coordinated by strong regional and statewide institutions to facilitate equitable access to care.
We will build on existing progress to achieve long-term, sustainable, and positive outcomes for children and families by continuing to:
- Support existing programs that promote positive outcomes for young children and their families
- Create new and innovative solutions to address persistent community challenges
- Foster opportunities for convening, learning, and collaboration for collective impact
The work of the Foundation is guided by an engaged group of Trustees who bring genuine curiosity, audacious ambitions, and deep caring to its work. A part-time Managing Director works with Trustees to inform the strategic vision and will be a thought partner to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will have management responsibilities over staff and independent advisors. Current staff include Program Officers and back-office management engaged through Mott Philanthropic help maximize the Foundation’s philanthropic impact. Our team has developed strong partnerships with grantees and community partners and shares a wealth of knowledge and experience.
For more information on the Couch Family Foundation, please visit here.
Location for this role is flexible within or around New Hampshire, with the ability to travel throughout the state.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics. We invite you to express an interest even if you do not meet all of them.
Passion for the Mission
- Demonstrate deep knowledge in, and commitment to, early childhood education, advocacy, and systems-building, either professionally or personally
- Ensure systems and services advanced through the Foundation’s work support equitable outcomes for children in New Hampshire by leading with a lens of equity and a deep understanding of how to support families and children of color and/or low incomes
- Manage programs and services consistent with the mission, values, and goals of the foundation
Strategic Organizational Leadership
- Work collaboratively with the Trustees, Managing Director, and staff to implement and execute the recently updated strategic plan
- Lead and execute the Foundation’s strategy and assume accountability to deliver impact towards audacious goals
- Attract and mentor a talented team of staff, including Program Officers
- Encourage and model a positive and healthy organizational culture centered on trust, respect, and collaboration
- Fully engage and support Foundation’s continuous journey to affect racial equity across all strategies
- Engage communications team to amplify Trustee voice and share the Foundation’s story as a means of forwarding the Foundation’s mission
External Ambassador and Community Relations
- Serve as a credible thought leader for the Foundation on early childhood and family support-related issues in public settings and at events
- Convene constituents, serve on task forces, and participate on behalf of the Foundation at selected tables or in collaborative efforts as needed
- Maintain relationships with nonprofit, community, state, and national leaders as relevant to advance Foundation’s initiatives and vision
- Build relationships with statewide advocates and bring an interest and understanding of how grantmaking can shape advocacy efforts
Strategic Grantmaking and Programmatic Oversight
- Manage strategic grant programs and distribution of funds focused on issues of early childhood, family supports, and related policy
- Apply a data-driven approach to continually evaluate best practices and lessons learned
- Oversee organizational and financial plans with the Trustees and implement plans and policies as needed
- Remain informed of best practices as related to participatory grantmaking
In addition, strong candidates will offer:
- At least 10 years of successful management-level experience in a nonprofit organization
- Energy, initiative, and drive with the ability to perform and manage multiple projects
- Strategic thinking and strong decision-making with an understanding of how they impact the big picture
- High level of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, empathy, and transparent communication)
- Excellent relationship management skills and ability to engender trust with external constituents, community partners, grantees, and diverse communities
- Capacity to conceptualize, communicate, and lead the organization to a shared vision
- Lead with a systems-building approach to maximize the value of working together towards shared outcomes and deliverables
- Experience serving as a voice for racial equity and justice in the early childhood sector — elevating the perspectives of the most marginalized children and families
- Strong strategic fiscal management and oversight skills
- Strong understanding of operational and back-office technology of a foundation (HR, Finance, IT, etc.)
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is commensurate on the candidate’s skills and experiences. The Foundation is very open to hearing from the market.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a cover letter and resume to Alicia Salerno and Tatyana James here.
The Couch Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQIA+ 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.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.