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Vice President of External Affairs
Washington D.C. Area, Currently Remote
Organization Name: 
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

About the Organization

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a community of funders committed to transforming philanthropic culture and practice by connecting members to the resources and relationships needed to support thriving nonprofits and communities. We envision courageous grantmakers working in service of nonprofits and communities to create a just, connected and inclusive society where we can all thrive. With more than 6,000 grantmakers who belong to philanthropic organizations of all sizes and types across the globe, we work to lift up the grantmaking practices that matter most to nonprofits and that truly improve philanthropic practice. Join us to create a greater impact for these communities by helping grantmakers grow along with the nonprofits they serve. To learn more, visit

Position Description

The Vice President of External Affairs is a member of GEO’s senior leadership team, leads the external affairs team and provides strategic leadership for the revenue (membership and development) and communications departments within the team. The VP is an external ambassador for GEO, advancing partnerships, managing strategic relationships in the field and representing the organization externally through meetings, media and communications. The VP is responsible for providing the strategic vision for fundraising, membership and communications. This position reports to the Executive Vice President and has two direct reports, the director of membership & development and the director of communications & marketing. The VP is a dynamic connector with strong leadership, management, and interpersonal skills and significant experience in revenue development and strategic communications.
This job includes between 30-40% travel.
Key Responsiblities
  • Serve as a member of senior leadership team responsible for setting and executing organizational strategy and policy and ensuring GEO’s financial health
  • Contribute to cross-team alignment, collaboration and information-sharing
  • Ensure an organization-wide focus on talent recruitment, development and retention
  • With the rest of the senior team and all staff, cultivate and nurture a strong, inclusive and equitable organizational culture that allows people of different identities, backgrounds and approaches to work to thrive. Attend to results, relationships and process in all facets of work
  • Contribute to evaluation, learning and knowledge management efforts
Membership and Development
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with funders, members, prospective donors and partners: develop insights about stakeholder interests, form connections between peers and ensure feedback loops between revenue team and program teams to help create funder/member engagement opportunities and member-informed programming
  • Lead efforts to grow and strengthen membership community of funders committed to GEO’s change agenda for the field
  • Ensure GEO has a strong pipeline of grant and membership support
  • Strengthen culture where all staff are committed to playing a role in member engagement and revenue development
  • Serve as primary point of contact for strategically significant grants, renewals and prospective members
  • Ensure branding, communications and marketing efforts successfully support organizational goals
  • Lead strategic communications campaigns, such as a campaign to leverage the communications reach of our members to further our goals for the field
  • Develop relationships and build a network of advocates that align with GEO’s mission and vision
  • Serve as public spokesperson to the news media, at external speaking engagements and through written pieces
  • Represent GEO on industry committees and at external meetings and events
  • Steward internal communications efforts, working with the director of people & culture and other staff
Team Leadership
  • Lead the External Affairs team, which connects two departments (the revenue team and the communications team), ensuring ongoing collaboration among these teams as well as with other teams at GEO
  • Supervise the director of membership & development and director of communications & marketing according to principles described in GEO’s supervision philosophy, and coordinate with/support other team members
  • Co-create revenue and communications teams’ strategy, planning and budgeting processes and support other team members in developing and supervising departmental/project budgets as well as understanding and executing GEO’s programmatic and business model
  • Mentor and support team members in their day-to-day work and professional development. Support team supervisors in their supervision and coaching of their direct reports
  • Working with team directors, oversee team hiring and ongoing team development. Support shared learning on the team and throughout the organization through coaching relationships, peer mentoring and talent development
Culture Transformation/ Racial Equity
  • Help GEO make progress on our strategy, advance our change agenda and serve the field in the areas of culture, racial equity and organizational structure and talent
  • Engage and contribute to full and small group conversations around centering racial equity in GEO’s internal culture and external programming
  • Attend to results, relationships and process in all facets of work

Candidate Qualifications

  • Minimum of 10-12 years of experience creating successful strategies in the areas of communications, fundraising and membership, preferably in the non-profit and/or philanthropic field
  • Deep ability to connect people, building and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders (funders, members, prospects and partners)
  • Experience leading and managing teams; organizational leadership experience preferred
  • Knowledge of philanthropy and organizational effectiveness; commitment to GEO's mission and vision to improve philanthropic culture and practice
  • Experience supporting an organization working to center racial equity in culture, practices and work
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills; dynamic presence
  • Ability to attend to results, relationships and process in all facets of work
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint); Salesforce experience a plus


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions

All applicants should e-mail their résumé to Sloane Lichtman at [email protected] (be sure to note the job title in the subject line of your e-mail). No phone calls please.
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is an equal opportunity employer. GEO is committed to equal employment opportunities in recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation and disciplinary action with regard to the terms and conditions of employment. GEO does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation or any other legally protected characteristic.
Equal opportunity employer.

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