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The Laughing Gull Foundation (LGF) is a progressive family foundation rooted in the US South. The foundation envisions healthy and sustainable communities where everyone can be their whole selves and live in balance with the earth. LGF works to create a world in which everyone is supported, included, embraced, and protected, especially those who have been pushed to the margins of our human family.
LGF’s mission is to honor our family’s evolving identity while proactively addressing broken systems that have created inequality and harmed our planet. The foundation leverages its resources to transform systems, institutions and relationships for the benefit of people and the environment. LGF works towards its mission through grantmaking, funder organizing and impact investing, in support of three priorities: LGBTQ equality, higher education in prison, and environmental justice. In the service of its commitment to the redistribution of wealth, LGF plans to spend out its assets over the next 16 years. LGF’s strategic goals for its tenure include progress on the priority issues it supports, growth of progressive philanthropy in the US South, and sustenance of a vibrant learning community.
Laughing Gull Foundation was founded in 2012 and is based in Durham, North Carolina. LGF is led by an engaged and committed board of directors, all of whom are members of the founding family. LGF granted approximately $3.5 million in 2019, and plans to achieve an annual grantmaking budget of $6 million across all three grantmaking programs by 2022. Currently a staff of five, LGF plans to grow to a full staff of six by 2021.
LGF is the largest Southern-based funder of LGBTQ issues. In 2019, LGF made grants totaling $1.9 million to 32 organizations supporting the LGBTQ community in the South. LGF played an instrumental role in creating and launching the Out in the South Initiative housed at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and continues to serve as a leader in organizing support for LGBTQ issues among philanthropic peers.
The foundation’s values guide how it carries out its philanthropic mission. Those values include building authentic relationships, supporting impact and sustainability, and holding a power analysis with humility. LGF is actively building its analysis of structural racism, and formalizing a racial equity lens in all of LGF’s work. LGF honors the expertise of leaders and organizations, and therefore prioritizes multi-year grantee relationships and general operating support whenever possible. The foundation’s organizational culture mirrors its values. LGF is a learning organization with a relational and engaged staff and board culture.
LGF is excited to welcome the next leader of its groundbreaking LGBTQ Equality Program. The Program supports advocacy, organizing, direct services and the work of changing hearts and minds. LGF prioritizes organizations that are intersectional and/or committed to building their racial equity analysis and practices. Geographically, the LGBTQ Equality Program focuses specifically on Virginia and North Carolina, and also invests in work that supports the LGBTQ community across the South.
The Program Officer will manage the LGBTQ Equality Program and engage in philanthropic networking and organizing. The Program Officer will engage current grantees, identify new grantees, and support the learning and networking of LGBTQ communities and movements in the South. Given LGF’s plan to spend down in 16 years, and its unique position as the largest Southern-based funder of LGBTQ issues, philanthropic organizing is integral to supporting LGBTQ communities and meeting LGF’s mission. The Program Officer will play a critical role in working with other funders, both in the South and nationally, to increase support for LGBTQ communities in the South.
The Program Officer will be supervised by the Executive Director and will work out of LGF’s office in Durham.
Location: Somerville, Massachusetts
Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) provides leadership for sustaining the city of Somerville as a vibrant, diverse and tolerant community. SCC is working to ensure opportunities for people in Somerville: to live in stable and affordable housing, to work in decent jobs with fair wages and to take on leadership in shaping the community’s future.
Organization and Programs
To achieve its mission and vision for Somerville, SCC:
- Increases the supply of affordable housing across the city through direct development and by advocating for public policies that support affordability and stability in the housing market;
- Expands employment programs that connect workers to good jobs, advocating for employment standards and public policies that support the creation of good jobs;
- Builds the leadership of residents across the city, and helps to raise the voice of immigrants and other underrepresented constituencies; and
- Grows its own organization and impact through partnerships and relationship-building, intergenerational membership growth, program development, and organizational financial strength.
Real Estate Development
In order to keep Somerville economically diverse, SCC builds affordable rental housing, creates homeownership opportunities and develops retail spaces. SCC owns and operates 219 units of rental housing and more than 9,000 square feet of commercial space. SCC has also developed over 125 affordable homeownership units. In the last two years SCC, with Community Preservation Act funds, has purchased 70 units in existing single family and two- to 16-unit properties through the 100 Homes program, a partnership with the City of Somerville, to permanently preserve the affordability of the existing housing stock in an escalating Somerville housing market.
