Families Moving Forward (FMF), the largest housing and services provider for families experiencing homelessness in Durham, North Carolina, seeks an Executive Director who affirms, respects, and believes in the resiliency of families experiencing homelessness. This individual will be a team builder and a collaborator with a commitment to a community-wide system for ending homelessness. The ideal candidate will be an effective advocate for FMF and bring expertise in nonprofit management, staff development and fundraising. They will have a deep-seated appreciation for the significant role that race plays in compounding trauma, homelessness, poverty and perceptions of power and self-worth and will embrace FMF’s commitment to building a resilient community. Children experiencing or at risk of homelessness will find a champion in this new leader who will take FMF’s innovative, two-generational model for ending family homelessness to new heights. Equipped and eager to bring fresh energy and managerial talent, the next Executive Director will fuel FMF’s spirit of hope and possibilities for the future.
About Families Moving Forward
The work of FMF, created in 2016 after the successful merger of Genesis Home and Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network, encompasses shelter, case management, employment support, children and youth services with a special focus on early childhood development, financial literacy, and family health and wellness. FMF is particularly proud of its forward-thinking work with children facing homelessness which recognizes the impact of the trauma of homelessness, and aims to help children succeed, gain self-confidence, and circumvent the cycle of homelessness as adults. With the generous help of community partners, volunteers, and local organizations, the agency has assisted hundreds of families as they navigate their way through the crisis of homelessness.
FMF’s two major program areas:
The NEST (Neighbors Experiencing Success Together) hosts up to 21 families at a time in FMF’s recently renovated and expanded shelter facility and transitions families to stability and increased self-sufficiency through case management, workshops, and employment support. The NEST offers children early intervention assessments and helps parents to find jobs with the goal of securing affordable, secure, permanent housing for guest families within 90 days.
Branching Out (Building Relationships to Anchor Our Transitions) encompasses the second phase of support services after guests move into their own homes. Case managers develop customized action plans with each family and maintain ongoing support in-person and by phone. FMF delivers services up to 18 months after families exit The NEST, to better ensure guests’ long-term stability and prevent returns to homelessness.
The FMF Board and Staff recently completed an update (2020-2023) to its Strategic Plan that looks to the future while paying special attention to assessing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has necessitated a whirlwind of contingency planning and pandemic protocols, but guests and staff at Families Moving Forward have largely stayed healthy. Despite the pandemic, a high percentage of guests have continued to exit the shelter for permanent housing destinations and FMF families have not experienced a return to shelter during the aftercare period. These outcomes are a credit to the perseverance of the families and the dedicated Staff who have continued to work on-site with guests throughout the pandemic. Private donors have also provided significant support during the pandemic to end 2020 with the agency in a solid financial position.
FMF is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors (currently comprised of 17 members). The Executive Director leads a team of four direct reports who currently work with a total team of 22 dedicated staff, service corps members, interns and volunteers. The CY2021 budget is set at $1.5 million representing $300K in government funding, $400K in foundation funding, $350K in individual funding, $115K in corporate funding, and $335K from other sources.
The Executive Director will lead and manage an organization with a strong foundation and new initiatives for families experiencing homelessness and will ensure that FMF’s internal systems, staffing, and relationships are optimized for the journey forward. This person should be a thought leader around homelessness in Durham and throughout North Carolina.
More specifically, the Executive Director will:
Create and maintain a culture that nurtures growth and celebrates accomplishments. Staff members and families at FMF work together to accomplish and often exceed goals while confronting a myriad of societal hurdles, personal challenges, affordable housing shortages, and the current pandemic. They want a visible, empathic, and approachable leader who listens and understands the impact this work has on everyone, and who creates an environment that inspires hope, exemplifies a shared commitment to teamwork, and fosters growth and success for all.
