Position: Finance and Community Investment Partner
About the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (EBSF) is a private foundation with a long-term commitment to improving the well-being of people, animals, and the environment of Maine while fostering equity and centering community voices. The Foundation is committed to supporting efforts that promote healthy and whole lives for all people; protect and enhance the environment; ensure the humane treatment of animals; and stimulate long-term development while building local opportunity.
Since 2011, EBSF has awarded over $84 million in grants to support communities and organizations working to empower, advance and protect Maine’s most crucial resources – people, animals, and their environments. Over the past few years, EBSF has gone through an intentional transformation to ensure that all internal and external efforts are mission- and values-aligned. This new position is part of this intentional transformation.
About the position
This is a new position for EBSF and this person will be joining our small team to assure that our investment approach creates impact consistent with the EBSF mission and values and is integrated with EBSF’s other strategies. This position presents an opportunity to join EBSF at a crucial moment to help guide and shape EBSF’s mission and place-based approach to impact investment. The ideal candidate will share a deep commitment to the Foundation’s mission and values.
The ideal candidate will have thorough familiarity with private sector outlook and experience and have both the requisite perspective and skill to apply this way of thinking and working in a nonprofit position with a foundation. They may also possess a background in business and finance educational training and experience with a demonstrated appreciation for the mission-orientation of a nonprofit through actual volunteer or paid work experience.
Community Partners at the Sewall Foundation apply a trust-based philanthropic approach to their work: building trusting relationships with organizations and communities related to the Foundation’s mission and program priorities. The Finance and Community Investment Partner will work as part of an integrated team, co-leading the execution of a holistic and strategic approach to community investment that results in transformative and equitable outcomes envisioned by the communities we work with. EBSF staff work collaboratively in a team approach, using pods of staff organized around needs of the work and the skills and interests of staff. Each pod has a staff lead and all pod members bring experience and voice to the work.
The Finance and Community Investment Partner will have lead responsibilities for and oversight of EBSF’s impact investment portfolio, which focuses on equitable development and improving the wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment in Maine. Guided by EBSF’s Investment Policy Statement and Impact Investment policy and procedures, the person will work closely with EBSF's executive director and team, Board members, and investment advisor(s) to align EBSF’s investable assets with its mission and programmatic objectives, specifically coordinating, implementing, and monitoring its program- and mission-aligned investment portfolios.
EBSF’s impact and mission-aligned investments will align with the Foundation’s primary areas of focus. These include:
- issue-based work in food systems and nature-based education.
- place-based work in the Katahdin region, Lewiston-Auburn, and Washington County.
- population-based work with Tribal communities in Maine.
This is a full-time, exempt position based in Maine. Candidates need not be based out of our Freeport office – remote options for qualified candidates are available.
- Participate in grantmaking processes as appropriate to support values-aligned investment work.
Values-aligned Investments (VAI)
- Create a workplan that, over 3-5 years, can build a portfolio of Values-Aligned Investments as part of the Sewall endowment. The investments will comprise about ten percent of foundation assets and will meet overall financial return goals set by the foundation board.
- Work with staff and the Values-Aligned Investment Committee to review and refine EBSF’s Impact Investment process.
- Work with program staff, Values-Aligned Investment Committee, and financial advisors to identify investable opportunities.
- Conduct due diligence, structure deals, and shepherd community investment opportunities through EBSF’s Impact Investment process.
- Prepare portfolio, reports, presentations and tours.
- Work with community financial leaders (such as CDFIs, credit unions and other community-based entities) to source impact investment opportunities.
- Conduct landscape analysis and research, at times with third-party assistance, to inform and prioritize decisions on community investments that are in alignment with EBSF’s mission, values and strategies.
- Manage related contracts and investments between EBSF and community-based organizations, through the lifecycle of the project, including negotiation, drafting, execution, monitoring compliance, evaluation, and maintaining contractual records.
- Develop and manage Impact Investment program budgets, in consultation with the ED and other staff.
- Manage advisors and/or subject matter consultants associated with specific work streams.
- Coordinate and collaborate with other funders and investors on community investment opportunities/projects, as appropriate.
Relationship- and Field-building
- Work as a part of a cohesive, collaborative team with an emphasis on trust-building and transparency.
- Work with and in support of the EBSF Board and its committees.
