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Atlanta, GA · Volunteering/Non-Profit

R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation

Status: Full-time, exempt employee
Salary: $190,000 – $225,000
Location: Atlanta, GA 
Reports to: Board of Trustees
Deadline: Apply by mid-May for best consideration. 

About the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation

The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation improves the lives of Georgians by supporting educational opportunities, improving access to health services, and advancing environmental stewardship. Mr. Dobbs, a 20-year President and CEO of the Life Insurance Company of Georgia, established the Foundation in 1959. Since his death in 2003, his extended family has stewarded the Foundation in collaboration with community trustees with a commitment to honor Mr. Dobbs’ life and legacy through its work. The Foundation’s board is grounded in core values of service, friendship, collaboration, consensus, innovation, empathetic partnership, and leadership.

With assets of $60 million and annual grantmaking totaling approximately $2.5 million, the Foundation supports three interest areas in Georgia’s urban, suburban, and rural communities: 

  • Education: Strengthen teaching and learning in public K-12 districts by investing in educators through high quality professional development, equitable practices that support relevant and effective pedagogy, and recruitment and retention initiatives. 
  • Health: Expand access to basic health services including primary, behavioral, oral, and vision through evidence-based approaches. Prioritize capacity-building and system change investments to improve maternal health and child and adolescent mental health.
  • Environment: Invest in a culture of equitable conservation across Georgia with priorities that include preservation of GA’s coast, conservation and expansion of Longleaf pine ecosystems, and making selective investments in high value conservation initiatives across the state.

The Foundation’s primary focus is supporting low-income residents and families, with each interest area strategically grounded in principles of equity in order to support Georgia’s most underserved and underrepresented populations. In 2018, the Foundation staff and trustees began an ongoing journey to build a collective equity and social justice lens through board education, grantmaking priorities, and collective impact partnerships.

Over the past decade, the Foundation has become known for fostering innovative partnerships to achieve large-scale solutions. The Foundation’s facilitative leadership, and ability to invite new investors to the table, has benefited the establishment or growth of initiatives such as One Hundred Miles, Stewards of the Georgia Coast, the Drawdown Georgia Climate Equity Grant Collaborative, the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative, and many others.

In 2002, the Foundation established the Dobbs Fund as a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, to develop the family’s rising generations’ leadership capacity and strengthen the family’s ties through community-minded philanthropy. The Dobbs Fund provides grantmaking opportunities and a matching grant program for family members under the age of 21, culminating with an annual summer retreat open to all members of the Dobbs family.

David Weitnauer has served as the Foundation’s President since 2007. In light of his plan to retire in late 2024, the board has actively engaged in a year-long period of succession planning including an assessment and affirmation of the Foundation’s strategic priorities for the next three to five years. This exercise ensures that the next President has a strategic framework and strong foundation for achieving the Foundation’s planned educational, environmental, and health outcomes. 

The Foundation has a two-person staff and is guided by a collegial and collaborative ten-member Board of Trustees comprised of five members of the third generation of Mr. Dobbs’ family and four community members representing valuable issue area expertise. The staff’s work within each area of interest is guided by the input of program committees of the board. An investment committee comprised of trustees and volunteer investment professionals advises and supports the board’s oversight of the Foundation’s investment strategy. The Foundation’s offices are co-located in downtown Atlanta in partnership with the Tull Charitable Foundation and the Sartain Lanier Family Foundation. Learn more at www.dobbsfoundation.org. 

Leadership Opportunity
The Board of Trustees seeks a creative and adaptive leader to lead the Foundation into its next chapter. The President promotes the Foundation’s mission, vision, and values and is responsible for implementing and managing the Foundation’s strategic priorities and philanthropic goals. They will lead the Foundation with passion, authenticity, and integrity, exhibiting strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. 

The President is the Foundation’s primary spokesperson and ambassador, responsible for communicating an inspiring strategic direction that advances the Foundation’s mission through its three interest areas. They will value clear and transparent communication as they advance the Foundation’s reputation as a trusted philanthropic partner and innovative leader in local, regional, and national family philanthropy. In guiding a family foundation, the President will serve as an advisor and steward of the Dobbs family’s philanthropic legacy as they build caring connections with multiple generations of the family. 

The incoming President will expand the Foundation’s record of collaborative leadership by leveraging strategic partnerships, funding collaboratives, advocacy agendas, and collective impact projects. In addition to directing its grant priorities, the President will work with the board and other partners to cultivate and implement new opportunities for community-driven solutions to systemic inequities. Engaging the board in a spirit of co-creation, the President will take entrepreneurial approaches to how the Foundation fulfills its mission beyond grantmaking, to include leveraging the foundation’s endowed assets through impact investing and other mission-related investments. 

