Rise, a NYC parent-led advocacy organization, is seeking an Executive Director. After 15 years, Rise’s founding Director will step down in June 2021. Founded in 2005, Rise has an annual budget of $1.2 million, a staff of 12 and 9 part-time parent contributors. Rise is a partner project of the Fund for the City of New York, which provides financial management and human resources support.
About Rise: Rise believes that parents have the answers for their families and communities. We envision communities that are free from injustice, family policing and separation and a society that is cultivating new ways of preventing and addressing harm. We imagine a radical commitment to ensuring that all families have what they need to live beyond survival and truly thrive.
Rise’s mission is to support parents’ leadership to dismantle the current child welfare system, eliminate cycles of harm, surveillance and punishment, and create communities that invest in families and offer collective care, healing and support.
Executive Director Position: Rise’s Executive Director (ED) will be driven by a passion for the mission and vision and exemplify Rise’s organizational values. ED applicants will need to demonstrate a proven capacity both to achieve excellence in their own work and to build the capabilities of others to contribute, lead and work effectively as a team. The ED position requires drive, collaborative decision-making, flexible thinking and a deep commitment to justice for families. A background in child welfare policy and advocacy or other related systems/movements like criminal justice or reproductive justice is required, and knowledge about abolition, community organizing and/or legislative and budget advocacy is a plus.
Rise aspires to transparent and democratic leadership structures. The Executive Director works in partnership with Rise’s Leadership Team, which includes our two Assistant Directors, as well as with our Development Director. Assistant Director for Training and Policy Jeanette Vega represents Rise publicly, oversees external partnerships and technical assistance, and leads Rise’s child welfare policy work in partnership with parent advocates across NYC. Assistant Director for Culture and Programs Bianca Shaw manages Rise’s program staff, program development and evaluation, organization-wide abolition learning, and our ongoing organizational shift to a healing justice culture rooted in relationship, healing and collective care. The ED role is focused on strategy, fundraising and finances, operations, project management, external relationships and communication.
Rise is an innovative organization that drives change through both: 1) furthering Rise’s core agenda of child welfare abolition and community investment year-to-year, and 2) responding to evolving political, media and advocacy environments. All members of its leadership team are expected to be planful about ensuring that programs build on one another to sustain impact toward Rise’s goals, and developing a nimble organization that creates opportunities to advance parents’ prerogatives in response to shifts on the ground.
Rise is also deeply grounded in our values, which center parent power, intentional investment in and support for parent leadership, passion and love in the work, strong relationships, excellence and innovation, collective care and healing, and commitment to justice. The ED will have a track record of living out these values and will personify these values in their approach to the work.
Responsibilities: The ED is broadly responsible for ensuring that the organization has the resources, operational structures, staff and relationships to achieve annual goals toward Rise’s mission and vision. Within that, specific responsibilities include:
- Organizational Vision: Lead the organization in carrying out the Vision; work with staff to annually update Rise’s strategic plan; communicate the vision and annual plan effectively internally and to external partners; ensure alignment with child welfare policy shifts in NYC and nationwide; stay aware of trends, threats and opportunities, and incorporate into planning.
- Program Planning and Evaluation: Ensure that program planning and evaluation as well as ad-hoc commitments align with annual goals and Rise’s strategic plan.
- Fundraising: With development director, strategize to raise annual budget by building relationships with current and potential supporters, including foundation grants, government and other contracting partners, and individual giving through events and other outreach.
- Finance: Plan annual budget and manage finances in collaboration with the Fund for the City of New York.
- Organizational Culture: Exemplify and reinforce Rise values, and support continued organizational anti-racist, anti-oppressive and healing-centered culture shift.
- Operations: Ensure contracting, billing, invoicing, leases, repairs, and other essential functions are managed.
- Human Resources: Manage all oversight of HR related functions; support personnel decisions, with a focus on investment in parent leadership capacity.
- External Relations: Support communication of Rise’s perspective and build Rise’s relationships and strategic partnerships to support the organization’s advocacy agenda.
- Board: Work in partnership with the advisory board, which holds governance authority for Rise.
Rise is a small organization without administrative support staff. While delegation is a critical function of leadership, the ED can expect to contribute to small tasks, including day to day office maintenance, alongside all staff.
Rise is seeking an ED with demonstrated capacity in the following:
- Strategic Vision and Agility: Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into organizational planning
- Leadership and Organization: Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people, particularly using collective decision-making processes to set group priorities; a team builder who can connect both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to enforce accountability, develop leaders from the bottom up, lead inclusively, cultivate creativity, and learn the strengths and development areas of the team so as to promote staff development and success
- General Management: Capacity to manage finances, fundraising, operations, HR, marketing and other core skills of nonprofit leadership
- Project management and problem-solving skills: Ability to conceptualize projects, be resourceful in coping with challenges, meet deadlines, and achieve outcomes that support Rise’s goals
- Communications: Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
- Capacity Building: Ability to build organizational and staff capacity through effective hiring, supervision and processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly
- Action Orientation: Enjoys working hard and seeks out challenges; track record of setting and reaching ambitious goals, seeking mentoring and guidance, and supporting self-growth: able to act and react when necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance to leadership and take an unpopular stance when necessary
- Evidence of the ability to consistently make effective decisions through a combination of analysis, information-seeking, wisdom, experience, and judgment
Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. Rise minimizes the pay disparity across our team.
To Apply: Please email a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates will be contacted for interviews on a rolling basis. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted as soon as possible. We expect this position to begin in late spring.
Rise values a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We strongly encourage applications parents impacted by the child welfare system and, more broadly, from women and people of color.