Prime Mover (Interim Executive Director)

Website American Journalism Project

We are mobilizing a movement to support the local press.

Are you a social entrepreneur who is passionate about securing the future of local news and our nation’s democracy?  Do you thrive in a fast-paced, fluid work environment?  Are you willing to take risks, to fail fast and achieve faster?  If so, we encourage you to consider this full time, contract position with the American Journalism Project (AJP).

Position Vital Stats

Job Description: Prime Mover (Interim Executive Director)

Salary: Nonprofit Senior Management Level

Hours: Full Time

Contract Length: 12 months, with potential to transition to permanent role

Start Date: December 3

Office Base: Home office

Application Close Date: November 15

Position Summary

The American Journalism Project (AJP) is a first-of-its-kind, startup venture philanthropy.  AJP will focus on raising philanthropic capital and building the technology and business capacity of Civic News Organizations (CNO’s) to secure the future of local journalism that is critical to our democracy.

Founded and led by Elizabeth Green, Co-Founder and CEO of Chalkbeat and John Thornton, philanthropist, venture capitalist and Founder of the Texas Tribune, AJP will help catalyze a new civic media ecosystem composed of several hundred effective and well-supported nonprofit news organizations.

AJP’s first major objective is to raise $50 million to provide the funding and support that will transform 25-35 nonprofit local newsrooms into sustainable media enterprises.  AJP seeks a Prime Mover to work with Elizabeth and John and other key constituents, to support the establishment and launch of this new social venture.

This is a challenging contractual role, working within a complex network of philanthropists, foundation executives, and civic and news leaders.  As “builder-in-chief” the position is best suited for someone who is entrepreneurial, independent, flexible and driven.  Successful applicants will have a track record of organizational development, project management and fundraising achievement.  The successful applicant will need to bring passion for civic news and the “public square,” confidence working with a diverse group of individuals and institutions, and aptitude as a collaborator, communicator and strategic network builder.

Primary Responsibilities

As this is an interim role in a new enterprise that is fast-moving and fluid, the responsibilities are constantly shifting and expanding.  With oversight and guidance from and in collaboration with Elizabeth and John, the current responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

●      With support from the fundraising team secure $50 million to capitalize the initial Vanguard Fund while building a pipeline of potential investors for the next Fund

●      Refine, build-out and manage AJP’s donor prospect pipeline

●      Expand and establish AJP’s organizational structure including financial management, fundraising systems, communications functions, and staff roles/responsibilities

●      Cultivate and steward strategic partnerships, including consultants and contractors

●      Develop the organization’s governance structure including the recruitment and engagement of strategic volunteer leaders (i.e., Advisory and Governing Boards)

●      Identify and manage donor engagement opportunities, including meetings and events, for Elizabeth and John, and other strategic leaders

●      Manage and attend events with Elizabeth and John, and other strategic leaders

●      Design and maintain content, communications, and collateral for donor engagement including regular reports and updates for AJP’s early investors

●      Collaborate with AJP’s strategic leaders in identifying and engaging additional thought leaders and influencers to support the AJP initiative

●      Support the refinement of AJP’s grantmaking strategy and identify and conduct rigorous due diligence of potential grantees

●      Refine and expand AJP’s brand among key constituents

●      Engage AJP’s strategic leaders in the public announcement and visibility-building efforts

●      Anticipate additional needs as the venture evolves

Education, Experience and Skill Requirements

●      Passion for civic news and sustaining our nation’s democracy

●      Confidence and capability to adapt and change in a rapidly shifting, fast-paced environment while navigating ambiguity inherent to a young organization and helping the organization build a sustainable infrastructure

●      7-10 years of experience working with donors and/or other VIPs

●      Strategic mindset and highly skillful at planning, organizing and following through, particularly with regard to project, meeting and event management

●      Exceptional writing and editing skills

●      Proven strong collaborator with a positive, solutions orientation

●      Willingness to travel at least monthly and more often as needed.  Requires some evening and weekend work and ability to participate in meetings and events as needed

●      Bachelor’s degree required (or equivalent)

●      Background in business, journalism and/or start-up experience preferred

We know there are great candidates who won’t fit everything we’ve described above, or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, please don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. We are committed to diversity and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to with the subject line “AJP Prime Mover Application”.