Assess the strengths and needs of FMF’s team to continue its success. The new leader will be welcomed by a three-person management team that is hard working, talented and passionate about the mission of the agency. The two program Staff Directors have each been with the agency since its inception in 2016 (having worked for the pre-merger agencies for years) and have been the mainstay of its programmatic successes. The front-line Staff includes case managers and Americorps volunteers, the majority of whom have been with the agency less than two years. Preventing burnout, addressing secondary trauma, and ensuring effective onboarding and training are needed. There are questions about the best mix of full-time and part-time positions and ways to enhance professional development and advancement opportunities. Human resources, fiscal operations and facilities management are listed as direct responsibilities of the Executive Director and the Staff has raised questions about the effectiveness of this model. The Staff and Board agree that conducting a staffing assessment is a priority and may provide opportunities for optimization and restructuring.
Be a forward-thinking system builder, committed to a two-generational approach for ending family homelessness. The new leader must understand that “it takes a village” to end homelessness, that there is great value in research and data that informs decision making, and that FMF does not work alone but instead must play an effective negotiated role in Durham’s collaborative systematic approach to ending homelessness. The analytical skills to collect and process the data required to monitor progress against the agency’s strategic goals and to comply with requests of government agencies and funders will be important. The new Executive Director must possess the relational skills to seek input from guests, staff and partner agencies, the discernment and wisdom to determine FMF’s path, and the transparency and accountability to examine what is working or where changes are needed. They must adamantly advocate for the needs of homeless children and continue to keep them in the forefront of FMF’s work.
Expand a commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The Executive Director must set the standard for making these the living and operating values throughout the organization. The Staff and Board recently completed a Racial Equity Audit and other efforts to examine inclusion within FMF’s operations. Work is underway to reflect upon and address the findings and recommendations. FMF seeks a leader who understands these issues with both heart and head and who can create the ideal work environment for addressing issues, creating change, and building a resilient and anti-racist community.
Bring strong, nonprofit leadership and fundraising expertise. FMF’s new Executive Director will be highly visible in the community and work with a skilled Board that will be replacing several members in the coming year as terms expire. Board training and orientation are essential. The leader’s organizational and presentation skills, maturity, transparency, and accountability will be keys to success.
The Board has also formed a Strategic Investment Committee to determine how best to use funds currently on hand and in excess of necessary reserves. Final decisions are awaiting the new Executive Director. While the agency is in a strong financial position, fundraising will always be a major role for the Executive Director. In the past year, many new donors gave because of the pandemic and a priority will be to retain as many of those donors as possible while continuing to increase private financial support from FMF’s community.
Provide the Board with the support, tools and information necessary to govern the organization.
• Through written and oral communication, ensure that Board members have sufficient information to monitor the organization’s performance and progress.
• Prepare long-range planning options/goals for Board consideration.
• Direct action plans for the Strategic Plan and regularly facilitate review of the Strategic Plan.
• Provide regular (minimum quarterly) reports to the Board on program effectiveness, efficiency, problem areas, and options for correction.
• Support the work of Board committees as appropriate.
• Assist the Leadership Development Committee of the Board in recruiting new members and orienting them to the organization.
With the Board, ensure FMF has sufficient financial resources and strong financial accountability.
• Working with the Executive Committee and the program directors, develop an annual budget.
• Working with the Board and the Development Director, ensure that an overall plan for fundraising is developed and executed.
• Provide monthly reports for the Board on financial matters, including current financial status with respect to expenditures and revenues, unanticipated funding needs, and funding options.
• Ensure that there are policies and procedures in place to promote high quality financial record keeping and reporting.
• Working with the Development Director and program staff, develop and submit funding proposals and maintain contact with current and potential funding sources.
• Serve as the primary point of contact for the audit and ensure compliance with internal controls.
• Hold primary responsibility for accounts receivable, accounts payable and all corporate purchasing.
Ensure FMF provides high quality programming and ongoing professional development for staff
• Provide supervision to the director-level staff and oversight to an ongoing evaluation process focused on program effectiveness and efficiency to support families with children experiencing homelessness.
• Working with the management team, ensure that competent staff are recruited, hired, and retained and that there is a plan that promotes professional development of each staff member.
• Work with the staff to ensure that there is an ongoing plan that promotes staff communication, cohesiveness, and teamwork.
