| April 22, 2024

Chief Impact Officer

Guest Author


  • Full Time
  • Seattle, WA
  • $220,000 - $240,000 USD / Year

Website SM Diversity

About the job

Our partners at Seattle Foundation are seeking a passionate and visionary Chief Impact Officer who is well-versed in community-centered grantmaking and public policy advocacy!

Position Highlights

  • Salary: Hiring range is $220,000 – $240,000; Full grade range is $167,411 – $276,229
  • Type: Permanent; Full-Time, Salary/Exempt
  • Location: Hybrid Work Model; Offices located downtown Seattle, WA

About Seattle Foundation

Founded in 1946, Seattle Foundation has guided philanthropy in the Seattle region as trusted advisors to donors who care deeply about their community and partners to organizations driving work on the frontlines. The foundation believes that the people most proximate to the issues of our time have the solutions and develop targeted strategies to inspire collective action.

The inflection point Seattle Foundation finds themselves in at this moment is about how they lean more deeply into impact work that is transformational while simultaneously retooling their business model to support this shift. In 2023, the Foundation engaged in a strategic planning process to seize the moment and lean in. The three-year strategic plan (to be publicly released later this year) is the culmination of a nine-month process involving significant dialogue and iteration with core stakeholders and potential partners across the region. This process was rooted in a commitment to advance the Blueprint for Impact through near-term goals and milestones toward their vision of a joyful region of shared prosperity, belonging, and justice.

The Opportunity

The Chief Impact Officer will be Seattle Foundation’s principal strategist and steward for community-centered grantmaking and public policy advocacy. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Chief Impact Officer will guide the organization in effectively moving resources to and advancing systems change with Black, Indigenous and people of color communities who are leading the critical work to advance racial equity, justice, belonging and shared prosperity in the region. This position will also play an important role in shaping relevant components of the learning journey, based on grantee learnings, for Seattle Foundation’s community of support (staff, board, donors and other key stakeholders) – who are also key partners in advancing the Foundation’s mission.

Seattle Foundation seeks a leader with a proven track record in the nonprofit and public policy space, with familiarity of how philanthropy can support and drive change through advocacy. The future Chief Impact Officer will possess experience in the core issues the Foundation prioritizes (e.g. democracy, climate justice, affordable housing, etc.), with a strong background in policy and advocacy, notably in building and stewarding relationships with leaders and teams in the public sector. Relationship building across sectors is essential for this role, combined with experience shaping and executing collective impact efforts to drive change.

Position Overview:

Seattle Foundation has gone through significant growth and change over the past several years. The Foundation carried out a strategic refocus in 2020, shaping the Blueprint for Impact framework that explicitly centers racial equity and inclusion as critical to everything they do. Alesha Washington, President & CEO, joined the Foundation in May 2022 and is guiding the Foundation towards honing its strategic focus and community impact. In March 2024, Seattle Foundation’s Board approved a three-year strategic plan focused on near-term opportunities to deepen impact and a roadmap to financial sustainability to evolve their business model.

Guided by their newly adopted strategic plan, Seattle Foundation will focus on three community-led priorities in 2024 – 2026: 1) affordable housing, 2) transit-oriented development, and 3) equitable childcare. These are cross-cutting issue areas, meaning that their work does not live in siloes and the work their grantees does in these areas is multi-dimensional. These three policy priority areas are high-impact efforts with near term milestones that both allow the organization to advance toward their vision and inspire stakeholders to join them.

By focusing on these high-priority issues, the Foundation can employ the unique skills and relationships that they hold in service of communities most impacted by racism and other inequities. As the Greater Seattle region changes and new policies are passed to unlock and maximize public resources, the specific near-term opportunities will evolve. The Foundation’s priorities will always be guided by their community grant partners proximate to the needs of community.

Key Responsibilities

Grantmaking, Community Engagement, Civic Action

  • Lead the Foundation’s community grantmaking, evaluation and policy work, steward critical relationships with cross-sector community leaders and organizations to maximize collective partnership and civic action
  • Support and lead cross-team efforts to refine the Foundation’s strategic framework – the Blueprint for Impact – to ensure that various stakeholders understand it and know the role they can play in helping to advance it
  • Align strategies and approaches with the Blueprint for Impact ensuring they center the communities most impacted to advance equitable systems change
  • Guide efforts to ensure the grantmaking strategy is informing and guiding efforts around collective impact and organizing with key philanthropic, private sector and public sector partners
  • Regularly evaluate and shape the foundation’s civic action priorities, in alignment with the Blueprint for Impact
  • Drive efforts to build the capacity of the Foundation’s current grantmaking and policy team
  • Represent Seattle Foundation at critical tables related to collective action, community priorities, and cross sector engagement. Serve as a bridge builder to community grantees providing connections to philanthropy, perspective, and best practices in navigating organizational and community needs
  • Drive efforts to integrate and align the work of key partners, including Civic Commons – an initiative of Seattle Foundation that builds on the organization’s commitment to inclusion by seeking solutions that emerge from local community members and institutions working together

