About the Organization

The Water Foundation is an ambitious new organization dedicated to advancing long-term, sustainable water management in the American West and beyond. In its first iteration, as a project of the Resources Legacy Fund, it invested over $30 million to improve the long-term availability of clean, safe water for California. It is now expanding beyond California, and has assembled a respected team of experts in water, mobilized partner organizations, and engaged diverse constituents to help chart its course. The foundation continues to invest in targeted regions to advance water policy reforms, convene coalitions to improve how water is used, and strengthen the entire water field. 

The Water Foundation has a strong track record of success, notably including education and analysis to support the 2014 passage of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The foundation currently advances a broad range of priorities, from ensuring safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water to balancing use of the region’s major river systems. With a talented staff and ongoing support from major funders, the foundation is poised to move to a new level of influence and impact.

The Water Foundation has offices in Sacramento, Oakland, and Los Angeles. More information can be found at www.waterfdn.org.

Ideal Candidate Profile

Above all, the ideal candidate must lead with a genuine passion for the mission of the Water Foundation and an excitement about joining a team committed to making systems level, sector-wide change. The incoming Director of Strategic Partnerships does not need to bring established expertise in the water space, but must possess the intellectual curiosity to ramp up quickly on sector-specific knowledge. As a seasoned fundraiser, a successful candidate understands how to leverage the power of storytelling to relate to the various stakeholders and their respective interests and goals.

The Water Foundation seeks an individual who brings a strategic mindset and works collaboratively and supportively with all relevant stakeholders. This person effectively partners with the program staff and serves as a primary contact for distinguished, high profile funders. S/he brings substantial fundraising experience with a focus on foundation relations and an understanding of how to keep pace with developments in philanthropic giving, anticipating where the Water Foundation can successfully position itself in those conversations. Central to that work is the ability to develop and grow relationships with funders operating at the height of the donor ecosystem. This person joins an organization that is in building mode and needs to be comfortable with ambiguity, while thriving in situations where s/he is tasked with driving towards clarity. The candidate possesses a combination of high level strategy chops, along with systems and development operations experience. While not working alone on those workstreams, s/he will play a key role in defining and designing them.

The Water Foundation’s culture is one that values hard work, respect, kindness, and a sense of humor. As a thought leader in the organization, it is essential that the Director has the ability to collaborate, listen, learn from others, and bring a sense of humility to the work. Recognizing that this is an entrepreneurial environment, the Water Foundation staff are agile and adaptable and will need the same from this Director, who has the opportunity to drive the team and organization to more clearly defined systems, processes, and tools.