Fusion is hiring an Executive Director and plans to provide housing and support services for even more homeless families as they work toward self-sufficiency.
Please see the position profile below you can download the position details at this link.
About the Organization
FUSION is a nonprofit all-volunteer organization in Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma, Washington that provides housing and support services for homeless families so they have a safe, secure environment as they work toward self-sufficiency. The organization currently owns and manages 19 residential units and a successful retail operation. FUSION is financially secure and growing, and seeks to add an average of one new residential unit per year to increase its service to the community.
FUSION has proudly served over 200 families during its 25-year history. Each family is welcomed into a beautiful, fully-furnished home for 18 months and provided case management resources including education, employment search assistance, budget and financial guidance, family counseling and more. FUSION currently contracts with professional advocates for case management support. Historically, more than 80% of FUSION’s client families move into permanent housing when they leave the program.
The organization’s culture includes a passion for serving others. There is also deep appreciation for the volunteers doing this work. In addition to board member activities, more than 100 volunteers contributed well over 18,500 hours to the cause in 2017. Attending to the interests and needs of volunteers is a core organizational value, and many volunteers find the camaraderie and friendships they develop at FUSION to be a powerful influence in their lives. Given the critical importance of the volunteer workforce, volunteer recruitment and retention is a key factor moving forward.
FUSION’s financial position is strong. The organization safeguards its mission by maintaining healthy emergency reserves in addition to the working capital it accumulates to support program expansion. Operating expenses for 2018 are projected to come in at just under $500,000. The two primary sources of operating revenue are:
The FUSION Décor Boutique, which generates income from sales of donated furniture and other household furnishings
Annual fundraising gala, which serves as a focal point for major sponsorship gifts from individuals and businesses, and also generates auction proceeds and smaller contributions from individuals
The organization also receives individual contributions during the year and from a year-end appeal that generates modest results. Occasional grants supplement the operating revenue. Local and state government sources provide intermittent capital funding to help secure the real estate properties used in FUSION’s activities.
An Evolving Leadership Structure
As an all-volunteer organization, FUSION has developed a distributed leadership model that begins with a very operationally focused board of directors. The 16 board members are dedicated to the cause and bring a wide range of skills and experiences to the table, including real estate, banking, human resources, retail management, marketing, finance, interior design, landscaping, education and others. Many work 20+ hours per week on behalf of the organization.
The board has maintained direct oversight of three complex areas of activity: housing and contracted case management services for homeless families, the retail operation generating revenue through sales of donated furniture and accessories, and the annual summer fundraising event. Each of these areas is supported by enthusiastic teams of volunteers. While most major (and many minor) decisions are handled at the board level, leaders within the volunteer teams are empowered to act as they see fit, within parameters, to move their work forward.
Co-founder and board member Peggy LaPorte has been the public face of the organization throughout its history, inspiring volunteer and community support. Her vision, commitment, relationship-building skills and fundraising ability are key factors in FUSION’s success to date. She now wishes to scale back her involvement and is enthusiastic about supporting a new Executive Director.
While this “working board + co-founder” leadership model has served the organization well in its first 25 years, there is much more work to be done. As an illustration, FUSION has been invited to take part in discussions exploring a potential community project that could create new housing and support services for 22 additional families. However that project turns out, the board has determined FUSION must evolve and expand in order to better address the growing problem of homelessness in the area. Hiring a full-time paid Executive Director is a critical step in that evolution. As part of this transition, the board is now working with an Interim Executive Director to modify the organization’s leadership structure. The outcome will be a clearer separation of operational and governance roles so that the new Executive Director and board can work as effective partners.
The Leadership Opportunity
Reporting to the board of directors, the Executive Director will personify the FUSION mission and be responsible for the organization’s overall management and financial performance according to board-approved policies and procedures. The successful candidate will lead a remarkable volunteer-powered nonprofit that is highly respected by business leaders and elected officials at the city, county and state levels.
FUSION is well-positioned to increase its impact on the problem of housing insecurity, and the Executive Director will work closely with the board, volunteers and other community stakeholders to define what that additional impact should be and how it will be delivered.
