Start-Up Executive Director, Defy Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia Area, Full-Time, Exempt Position
You care deeply for advancing social change and “leveling the playing field” for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. You like a challenge and know how to develop and execute strategies that achieve aggressive fundraising goals and facilitate growth. You are an experienced, resourceful, and strategic leader and manager, with proven skills to cultivate local individual, foundation, and corporate support as an effective pipeline to sustained growth and to get the best from your team. You are capable of leading the continued development of Defy’s life-transforming work in Pennsylvania and you are excited to contribute to the evolution of the national organization. You are dynamic, entrepreneurial, and relational, and are most satisfied when your work has deep, meaningful impact. You are able to develop a collaborative and participatory culture, for your team, the participants in the program and the volunteer network.
You will have the support of teammates who look out for you and want you to succeed. You will make a difference in one of the most important and challenging social justice movements in the country. This is a full-time, remote position that is based in the Philadelphia area. We may choose to open an office in the Philadelphia area within the next 18 months, at which time this position would be based there, with at least 2 days per week in the office.
- With the support of the Defy national team, ensure the successful launch of the Defy Pennsylvania chapter by developing, stewarding and growing a community of champions and financial investors to ensure financial stability (chapter budget of $300,000)
- Source and develop relationships with high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations to fund the PA program budget and in support of national priorities
- Lead and manage the Defy PA full-time and part-time staff (approximately 1 - 2 full or part time direct reports by end of year)
- Engage area business leaders and broader business community in Defy’s mission as volunteers for Defy’s various volunteer programs (e.g. business coaching days, pitch competition judges, guest speakers, mentors and coaches)
- Raise Defy’s profile through marketing, local speaking engagements, and one-on-one networking with key stakeholders, media outlets and the general public to engage prospective volunteers, Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs), employers, and donors
- Lead program-related events both in prisons and in the community with inspirational leadership that motivates EITs, volunteers and donors
- Develop a network of support to drive local program development and success
- Partner with the national leadership team develop and execute strategic vision and long-term program development that aligns with the values and mission of Defy
- Oversee and expand Defy Pennsylvania program activities while meeting operational benchmarks, timelines, resource needs
- Identify and cultivate partnerships within the PA criminal justice reform and service sectors and correctional system partners
- Cultivate relationships with employers who will provide career opportunities to EITs
- Lead and manage the Defy PA advisory board
- Ensure model fidelity and the cultivation of data points to demonstrate efficacy of programming
- Manage and write grants, with support from national team
- Proven track record of fundraising and initiating, cultivating, and stewarding relationships with key constituencies, including with corporations, foundations, and community-based organizations; strong business sense required
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to build, cultivate and leverage personal and professional networks and relationships, lead events, develop and deliver successful presentations, and collaborate and negotiate effectively
- Superb organizational skills, with the proven ability to create and implement efficient operational systems, plan strategically, allocate work, set and manage objectives, analyze and mitigate risk, and create and manage projects
- Strong competency in diversity, equity and inclusion work; emotional intelligence, and experience and comfort working with underserved communities
- Experience in managing and developing a strong team
- Excellent judgment and strong decision-making ability; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available
- Passion, humility, integrity, positive attitude, emotional intelligence, mission-driven, and self-directed
- Adaptable and reliable in conflict or crisis
- Knowledge of the PA social service and/or reentry sector a plus
- BA/BS preferred
- Significant local non-profit or multi-sector experience (including non-profit) preferred
- Lived Experience a plus
- Entrepreneurship experience a plus
- Must be able to receive required clearances from prison partner facilities
- Valid driver’s license, reliable car
- Proof of full COVID-19 Vaccination required 48 hours prior to start date
- Proficiency with Google Suites or Microsoft Office
- Annual salary of $100,000
- Comprehensive health benefits
- 20 days of vacation per year and paid sick time
About Defy Ventures
Defy Ventures’ mission is to change mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at second chance. We are working to cut the recidivism rate in half by leveraging entrepreneurship as a tool to increase economic opportunity and inspire personal transformation. Defy’s prison and post-release programs provides entrepreneurship, employment, and personal development training to support formerly and currently incarcerated people to successfully reenter society by obtaining meaningful employment and, when ready, to start a small business. Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) “defy the odds” through our program which includes intensive leadership development, Shark Tank-style business pitch competitions, and executive mentoring. We seek to build a redemptive, authentic community between EITs and our volunteer community.
The Defy Pennsylvania chapter will be launched in 2023 and will initially provide programming in two prisons, serving approximately 100 Entrepreneurs in Training in 2023.
Defy Ventures is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with “Defy PA ED” in the subject line to [email protected]
For more information on Defy Ventures, please visit our website at www.defyventures.org.