In addition to real estate development, in 2006, SCC expanded its focus on the other side of the affordability equation – helping residents sustain themselves in Somerville with sufficient incomes and increasing assets. To those ends, programs currently offered include Financial Literacy, First Time Homebuyers classes and the First Source Jobs Program.
Community Organizing and Planning
SCC works to empower Somerville residents to become active leaders in the community. SCC members organize for affordable housing, local jobs, and grassroots planning and have the opportunity to develop leadership skills. Residents can participate in the Affordable Housing Organizing Committee, Union United, Jobs for Somerville and SCC’s Leadership Development Institute. In addition, SCC runs a mediation program that works with students in the Somerville high school and elementary schools to help peacefully resolve their disputes, while also working with the court system and community agencies to help others solve conflicts.
About the Organization
Episcopal City Mission (ECM) is a justice organization that works with Episcopal communities (parishes, chaplaincies, missions etc.), grassroots organizations, and faith-rooted organizations that are addressing racial and economic injustice.
The mission of ECM is to build relationships and collective power across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for racial and economic justice as the expression of God’s transforming love. The organization does this by developing, convening, mobilizing, and funding prophetic leaders in Episcopal communities, grassroots organizations and faith-rooted organizations.
Founded in 1844, this well-respected, trusted organization has a strong history of successfully partnering with Episcopalians, faith-rooted communities and grassroots organizations and movements. ECM demonstrates its organizational commitment to social justice by integrating spirituality and justice in its internal practices and external partnerships. The organization has a strong commitment to embodying its organizational values of liberation and equity, transformational learning, purposeful action, collaboration and partnership, and spirituality and faith.
ECM exists at the nexus of grassroots community organizing, movement building and faith-rooted justice engagement. ECM builds capacity, resilience, and active participation in movements for social justice. The current activities that support the work include grantmaking, convening, leadership development training, and mobilizing for action. ECM is most known for a strong track record of grant making through Burgess Urban and Parish Partnership Funds.
In recent years, ECM has made many internal strategic updates to better serve its community and constituents. In addition to tripling its staff size since 2014, ECM merged with the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI), an organization that specialized in values-centered leadership training through the teaching of community organizing tools.
Current three-year goals for ECM include:
- Activate and support a base of Episcopalians across Massachusetts who work for economic and racial justice in partnership with the Diocese and Episcopalian Communities.
- Increase resilience of organizations and leaders in ECM’s social justice network.
- Build an accompaniment network for immigrant justice in the Bristol region through collaboration with local partners.
Reflective of ECM’s values-centered leadership approach, this learning organization offers a highly-relational, reflective workplace that is committed to excellence. Staff enjoy a welcoming culture of balance and collaboration and are encouraged to be their whole, authentic selves. ECM’s environment is one in which staff and staff leaders work together to “roll up their sleeves” and get the work done and contribute to the emerging culture and strategy.
ECM is seeking a Director of Philanthropy, Learning and Evaluation (Director) to:
- Align the organization’s grantmaking purpose, process and practice with organizational values and strategy.
- Develop a learning agenda to guide the evolution of organizational strategy and culture that will eventually guide its measurement and evaluation practices.
- Support relationships across a broad network of grassroots, philanthropic and faith-rooted justice organizations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Partner with the management team to shape organizational strategy and culture.
The Director will be a part of the senior management team and will work collaboratively with ECM Staff, Board, Grant Committees, grantees, and philanthropic partners. This position reports to the Executive Director of ECM.
Community Housing Advocates (CHA) was established in 2018 to serve as the parent corporation and administrative services provider for its two affiliates, Mercy Housing Corporation and My Sisters’ Place. Mercy Housing was founded by the Sisters of Mercy, with the purchase of St. Elizabeth’s House on Main Street in Hartford in 1983, and My Sisters’ Place was founded in 1982 as a shelter for women with infants. Today, as affiliates of Community Housing Advocates, the combined organization has 75 staff, an annual budget of $9m and seven program sites in Hartford and West Hartford.
CHA is a leading provider of support services and housing solutions for men, women and children in the Hartford, Connecticut metropolitan area who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Its housing and support services, including the region’s primary homelessness Diversion Center, are a critically important part of Hartford’s fabric of services. On a given night, nearly 325 people are sleeping in a bed at one of Community Housing Advocates’ spectrum of housing options; and over the course of a year its Friendship Center serves more than 67,000 meals to community members in need. CHA’s affiliates are members of the Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network and integral members of the region’s mission to end homelessness. CHA’s mission is to contribute to the elimination of chronic homelessness in the Hartford area.
