The CEO at SV2 will have the distinct privilege of leading an organization operating at one of the most unique and exciting leverage points for impact in the philanthropic ecosystem. SV2 creates and delivers effective program offerings and nurtures a rich philanthropic partnership network in the Bay Area. The organization engages its Partners to guide them as they work to create systemic and transformative change as well as drive innovation through strategic philanthropy to address the most pressing issues of our time.
SV2’s success is amplified well beyond its programming because of its powerful platform, which brings together the intersection of philanthropy, social impact, and an engaged Partnership that sees the organization itself as a thought leader, agent of change, and influencer. Over its 20+ year history, SV2 has built an impressive and lasting set of strengths that include:
- A respectful and collaborative culture of action where givers, social ventures, and impact leaders work together to create positive change.
- An engaged and financially supportive Partnership and Board.
- A high-performing and extraordinarily dedicated staff.
- Effective and robust donor education programs.
- Strong financial reserves and a Board that is ready to invest in SV2’s future.
Leveraging these strengths as a starting point, the CEO will be a transformational leader who will continue to catalyze SV2’s current network of philanthropists and impact investors to more effectively deliver lasting change, and lay the groundwork to attract future generations of Partners to the organization. Collaborating closely with the Board and Staff, the CEO will launch and lead the process to build SV2’s next strategic plan. This will require a visionary leader with entrepreneurial grit in order to identify and capitalize on new avenues for increased impact and reach, but in a manner that balances appetite for innovation with the practicalities of growth and execution. The CEO will also lead SV2 into a post-COVID-19 world and continue to adapt the organization and iterate on its programming to accommodate greater virtual learning, collaboration, and community-building.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will lead an accomplished team in setting the future direction and strategy for the organization, with ultimate responsibility for its financial health, business development, and operational effectiveness. With an eye towards ensuring a sustainable and revenue-generating business model, the CEO will strengthen existing endeavors while also thinking boldly and innovatively about SV2’s future.
Core responsibilities for the CEO include ensuring that SV2 is resourced with the staff, systems, and processes it needs for success. Leading with humility, emotional intelligence, transparency, and a collaborative approach, the new CEO will set the tone for a culture that promotes and inspires creativity, learning, and innovation.
Key Priorities for the CEO
Vision & Strategy
SV2 has an acclaimed and long history of success for high quality programs that are relevant and impactful. It is now ready for its next strategic chapter. With world and national events bringing about unprecedented change combined with a Bay Area community that is growing increasingly committed to bringing about social good, the CEO will work closely with the Board, Staff, and Partners to assess the current state of SV2’s offerings and begin to map out and evaluate new strategic opportunities that promote organizational sustainability and advance SV2’s capabilities. The CEO will prioritize developing a plan that will retain the best of what SV2 is today while still pursuing bold new initiatives that expand the organization’s unique value proposition in the Bay Area philanthropic sector in a highly adaptive, consumer empathy-driven manner. This may include identifying new cooperating partnerships in the field as well as sector channels to expand organizational reach and impact.
The CEO will lead an inclusive and highly participatory process to develop the future course for SV2’s business and revenue models. By employing sound business and financial acumen as well as understanding organizational priorities, the CEO will ensure the organization is supported with the systems and processes it needs to streamline operations in an increasingly complex world. While COVID-19 should not dominate the long-term strategic thinking for SV2, the CEO will need to take into account how the organization can maintain its unique value propositions, including figuring out how to continue to create a vibrant community platform for Partner learning and networking, and how to shift to compelling, engaging, and meaningful virtual programs.
Equality & Inclusivity
As SV2 continues to pursue and elevate its goals around equality and inclusivity across the organization, with its partner network, and with grantees, the CEO needs to be firmly committed to advancing these priorities and providing leadership to accelerate SV2’s progress. While much has been achieved over the past several years, including instituting progressive grantee-centric funding models, SV2 humbly acknowledges that there is a long road ahead, requiring not just deep reflection, but more importantly, consistent and intentional action. The organization aspires to remain committed to addressing the prosperity paradox in Silicon Valley and address issues that prevent or limit equality of access to resources, opportunities, and participation.
The CEO will lead all business development and revenue generation initiatives, including cultivating new Partner interest and building strategic partnerships with collaborators in the field that support SV2’s financial sustainability. Furthermore, the CEO will serve as SV2’s external face, raising the profile of SV2 and advancing its role as a leader and influencer with other key players in the Silicon Valley philanthropic community. Seeking out opportunities to further build on SV2’s brand, profile, and communications strategies also will be critical in advancing the organization’s role as an ally and advocate in the Bay Area.
