The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is excited to share
the following position announcement initiating our search for a
Lowcountry Program Director. Please feel free to share this widely
within your networks and recommend any potential candidates who may
come to mind.
We have retained Marcia Festen, a Chicago-based search
consultant, to help us fill this position. She can be reached
at Marcia@Festen.net or
773-251-4001, and all applications or formal inquiries can be
submitted to email@example.com.
While the position will remain open until filled, our goal is to
make a selection by later in the fall.
The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (“GDDF”) is a
70-year-old family foundation with offices in Chicago
and Charleston, SC. Our mission is to sustain and build
resilient, vital, engaged, and equitable communities in
the Chicago metro region and coastal South Carolina through
grantmaking programs in the following areas:
Artistic Vitality, Land Conservation, and Regionally-focused
GDDF has developed a proactive, multifaceted approach to
supporting grantees. Beyond grantmaking, the
Foundation provides technical assistance programs, financial
assistance vehicles, grantee convenings,
communications support and engages in other forms of mission
advocacy. GDDF strives to build deep
partnerships with grantees, and we are committed to ensuring
diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of
our work. GDDF is a recognized philanthropic leader in its two
regions and has been rated by its grantees
through the Center for Effective Philanthropy as one of the highest
impact foundations in the United States.
The GDDF endowment is over $200 million, and we award
approximately $7 million in grants to a portfolio of
nearly 300 organizations each year. Funding is divided almost
equally between land conservation grants and arts
and collections grants. In addition, other mission-advancing
activities are conducted by staff, through consultants, and in
partnership with other funders. In all its work, the Foundation
places an emphasis on program strategy and impact.
GDDF is governed by a diverse, 15-member Board of Directors.
Historically and currently, the majority of the Board are not
family members. Board members are selected to provide a diversity
of thought and representation and specific expertise in the
three giving areas and our two regions. The Board has six operating
committees; each has a dedicated staff
liaison. Additional information on the Foundation can be found
on our website: www.gddf.org.
THE POSITION: Lowcountry, South Carolina Program
The Foundation seeks a dynamic and thoughtful leader to direct its
work across 11 counties in coastal South
Carolina. The Program Director serves in a senior leadership role
and works collaboratively with other staff to
integrate the Foundation’s Lowcountry work with its other efforts.
The successful candidate will possess a strong combination of
critical thinking, interpersonal, communications, and program
management skills. This is a fulltime position based in
Charleston and reporting to the Executive Director in Chicago.
Extensive travel within South Carolina, to Chicago, and
elsewhere is required.
- With the Executive Director and other staff, develop and refine
grantmaking and complementary strategies to advance the
- Seek out and respond to opportunities for grantmaking,
partnerships, and other program investments; explore potential
new approaches to expand the Foundation’s reach and impact. Ensure
that all funding and related efforts advance the Foundation’s
- Evaluate and recommend action on funding requests; frequently
meet with grantees and prospective grantees. Collaborate with
Chicago staff on all grant recommendations across both
- Manage, support, and evaluate the work of project consultants;
assure a continuing two-way flow of information between
consultants and Foundation staff.
- Share information, explore opportunities for collaboration, and
develop joint initiatives with other foundations and
non-grantee stakeholders. Participate in and, where appropriate,
lead joint efforts and partnerships.
- Work cooperatively with other staff to support all facets of
the Foundation’s operations, including working
closely with the Chicago-based program team and Director of Finance
- Advance the mission of the Foundation beyond grantmaking
through various forms of engagement with grantees and broadly
with diverse constituencies and by deploying communications and
other mission-related advocacy tools. Integrate strategies and
goals related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into all facets of
- Serve as the Foundation’s ambassador across the Lowcountry
region, including with public officials,
media representatives, and other community leaders.
The successful candidate will be entrepreneurial, creative,
flexible, and intellectually curious. S/he will have
excellent judgment, a strong appreciation for the contexts in
which the Foundation advances its mission, a broad set
of interests and experience, and a keen sense of the
importance of the Foundation’s mission. Professional
experience or personal background in South Carolina or the
Southeast is a strong plus. In particular, the Foundation is
looking for a candidate with the following skills and
- Demonstrated keen interest in the Foundation’s mission areas,
with successful leadership experience in a related field. A
deep appreciation of the ways in which natural area stewardship,
artistic expression, and cultural vitality are critical to
healthy, vibrant, and prosperous communities.
- A minimum of 10 years relevant professional experience; a
successful track record of working both independently and as
part of an interdisciplinary team, and in project management.
Experience in the not-for-profit or public sector is strongly
- Evidence of ability to engage with diverse constituencies.
- Strong strategic thinking, planning, networking and
partnership-building skills; the capacity to imagine and
give life to new ways of fostering the progress the Foundation
- Excellent communication, evaluation, and analytic skills;
proven ability to work with technical and financial
information, including managing budgets. Effectiveness as a
convener, collaborator and communicator.
- Advanced degree in a relevant field preferred.
Compensation and Benefits:
Salary range: $125,000-$140,000. We also offer an excellent
benefits package that includes health and life
insurance, vision and dental programs, and a generous 403(b)
The position will remain open until filled, with candidates to be
selected for interviews by mid-fall 2022. To ensure timely
consideration, please send your cover letter and résumé to:
The cover letter should address the following topics:
- Why are you interested in advancing the mission and work of
GDDF in the Lowcountry of South Carolina?
- How would you build on prior professional experiences in taking
on this opportunity?
- Identify a leadership role you took on and describe what impact
We are unable to respond to applicants personally and have
enlisted a consultant, Marcia Festen, to manage our search.
Please direct questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GDDF is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to create
an equitable environment for all members of its community. The
Foundation is committed to building a team that represents a
variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. It is
committed to providing employees, interns, grantees and partners
with an environment free of discrimination and harassment.
GDDF employs individuals based on individual qualifications and
job requirements without regard to that individual’s race,
sex, age, religion or belief, color, national origin, ethnic
origin, physical, mental or sensory disability, medical
history or genetic information, family or parental status, past or
present military status, sexual orientation, gender identity
and/or expression, HIV status, housing status, or any other
non-merit factor. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all
personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation,
benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and
opportunities for training.
Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made
so that all qualified applicants may participate in the
process and be considered for employment. Please advise in writing
at the time of application.