This newly merged nonprofit unites two complementary, well-regarded, champions of the fight to end homelessness in Hartford, and following the retirement and transition of prior leaders, CHA is currently led by the former Chief Operating Officer of My Sisters’ Place, serving as an interim executive to support operations during the transition.
The Board of Directors of Community Housing Advocates seeks a dynamic, inspiring professional with a collaborative leadership style, excellent communication skills and the passion and competence for engaged leadership both internally and with partners in the wider Hartford homeless services system. The board seeks an individual with a career history that demonstrates deep commitment to the values of its affiliates, and an entrepreneurial mindset to lead this highly effective organization as it plans to deepen its impact, grow its service offerings and fully manifest the benefits of the recent merger.
Programs and Services
Community Housing Advocates operates a broad portfolio of high-impact programs and services designed to effectively implement its mission and support key strategic aims, including:
- The Friendship Center at St. Elizabeth’s House served more than 67,000 meals in 2018.
- The Residential Program at St. Elizabeth’s House provides housing and intensive case management to 47 homeless adults for up to 90 days.
- The Rapid Re-Housing Program provides case management and housing services to assist individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless, quickly access and stabilize their housing.
- The Diversion Center connects households (individuals and families) with services that help them preserve their current housing situation or assists them in finding housing outside of shelter.
- The Community Respite Program provides short-term housing for adults experiencing mental health crisis, which allows them to avoid in-patient hospital stays.
- The Women’s Program and Catherine’s Place provide a 90-day housing and supportive services program for women in recovery. This program works to transition women from treatment into the community, or when awaiting another level of care in their treatment program.
- The Veteran’s Program provides case management services and housing for Veterans.
- The combined 64 units at Mary Seymour Place Apartments and Sue Ann Shay Place Apartments provide supportive housing for low-income individuals and families who were formerly homeless and unable to hold their own lease.
- The Scattered Site Housing Program provides supportive services to men and women with psychiatric disabilities, helping them to live in their own apartments, “scattered” throughout the Hartford area.
- Housing Coordination Programs provide a variety of resources including rent, subsidies, security deposits, loans and help with negotiating the local housing market for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.
- The Youth Program supports 70-80 children resident in one of CHA’s housing programs through social, educational and cultural activities.
New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms partners with people to care for our urban landscape so all people discover, access, and enjoy the lands and waters that provide food, health, and life.
This newly merged organization unites two nonprofits that have been leaders and innovators of New Haven’s urban environmental movement. The New Haven Land Trust (NHLT), Connecticut’s first urban land trust, has served the community for nearly 40 years by acquiring and stewarding over 80 acres of nature preserves city-wide and by supporting 55 community gardens throughout New Haven’s diverse neighborhoods. NHLT has grown significantly over the last five years to include programs for young environmental entrepreneurs and a marine and coastal exploration summer camp on Long Island Sound. New Haven Farms (NHF) burst onto the scene seven years ago with its innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program that partners with medical centers to engage people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in planting, growing, and harvesting at their seven farms across New Haven.
Both organizations have a growing commitment to racial equity and community leadership and have taken strides in cultivating community ownership among its stakeholders. A large part of both organizations’ work, especially New Haven Farms, takes place in bi-lingual settings, with Spanish as the predominant language. The merged organization synergizes closely aligned missions, values, programming, and diverse support networks into a powerhouse leader for advancing engagement and stewardship of urban nature as a resource for healthy people and communities.
The board of this newly formed organization now seeks a courageous leader and enthusiastic fundraiser who can assemble the many combined strengths of NHLT-NHF to launcha new phase of development and growth. This is a tremendous opportunity for an innovative nonprofit leader to grow an organization that is working at the intersection of urban agriculture, public health, food access, participatory community development, environmental education and stewardship, and youth development. The successful candidate will be passionate about these expressions of the mission, will be able to guide the organization in implementing practices that ensure racial and economic equity, and will help transition it into an organization that is primarily led by the communities it serves. She/he/they will also have significant experience and success in raising funds from diverse sources and advancing the strategic direction and operations of a not-for-profit organization with multiple, interlocking program areas.
