The Animal Assistance Foundation advances the
welfare of companion animals in Colorado, as a resource and agent
for positive impact, through community investment, collaboration,
The Animal Assistance Foundation (AAF) is a private grant-making
foundation that supports Colorado nonprofits that work with
companion animals and are committed to building Socially Conscious
AAF was established in 1975 and made possible through a generous
donation from the granddaughter of brewer Adolph Coors, Louise
Harrison, who was passionate about animal welfare. Today, AAF
is led by a volunteer board of community members invested in our
AAF believes that animals enrich our lives and communities are
happier and more humane when people and animals live in harmony.
Animal welfare is a community concern, too vast for any single
organization, and requires strong collaboration from multiple
diverse organizations to enact lasting change.
AAF is a socially conscious animal welfare organization. We
believe every animal welfare organization has an ethical
responsibility to balance multiple complex factors to arrive at the
most responsible and humane outcome for every animal.
We believe that euthanasia of companion animals is a humane
alternative to an existence of life without access to the Five
Freedoms, or when public safety is at risk.
The welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state,
and we consider that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a
sense of well-being. Any animal kept by man, must at least, be
protected from unnecessary suffering.
No animal should be denied shelter based on philosophical
differences. We support organizations that accept any animal that
comes to their doors, that place appropriate pets in new homes,
that provide rehabilitation to animals that need extra care and
those that are willing to make the difficult decision to euthanize
animals who are so medically and behaviorally compromised that
placement in the community is inappropriate or unsafe.
Words and phrases do not help animals; innovative programs,
collaborative efforts, new initiatives and strong partnerships that
bring the community together do. The use of divisive language is
detrimental to the welfare of animals in a community and leads to a
decreased level of animal welfare and reduced access to
Collaboration is the key to progress, and we believe in the
power of listening and learning from each other. We know that our
collective strength is greater than our individual
AAF is a member of the Animal Welfare Association of Colorado
and the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance, coalitions leading
the way locally and nationally in supporting and defining best
practices in Socially Conscious sheltering.
Executive Director Position Summary
The board of the Animal Assistance Foundation now seeks a new
Executive Director to lead this impactful,
The Executive Director provides the vision, direction, and
motivation necessary to ensure the Foundation’s success. The
Executive Director makes decisions that result in efficient and
effective foundation functioning, and which contributes to the
dialogue, vision, and direction of the statewide animal welfare
field. The Executive Director creatively expands ways to
leverage the Foundation’s resources, is strategic in funding
choices, demonstrates a deep understanding of the Foundation’s
programmatic areas, evaluates the impact of funding, and
The Executive Director also ensures the Foundation fulfills its
responsibilities to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund including
filling a position on the board of Directors, providing
administrative support for financial, operational, and grant
activities, and coordinating outreach efforts for the Fund.
The Executive Director manages a small team and an annual
operating budget of $1.7 million.
Success as Executive Director
The work of the Executive Director encompasses a variety of
day-to-day tasks from traveling around the state to meet with
partners and initiate community collaboration in Colorado
communities to managing daily operations to investment management
To succeed in this role, the Executive Director needs to
maintain awareness of animal welfare activities and issues around
the state, especially as they relate to the mission of the
The daily work of the Executive Director involves solving
funding and program-related problems, helping local and regional
organizations connect with each other and the resources they need,
and bringing new industry challenges to light so that the
Foundation can address them proactively. Strategic thinking
and relationship building are key to the Foundation’s
The Executive Director is comfortable and savvy navigating
challenging conversations and providing difficult feedback in a
professional, productive, and compassionate way. The
Executive Director is effective in engaging community partners and
developing the role of the Foundation to advance companion animal
welfare in Colorado.
Leading AAF requires an executive who is committed, driven,
flexible, and strategic. Additionally, our new Executive
Director is someone who can balance multiple priorities daily, who
is passionate about making a difference, and who can effectively
engage others in impactful work.
Specific skills and experience are sought in these areas:
Mission & Vision Management
- Demonstrated experience in leading, in knowing how to develop,
implement, and track an effective guiding framework for an
organization’s success along with proven skills in implementing
vision and building community engagement in that vision.
- Some knowledge of animal welfare issues highly preferred;
commitment to our mission, philosophy, and values required.
- Experience in building strong collaborations and partnership
among diverse stakeholders.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills to engage in
challenging conversations and situations with a diverse set of
constituents and audiences.
- Proven ability to be a trusted, respected public face of a
- Demonstrated ability to adapt and innovate to address
challenges as they come.
- Some understanding of impactful philanthropy, best practices in
deploying assets for effective impact and long-term sustainability,
and the assessment of grantee performance.
- Willingness to enhance and measure philanthropic processes that
reflect industry best practices and innovative thinking.
Operations & Administration
- Successful experience in leading nonprofit or community
organizations; animal welfare programs and operations preferred but
- Successful experience in working with, building, and partnering
with a volunteer board of directors.
- Skills in building and executing annual budgets, overseeing
organizational financial management, and administering an
- Experience in and commitment to building work environments that
are welcoming, inclusive, and equitable. Knows how to embed
effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices into all
aspects of organization’s operations.
- Strong organization skills to juggle the substantial variety
and volume of tasks required to ensure the optimal performance of
- Experience with day-to-day operations and oversight of all
facets of a small business.
- Experience in working with non-profit and government agencies
to solve community challenges.
- Strong analytical skills and an ability to identify core
issues, synthesize information, and identify appropriate action
Successful candidates for this role are leaders who can solve
problems, build consensus, and drive for results. We seek
team members who have a high degree of emotional empathy, who can
conceptualize solutions based on evolving and changing conditions,
and who think strategically. Most of all, we value a leader who
cares deeply about how animal welfare contributes to building a
strong, healthy community.
Salary & Benefits
The salary range for this position starts at $130,000.
Fulltime employees are eligible for the Foundation’s health,
retirement, and paid time off benefits.
How to Apply
If you are excited about what lies ahead for the Animal
Assistance Foundation and would like to lead our team, then we
would like to hear from you as soon as possible. Please send
a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations to our search
consultant, Carolyn McCormick of Peak HR Consulting, LLC at
All applications are to be submitted electronically. To learn
more about this position and the work of AAF, please visit us at
The Animal Assistance Foundation is an equal opportunity
employer that values diversity at all levels.