The Executive Director is expected to spend the majority of their time focusing on the following priorities during the first 18-24 months on the job:
Support the board in the performance of its governance roles and responsibilities as it transitions away from operational management functions
Partner with the board in developing and monitoring yearly organizational goals
Engage in a long-range planning process with the board to more precisely define the direction of the organization’s growth and impact in the community
Create and implement an effective recruiting strategy as part of a comprehensive volunteer management program which attracts, supports, nourishes and celebrates FUSION’s volunteer workforce
Develop trusting relationships with current sponsors and other major donors; work with board members to collectively strengthen those relationships and build others over time
Increase overall giving from individual contributors
Bring leadership and a strategic approach to grant-writing activities
Create greater visibility for FUSION and its mission by speaking and otherwise representing the organization at community events, business meetings, policy roundtables, etc.
Oversee development and implementation of a strategic communications plan focusing on volunteers, contributors, community leaders, elected officials and organizational partners
Support the organization’s transition to a new leadership structure by accepting management responsibility for operational functions to achieve the following outcomes:
The board is able to focus its full attention on governance responsibilities.
Volunteers are strongly supported in operational activities and remain highly engaged in advancing the mission.
Organizational cohesion improves and operational teams coordinate more effectively.
Operational goals are completed efficiently and in a timely manner.
Experience, Skills and Attributes
The ideal candidate will have excellent people and communication skills in order to develop, build and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Proven nonprofit management and fundraising skills are required, as is the ability to build teamwork in a collaborative manner so that board members and other volunteers are supported and empowered to use their collective skills and experiences to advance the mission.FUSION is also seeking a leader with a commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.
While no one can be an expert at everything, candidates who meet most of the following qualifications will receive strong consideration:
A Bachelor’s degree in public sector, nonprofit or business management, human services, or a similar field. Five years progressively responsible experience in nonprofit management and leadership. (Educational qualifications may be waived depending on work history.)
Committed to the mission of helping homeless families achieve self-sufficiency.
Experience managing or otherwise working closely with volunteers.
Demonstrated leadership skills in empowering others to play strong roles in achieving organizational goals. Demonstrated team-building expertise, including facilitation of groups, meetings and processes.
Philanthropic fundraising expertise, including demonstrated success soliciting major donors, corporate partners and private foundations. Experience with effective annual fund (individual giving) programs.
Effective communicator with strong listening skills. Excellent written, oral and social media skills. Engaging public speaker.
A track record of successfully representing an organization to partners, funders, elected officials and the broader community.
Experience developing and implementing strategic communications plans.
Experience working with and supporting a board of directors, ideally including experience in facilitating board processes and board development.
Experience working with a board to develop and successfully implement and monitor a mission-driven strategic plan and annual operating plans.
Strong financial management skills, including experience developing and managing a budget, interpreting financial reports, and performing business and program analysis within an organization.
Knowledge of nonprofit compliance, laws and regulations.
Knowledge of human resources best practices and regulations.
Local travel within King and Pierce counties for FUSION business will be required. The Executive Director will need a valid driver’s license, safe driving record, current vehicle insurance and the ability to use a personal vehicle, or have ready access to other reliable transportation to make work-related travel possible. A criminal background check will be conducted after an initial screening of applicants.
Work is performed typically in an office environment and a variety of other settings among diverse stakeholders and audiences. A considerable amount of time will be spent in meetings in and out of the office, at a computer screen for extended periods, and speaking in public. Frequent use of phones and e-mail will be required to communicate with stakeholders. Some work will be performed outside normal working hours.
This is a full-time, exempt position. The salary range is between $80,000-$90,000 depending on experience and skills. Benefits include paid holidays, 20 additional days per year of paid time off and an allowance for health care expenses.
How to Apply
All qualified candidates are invited to apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to:
All applications will be acknowledged and reviewed as they are received. The priority deadline for applying is Thursday, December 27, and early submission is encouraged. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Interviews are expected to begin in early January.
FUSION is an Equal Opportunity Employer and makes its hiring decisions without regard for race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.