The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE,) a nationally known nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial Independence, has launched a search for its first Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. With an operating budget of nearly $3 million and a staff of 23 located in its five New England regional offices, CWE achieves its mission by providing education, training, technical assistance, access to markets, and paths to funding for entrepreneurs at every stage of business development.
Reporting to CWE’s new President & CEO, Gaby King Morse, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships will oversee a team of four and be a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, ensuring that CWE continues to be New England’s leading economic development and women’s business leadership organization. A tremendous regional leadership opportunity, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, will oversee revenue generation for CWE, which includes raising philanthropic as well as business revenue dollars. In terms of how fundraising responsibilities are distributed, CWE’s President & CEO will be the primary external driver for increasing individual giving and cultivating new foundations while the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships will create a comprehensive fundraising plan for CWE, increase brand awareness throughout New England, oversee the building and strengthening of corporate relationships, and enhance internal fundraising systems. Able to operate in a highly cooperative environment, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships will be skilled at leveraging talented staff, a dedicated board, and a committed cadre of volunteers to reach CWE’s financial goals.
The Vice President of Strategic Partnerships will also play a leading role in increasing business revenue though the expansion of women-owned business certification as part of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). WBENC is the leading certifier of women-owned businesses in the US and an influential advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. CWE is the New England affiliate for WBENC and is responsible for increasing the number of WBENC certified women-owned businesses and corporate members across the region.
The position description below provides additional background about the organization, defines the characteristics of the ideal candidate, and outlines the responsibilities and expectations of the role. This search is being conducted by a search committee, assisted by CJR Strategic Transition Partners, a regional leader in providing consultative support to nonprofit organizations. Cover letter and resume should be submitted in confidence to CJR Strategic Transition Partners as noted at the end of this document. For more information on CWE and its programs, please visit http://www.cweonline.org/
BACKGROUND: ABOUT THE CENTER FOR WOMEN & ENTERPRISE (CWE)
Founded in 1995 to propel all women to achieve economic power and equity, the Center for Women & Enterprise has established itself as a national center of excellence and model for training, counseling, business assistance, and innovative approaches in small business finance. In 2018 alone, participation in our programs and events totaled 12,253 and we served 4,393 women (and men), providing them with the tools they need to successfully create new income opportunities for themselves and their families, while also boosting the greater New England economy.
In addition to the important work done through its affiliation with WBENC, CWE focuses on low-income women who live in underserved communities. Eighty-six percent of CWE clients are women; 14% are men. CWE clients are drawn from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, ranging from women living in public housing starting home-based or small retail businesses, to established women business owners hoping to grow their enterprises with funding and technical assistance. CWE provides scholarships in order to make its services available to all clients, regardless of their ability to pay.
CWE serves clients throughout New England and has office locations in Boston, MA; Westborough, MA; Nashua, NH; Providence, RI; and Burlington, VT. CWE operates Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These Centers are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, offering comprehensive training, resources, counseling and connections to women. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, CWE also operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE), which equips veteran and active duty service members and their families with the resources to help them start and run their businesses.
The Vice President of Strategic Partnerships leads the design and implementation of multi-year, comprehensive revenue plans to significantly increase philanthropic support and business revenue from individuals, corporations and foundations to support CWE’s mission and vision. The person in this position will strengthen and facilitate relationships with current and future supporters, solicit contributions on behalf of the organization, and build a community of philanthropic investors and business development partnerships who share a belief in the unique role that CWE plays in helping business leaders succeed and economies thrive. In addition, the person in this position will provide fundraising strategy and support to staff across CWE’s New England footprint.
Candidates should be experienced fundraising managers and revenue generators who have a track record of building comprehensive fundraising programs, enhancing internal development systems, raising significant resources that have grown over time, working in partnership with staff and volunteer teams and closing major gifts, particularly in environments without the natural donor constituencies enjoyed by colleges, hospitals, and cultural institutions. Candidates with deep expertise generating philanthropic dollars and business revenue from the greater Boston corporate sector are desired.
1. In partnership with the CEO, staff and board, raise the philanthropic resources necessary to support CWE programs and initiatives overall.
a. Manage and grow a portfolio of corporate partners who have the potential to provide significant business revenue and/or philanthropic revenue in order to achieve/exceed revenue goals.
b. Plan, coordinate and oversee the implementation of strategies to cultivate prospects, steward donors and generate the greatest level of support possible for the organization.
c. Identify new funding prospects to support the organization.
d. Appropriately represent CWE, its board and staff leadership to donors and prospects.
e. Serve as a passionate proponent of the organization and its mission.
f. Exhibit a keen ability to prioritize fundraising activities in order to better focus staff and board to meet/exceed financial goals.
