Freedom Project is looking for a Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer Job Description

Freedom Project is a Seattle-based non-profit that provides Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness training to prisoners, returnees, their families and their communities in the state of Washington.

Position Description and Responsibilities

Freedom Project’s Chief Operating Officer is charged to manage staff and all day-to-day business activities in its continuing efforts to promote and accomplish its mission by using mindfulness and empathy consciousness as a lens for all dealings. The Chief Operating Officer works in conjunction with Executive Director and both jointly report to Freedom Project’s Board of Directors. The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for managing all aspects of business, staff supervision and fundraising. The Executive Director manages community relationships and grant writing. Freedom Project currently has a staff of 4.5 FTEs, and a volunteer pool of approximately 60 volunteers. Freedom Project’s current annual operating budget is $300K.

As lead fundraiser, the Chief Operating Officer is responsible for:

Developing and maintaining a diverse fundraising strategy.
• Integrating public relations, marketing, and fundraising campaigns.
• Managing a small, independent agency with multiple stakeholders, and will show a demonstrated commitment to Racial Equity with empathy consciousness and mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, prison issues, and social justice.

Overall Strategic Priorities:
• Assure continued financial stability, consistent with program goals, by broadening our base of individual supporters and contributors as well as foundation support
• Provide leadership in our quest to become an organization that acknowledges, embraces and engages evolving issues of Racial Equity and social justice and increasing Freedom Project’s visibility as an excellent provider of Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness training.
• Maintaining and developing an effective governance structure that reflects the diversity of constituents, operates transparently, and provides formal communication channels with its stakeholders
• Ensure adherence to Freedom Project’s business plan – including updating as needed

• In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will refine and implement Freedom Project’s vision, mission, budget, annual goals and objectives
Develop the internal structure and budget to support current programs and future growth
• Articulate and promote the shared vision and strategic plan for Freedom Project
• Develop and cultivate strategic partnerships and establish networks among all sectors in the community to support program opportunities and collaborations
• Work closely with the Board Chair to develop and facilitate the activities of the Freedom Project Board and collaborate with board leadership on shared objectives

Program Development:
Oversee development and implementation of meaningful, high-quality, and lasting programming strategy, programs and services lead by Program staff.
• Develop and maintain a working knowledge of significant trends in issues related to incarceration and the effects of Nonviolent Communication on recidivism.
• Assure that Freedom Project has a long-range program strategy which makes consistent and timely progress
• Ensures program goals are congruent with the organizational mission, and goals; and that program efforts are evaluated in a sufficient manner using appropriate metrics
• Ensure that all staff members have all program information necessary to fulfill their jobs

Fund Development:
The Chief Operating Officer, as well as the ED, are responsible for managing, diversifying, and growing Freedom Project’s resource base.
• Assure a long-range, sustainable, diverse funding plan that ensures Freedom Project’s strategic goals are achieved
• Oversee all fundraising activities including grants, annual giving, corporate sponsorships, special events, donor cultivation, major gifts campaigns, and other organization-related solicitations (including e-campaigns)
• Seek new revenue sources to meet program goals, including public funding
• Cultivate, steward and solicit major donors
• Maintain and expand Freedom Project’s individual donor base
• Create and implement a planned giving program

ED and COO are responsible for planning and administering Freedom Project’s annual budget. This includes preparing and monitoring annual budget, program budgets, capital expenditures, investments, managing cash flow and financial management systems
• Oversee A/R, A/P, payroll, taxes, banking transactions, and tax preparation
• Ensure proper fiscal policies and procedures and risk management guidelines
• Ensure the growth of cash reserves
• Supervise audits, preparation of expenditure reports, and all other fiscal reports

Operations & Administration:
The COO will ensure a strong administrative infrastructure (personnel, finance, database, technology, etc.) that supports Freedom Project’s growth.
• In conjunction with Team Leads, manage the day-to-day operations and staff of FREEDOM PROJECT, allocate resources, and inspire staff/volunteer activities
• Oversee FREEDOM PROJECT facilities, capital budgets, and planning
• Maintain official records and documents; ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations

