Location: Washington, DC
The Agua Fund, with an annual grantmaking budget of $3 million, is a private foundation based in Washington D.C. The Agua Fund’s mission is to improve the quality of life through support of work to protect the natural environment and to help the poor, disadvantaged, and underserved. The Fund has an engaged board of four people, including the donor and her spouse.
Founded in 2003, the Fund is largely environmentally-focused, with more limited grantmaking in social services for the low-income elderly, improving the health of Native Americans, and non-partisan civic engagement. Environmental grants address water and land issues at the local, regional, and national levels. Historically, the Fund has concentrated on these issues in the seven counties of the Shenandoah River watershed in Virginia while working within the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network to contribute to restoring the six-state Bay watershed. Recently, the Fund has invested more in addressing water issues nationally and seeks to build this part of its program over time.
The Fund has two staff positions, the Executive Director and a Program Officer. The donor’s business office provides space, payroll, and human resource functions at its location in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. The Executive Director reports to the Fund’s board.
The Fund participates actively in several funder affinity groups including the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, the Health and Environmental Funders Network, the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.
The Fund seeks an experienced professional to take the role of Executive Director, who will be responsible for all aspects of the Fund and will further develop and strengthen the Fund’s grantmaking program while giving careful attention to the donor’s stated priorities.
- Continue building a grant portfolio to advance the donor’s priorities.
- Provide strategic guidance to the donor and the board on the best ways to realize the Fund’s mission and priorities, modifying approaches to current grantmaking as needs evolve and recommending strategies to address new priorities.
- Maintain clear and transparent communications between board and staff.
- Represent the Fund within the foundation and nonprofit community, providing leadership in those issue areas that are Fund priorities.
- Work with grantseekers whose work advances the foundation’s funding priorities to develop high quality final proposals.
- Monitor the status of Fund initiatives and grants through regular conversations and site visits.
- Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the Agua Fund’s programs in consultation with outside experts as needed.
- Maintain and refine the Fund’s operational policies as needed.
- Oversee staff and consultants.
- Maintain skills and knowledge within the field of philanthropy—attending seminars and professional training as appropriate.
- At least 12 years of professional experience in areas related to environmental issues.
- Experience with environmental policy related to water and land.
- Experience with non-profit management in a leadership position, including oversight of staff and consultants.
- Commitment to social outcomes in line with the donor’s and the Fund’s values.
- Experience with developing vision, strategy, and program design.
- Strong written, verbal, and graphic communication skills.
- Sense of humor.
- The right person will possess a balance of personal confidence and humility, in keeping with the values of the donor.
A background in philanthropy, family offices, or impact grantmaking and an advanced degree that demonstrates analytical capacity is desired.