Cooper Coleman Seeks Strategic Partnerships Officer for Proteus Fund

April 12, 2023 – Chicago-based Cooper Coleman LLC has been enlisted to find a strategic partnerships officer for the RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of Proteus Fund, a public foundation that works to advance democracy, human rights, and peace, in New York City. The assignment is being led by executive search consultant Paul Towne.

“Ongoing violence and discrimination against black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities underscore the need for a deeper commitment from philanthropy,” said Cooper Coleman. “For every $100 spent by social justice philanthropy, only about one dollar is spent in the BAMEMSA field. Under the supervision of the RISE Together Fund program director, the strategic partnerships officer plays a lead role in addressing this imbalance and ensuring RTF has the resources to meet the increasing needs of the BAMEMSA field and communities. Specifically, the strategic partnerships officer oversees the design and execution of RTF’s fundraising strategy by unlocking the full potential of donor partners through strategic long-term relationships and organizational partnerships.”

The strategic partnerships officer is expected to lead annual and long-term the non-profit’s fundraising planning, goal setting, and execution with a view toward meeting and exceeding annual and multi-year fundraising goals, said the search firm. The individual must also develop individualized goals, strategies, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each current and prospective donor partner to ensure an authentic sense of strategic partnership with each donor. This officer is also charged with supporting the program director and program officers in their fundraising goals.

This leader will also provide direction within RTF to analyze revenue trends and forecast accordingly, said Cooper Coleman. He or she will be expected to prepare regular fundraising activity and revenue reports for the program director and other stakeholders. Among other duties, the individual must also draft compelling donor outreach and stewardship materials and maintains primary responsibility for developing messages, strategy memos, talking points, and materials for all fundraising efforts.

Key Qualifications

Candidates for this strategic partnerships officer role must have five years or more of formal or informal experience in fundraising, which could include writing proposals and reports to foundations and individual donors, stewarding, soliciting, and closing gifts, or other equivalent development experience, said the search firm. They should also  possess a deep understanding of the BAMEMSA experience, a commitment to advancing the rights of the BAMEMSA field, and a track record of working with diverse communities. Prospects should have a working knowledge on the substance, dynamics, trends, and priorities within philanthropy, including experience working with donor partners and applying best practices in donor partner cultivation, stewardship, and grant writing.

Proteus Fund is a public foundation that partners with foundations, advocates, and individual donors to advance democracy, human rights, and peace. Founded in 1994, Proteus has awarded over $120 million and managed over $50 million in grants towards the realization of a just, equitable and democratic world. The Proteus model is built on an efficient and customized framework of financial, compliance, human resources and other services.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits CEO for Interact for Health

The RISE Together Fund (RTF) and RISE Together Action Fund (RTAF) support cutting-edge BAMEMSA field-led work. RTF bolsters its national grantmaking with programming, field building, and technical assistance to build and expand the capacity of the BAMEMSA movement toward racial, gender, and queer justice and a fully inclusive and representative democracy. Since 2008, RTF has funded directly impacted voices to lead policy and social change in BAMEMSA communities.

Proven Search Consultants

Founded in 2020, Cooper Coleman is a full-service executive search and consulting firm partnering exclusively with non-profit organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions to drive meaningful growth. Its team moves organizations forward by placing “the right leaders in the right roles at the right time” and helps to strengthen their management and fundraising capacity to amplify their mission and impact.

Cooper Coleman Recruits COO for AIDS United
Following a national search, Cooper Coleman has recruited Brad Kiley as vice president and chief operating officer of Washington, D.C.-based AIDS United. Johnny Cooper, founder and CEO of the firm, led the assignment. “We are thrilled to have Brad join AIDS United as our next chief operating officer,” said Jesse Milan, CEO. “He is an impressive professional with extensive experience in public and non-profit operational management, financial oversight, and systems building. Brad will be a great addition to our leadership team and a wonderful partner for AIDS United’s grantees, members, and staff as we continue our mission of ending the HIV epidemic.”

Johnny Cooper, founder and CEO of the firm, has more than 16 years of leadership experience throughout the social sector. He partnered with his father-in-law, William B. Coleman, to establish Cooper Coleman as a firm that “prioritizes making the essential services of executive search accessible to organizations across the social sector, knowing the transformational impact having the right leaders in the right roles can have on an organization and its mission,” the firm said. Mr. Coleman has more than 25 years’ experience in retained executive search, including leading his own firm, Coleman Search Consulting LLC, for more than 10 years until its sale in 2018.

Mr. Towne has devoted his career to advancing social good, splitting his time between raising funds for some of the world’s most impactful organizations and championing technology that promotes charitable giving and organizational effectiveness. He most recently served as senior director of institutional partnerships for Resilia, a social impact start-up that partners with foundations to support capacity building, storytelling, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. He held similar sales and business development roles with United Way Worldwide, CyberGrants, and IBM.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits Chief Technology Officer for Lambda Legal

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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