The Position and Opportunity
The Foraker Group seeks an adaptive and collaborative individual with high emotional intelligence to join our team as a Transition Guide. This leader will work with a team of professionals to support and guide Alaska nonprofits through leadership transition. This is an opportunity for a professional with nonprofit organizational development and leadership consultant experience to lead and manage multi-phased projects using a holistic approach that sets nonprofits on a path of sustainability. The ideal candidate will have a strong ability to act strategically, excellent communication skills, and a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Foraker Group: Purpose, Values, and Goals
The Foraker Group is a 501(c)(3) organization with the core purpose of strengthening nonprofits. Our deep commitment to advancing dedicated, skilled, and compassionate professionals and volunteers to serve Alaska’s nonprofit and tribal organizations is guided by the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model. Foraker offers Alaska nonprofits and tribes the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to thrive.
Our values and theory of change articulate the way we work with organizations, leaders, and the sector to achieve our goals. They ensure that we provide excellence to our current programs and services while we strive to achieve new goals. These values are: Sustainability – Strategic – Collaborative – Urban/Rural/Native/Non-Native. The last value reflects our commitment to serving all Alaska’s people and communities.
We recognize that our base operation is on the unceded lands of the Dena'ina people. With Foraker's broad reach throughout the entire state of Alaska, the Foraker team acknowledges and appreciates the Indigenous people with us today and the lands of Alaska Native peoples who have called this place we now know as Alaska home for more than 10,000 years.
We are committed to providing mission-centered, creative, high-quality, and cost-effective services to all regions of Alaska. We engage a highly professional cadre of professionals – 21 staff and 28 consultants -with years of experience to work with the sector through our core program areas – shared services, consulting, educational opportunities, public policy, and fiscal sponsorship.
Our long-term goal is to lead innovative systems change in order to strengthen the ability of Alaska nonprofits to significantly improve our communities. The Foraker Group will act as a leader, catalyst, convener, innovator, and connector for the Alaska nonprofit sector to achieve this goal.
Foraker offers staff the opportunity to engage in meaningful work to improve our communities. Staff members work collaboratively and creatively in a supportive environment. We believe that workplace wellness, especially in this time of COVID, should always be a priority, and we try to create a work environment where each person feels valued and appreciated.
Our goal is always to serve our customers to the highest degree possible, while maintaining a workplace that is respectful, safe, flexible, and welcoming.
Services and Programs
Foraker offers a combination of these services to meet the needs of our nonprofit Partners:
Shared Services: We provide consolidated back-of-house services for nonprofits to maximize resources, ensure accountability, and clear the way to focus on mission results. For example, our financial shared service allows organizations to outsource their financial and accounting functions to professionals who understand the specific needs of nonprofits.
Consulting: Our role as capacity builders is to provide customized consultation and facilitation that strengthens nonprofits. Popular topic areas include: board governance, fundraising, human resources, succession planning and leadership transition, strategic and annual planning, finance, marketing and communication, and collaboration and mergers.
Education: We provide in-person and online opportunities for board, staff, and volunteers to learn, share, and connect. We offer a range of trainings, from two-hour classes to six-month long intensives.
Public Policy: Foraker serves as the official nonprofit state association of Alaska. In this role we focus on nonpartisan public policy issues at the federal, state, and local level that impact all nonprofits.
Fiscal Sponsorship: Foraker’s fiscal sponsorship, Sultana New Ventures LLC (Sultana), supports groups and projects in the preliminary stages of their development, offering opportunities to incubate ideas, employ staff, and provide the stability that funders need to make initial investments.
Foraker’s Leadership Transition Services
Foraker’s Leadership Transition Services are grounded in the belief that the right people at the right time are essential in the nonprofit sustainability journey. Our suite of services is rooted in a deep commitment to ensuring nonprofit leaders reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, along with a focus on pay equity and a welcoming environment.
Foraker’s innovative approach moves leadership transition from transactional to transformational using a three-phase Prepare, Search and Thrive process that prioritizes mission continuity, leader retention, diversifying the face of leadership and nurturing a culture of strategic succession planning throughout the sector.
Our Leadership Transition team is committed to integrating The Foraker Sustainability Model throughout our work and to ensuring equity is at the center of our comprehensive and thoughtful approach to the transition of key leadership positions. Our approach actively engages the board, staff, and external stakeholders, and leads to a well-researched process and effective decision-making that supports the organization’s future success.
The Transition Guide’s role in Foraker’s Leadership Transition Services is to hold the relationship and guide the board and staff of our nonprofit Partners as they navigate the Prepare, Search, and Thrive phases during the entirety of a nine-to-eighteen-month leadership transition. The Transition Guide will be an ambassador of Foraker’s leadership transition program, developing and strengthening relationships with our nonprofit Partners, and facilitating a seamless and positive experience for the nonprofit Partner, the candidates, and the Foraker team. The Transition Guide will be supported in their work by Foraker program coordinators, executive recruiters, and organizational development staff and consultants.
The incoming Transition Guide will be expected to focus on the following priorities over their first twelve to eighteen months:
· Fully absorb Foraker’s Nonprofit Sustainability Model and guiding principles and use them in daily support of the program.