About New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms
These two organizations have been working closely together over a number of years and co-located their offices in 2018. A merger was discussed for the last several years and the two organizations decided to formally initiate the process with the legal combination scheduled for January 1, 2020. In the midst of this, New Haven Land Trust’s executive director, who had significantly grown the organization over the last six years, announced that he would step down from his post to pursue other interests. The Land Trust’s board engaged an interim executive director to lead the organization until the merger was completed and a new executive hired. The merger process has been smooth and supported by all, including staff and board members, program participants, and community stakeholders.
The new organization offers a platform of innovative programs that coactively impact the interrelated spheres of urban agriculture, public health, participatory community development, youth entrepreneurship, and environmental education and stewardship.
The seven farms and more than fifty community gardens managed by NHLT-NHF have a significant urban agricultural footprint in New Haven. The farms and gardens promote community development and public health, most notably through the innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program, which engages people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in gardening and learning about nutrition and cooking healthy meals at one of the seven farms. All graduates of this program are invited to grow food in their own garden plots at one of the community gardens as part of the Incubator Garden Program, and exemplary graduates of the program become Community Health Ambassadors in their own communities through training in leadership and behavior change methodologies. Community Garden members are encouraged to serve on the Community Garden Committee, which supports the Garden Manager in stewarding the health of both the gardens and the community of growers.
Equally important is the organization’s focus on accessing the natural environment through education, land conservation and stewardship, recreation, and youth development and entrepreneurship. Its innovative Growing Entrepreneurs Program works with New Haven high school students to develop small-business ventures with a positive impact on the environment and the New Haven community. The organization manages six nature preserves,featuring important natural resources and habitats located throughout New Haven. It holds field trips and guided nature walks in the preserves to connect people to the abundance of nature in the city and reinforce the importance of conservation in urban areas. Schooner is a highly successful summer camp program that brings kids ages six to fourteen to the Connecticut shoreline to learn about the rich coastal habitat of the Long Island Sound through shore exploration and sailing. Fifty percent of all campers utilize a scholarship to attend the camp, and over the past two summers, more than half of the sailing program campers were experiencing sailing for the first time.
The organization is supported by a staff of nine full-time and three part-time members. It is governed by a 19-member board of directors comprised of community leaders from the fields of health, law, finance, public policy, non-profit management, and business. While the board is diverse along the dimension of gender and includes a member from their programs, it is committed to expanding racial, ethnic, and other dimensions of diversity to more fully reflect the community that it serves. The organization has a budget of just under $1M, with nearly $350,000 in reserves. Its revenue is generated from a mix of individual, corporate and family foundation, and corporate support, as well as earned revenue through Schooner and the sale of food through a farm stand and restaurant contracts.
The Windsor Historical Society: Bridging Centuries. Bridging Cultures.
The Windsor Historical Society’s mission is to inspire public awareness and appreciation of the diverse people, places, and events that contribute to Windsor’s evolving history.
We preserve and interpret Windsor’s historical record through active collecting, research, exhibitions, programs, and communications in the belief that an understanding of history can provide individuals and communities with connections to the past, a sense of belonging in the present, and responsibility for the future.
Founded in 1921, the Windsor Historical Society (the Society) has brought the rich and evolving history of Windsor to life for the community and its visitors for nearly 100 years. Its extensive museum campus, which includes two historic homes, exhibit galleries, a research and genealogy library and a museum shop, is a centerpiece of Windsor’s historic district, a town that is known for being the oldest in Connecticut. The Society is known for its wide breadth of collections, an extensive research library and its innovative, engaging and varied public programs that draw people from across town and state lines. Additionally, the Society recently gained national attention for the innovative restoration and re-interpretation of one of its historic homes. The organization rests on a foundation of financial stability and a staff team of five of both professional and support staff.
With the retirement of its long-term executive director, The Windsor Historical Society now seeks a dynamic leader and enthusiastic fundraiser who can build from the Society’s many strengths to grow it to the next level of its important mission. The successful candidate will be passionate about history and have significant experience and success in raising funds from diverse sources and advancing the strategic direction and operations of a not-for-profit organization.
About The Windsor Historical Society
In the field of historical societies across the nation, the Windsor Historical Society is looked on as a thought leader in its development of creative, diverse and responsive programming and exhibits. Its public programs include lectures, family events, a genealogy support group, writing contests and an oral history project currently underway in partnership with Windsor’s local TV station. It has a strong partnership with Windsor Public Schools and provides tours, student exhibitions, classroom presentations and student scholarships.
