Executive Director

North Santa Barbara County, Mid Santa Barbara County, South Santa Barbara County
Full Time
FUND for Santa Barbara



The Fund for Santa Barbara exists to advance progressive change by strengthening movements for Economic, Environmental, Political, Racial, and Social Justice through grant-making, capacity building, nurturing coalitions, influencing philanthropy, and developing movement leadership.

The FUND (est. 1980) is a non-traditional community foundation that supports organizations and groups working for progressive social change in Santa Barbara County. The Fund is dedicated to helping find solutions to current and emerging social problems and issues that challenge our society as a whole. We understand that social conditions improve most dramatically when those who have been denied power and justice lead on their own behalf to confront, challenge, and change the conditions that have denied them access to justice and equity. To learn more about the Fund and its history, please visit our website.


The Executive Director will step into leadership with the FUND, inheriting a legacy of 45 years of progressive philanthropy and social change in Santa Barbara County. They will be expected to guide the organization in an ever-changing political and social climate and build upon the unique funding and leadership role that the FUND has played in the community, while also bringing their own ideas, initiatives, and creativity to the position. The new Executive Director will oversee an annual budget of $2.4 million and an endowment of $2.1 million. They will manage two physical office locations — Santa Maria and Santa Barbara — directly oversee eight staff members, and build relationships with the Board of Directors, Grant Making Committee, Youth Making Change, and a number of other community relationships and partnerships. Responsibilities, desired qualities and capacities, and qualifications are outlined below.


Public Support & Leadership

● Be a visible public leader for the organization, acting with consistent alignment with the values of the organization

● Serve as a spokesperson for the work of the organization, its progressive values and those of its allies

● Build bridges and critical relationships with allies, donors, foundations, and community leaders

● Work effectively and facilitate conversations with diverse sectors, communities, populations and manage, facilitate and or initiate difficult conversations about race, equity and racism, and other forms of othering and dehumanization


● Serve as the organization’s primary fundraiser

● Partner with staff, Board of Directors, stakeholders, contractors, and other relevant individuals and entities to ensure fundraising goals are met or exceeded

● Adopt and implement a trust-based approach to philanthropy and development planning

● Develop fundraising opportunities that include BIPOC communities

Vision & Strategic Direction

● Set and meet strategic goals to support the advancement of economic, environmental, political, racial, and social justice in Santa Barbara County and the broader Central Coast region

● Ensure that the program work of the organization is aligned with its vision, mission, and strategic goals

● Create, build, and manage strategic partnerships between the FUND and ally organizations


● Board: Work with the Board of Directors to further the vision, mission, and fiscal health of the organization; develop and maintain regular, open communication; actively support board development to ensure diversity and appropriate representation that is reflective of the community

● Volunteers and Committees: Build strong and productive relationships with the various volunteer and committee structures within the organization

● Donors: Develop and maintain strong relationships with the 700+ individual donors, and businesses that support the work of the FUND; actively seek out new supporters; ensure timely and appropriate acknowledgment of gifts; develop strategic partnerships with supporters; develop and/or build upon existing efforts to diversify donors that include BIPOC communities

● Funders: Develop and maintain strong relationships with funding partners and supervise all grant requests and reporting to funding partners.

● Community: Maintain strong relationships with constituencies and community leaders throughout Santa Barbara County and the larger Central Coast region; be responsive to community needs as they arise; maintain the integrity, transparency and clarity of values of the FUND, thus enabling the organization to serve as a leader in a wide variety of areas

Resource Management

● Ensure the responsible use and management of all organizational assets and resources

● Work closely with donors to establish and manage Donor Advised Funds and Field of Interest Funds

● Prepare and present the annual budget to the Board and actively manage regular budget reviews and adjustments

● Ensure third-party independent audits annually

● Work closely with the FUND’s Board, Investment Management Committee, and Investment manager to successfully manage the FUND’s endowment and trusts, in accordance with the FUND’s ethical investment practices

Internal Leadership & Oversight

● Ensure a productive, efficient, and safe workplace environment

● Coordinate with the Associate Director to provide general oversight to the entire staff regarding the day-to-day supervision of specific roles (e.g. hiring, evaluating, supporting, disciplining, and firing employees)

● Oversee two office sites, based in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria

● Ensure professional development opportunities for staff

● Provide strategic leadership to the FUND’s programs

● Ensure periodic evaluation of all programs to ensure the effectiveness of all programs

● Be an innovative thinker and leader in developing new programs


We expect the Fund’s Executive Director to demonstrate:

Values Alignment: Shared commitment to progressive social change and building anti-racist organizations through the mission, vision, and strategic direction of the FUND.