Partner & Board Engagement
Building trust, credibility, and a real sense of community with Partners is key to SV2’s theory of change. It is also important to note that a core element of SV2’s model is a participatory Partnership who generously volunteers time and expertise as well as lead a variety of organizational initiatives that otherwise might be handled by paid staff members. As such, the CEO will not only serve as a thought partner and peer to this network of individuals and families, but act with savvy in managing the engagement of this incredible human capital resource. Overall, the CEO will support the Partnership’s journey through SV2’s programs and ensure regular touchpoints are built into their experience with the organization.
The Board members not only are Partners themselves, but also are active in helping the CEO lead the organization. This is a high-functioning body that strikes an impressive balance across strategic contribution, governance, revenue generation, and hands-on support where needed. The Board and CEO serve together as a powerful and collaborative force for innovation, support, and learning.
Organizational Culture & Team Leadership
SV2 has built a healthy and robust organizational culture––at the Board, Partnership and staff levels––and includes a range of core values that include experiential learning, shared leadership, innovation, and collaboration, amongst others. It is essential that the new CEO take the time to understand and be philosophically aligned with the operating environment and culture at SV2. Additionally, as part of the overall strategy setting process described above, the CEO will ensure structural alignment of SV2’s team to the future direction of the organization.
Ideal Candidate Profile
SV2 seeks a dynamic, committed, and entrepreneurial leader who will bring a strong combination of strategy, business modeling, operations, and financial skills to the role. The CEO will have a passion for both effective philanthropy and measurable social impact. The CEO will bring an unwavering commitment to SV2’s mission, and successfully build upon the organization’s renowned reputation as an innovator and pioneer.
This is a thrilling inflection point for SV2 and an ideal time for both reflection and exploration of new opportunities. The CEO will be someone who can push boundaries, be bold in the face of an uncertain world, and bring unbridled enthusiasm and openness to developing SV2’s next strategic chapter. The CEO will be adept at balancing the need to maintain a financially sustainable operation while also pursuing SV2’s ambitions for increased impact, education, and evolution.
This position requires a hands-on leader and tactician who embraces a readiness to transform and lead an organization through change. The CEO must be someone who revels in the challenge and creative process associated with designing new strategic pathways. A successful track record taking organizations and teams through effective, highly collaborative change and vision-setting processes is essential. The CEO must also be capable of communicating these strategies to diverse stakeholders and getting their buy-in as well as leveraging and pulling in the incredible expertise and resources of SV2’s robust Partnership.
An adaptive, confident, and engaging personality, the CEO will operate with a sense of honesty, humility, and transparency. A professional background working in the social impact space is imperative, as well as having an insatiable intellectual curiosity for how the philanthropic and social change sectors are evolving. Backed by sound data and market analysis, the CEO will identify trends and curate new strategic opportunities for the Board to consider. While the CEO must be a key contributor and leader in SV2’s future vision-setting work, this person must also effectively shepherd an inclusive set of perspectives and voices from multiple stakeholder groups in order to create alignment around SV2’s direction as well as ensure shared ownership and participation in its execution.
A true servant-leader, the SV2 CEO must be a skilled and active listener, intuiting themes and dynamics behind the words spoken. A command-and-control style or individuals seeking to elevate their own leadership status are non-starters. Instead, the CEO must nurture an environment where vision-setting, strategy development, and execution are shared responsibilities amongst the Board, Staff, and Partners, and where being in service to others is valued above all else. SV2 and its partner network operate across a complex set of issues and will need a CEO who can lead with confidence to convey credibility and trust along with humor, gratitude, and grace.
The CEO will be a natural relationship, community, and bridge builder, and able to do so in a manner that establishes empathy and support in everything they do. SV2 is a peer-to-peer, high touch, and high accomplishment network of Partners. Candidates must therefore possess the judgment and discretion required when working with and supporting this profile of philanthropists. Exhibiting warmth, compassion, and a genuine desire to help in the humblest of ways is essential to the success of this position.
The ideal candidate will have a meaningful connection to and deep understanding of the Bay Area / Silicon Valley community, culture, and mindset. The CEO will be expected to capitalize on opportunities and partnerships that are unique to this region, and therefore must have the knowledge and sophistication needed to navigate this specific geographic context.
Candidates will ideally have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible leadership experience. A background working in the social sector, most especially in philanthropy or for social change more broadly, is highly desirable.
Experience as a key spokesperson for an organization and a demonstrated track record in sophisticated fundraising or business development activities is essential. Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills are a must since this position will be required to move seamlessly across a diverse network of high-net-worth constituencies in the Bay Area. The CEO must be open to traveling domestically as needed (assuming compliance with relevant public safety recommendations is possible); however, travel has typically not been a core element of the SV2 CEO role given the organization’s Bay Area focus.