Journalism Funding Partners
Founded in late 2019, Journalism Funding Partners (JFP) is a start-up nonprofit with the mission to “help local news organizations serve their fundamental role of informing citizens about their communities.” JFP works directly with newsrooms (both nonprofit and for-profit), foundations, philanthropic entities, individual donors and members of the public to create new ways to fund journalism.
Established in response to the crisis in local journalism, Journalism Funding Partners (formerly McClatchy Journalism Institute) is dedicated to connecting funders and newsrooms to provide content and resources for local journalism. With every part of the local news landscape under threat, JFP seeks to support local professional and academic newsrooms regardless of size, structure, ownership or location – playing a matchmaking role in the growing realm of philanthropy-supported journalism. The majority of JFP’s first-year projects focused on connecting local newsrooms with support from community funders – successfully partnering with 12 news media organizations and shepherding over $1.2 million in philanthropy for specific reporting projects, labs and positions.
Looking at 2021 and beyond, JFP aspires to evolve and expand its philanthropic and programmatic offerings, with possibilities including working with funders to identify projects that fit with their philanthropic goals, raising unrestricted funds from major contributors to make awards to local newsrooms, developing a newsroom fellowship program, and providing training and guidance to newsroom leaders on how to effectively work with funders in their local communities.
The JFP board is made up of 11 volunteers with extensive experience in journalism, education, law, nonprofits and philanthropy. In its first year, JFP was run by its volunteer board with the support of a part-time independent contractor. At the end of 2020, the board approved creation of a full-time, salaried Executive Director position. An interim leader is currently in place to help guide the organization during this search period.
The next Executive Director’s role will include leading the organization during a time of entrepreneurial, mission-driven growth. The Executive Director will be the sole staff member, making it essential that the person be a motivated self-starter, able to balance leadership skill sets with administrative skill sets. The Executive Director will work with a highly engaged, hands-on board of directors to develop new programs and funding models, continue and improve current activities and models, and continually assess how to best achieve JFP’s mission and aspirations.
The Executive Director is expected to work remotely, from their own home or workspace, and the JFP board has no geographic preference for where the Executive Director lives/works.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and oversees all aspects of the organization’s fundraising, operations and programs.
Fundraising and Relationship Management
Identifying, securing and stewarding grants and donations sufficient to ensure both the financial health of the organization and the accomplishment of JFP’s mission and goals – as well as managing the relationships and contracts that match funders with newsrooms and projects.
Leading the Board in ongoing strategic planning to ensure that JFP’s mission and goals are clearly articulated, with an achievable plan to achieve them.
Program Execution, Evaluation and Development
Ensuring that all existing programs are executed with focus and excellence, and leading the board in regular assessment of their impact/efficacy. In collaboration with board members and community partners, developing new programs, activities and funding models to realize the goals articulated in strategic planning.
Management of all financial activities, including budgeting, bookkeeping and reporting – ensuring maximum resource utilization and a positive financial position.
Supervision and implementation of organizational operations including: efficient management of resources, contract management, internal and external communications, file and data management, and other activities necessary to ensure smooth and productive operations.
Working closely with the Board of Directors to support, guide and fulfill the organization’s mission – as defined by the Board – and effectively communicating with the Board, providing in a timely and accurate manner all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
Serving as JFP’s primary spokesperson to partners/constituents, the media and the general public. Managing the website, social media collateral materials.
Engagement in the Journalism Community
Enhancement of JFP’s image by being active and visible in the journalism community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.
Skills and Qualifications Required
SOLID NONPROFIT FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCE
- Five-plus years of demonstrated fundraising success.
- Experience implementing and managing the operational infrastructure required for a successful development program, including database systems and vendor and finance management.
- Comfort and experience identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual, foundation and corporate donors and partners.
- Entrepreneurship, including a proven ability to develop and execute new funding and solicitation models.
DIRECTOR-LEVEL NONPROFIT EXPERIENCE
- Five-plus years at the director-level or above of a 501(c)3 organization.
- Proven ability to have initiative, good judgment, and ability to make decisions independently while working within an engaged, collaborative board structure.
- A track record of budgetary responsibility and sound fiscal management skills.
- Skilled in organizational management with the ability to set and achieve strategic objectives.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, with excellent interpersonal abilities.
- Demonstrated success in modern marketing and communications efforts.
THE ABILITY TO THRIVE AND INSPIRE IN A “VIRTUAL” ORGANIZATION
- A self-starter, comfortable working as the sole staff member.
- Solid administrative skills that ensure an organized home office and excellent institutional operations.
- Tech friendly, skilled in a variety of office software, internet/social-media savvy.
RELATIONSHIP AND RESULTS-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP
- A person of integrity with a strong work ethic, high energy, a sense of humor and humility.
- A well-rounded, big-picture thinker.
- A professional with a strong sense of accountability and a practical ability to get things done, combined with the flexibility to shift direction and experiment with new initiatives.
- Exposure and commitment to diversity and equity. Ability to interact successfully with people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and skill sets – inside and outside of an organization.
- Experience, education and/or networking in journalism/broadcasting preferred.
- A passion for JFP’s work and mission required.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Salary range of $80,000 – $100,000 commensurate with experience, plus a budget for benefits to be determined based on employee’s preference. JFP is an entrepreneurial endeavor, and the board is looking for an Executive Director who can and will grow with the organization.
How to Apply
Interested candidates, please submit a cover letter and resume to the search committee via email to [email protected]. Applications are being accepted through April 1, 2021.