· Understand and deliver Foraker’s three-phased approach to leadership transition
· Promote Foraker’s leadership transition services and add to Foraker’s earned income potential by providing high-impact support to Foraker’s nonprofit Partners; and
· Collaborate with other team members to explore adaptive approaches that strengthen and grow the program while meeting the unique needs of our nonprofit Partners.
· Model, effectively communicate, and incorporate Foraker core purpose and values internally and with our nonprofit Partners.
· Manage a portfolio of transition work; actively hold the nonprofit Partner relationship throughout the process; manage project costs, calendar, and pacing for each project; and fold in other Foraker team members as needed for success.
· Guide nonprofit Partners through the three phases of the leadership transition process; tailor the approach and discussions to the needs and context of each nonprofit Partner.
· Utilize the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model as a guide for facilitation, team development, and communications.
· Facilitate discussions that lead to success by integrating elements of the work using a holistic view of the each organization
· Reinforce values of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the leadership transition process.
Prepare, Search, Thrive Phases
· Engage our nonprofit Partner’s board, staff, and key stakeholders in a strengths-based organizational assessment to identify key priorities for the organization, the executive role, and the search process.
· Use assessment outcomes to draft a Position Profile that articulates the organizational culture, context, priorities and opportunity for the next leader along with an appropriate and competitive salary range and benefits package.
· Build a thoughtful search plan to attract a diverse candidate pool by using identified recruitment strategies and engaging the networks of both the nonprofit Partner and Foraker.
· Lead an intentional outreach and search process based on each nonprofit’s mission, values, and identified key priorities.
· Support the nonprofit Partner through a multi-stage interview and vetting process with guidance on reducing implicit biases.
· In collaboration with the nonprofit Partner, design a welcome and onboarding strategy for the new leader deeply rooted in support and focused on relationship building for the new leader, the board, and staff as they navigate transition.
· Facilitate and implement an effective communications plan to announce the new leader to the organization, its stakeholders, and the community in a way that fosters strong partnerships.
· Develop an engagement plan that articulates clear expectations and creates a strong foundation for the new leader and their relationships with the board, staff, and key stakeholders.
· Foster an environment of support; encouraging regular feedback and conversations to ensure that successes, as well as, items that need attention are identified.
Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the Transition Guide will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
· High emotional intelligence – strong awareness of self, connection to others, able to build and manage relationships, and act with integrity.
· A collaborative and strategic leadership style with a demonstrated history of building and maintaining strong working relationships with staff, board, and external stakeholders.
· Ability to communicate effectively and comfortably in person, in writing, and in remote platforms; advanced oral, written, and presentation skills.
· Ability to reflect Foraker values in interactions and communications with others.
· Ability to exercise cultural humility when working with diverse missions, groups, people and learning styles.
· Ability to treat others with respect regardless of status or position.
· Superior ability to work collaboratively within a team.
· Proven leadership ability; able to exercise flexibility, initiative, good judgment, and discretion.
· Demonstrated ability to successfully complete projects; self-motivated and detail-oriented, with ability to organize and prioritize work.
· Strong ability to think and act strategically.
· Ability to work in a dynamic environment and deal effectively with frequent changes in priorities, delays or unexpected events.
· Ability to maintain confidentiality.
· Willingness to learn and adapt.
Skills and Expertise
· Knowledge of nonprofit organization development frameworks and current trends in the nonprofit sector, leadership recruitment, and leadership transition industry standards.
· Proven ability to facilitate group discussions of up to twenty participants.
· Demonstrated ability to work with culturally diverse people and organizational cultures in rural, remote-rural, and urban Alaska.
· Ability to see the holistic landscape of each organization; able to integrate elements of the work and facilitate discussions that lead to success
· A minimum of three years of experience leading programs and/or projects in a nonprofit environment; nonprofit board experience is desirable.
· Commitment to and experience building relationships and engaging with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) leaders.
· Experience leading and managing multi-phase projects.
· Ability to review, analyze, evaluate, and present data and report findings to inform decision-making and process.
· Strong group process and facilitation skills.
· A proven track record in recruiting and hiring executive-level candidates for nonprofit organizations or comparable positions, a plus.
· Strong computer skills and proficiency using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Survey Monkey, and contact database software.
The Foraker Group is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Our own core values reflect our acknowledgement of the land where we live, our commitment to serving nonprofits and tribes in urban and rural Alaska, and our obligation to address the systemic racism and oppression that is deeply rooted in our history as a state. It is from this that we begin our understanding of other oppressive systems and structures in our sector that impact people. The Foraker board and staff have been exploring what it means to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. We have arrived at five basic tenants that describe our commitment. The following is a high-level summary of those tenants. We look forward to walking on this journey with you.
The Foraker Group is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to grow our commitment to engagement and inclusion with culturally diverse groups.
- We are part of the journey. We believe we are a catalyst for this work. We recognize that our understanding will deepen and grow and that no single path fits every organization.
- We believe strong nonprofits are diverse nonprofits. Through our research, consulting, and educational programs, we seek a shift in board and staff composition that reflects the community and mission of each nonprofit.
- We know our work is upstream and downstream. We must simultaneously work with what exists now while creating lasting systemic change with an equity lens.
- We focus on race and intersectionality in our work. We champion our commitment to diversity and focus on creating true inclusion and belonging for every person.
- We create and hold space for conscious conversations. Instead of shying away from difficult conversations, we embrace the opportunity to oppose racism and to deepen the understanding that diversity and equity are essential to every mission.