Cultural Humility: Ability to cultivate relationships across differences, characterized by cultural awareness, humility, and understanding across diverse communities and populations.

Trustworthiness: Acting with integrity in all dealings, welcoming feedback, and learning and modeling mutual accountability.

Vision: Forward thinking and capable of bringing a strategic direction to life through mindful people management and sound operational practice.

Generative Disruption: Experience skillfully initiating and facilitating challenging conversations, especially related to equity, racism, privilege(s), various forms of othering and dehumanization, and systems change in community-based, government, philanthropic, business, and other sectors.


We believe that a range of life and learning experiences can equip a person for this role, and will give consideration to candidates with a wide range of educational experiences who demonstrate relevant expertise, experience, qualities and capacities regardless of formal education and/or certification.

We imagine the Executive Director will have a compelling combination of the following:

Life Experience – a passionate commitment to the work of the FUND, personal experience with some arena(s) of oppression, grassroots organizing, spirit of goodwill, and an enduring commitment to conversation and action that contributes to a more equitable world.

Professional Experience – significant leadership roles in the nonprofit sector with increasing levels of responsibility in the following areas:

● Fundraising – demonstrated track record of success in raising funds from individuals, foundations, and government contracts

● Strategy – experience leading efforts that specifically address equity issues, strategic planning with organizations, coalition building across groups and sectors, leveraging technology to support operations/scope of services (as appropriate); ability to bring vision into reality; responsiveness to unexpected needs

● Programs – experience managing and/or developing programs with a team in furtherance of organizational goals and objectives

● Communication – outstanding oral and written communication skills required; proven ability to listen to and communicate with people from diverse ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, and gender backgrounds with grace and humility; proven ability to understand and communicate with traditional and non-traditional media partners, outlets, and other stakeholders, including community organizations and their constituencies

● Operations – experience with nonprofit management and legal reporting requirements, fiscal management, ethical investment practices, HR, and other areas of running a nonprofit organization

● Leadership – proven track record working collaboratively with teams towards shared goals while giving direction to team members as needed and experience in collaborative leadership or shared leadership

● Mediation – experience in facilitation of challenging conversations with individuals, organizations, or systems representatives

● Technology – experience with and willingness to leverage available services and platforms in service to increased efficiency and operational productivity


Job Status:

Full time, salaried, exempt, benefits-eligible position Reports to the Board of Directors

Location: Hybrid (Remote/In-Person) in Santa Barbara County. Can be based out of our South County (Santa Barbara) or North County (Santa Maria) offices. The Executive Director will be expected to spend significant time in both office locations, fostering strong relationships and contributing to team success.

Timeline: Starting October 2023 (negotiable)

Compensation & Benefits: Salary range is $120,000 – 140,000 (DOE) Benefits package includes full health insurance coverage, dental & vision for staff and dependents, Paid Time Off (PTO), and eligibility for a 403(b) SIMPLE retirement plan with limited matching.


Please email cover letter, resume, and references (in a single combined PDF) by Wednesday, July 26 at 5 p.m. to: searchcommittee@fundforsantabarbara.org. Inquiries are welcome via the same email. Applications before the deadline are encouraged. The position is open until filled.

PO Box 90710, Santa Barbara, CA 93190 | P: (805) 962-9164 120 East Jones Street, Suite 110, Santa Maria, CA 93454 | P: (805) 922-1707 www.fundforsantabarbara.org searchcommittee@fundforsantabarbara.org. The Fund for Santa Barbara is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.

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