The President is also responsible for administering the Foundation’s operations, financial management, and staffing with an eye toward efficiently maximizing limited resources. They will supervise a team of one to two employees, and report to the Board of Trustees through the Board Chair and Executive Committee.  

Key Responsibilities:

Governance and Trustee Stewardship

  • In partnership with the Chair, cultivate a board culture that is values-aligned, encourages active engagement, and promotes learning and connection among trustees in service of effective philanthropy and impact.
  • Serve as the board’s primary spokesperson across broad and diverse audiences. 
  • Provide leadership and coordination of the board’s annual governance calendar, committee work, board development, and succession planning, including elections and future evolution of board composition.
  • Support the board’s ability to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility in stewardship of the public trust. Ensure administrative policies and practices reflect full regulatory compliance, high ethical standards, and best practices.
  • Steward relationships with trustees to support their awareness, understanding, and sense of personal connection with the Foundation’s purpose, people, and work.
  • Engage and nurture the family’s rising generations through the Dobbs Fund. 
Grantmaking and Partnerships
  • With the board, lead and oversee grantmaking, partnerships, and other social investments.
  • Cultivate learning for staff and board across the Foundation’s three interest areas and the evolving landscape of philanthropic and social investment practices. 
  • Strengthen the Foundation’s ability to understand and apply an inclusive and equitable lens to grantmaking and partnerships.
  • Establish responsive and respectful relationships with current and prospective grantees by prioritizing transparency, clear and timely communication, and efficiency.
  • Build and maintain collaborative partnerships with other grantmakers, community partners, and agencies in service of the Foundation’s mission and sector development.
  • Identify, steward, and support innovative collaborations to address large-scale, collective challenges relevant for the Foundation’s three interest areas and their respective priorities. 
  • Represent the Foundation with local and national philanthropy-serving organizations and make appropriate connections to board and staff, as needed. 
Operations and Administration
  • Supervise, mentor, and develop staff in a positive, collaborative office culture.
  • Prepare and monitor annual budgets and work with staff and outsourced accountant and audit team to ensure financial oversight, appropriate controls, and accurate reporting. 
  • Maintain and update policies, procedures, and systems to ensure optimal operating practices and full compliance with tax and legal frameworks. 
  • Oversee future technology investments, such as grants management systems and board communication tools. 
  • Partner closely with the board’s Investment Committee, Executive Committee, and professional advisors to administer investment, banking, accounting, and audit functions, as well as provide for associated recordkeeping and reporting. 
  • Foster high-trust, collaborative relationships with colleagues in co-located foundations. 
Experience, Skills, and Qualities
This position will be a challenging and rewarding opportunity that requires a diverse set of skills and experiences. While we understand that no single candidate can possess every qualification listed below, the following are priority areas:
  • Passion for the Foundation’s mission and alignment with its values.
  • No less than seven years of management experience in a nonprofit, foundation, or community-driven social enterprise. Experience with grantmaking is considered a plus. 
  • Professional, personal, or civic leadership experiences with nonprofits that provide support to low-income and racially diverse communities. 
  • Personal attributes such as emotional intelligence, integrity, empathy, maturity, critical thinking, patience, and a sense of humor.  
  • Exceptionally relational; takes a direct and hands-on approach to building relationships with family members, community members, peers, and current and prospective grantees. 
  • A strategic mindset, ability to forecast trends, and capacity to connect ideas and action. 
  • Record of building and sustaining innovative partnerships that take collaborative approaches to address systemic and inequitable issues. 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Comfort serving in representational capacities, such as speaking on panels, committees, and in the media. 
  • Process-oriented with excellent project management and organizational skills. 
  • Experience with efficient use of technology to improve operations. 
  • Record of supervising a small team; experience building positive team culture.
  • Prior experience working with or serving on a board of trustees; adept at facilitating dialogue between board and leadership.
  • Knowledge of business operations and financial management in small settings. Familiarity with asset management or impact investing is desirable, but not required.
  • Local ties, including current or past record of personal and/or professional connections in related fields in Georgia, or the southeastern region of the U.S., are considered a plus.
The board is targeting a salary of $190,000 to $225,000, commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, a retirement with employer contributions, and paid time off. 

Working Location
The Foundation’s offices are in downtown Atlanta, GA and the President travels frequently around the state for industry and grantee meetings. 

Application Process
The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation has retained the services of Good Insight, an executive search firm that exclusively serves the nonprofit sector. Interested applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter that describes their interest in and qualifications for this role. Direct confidential inquiries to Carlyn Madden and Tej Pikle at DobbsFoundation@good-insight.org. Upload application materials to www.good-insight.org/careers.

For best consideration, please apply by mid-May. Qualified applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search. 

Equal Opportunity Employer
The R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability, and any other protections allowed for by state and federal law. 


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