Driven by a deep commitment to faith, family, and community service, Bill and Martha Longbrake established the Longbrake Family Foundation (tLFF) in 1999 with a clear mission:
The Longbrake Family Foundation is committed to having a positive impact on peoples’ lives through the support, growth and development of our communities. The Foundation, through non-profit organizations, seeks to give grants that aid affordable housing, education, and Christian mission. We aim to impact the communities we serve primarily through grants for innovative programs as well as ones that enable organizations to enhance and expand their services.
Martha and Bill’s four children (Derek, Mark, David and Dorothy) enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to dedicate their family’s assets to benefit others and they, along with their spouses, play an active role as foundation trustees; they are the second generation (G2) and their eight children, ranging in age from 2 to 15, make up the third generation (G3).
The family’s philanthropy is framed by six key values which reflect who they are and how they approach their giving: Empowering—sharing resources; Innovation—taking chances on new ideas; Family—relationships matter; Christianity—expressing a focus on others; Stewardship—giving thoughtfully; and Joy—multiple generations working together to benefit others.
With a twenty-year track record of collective grantmaking experience, the Longbrake family recently determined a new strategic direction. Seeking to deepen trustee engagement and expand their impact, the Foundation has identified a shared interest in supporting nonprofit leaders who have a vision and passion to advance an organization or program and who would benefit from professional development to achieve their goals. There is a particular interest in emerging leaders exploring a new venture and/or seasoned leaders eager to advance a new initiative that has a level of risk (and reward) that may not attract other philanthropic support in its nascent stage.
The program director is a newly created role that will build on the past twenty years of family-directed work and elevate it to a new level of impact. This person will have the opportunity to shape and influence the family’s newly defined focus area and once the program design is complete, bring it to life through thoughtful implementation and managing ongoing operations. The Foundation’s assets will increase in the coming years and the program(s) designed by this new leader have the potential to grow and scale significantly over time.
This is an entrepreneurial opportunity with significant autonomy to generate creative and innovative program ideas to express the family’s new focus area. The program director will work in close partnership with the Managing Trustee and leverage the knowledge and insights of the full board to develop a program that has the support of all family members.
Key Priorities and Responsibilities
BOARD RELATIONS & ENGAGEMENT
- Readily establish trust and rapport with eight family board members and young adult members of the 3rd generation;
- Develop a strong collaborative partnership with the Managing Trustee;
- Maintain regular cadence of personalized communications with individual board members to ensure they are informed and aligned;
- Identify opportunities to leverage the diverse range of skills and expertise of individual board members; and,
- In coordination with the Managing Trustee, prepare agendas for board meetings and engage in retreat planning and facilitation.
PROGRAM DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION
- Research professional leadership development models and generate conventional and unconventional approaches to new leadership program;
- In close partnership with board, co-create program vision and design a robust strategy supported by data and research that brings the vision to life;
- Build infrastructure to support program implementation and oversee day-to-day program management;
- Develop program evaluation to understand impact and revise program based on learning over time; and,
- Create and maintain relevant networks and stay current in best practices through conferences and professional development.
G3 (3RD GENERATION) PHILANTHROPY EDUCATION
- With a goal of readying younger family members for a future role on the board, work closely with parents of G3 youth to identify and provide age-appropriate resources and activities to serve younger family members (ages 6 to 15); and,
- Collaborate with the Managing Trustee, and G3 mentors (non-parent family member), to create shared learning opportunities for G3 at family retreats that complement and build on what their families are providing at home.
The ideal candidate is a creative self-starter with a track record for bringing philanthropic or community-based programs to life. Critical to this role is the capacity to be generative and iterative in the early visioning stage of program design, combined with the organizational skills and eye for detail necessary for a successful program implementation.
Key functional skills essential to this role include:
- Nonprofit sector experience, ideally from work in community-based organizations;
- Direct knowledge of the challenges faced by nonprofit leaders at all career stages;
- Expertise in leadership development training, leadership coaching, or curriculum development and familiarity with best practices in running a cohort model;
- Understanding of success factors for nonprofit leaders, organizations and networks;
- Well-developed planning, and program development skills, including assessment of strengths and capacity challenges in leaders at different stages; and,
- Experience developing, launching and implementing complex projects with individuals and customized cohorts with a high level of customer satisfaction.
The successful candidate has an affirmative leadership style—unafraid to make decisions and tenacious without being alienating. At the same time, this leader understands that working with a family board requires a facilitative approach, one that puts a strong value on being consultative all the while moving the group to a decision. The successful candidate is an idea generator who holds ownership of those ideas loosely, encouraging a robust exchange of views and demonstrating receptivity to constructive feedback in pursuit of the best outcomes.
The program director has outstanding interpersonal skills that make it possible to readily establish rapport and trust with family members and a highly collaborative partnership with the Managing Trustee. The successful candidate will demonstrate a passion for engaging with families and will use that energy to great effect aligning the family around a shared vision for their new program direction.
Defining personal characteristics include self-confidence tempered with humility, diplomacy, professionalism, graciousness, and trustworthiness. Faith is a core value and integral to the Longbrake Family’s identity; comfort with the family’s expression of their Christian faith in board meetings and in the choice of grantees is essential.
Candidates must have a minimum of 5 to 7 years in progressively responsible, hands on program management roles in philanthropy or community-serving nonprofit organizations. Significant direct experience in leadership training or coaching—either running or participating in a program of this nature—is essential. A facility with technology and knowledge of office productivity software is necessary. Candidates will be considered from diverse backgrounds that might include foundations, nonprofits or education.
Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. An advanced degree in nonprofit management, public policy, social work, or HR (with an emphasis on professional development) would be appreciated.
The Foundation’s office is based in Seattle, as is the Managing Trustee, but family members also reside in the Washington, DC area, New Haven, CT and upstate New York. Given this geographic disbursement of family members, and the current (and potentially future) need to work remotely, the program director may be located in any one of these four regions. An ability and willingness to travel to Seattle once or twice per year, attend an annual family retreat (location varies), meet with each family group within the first six months, and attend a relevant professional development conference with the Managing Trustee is required (assuming compliance with relevant public safety recommendations is possible).