About the Organization

The Laughing Gull Foundation’s (LGF) Board of Directors seeks an Executive Director who is an energetic and empathetic leader to guide and manage the next chapter of LGF’s impact. Laughing Gull’s next Executive Director will work out of our newly built-out offices in downtown Durham, North Carolina. They will be a strong internal manager and external organizer. The successful candidate will utilize their high-level leadership, emotional intelligence, and management skills to lead LGF in advancing justice in the South.

About the Opportunity

Laughing Gull Foundation was founded in 2012 and plans to spend out all assets by 2036 in the service of three strategic goals: (1) the advancement in the South of LGBTQ equality, higher education in prison, and climate and environmental justice; (2) the growth of progressive philanthropy in the South; and (3) the sustaining of a vibrant internal learning community. LGF currently grants $4.5 million annually in primarily multi-year, general operating grants, with the aim to reach $6 million a year by 2022 and maintain that pay-out level until we complete our work and pass the torch.

For best consideration, please apply by September 13, 2021.

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

By Mary Morten, Geneva Porter, and Sarah Menke

Mary Morten, Geneva Porter, and Sarah Menke identify the building blocks for a fire department’s path to diversity, racial equity, and inclusion–and stress that path isn’t a short one.

June 21 Diversity And Inclusivity Feat Pic 1Over the past year, amid the backdrop of an unprecedented global pandemic, the nation witnessed a dramatic increase in the general population’s awareness of racial and social injustices.

Particularly after the murder of George Floyd, individuals and organizations across sectors that never considered the words “diversity,” “racial equity” and “inclusion” suddenly began to use this language.

After reading countless “diversity statements” or seeing “Black Lives Matter” signs posted in windows, the question becomes how do we move from trend to transformation? How does one firehouse, a fire department, an entire fire service work to center diversity, racial equity and inclusion (DREI) to increasingly address the needs of the population?

Defining DREI

According to research that was conducted by NFPA, there were an estimated 1,115,000 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States in 2018, which is the most recent year for which data are available. Eight percent of the firefighters were women. The percentage diminishes when looking specifically at career firefighters, where only 4 percent were women.

In regard to race, between 2014–2018, 82.5 percent of career firefighters identified as Caucasian (white) & Other; 8.4 percent identified as Black or African American; 8 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino; and 1.1 percent identified as Asian. These numbers indicate a clear need to diversify the fire service. That said, “a clear need to diversify” must not be the ultimate goal. The fire service in the United States must look beyond diversity and toward building a culture that’s both equitable and inclusive.

One of the first steps in building a diverse, racially equitable and inclusive culture is to provide a foundational understanding of terms and concepts.

Diversity includes all of the ways that people differ, and it encompasses all of the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. It involves different ideas, perspectives and values.

Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. Given that race remains one of the primary indicators of one’s success in the United States, achieving racial equity means that race no longer dictates one’s socioeconomic outcome. Furthermore, without racial equity, there will be no gender equity, LGBTQ equity or disability equity, to name a few systems of oppression that intersect with race and must be addressed for any lasting systemic change.

Inclusion is authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities and decision/­policy-making in a way that shares power.

Process and approach

Centering diversity, racial equity and inclusion is a continuous journey for the fire service. Along this journey, the questions that those firefighters and officers alike should ask include: How do we open ourselves to the work? How do we practice reflective listening that, by its very nature, is deep, personal and uncomfortable?

Our group’s approach to navigating this journey with client partners begins with facilitating assessments, developing customized training and partnering in the evolution of action planning development.

Assessment. A participatory action model is employed to collect assessment data, and an asset-based model is used to analyze the results of that data collection. Participatory action is the collection of the data through multifaceted engagement of a variety of stakeholders, all of whom are invested in the assessment process. For the fire service, this can include first responders as well as community-based organizations.

Assessment tools might include the development of qualitative and quantitative tools, such as surveys, interviews and focus groups as well as a review of written documents, including employee handbooks and human resources policies.

Asset-based refers to a method of analysis that emphasizes the strengths and assets of an organization first, with the assumption that the opposite of a strength, or asset, is a need, or challenge. This defines the path forward, not as a series of flaws in opposition to the “right” thing but rather as the normal issues that arise over the course of an organization’s lifetime.

Training. Insights, experiences and recommendations from the assessment are shared with the organizational leadership in the form of a written report. The sharing of the written report is followed by customized training. These customized trainings aren’t a “one and done” but a critical step in the organization’s DREI journey. This ensures that all are exposed to foundational concepts and definitions and are provided the opportunity to engage in deep listening.

Moving forward. Among the most critical next pieces is the development of an action plan. This necessary tool provides a guide and a means to monitor progress toward diversity, racial equity and inclusion and to manage change. It outlines specific DREI goals, strategies, the employee lead, the timeline and measurements for success.