- Develop transparent and respectful working relationships with community-based and sector-based partner organizations.
- Help assess the financial and organizational health of nonprofit partners and design capacity-building supports and training to increase technical skills and outcomes.
- Work with EBSF staff to develop strategic collaborations with and among community-based organizations, anchor institutions, and other corporate, civic and public sector organizations to leverage impact of all EBSFs strategies.
- Coordinate projects and activities to work in a team-based approach with ESBF staff.
- Contribute to EBSF’s emerging approach to impact and mission-aligned investment, including clarifying, adapting and implementing policies and procedures, in collaboration with the team and guidance from the Board
- Plan and prepare for Board and Board committee meetings and carry out work as needed between meetings in coordination with staff and Board members.
- Contribute to integrating equity, community voice and environmental considerations into EBSF’s impact and mission-aligned investment approach.
Study and Practice
- Work with partners to identify data and research needs and gaps to inform decision-making, policy/advocacy, strategic planning/initiatives, or investments and facilitate the connection of community partners to appropriate resources and expertise
- Participate as a member of the EBSF evaluation pod to help measure EBSF’s approaches and desired impacts in focus areas and course correct as needed
- Support nonprofit partners to develop and fully resource their own evaluation to measure impacts, identify leverage opportunities, and course correct as needed
- Research effective philanthropic models and initiatives for use in ongoing program design
- Actively contribute to EBSF’s ongoing learning journey and course correction on impact and mission-investment.
- Collaborate with consultants and other experts to develop and refine EBSF’s knowledge base on new and existing areas for investment.
- Attend relevant conferences and events to build and maintain relationships with other asset owners, investors, potential partners, and allies.
- Participate actively in learning opportunities for professional development and team knowledge-building.
- Share relevant information, resources, tools and lessons learned with community and investment partners.
- Clearly communicate EBSF’s interests, mission, and values to external audiences
- Elevate stories, key learnings, and investible opportunities in our focus areas
- Support implementation of EBSF’s communication plan
Operations and Culture
- Represent EBSF with community partners and stakeholders as needed.
- Uphold EBSF values in all aspects of work, inclusive of development and implementation of equity-informed policies and procedures
- Commit to continuous personal growth and learning as it relates to EBSF mission, values, and programs
- Work as a part of a cohesive, collaborative team with an emphasis on trust-building and transparency
- Work with staff team members in different configurations to address EBSF priorities through pod approach
- Provide staff support to board and board committees as needed, helping to plan and prepare for meetings and carry out work as needed between meetings in coordination with staff and board members
- Work with EBSF’s finance and accounting director to assure coordinated and seamless internal processes.
- Work with EBSF’s manager of portfolio managers and Investment Committee on investment matters.
Skills and experience:
- Working understanding of how to underwrite investment risk, or directly transferrable experience, usually gained from at least three years work for a lending or economic development organization, or a capital investment fund.
- Experience building a portfolio of investments.
- Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of impact investing strategies and tools
- Attention to detail and deadlines, especially in the areas of contracts management and reporting
- Commitment to staying abreast of best practices and innovations in the field of mission and impact investment
- Excellent strategic thinking and analytical skills, with the ability to efficiently synthesize qualitative and quantitative data
- Exceptional relationship-building skills, with the ability to develop productive working relationships and make connections across a diverse spectrum of stakeholders
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Educational degree in related field
- Experience working within the nonprofit sector
- Program or project management experience in or with community-based organizations is strongly preferred
- Working knowledge of the social and economic environments of Maine
- Understanding of the nuances of working with both funders and nonprofit organizations, including grassroots, community-based, and large institutions
Attributes and mindset:
- Commitment to mission and organizational values
- Aptitude for applied learning
- High level of intellectual curiosity
- Sound judgement
- Flexibility and comfort navigating ambiguity
- Demonstrated interest in philanthropic, impact or mission-oriented fields of practice
- Salary range: $85,000 to $110,000 (contingent on experience)
- Excellent employee and family health and dental
- Paid time off: generous vacation, sick leave and holiday leave
- Life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance
- Retirement (Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement—SEP IRA)
Please submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your specific interests via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Priority will be given to applications submitted by July 26, 2020, although the position will remain open until filled (if the position is posted on our website, we are still accepting applications). You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt of your application once you submit your materials.