2. Ensure the growth and profitability of the WBENC Certification program. Oversee staff focused on implementing WBENC programs in order to deliver high-quality, timely services to clients across New England. WBENC service and program goals include:
- WBENC Certification: Increase WBENC revenues associated with WBENC-certified women-owned businesses and ensure client satisfaction and measurable impact.
- WBENC Corporate Members: Increase number of WBENC Corporate Members and corresponding revenues. Manage WBENC Corporate Member relationships and associated sponsored program/event deliverables.
c. Events: Increase number, attendance levels and revenues of outreach and networking events for established women-owned business and WBENC-certified businesses.
3. Enhance and implement a comprehensive fundraising program.
a. Design, implement and initiate new fundraising strategies, including leadership and major giving, corporate partnership programs, foundation relations initiatives, and deferred and planned giving.
b. Create and utilize fundraising events to deepen the pool of prospects and increase resources.
c. Identify and help implement other community-wide fundraising initiatives that will produce significant revenue for CWE.
d. Events: Plan and implement the annual CWE Auction & Gala.
e. Leverage regional staff to engage in local funding opportunities across New England.
f. Review and enhance the appropriate internal systems required to lead a well-run development operation, including but not limited to volunteer and donor management, prospect and donor research, gift processing, tracking and reporting systems, and acknowledgment and recognition programs.
g. Help develop diversified funding sources and a balanced mix of solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization that will enable it to attract, retain and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers.
4. Work collaboratively with staff leadership across New England to enhance their fundraising skills and to support their revenue generating efforts.
a. Partner with the President & CEO to deploy her time and attention to leverage the greatest revenue generating opportunities.
b. Work in collaboration and partnership with Regional Directors and members of CWE’s senior leadership team in order to advance fundraising and WBENC program priorities.
c. Lead, mentor and inspire staff and volunteers with fundraising and WBENC responsibilities to excel in their roles. Strategically grow staffing capacity as growth in resources allow. Create working environment that is rewarding to staff and volunteers.
d. Serve as primary liaison to the Development Committee of the Board of Directors to garner their strategic counsel and motivate their participation to serve as connectors, solicitors and contributors.
e. Leverage the Board of Directors and help build a stronger culture of philanthropic expectation and participation to raise increased resources.
f. Recruit and motivate community and business volunteers locally and regionally where necessary to increase philanthropic attainment.
g. Lead staff and volunteers to institutionalize fund development within the organization. Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization. Assure that the organization’s culture, systems and procedures support fund development and vice versa.
5. Serve as a member of CWE’s senior leadership team to advance the organization’s goals.
a. Build and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan and increase the number of corporations involved in WBENC programs to support achievement of organization-wide annual and long term goals.
b. Provide counsel and guidance to colleagues on the senior leadership team in order to enhance revenue generation and brand awareness where appropriate.
c. Serve as a proactive problem solver.
d. Ensure that fund development and WBENC programs are carried out in accordance with the organization’s mission, vision and values.
e. Help establish performance measures, monitor results and help the CEO, development committee(s) and board evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s revenue generating programs.
The best candidates for the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships position will possess the following:
- Five to seven years of increasing responsibility and significant revenue generation experience that includes directing all or some aspects of a fund and business development program
- Experience in building and leveraging corporate relationships
- Successful track record managing, developing and inspiring staff teams
- A commitment and track record of working collaboratively to maximize teamwork and camaraderie across the organization
- Strong mission-driven orientation and focus
- Familiarity with greater Boston’s philanthropic community, particularly corporate relations leaders
- Balance of working independently and proactively while at the same time operating collaboratively
- Creative, resilient and strategic in approach
- Outstanding customer service skills
- Excellent presentation, organizational, and writing skills
- Polished and authentic presence with excellent interpersonal skills
- Some travel required to attend WBENC national gatherings as well as to support the sites in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Central Massachusetts
- Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or similar revenue management database software preferred; proven ability working with Microsoft Office products
- Bachelor’s degree
Fundraising and Business Development:
- Proven ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and close five-, six- and seven-figure gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, within an environment that does not have a traditional, built-in constituency. Background in corporate relations and business development preferred.
- Familiarity with all aspects of fund and business development. Fund raising experience including conducting campaigns, major gifts, event management, annual giving, on-line giving, planned giving and institutional giving (including corporate and foundation grants)
- Regional fundraising experience desired
- Previous staff supervisory experience that demonstrates the ability to build, motivate and professionally develop an integrated team
- Knowledge of best practices and the ability to apply them in innovative ways
- Successful experience launching new initiatives
- Experience working with board members and board committees
Interested candidates should confidentially submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to
CJR Strategic Transition Partners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions are confidential. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Salary is commensurate with experience.