Director, Philanthropy and Foresight

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 10, 2021
Jun 08, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Director, Philanthropy and Foresight

Institute for the Future

Institute for the Future (IFTF) is a 53-year-old nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to helping organizations and communities systematically think about the future in order to make better choices today. We produce research, tools, and experiences that equip people with a foresight mindset and the capacity to envision the future and inspire strategic actions that lead to better, more equitable, and resilient futures.

IFTF is committed to increasing its social impact by expanding the use of foresight and futures thinking tools among philanthropic and civic sector organizations in order to help address the most complex challenges facing society. We believe that short-termism is one of the greatest existential threats the world is facing today and see COVID-19 pandemic and associated societal damage as a direct result of short-term thinking. While it is necessary to deal with immediate crises of today, unless we systematically incorporate consideration of longer-term horizon, we will be forever caught in the cycles of fighting fires rather than using today’s financial, social, and political capital in ways that build more equitable, just, and democratic futures. Our mission is to create a future-ready world!

We’re seeking a dynamic and experienced professional to join our leadership team and to lead our efforts to expand the use of futures thinking and foresight in philanthropic and non-profit sectors. A successful candidate would possess a deep understanding of the sector, experience, and established relationships at a senior level within major philanthropic organizations, and be able to connect IFTF’s work in different domains—work, health, economy, education, and others—to the needs and priorities of the sector. The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team and serve as a guide, advisor, and partner to project leaders as well as management.

IFTF offers a creative environment and opportunity to explore new and creative ideas and become a thought leader or to expand existing thought leadership in a domain. Think of this position as your opportunity to actively shape the future!

The IFTF Director, Philanthropy and Foresight will:

• Demonstrate experience in and knowledge of the philanthropic sector

• Have excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to translate ideas in ways

that inspire and facilitate action

• Be entrepreneurial and creative

• Bring leadership to the mission of catalyzing change with foresight and having real-world


• Work collaboratively and respectfully with distributed colleagues on diverse set of projects



• Minimum Bachelor’s degree

• Minimum 5 years of work experience in a senior role or non-profit sectors

• Established network of relationships in the sector

• Ability to generate new philanthropic funding

• Skilled writer and communicator (required)

• Proven leadership skills with the ability to work across multiple projects

• Ability to learn fast, listen, accept feedback, and work with diverse teams

• Comfortable in a creative, experimental, distributed work environment

• Self-starter with flexibility and openness to new ideas and methods



This position is open until filled and is full-time, based in Palo Alto, California, and includes domestic and some international travel. IFTF is currently working in a distributed virtual environment. The position requires communicating presence and the ability to collaborate remotely.



Send a cover letter, resume and two-page writing sample of your work to

PLEASE NOTE: Applications without a cover letter, resume, and writing sample will not be considered.


IFTF values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages people of color, LGBT individuals, women, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. IFTF is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

Institute for the Future is the world’s leading futures thinking organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield uncommonly coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.

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