Its collection of approximately 11,000 items is extensive, varied and always growing. In 2015, the Society renovated the Strong-Howard House – supported by a $750,000 capital campaign – and, in a stroke of innovative genius, re-interpreted the home to appear as it looked in 1810, complete with all reproduction furnishings so that it could be a hands-on exhibit, which has since gained national recognition.
The Society has a strong presence on social media, with approximately 3,000 followers who enjoy the daily photo posts of items from their collection with commentary and links to related articles. In addition, staff members publish a quarterly newsletter that includes professional-quality articles on various aspects of Windsor’s history.
The organization is very involved in the broader Windsor community – staff members attend community events and often take an advocacy lead in community preservation efforts.
The Society stands out among many of its historical museum peers for the level of professionalism among its team of three full-time and three part-time staff: all uphold strong professional standards of practice excellence and customer service. It also has a committed corps of volunteers who perform daily supportive functions as docents, receptionists and researchers. The organization is governed by a 13-member board of directors comprised of community leaders from the fields of history, speech pathology, education, social services, finance, legal, information technology and website design.
The Society is a membership organization and currently has approximately 550 members, some of whom live in other states. It has a budget of just under $500,000. Its operations are also supported by a sizeable endowment, thanks to generous bequests in 1959 and 1985 and more recent times, which contributes between 60% and 70% of the annual budget. The organization is in the process of implementing a thoughtful strategic plan that re-positioned the mission and vision and set a clear path for the organization 2017-2020.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
The Windsor Historical Society is at an important juncture as it transitions from a long-term executive director who built a firm base of financial stability and strong and professional operations to a new leader empowered to maintain and strengthen the Society’s legacy of bringing Windsor’s history to life through innovative programs and exhibits and extensive library collections.
The next Executive Director of the Windsor Historical Society will inherit a tremendous opportunity to further leverage the Society’s many strengths to take its innovative programming to a new level, broaden its reach and engage more diverse segments of the community in learning about the rich history of Windsor.
- There is across the country a renewed interest in history, perhaps stoked by the increasing number of people exploring their genealogy. The Society has an opportunity to leverage this interest to attract more people to its programs, exhibits, extensive library collections and its already active genealogy program.
- Trends in the historical museum arena have made history more accessible. Historical museums across the country are reimagining their exhibits to create experiences that place the person in another time and “personalize” or tailor, their programs to specific segments of the population. These trends give the individual a more direct experience of the historical moment and thus make the historical museum experience more attractive. The Society is already doing some innovative programming along these lines, but has an opportunity to further enhance this aspect of its work.
- An increasing number of young families in Windsor: the Society has the opportunity to engage younger residents in new and creative ways.
- Increase in the use of digital platforms for accessing information: the Society has already leveraged this in bringing its collections and historical content to people on Facebook and Instagram, and can continue to stay on the forefront of digital platforms through the use of video and on-line fundraising methods.
- Windsor’s population has been growing each year by around 1% - housing is relatively affordable and thus attractive to young families; median household income is in the mid-80s, with a high level of giving potential.
- Outreach and Community Engagement:
A number of factors pose challenges to engaging all segments of Windsor’s diverse community:
- With busy lives and an ever-expanding range of entertainment and information at their digital fingertips, residents under 40 are an audience whose attention is difficult to capture and who may be unlikely to attend the Society’s events.
- Many people may perceive the Society as focusing on white colonial history; the organization is challenged in its attempt to reach out and engage all segments of Windsor’s diverse population.
- Windsor has a fairly high turnover of residents and those who are more transient feel less connection to the history of the town.
- Resource Development:
Many nonprofits in town are tapping the same funding sources; those passionate about history are aging out, leading to a decline in funders, membership, and volunteers; and corporate funding priorities have shifted toward education or youth programming. Most of the larger corporations in Windsor are located in the outskirts of town and don’t feel connected to the community.
- The Historical Museum Market:
Competition for attention is stiff – nearly every town has its own historical society, and some of the more substantial ones – with large budgets and varied and attractive programs – are within an hour or so of driving distance from Windsor. Additionally, Connecticut’s historical organizations tend toward independence and there’s little/no interest in collaborating or partnering in ways that could increase visitor-ship and revenues for all involved. On top of this, Windsor has an unusually high number of civic and nonprofit organizations who are all competing for residents’ time and attention.
- Space for Collections:
As the Historical Society’s profile has grown, so have its collections. Despite the Society’s cautious criteria for accepting pieces that align with the mission, items continue to stream in, thus placing more strain on its storage capacity.