Foundation-wide Execution

  • Serve as a key advisor to the President & CEO on ensuring the Foundation’s approach to grantmaking prioritizes being in “right relationship” with community
  • Determine the best way to lift up learnings from the Foundation’s grantmaking and policy efforts to evolve approaches and strategies, as needed
  • Work in partnership with senior leaders, to strengthen storytelling, grantee partnerships, and other opportunities to better connect the Foundation’s donors with real-time learning, lessons, and aspirations being shaped by partners.
  • Support, and at times may lead, efforts to fundraise discretionary resources for grantmaking and community impact work. This primarily includes working in collaboration with the Chief Philanthropy Officer on a consistent and clear impact strategy for grantmaking and fundraising narrative to support it. As a part of funder collaborative and civic action efforts, the Chief Impact Officer will play an active leadership role around engaging with and managing key institutional foundation partner relationships, in alignment with the Foundation’s comprehensive fundraising strategy
  • Keep other senior leaders up to date on the progress of activities related to community impact, grantmaking, and policy & advocacy activities

People & Team Management

  • Build, develop and supervise the team members overseeing discretionary grantmaking, policy and advocacy activities, and learning & evaluation of the Foundation’s grantee partners
  • Provide strategic guidance to the team on executing goals; ensure alignment between team activities and the Foundation’s overarching vision and strategic plan
  • Oversee and manage annual discretionary grantmaking budget, as well as the operating budget related to policy, advocacy, and personnel of the Impact team

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • People & Community-Centric Leader: The Chief Impact Officer will bring a leadership philosophy that centers community and staff in the work. They will be committed to developing staff, providing the tools, education, and support to allow them to flourish in their roles
  • Transformational Leader: The Chief Impact Officer will be a strategic thinker and a hands-on leader with the experience to understand and balance a complex array of organizational, policy, grantmaking and community needs, while still driving strategic execution of work in partnership with and through their team. A successful Chief Impact Officer will bring a natural ability to build consensus, challenge others to improve, and foster cohesion – internally and externally. An inclusive leader will be committed to embedding equity and justice into the organization’s culture, programs, and strategies.
  • Passion for the Mission: The Chief Impact Officer will have a passion for the mission of the Foundation and the organization’s history, model, and potential for future impact. This leader will be driven by the opportunity to impact the communities the Foundation serves. The Chief Impact Officer will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect.
  • Relationship Builder: The Chief Impact Officer will be an emotionally intelligent leader who has deep comfort connecting with people of different philosophies, backgrounds, and cultures – internally and externally. They will also be able to build bridges and lead through influence. The Chief Impact Officer will work to develop relationships with the team to ensure positive outcomes for the organization, identifying organizational efficiencies and leveraging opportunities to advance the Foundation’s mission, policies, and practices.
  • Change Agent: The Chief Impact Officer will bring energy to inspire the team and the community that the Foundation serves to achieve new heights around equity, inclusion, and justice. They will have an exceptional ability to listen intently, think clearly, and respond effectively, empathically, and judiciously to a variety of challenges. This individual will be a proactive, collaborative change agent with the skills to challenge the status quo while remaining sensitive to the Foundation’s culture and place in the community

The hiring range reflects SeaFdn’s objective to hire at approximately the mid-range within the associated grade. Per Washington State law, we disclose the full range of the associated grade for this position; this range is 100% of range and has not been adjusted.


  • Demonstrated progressive leadership growth with 10+ years of leadership experience in the nonprofit, social impact, public and/or philanthropic sector
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience is ideal. Advance degree in business, education, public administration, public policy, or other related field is highly desired
  • Track record of launching and leading collective impact efforts locally and/or nationally
  • Entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit
  • Track record in applying knowledge and experience in explicit racial equity and systems change work. Proven experience supporting policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Knowledge and/or experience of community needs in the greater Seattle region and understanding of policy, advocacy, and systems change work. Proven experience working alongside diverse BIPOC communities, organizations, and issues prioritized by communities and in the Blueprint for Impact.
  • Knowledge and/or experience in trust-based, community-led grantmaking and/or or fundraising efforts, including in the Foundation’s priority areas (e.g. democracy, climate justice, affordable housing, etc.)
  • Familiarity with social impact investing a plus, but not required
  • Proven ability and natural inclination towards innovative thinking around organizational strategies and building partnerships, including with community-based organizations and leaders, foundations, individuals, and the public and private sectors.
  • Adept in crafting and implementing thoughtful organizational strategies, in partnership with key stakeholders
  • Experience working cross-functionally and leading change within social impact and/or public sector teams


  • 100% Paid by employer: medical, dental, vision, life, AD&D, LTD. 403(b)
  • Retirement matched at 5%; increasing to 10% over time, 100% immediate vesting.
  • PTO: 3 weeks’ vacation, 2 weeks sick, 4 wellness days, 15 holidays,
  • $1,200 annual remote work benefit, $750 annual wellness benefit, $1,200 annual transit benefit; Professional development stipend, optional Flex plan and dependent coverage

Safety and Health Requirements:

Seattle Foundation places the health and safety of its employees and the communities we serve as our highest priority. To support this priority, we require that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Waivers are available for accepted medical and religious exemptions.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • DEI
  • NonProfit
  • chief impact officer
  • community foundation
  • impact

To apply for this job please visit www.linkedin.com.