President & CEO

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
July 31, 2020
Duluth, MN
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)


Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

President & CEO Position Description

The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation seeks an inspirational and innovative leader to energize and support a dedicated and creative team, engage the communities we serve, and foster the leadership and philanthropic support required to continue building a strong and sustainable region.

Visionary community leaders established the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF or Foundation) in 1983. The Foundation inspires private giving for the public good by fostering generosity, civic engagement and inclusiveness. Integrity, community, generosity, and stewardship are at the core of its values.

Governed by a committed 12-member volunteer board of civic and business leaders, the Foundation is a collection of more than 440 funds, each with its own charitable purpose. These endowed funds – established by individuals, families, private foundations, and businesses – help enhance the quality of life in and around the communities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. Through grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to individuals, the DSACF has distributed more than $60 million throughout the region.

The Foundation’s assets, currently in excess of $75 million, are held in trust and overseen by an investment committee, the Foundation President/CEO and Foundation Director of Finance. The Foundation’s annual operating budget is $1.4 million which supports the distribution of approximately 2.5 million in scholarships and grants.



The DSACF is searching for a dynamic and forward-thinking President/CEO who can articulate a cohesive vision and galvanize community support for the Foundation. The successful candidate must inspire confidence and trust, while working collaboratively with the public, nonprofit and private stakeholders.

The successful candidate will have a diverse mix of experience and skills required to promote philanthropy and giving throughout the Foundation's service region, lead grantmaking and evaluation, and advance the foundation’s role in civic engagement. By embracing diversity, encouraging and inspiring creative ideas and new ways of thinking, the successful candidate will help develop and shape the Foundation’s next strategy.


As the key spokesperson and asset builder for the Foundation, the President/CEO will pursue, cultivate, and maintain strong relationships with donors, grantees, and the broader community, while fully engaging the Board of Directors and Staff to achieve the Foundation's goals.

The President/CEO oversees all aspects of the Foundation including fundraising and asset management, community initiatives, grantmaking, scholarship awards, stimulating local philanthropy, staff engagement, training, financial management, and human resource management.

As the Foundation concludes its five-year strategic plan in 2020, the President/CEO will lead the Board of Directors in charting a path forward by developing and successfully implementing a new, multi-year strategic plan.

The qualified candidate must demonstrate success in community outreach, working with people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and building rapport with those with varying viewpoints and perceptions. The candidate must demonstrate experience in developing a strong team and operational oversight. High integrity and sound judgment are essential to success in this role. An understanding of the Foundation’s public accountability and legal obligations is also essential.


  • Serve as the principal representative and spokesperson to the public, while also promoting and building Staff and Board capacity to effectively represent the Foundation
  • Grow the Foundation using various methods to excite and engage donors, develop new funds, and increase endowment assets
  • Unite, inspire, support and develop Staff, and effectively delegate responsibilities
  • Bring to the region the best ideas and practices for collaboratively building effective responses to community needs and capitalize on opportunities that align with the Foundation’s mission and strategic plan
  • Continue the Foundation’s reputation as a force for doing good by publicizing its work and promoting philanthropy education

Fundraising and Asset Management

  • Oversee the creation and execution of an annual fund development plan that encourages and facilitates philanthropy among a broad base of individuals and organizations
  • Raise directed, unrestricted and endowment funds to support the Foundation’s grantmaking, initiatives, and operations
  • Work closely with the Development Officer to cultivate relationships and develop the philanthropic interests of major donors by maximizing the impact of their gifts
  • Steer and support the work of the Board to foster deep community relationships by identifying and meeting with prospective donors
  • Assure outstanding service, stewardship and responsiveness to donors
  • Keep current on issues applicable to charitable giving (accounting, legal, investment, etc.)

Grantmaking and Capacity Building

  • Expand the Foundation’s capacity to develop and support programs that strengthen the nonprofit and public sectors’ efforts to effectively address needs within the region
  • Along with the Director of Community Philanthropy, evaluate grant requests and make grant award recommendations to the Board that align with the Foundation’s mission and donor intent
  • Provide oversight of unrestricted and donor advised grantmaking

Operations and Fiscal Management

  • Maximize Staff effectiveness by aligning performance objectives with the strategic plan, and offering appropriate compensation and professional development opportunities
  • Ensure that personnel policies are clear, consistent, and well-communicated; and provide real-time feedback to Staff in addition to annual performance appraisals
  • Sustain robust investment management of all assets held by the Foundation and maintain a strong and active relationship with the Investment Committee
  • Oversee budgeting, investments, the annual financial audit, tax filings, and proper recordkeeping
  • Support Foundation committees by working with Committee Chairs and assigning appropriate resources and assistance
  • Inspire and capitalize on volunteers to help support the work of the Foundation


The successful candidate will be:

  • Passionate about philanthropy and have the ability to empower, motivate and unite Staff and the public in advancing the social good
  • Demonstrably capable of robust organizational management and nurturing an open and inclusive workplace culture that promotes collaborative decision making and problem solving
  • Experienced in building successful partnerships and coalitions across sectors and within communities
  • Committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, justice and closing the opportunity gap

Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess:

  • 10+ years of demonstrated leadership experience and achievement, preferably in the nonprofit sector
  • An appreciation and passion for the region served by the DSACF
  • A natural leadership ability with exceptional supervisory and interpersonal skills
  • A strong desire and demonstrated ability to work with diverse and underserved communities, and adapt to a changing environment
  • Demonstrated fundraising success
  • Keen analytical skills and political savvy
  • Solid understanding of the role of philanthropy in building civic engagement and community leadership
  • Exceptional oral communication skills, along with strong writing and listening skills
  • Capacity to assess organizational needs, think strategically, and objectively measure organizational effectiveness
  • An ability to understand analyses of market conditions, return expectations, and the resulting implications for the Foundation's financial position and spending policy
  • Demonstrated understanding of the legal, financial and ethical requirements of community foundations
  • A strong commitment to personal and professional ethics and excellence
  • Proficient computer skills and experience, specifically with MS Office products
  • Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field
  • Master’s degree in nonprofit management, business administration, public administration, or social work a plus
  • Previous grantmaking experience also a plus


The Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, are located along the picturesque western shores of Lake Superior (the westernmost of North America's Great Lakes) and together are considered the largest freshwater port in the world.

The DSACF serves an area encompassing ten counties in and around the region, serving approximately 400,000 residents. The area includes Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties in northeast Minnesota, and Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties in northwest Wisconsin.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with professional experience and education. The DSACF offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Group health individual coverage
  • Group term life insurance and disability insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Ten paid holidays per year
  • Vacation and sick pay
  • Parking reimbursement



How To Apply

Application Instructions

To apply, please electronically send a cover letter and resume to: For additional information, contact Elaine Weber Nelson at

Application deadline is August 31, 2020.

The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Drop files here browse files ...
(Resume, Cover Letter, etc)

Comments are closed.

Are you sure you want to delete this file?