Lessons learned

Along the road toward building diversity, racial equity and inclusion, don’t rule out that possible barriers might exist. For example:

Treating the work as linear and finite rather than iterative and ongoing. This work doesn’t have an endpoint; at the same time, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Expecting immediate results. It takes time for change to occur. Acknowledging that process and embracing the need for change can take years.

Expecting marginalized people to do all of the work. There must be buy-in and champions across all levels of an organization, without marginalized people expected to do all of the work.

Failing to demonstrate enthusiasm from the top of the organization. Leaders’ enthusiasm can be contagious throughout an organization, and it’s important that the words that are spoken match the actions that are taken.

Failing to integrate this work at every level, in every department and organizationwide. All parts of the organization must be on the DREI journey at the same time for true and lasting change to take place. As noted in the Harvard Business Review article, “Making U.S. Fire Departments More Diverse and Inclusive,” “When you hold all department members accountable to excellence along the full spectrum of traits associated with being a successful firefighter, you help firefighters that don’t fit the straight, white, male archetype and create more equal opportunities and inclusion.

Not addressing any one of these barriers can derail progress on building a DREI culture. The key is to recognize that the journey is one that can yield lasting, positive effects for all—the fire service and the communities that are served.

Read More

About the Organization

EarthCorps is a nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington that develops leaders to strengthen community and restore the health of our environment. EarthCorps believes in the power of people – acting through their collective responsibility to one another and our planet – to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our world, a world in which people and nature thrive together.

About the Opportunity

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for fulfilling EarthCorps’ mission by providing leadership and direction to all areas of the operation. The ED supervises the organization and oversees program development and evaluation, operations, finance, fundraising, and public relations. The Executive Director also ensures compliance with all government regulations and works with the Board of Directors to both provide direction to the organization and secure resources.

For best consideration, please apply by July 12, 2021.

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

About the Organization

Howard Brown Health was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations. With an annual budget of over $59 million, the agency serves more than 27,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STI prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. Howard Brown serves men, women, trans and gender non-conforming folks, infants, youth, and children through a multi-site operation based in Chicago that includes: 11 service delivery sites, an administrative building, and three resale stores.

About the Opportunity

The Vice President for Human Resources is a member of the senior management team entrusted to steward a high-performing, engaged, prepared, and informed workforce that advocates the organization’s values and upholds its code of conduct. The VP works with leaders across the agency to spearhead human resource solutions designed for results, accountability, and excellence. The executive advances diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure Howard Brown Health’s commitment to culturally affirming care, anti-oppressive principles and LGBTQ-affirming practices are taught, embraced, and continuously reinforced among the workforce. The VP oversees all HR initiatives including, but not limited to, position design, recruitment, hiring, retention and promotions; budgeting and compensation and benefits strategies; on-boarding, orientation, and exit/transition protocols; employee relations, engagement, appeals, and grievances; policy development and performance management; workforce training and development; supervisor training and support; employee health and wellness; record-keeping and compliance; and other core human resource functions.

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

About the Organization

Established in 1987 as the Test Positive Aware Network, TPAN’s mission is, “Saving lives and empowering people affected by HIV/AIDS and related challenges.” Armed with the vision of providing lifesaving care and far-reaching education to people affected by HIV that improves quality of life, TPAN is committed to its grassroots foundation as a highly mobilized, peer-led and community-based organization that maintains its key value of self-empowerment.

About the Opportunity

TPAN is seeking a new CEO that will serve as the leader and public face of the organization. The successful candidate will be engaging, personable and possess strong leadership skills with an ability to lead a highly-skilled and knowledgeable team. The CEO will report directly to the Board of Directors and work in concert with the senior leadership team. The CEO will be expected to develop a strategic vision for the future of TPAN and demonstrate innovative thinking and judicious use of resources. This person will also foster and develop strong relationships with clients, government agencies, philanthropic enterprises and community partners. Therefore, candidates with a strong connection to the community that TPAN serves and the Chicagoland area are especially encouraged to apply.

For best consideration, please apply by Tuesday, May 18. 

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

About Chicago Jobs Council

The Chicago Jobs Council’s (CJC) vision is that all people, regardless of where they start or where they’ve been, can access employment as a pathway out of poverty. CJC moves people out of poverty through employment using on-the-ground expertise, advocacy, and capacity-building. Since it was established in 1981, CJC’s membership has grown to include over 100 organizations and individuals who work together to influence the development and reform of public policies and programs designed to move people out of poverty, into the workforce and into better jobs.

For more information, please visit: https://www.cjc.net/

About the Opportunity

The next Executive Director will lead an agenda of capacity building, member engagement and policy advocacy in a rapidly changing landscape. To sustain the organization’s work over the long term, the Executive Director will build a more diversified portfolio of funding sources, with a priority to secure funding from new sources such as social enterprise activities. The Executive Director will also be responsible for managing finances and overseeing a cost-effective and responsive organizational structure that maximizes the contribution of CJC’s professional staff. This is an ideal opportunity for a leader committed to social justice and racial equity, experienced in the workforce development field, entrepreneurial and business-minded in approach, and with an understanding of the people and communities that benefit from CJC’s work in the Chicago region and beyond to a national level.