• Coach director-level staff to ensure that they continue to develop new skills and work at the top of their position.
• Model best practice in managing direct and indirect reports.
• Maintain an awareness of local, state, and national issues related to homelessness, model programs, and program administration.
Promote a healthy, productive, diverse and equitable work environment
• Working with the Board’s Executive Committee and the program directors, develop and maintain administrative policies and procedures which utilize best practices, promote family and employee safety, and provide a welcoming and well-maintained environment for all.
• Provide direction and support for the Facilities Maintenance staff.
• Ensure that each employee has an annual performance evaluation and that employee performance concerns are handled with care and respect.
• Put into place practices which support diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion throughout the organization.
• Consult with legal counsel as appropriate when questions of liability arise.
Promote community awareness to support FMF programs.
• In conjunction with the program directors and the Board, develop and provide oversight to an annual development plan that includes media opportunities, speaking engagements, newsletters, etc.
• In collaboration with the program directors, serve as a liaison with local, state, and federal agencies as needed to promote the effective functioning of FMF programs.
• Collaborate with other community organizations addressing homelessness.
• Serve as an advocate with community groups, service organizations, and elected officials.
• Make effective use of volunteers via strong volunteer recruitment, training, and recognition.
• Represent FMF in speaking engagements before community groups.
Education and Preferred Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university is required, or substantial equivalent experience will be considered. An advanced degree, preferably in social work, public administration, nonprofit management, or related fields, is preferred.
• Experience with and a passionate commitment to supporting and addressing the needs of families and children experiencing poverty and homelessness. Equivalent experience with anti-poverty initiatives and empowering individuals in crisis situations to move to greater stability will be considered.
• Five or more years in a leadership role in a nonprofit, with proven experience moving an organization forward to reach ambitious goals.
• Seasoned, caring organizational leader and manager with a reputation for integrity and a track record of creating and nurturing healthy, productive, trust-based, and collaborative work cultures.
• Understands the basic tenets of social work (e.g., trauma informed care,) and the potential long-term impacts of children who experience toxic stress.
• Understands and knows how to support staff working in highly stressful situations who are at risk of secondary trauma.
• Strong cultural competency skills and culturally responsive with a history of working effectively with all people regardless of their history, economic status, ability, race, gender identity, faith, education level or sexual orientation.
• Experienced in ensuring that organizations are diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive.
• Politically savvy and tested advocate who has experience working with elected officials and government staff, with the capacity to establish, build, and manage alliances and effective partnerships; a leader who will influence, engage, and build long-term relationships with a wide range of key stakeholders.
• Collaborative, diplomatic, and trusted; an excellent listener and facilitator who leads by example.
• An exceptional writer and excellent communicator with the ability to listen and engage, who will inspire, educate, and motivate as a public speaker, in personal meetings, and in written form.
• Experienced as a networker and enthusiastic about making connections, attending events, and being visible in places that benefit the organization.
• Fundraising experience including significant gifts from individuals, businesses, and foundations, with a history of securing and complying with mandated reporting for federal, state, and local government grants and contracts.
• An administrator with fiscal management skills in accounts receivable, accounts payable and corporate purchasing.
• Wise in the collection and reporting of federal and locally mandated data for homeless management information systems.
• A servant leader with humility, compassion, and emotional maturity, who is confident, energetic, creative, and able to make difficult but necessary decisions.
To apply: In one document please submit a cover letter (including how you learned about this opportunity) and resume and send via email to:
Mr. John A. Bowman
Chair, Board of Directors and Search Committee
Families Moving Forward
Applications will be accepted until October 4, 2021 or until the position is filled.
Salary range: $77,500-$97,500, plus benefits, commensurate with experience.
Five references will be required of finalists. A short presentation and writing samples may also be required from semi-finalists or finalists. Academic, credit, and criminal checks will be conducted before a final offer is made. The consulting firm of moss+ross has been retained to assist with the search.
Affirmative Action Employment Policy
Families Moving Forward is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs, and not on race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law. Families Moving Forward complies with the law regarding reasonable accommodation for disabled employees.