Board Administration:
Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop an engaged, effective, and energized board and ensure smooth and efficient functioning.
• Keep the board fully informed on the financial, political, programmatic, and strategic progress milestones as a regular participant in Board meetings
• Assist with the development and maintenance of a current, multi-year strategic plan that is responsive to the needs of our community
• Support and inform the board with adequate information to help members reach sound decisions and establish policies
• Assist in the recruitment, orientation, and training of new board members
• Participate as ex-officio member of all committees (Executive, Finance, Fund Development, Program, Board/Org. Development)

Diversity and Cultural Competency:
The Chief Operating Officer will work closely with the ED to ensure that Freedom Project continues on the path to becoming a more diverse and culturally competent organization.
• Maintains an open and supportive work environment where all points of view are respected
• Models and integrates diversity and inclusion in the organizational culture
• Ensures that policies and practices are non-discriminatory, culturally relevant and anti-racist and anti-sexist
• Provides opportunities for staff to enhance their own culturally competency

Human Resources:
The COO is responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel and maintaining a climate that attracts, motivates and keeps a roster of first-class, diverse staff and volunteers
• Ensure adequate job descriptions, annual work plans, compensation plans are in place, regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices and policies are in place
• Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff and volunteers in relating their specialized work to the total program of Freedom Project
• Nurture a team identity and environment
• Hire and manage independent contractors as needed to ensure operational effectiveness

Public Policy & Advocacy:
Develop and promote a public policy and advocacy agenda designed to advance and protect the rights and services for those returning to the community after incarceration.
• Oversee the development, implementation, and advancement of Freedom Project’s public policy and advocacy programming
• Conduct legislative analysis, research and prepare policy briefs, fact sheets, public education campaign materials and all other policy related information for the public and the board of directors
• Build relationships with local, regional and national legislative staff and national advocacy organizations in order to advance Freedom Project’s policy priorities

Core Qualifications:
• Leading Change. This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change both within and outside the organization, and to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this capability is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
• Leading People. This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. The ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitate cooperation and teamwork, and support constructive resolution of conflicts is required.
• Results Driven. This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems and calculating risks.
• Nonprofit Management Acumen. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial and information resources strategically.
• Building Coalitions. This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other housing agencies, local government, nonprofit and private sector organizations, donors and other organizations to achieve Freedom Project’s goals.
• Commitment to Innovation and Excellence. We are seeking a Chief Operating Office who can build upon the organization’s growth in recent years. The applicant should demonstrate a passion for developing innovative programs, strengthening overall agency performance, and commitment to mindfulness and nonviolent communication education.
• Ability to Lead in an Intense, Fast-Paced Environment. S/he should be a self-directed, energetic, and compassionate leader who can work with and motivate a talented, diverse set of staff, volunteers, and board members.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Minimum of eight years of work experience with evidence of increasing responsibility and success in an executive leadership role
• Proven experience and ability in fundraising, nonprofit fiscal management, and budget preparation
• Experience with strategic planning and translating that to operational planning
• Demonstrated experience with prisoner’s and social justice issues
• Well developed interpersonal and group skills; collaborative nature; excellent communication skills
• Experience working with and development of boards of directors
• Master’s degree in relevant field (nonprofit management, public policy, public administration, or business administration)

Desired Qualities:
In addition to having the above minimum qualifications, the ideal candidate will be:
• Demonstrably committed to Freedom Project’s programs, mission, and goals
• A strategic thinker, capable of moving a small organization to higher levels
• A creative problem solver, open to change, flexible, and capable of adapting to changing priorities
• A self-directed, energetic, tenacious leader, strong collaborator, and facilitator
• We welcome applicants who have worked in larger nonprofit organizations and are seeking a leadership position in a small, progressive nonprofit

Salary: Competitive, DOE, vacation/sick time. This is a full-time, exempt position located in Seattle’s University District.

To apply send a resume and cover letter to The position is open until filled.

Freedom Project is committed to supporting multiculturalism and diversity in a variety of ways. Freedom Project will affirmatively recruit, employ, promote and retain a diverse group of individuals. In addition, we affirmatively recruit people representing diverse race, sex, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, disabilities, and national origins for committees, board positions, and volunteers. Freedom Project accepts responsibility for creating an environment where all people are encouraged and able to participate fully and with respect.

Comments are closed.