For best consideration, please apply by May 13, 2021.

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

How Nonprofits Are Helping Workers Cope with Pandemic Fatigue – The Chronicle of Philanthropy

  • Gathering Ground host Mary Morten and past Morten Group client, Ali Forney Center, were featured in this article that explores what nonprofits and foundations can do to help their struggling staff members.


White House Fact Sheet for COVID Recovery Plan (March 11, 2021)


Nonprofits need to Change for Good and the Moment is NowStanford Social Innovation Review

  • Leave Organizational Ego at the Door: Rather than being the best, the only, the biggest, sometimes by trying to do everything, nonprofits needed to do a real analysis of the particular value they provided to the world—to identify their competitive advantage—and then join forces with others to create broader and deeper impact.
  • Collaborate Intentionally and Creatively: The need for nonprofits to think creatively and be open to the possibilities of shared resources is as important now as it was at the start of the pandemic. Listening to the needs of peer organizations and supporting projects that aim to improve the workings of the sector more broadly are effective places to start.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of Merging: The cultural and financial challenges associated with mergers often steer nonprofits away from them. But if organizations are serious about achieving as much impact as possible, they need to actively consider them—from a place of possibility, rather than from a sense of duty or a deficit mindset.


Nonprofit Leaders Share Impact of COVID-19 at Year’s End – Nonprofit Leadership Center

  • Surveyed CEOs and Eds in March 2020 and again in November 2020 to see how the pandemic was affecting their organizations.
  • Despite a challenging operating and fundraising environment, the outlook for many nonprofit leaders is still positive.
  • 2020 has required nonprofit leaders to grow and stretch in many ways. As a result, the needs of leaders and their staff are growing, too.
  • While nonprofit leaders aspire to have diverse and inclusive organizations, most admit they have more work to do to make this a reality.
  • To succeed in our ever-evolving philanthropic landscape and world, respondents believe adaptability is the most important trait nonprofit leaders need to succeed.


Philanthropy in the Era of COVID-19Dalberg Advisors

  • Most foundations have increased or are considering increasing their share of endowments disbursed in 2020 due to COVID-19 – through the impact of these funding increases on net philanthropic giving is not yet clear
  • In the near-term, foundations are prioritizing sectors and areas that can directly mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, most notably health and economic support and recovery. At times, this occurs at the expense of sectors and issues that are seen as less urgent or have longer-term impact horizons.
  • In the long-term, foundations feel the need to “build back stronger” and address underlying issues of inequity and social injustice.
  • Foundations are particularly worried about grantee “mass extinctions” and are drastically changing grant requirements and operating procedures to ensure the survival of grant recipients.
  • These changes and the crisis, writ large, offer an opportunity for foundation leaders to reflect on longer-term strategic questions that will shape the future of the philanthropic sector.
Read More

About AIDS Foundation of Chicago

For 35 years, AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) has led the fight to create health equity and justice for people living with and disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS. The organization’s work is guided by the vision that people living with HIV and related chronic diseases will thrive, and new HIV infections will be rare. AFC brings together service providers and funders to develop systems that meet the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS and to maximize the use of scarce resources. AFC manages more than $27 million in local, state, and federal funds for an array of AIDS-related services, providing expertise and promoting high-quality delivery across the region. For more information, please visit: https://www.aidschicago.org/

About the Opportunity

The Senior Director of Human Resources & Talent Management is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive Human Resources and Talent Management programs, systems, and tools. The Senior Director of Human Resources & Talent Management directly reports to the Vice President of Operations and works closely with the Senior Leadership Team to strengthen the people and culture of the organization. This position is responsible for all aspects of human resources and talent management at AFC.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic and thoughtful problem solver, an adaptable change-agent and collaborator, and a respectful coach-like leader. The Senior Director will serve as an advisor to leadership at all levels across the organization and will provide insight and guidance on key strategic decisions. The individual in this role is also responsible for cultivating and promoting a positive organizational culture that is in line with AFC’s mission, vision, and values.

Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

Read More

Jim Rendon | March 9, 2021

“Leaders need to be vulnerable and open in ways that may make them uncomfortable,” says consultant Mary Morten. Her company has been working with leaders of several Ford Foundation grantees this past year to help them navigate the pandemic.

“You learn through professional development that you are always the strong one. You are always the one with all the answers,” she says. “It is really important for your team to understand that that may not be the case and that that’s OK. It’s not possible to be all things to all people at all times.”

To help its staff, the Ali Forney Center offered group therapy and more recently one-on-one counseling sessions. It also set up internal support groups so workers could talk with each other about the pressures they face. The organization has done what it can to encourage people to take some time off, including allowing them to roll vacation days over from last year. Given the financial strains that some are under, the center provided hazard pay to all employees through July, until it stopped getting reimbursed for it. It was able to provide increased pay for some essential employees after that.

Click here to read the complete article on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s website.

Read More