GIA President & CEO Position Profile


   GIA President & CEO Position Profile (196Kb)

About Grantmakers in the Arts

Arts, culture and creative expression are broadly valued as essential to the human experience. They are recognized as core to connecting individuals and communities in building vitality and shaping responses to societal challenges and changes. Because of this, philanthropic leadership enthusiastically embraces the arts as critical to its giving philosophy.

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) is the only national network of private, public and corporate arts funders in the US, including independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, nonprofit regrantors and national service organizations – funders of all shapes and sizes across the US and into Canada.

GIA is widely regarded as the go-to place for relevant discussion and action within the philanthropic field. GIA provides leadership and service that advances the use of philanthropic and governmental resources to support the growth of arts and culture. At the intersection of philanthropy and the arts, GIA breaks down silos by creating and strengthening connections with, and for, those within its membership and constituency and across sectors.

GIA provides valuable professional development for arts grantmakers through conferences, forums, workshops and webinars. GIA also produces publications including the peer-reviewed GIA Reader; research and policy work across the field of philanthropy; a significant library of resources; and a daily changing news feed on the GIA website.

GIA has made substantial contributions to arts philanthropy in its primary focus areas of 1) arts education 2) support for individual artists 3) financial health of the nonprofit arts sector (capitalization) and 4) racial equity in arts philanthropy. Beyond these focus areas, GIA uses its communication, convening and research tools to inform the field of cross-sector work, new philanthropic practices and other issues driven by member interest.

For the past five years, GIA has taken the lead on shifting the national conversation away from tepid diversity and inclusion efforts, and has moved fully into the space of unpacking, analyzing, identifying and solving issues related to structural racism in philanthropy and in the arts. Through a statement of purpose, an organizational audit, programming, articles and upcoming workshops across the nation, GIA’s work has been lauded across the sector.

For over seven years, GIA has presented “Conversations on Capitalization and Community” in over 15 communities for funders and grantees. GIA has hosted a total of 453 funders at 21 workshops throughout the country and presented at conferences for national partners such as TCG, The League of American Orchestras and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Over 1,000 nonprofit leaders from grantee organizations have attended the “Conversations” workshops. The workshops focus on how funders and their grantees can implement practices to enhance financial sustainability and change practices, by both funders and grantees, that have prevented financial success for the nonprofit sector.

Working with a public relations and lobbying firm in Washington DC, GIA’s Arts Education Funders Coalition has had influence on federal education policy and other public policies that affect the arts sector.

GIA’s reach continues to grow nationally and internationally through its communication platforms, including social media, the Reader, the news feed on its website, webinars and a weekly membership bulletin.

Operating out of Seattle, Washington, GIA is governed by a 23-member Board of Directors comprised of leading arts grantmakers from independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations and nonprofit regranters. With an annual operating budget of $2.2M, a healthy cash reserve and a staff of 8, GIA serves more than 300 membership organizations and has between 70-80 funding partners annually, defined as members who support the organization’s work beyond membership dues.

The Opportunity

The next President & CEO of GIA will provide strategic and innovative leadership to continue to guide the organization to relevance and impact. Building on GIA’s recent success, the President & CEO will partner with the Board of Directors to develop a vision and strategic plan for GIA’s next chapter.

The President & CEO will be a highly visible face of the organization. S/he will represent GIA to its membership and in the broader arts and philanthropic communities. S/he will have operational responsibility for GIA’s programs, publications, fundraising, conference, events, advocacy efforts, finances and staff. The President & CEO will manage GIA’s staff of eight and ensure they are working effectively to support and advance the mission.

The President & CEO will be instrumental in helping GIA continue to strengthen its position as a leader in the sector and deepen relationships with the membership. Key metrics for success of this role include:

  • Developing a vision for GIA’s next chapter that will continue to move the sector towards greater equity while deepening GIA’s position as a thought leader;
  • Successfully managing GIA’s fundraising and operating budget to allow for flexibility in the coming years to bring a new vision to life; and
  • Partnering effectively with the Board of Directors and staff to deepen engagement with the membership through programming and publications.

Candidate Profile

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


The President & CEO will be a champion of the arts and the arts and cultural philanthropic community. S/he will be looked to for leadership in the field and will guide GIA to deepen its work as a convener, catalyst and thought leader. Although experience as a grantmaker is not a requirement, s/he must have a sophisticated understanding of the arts and cultural landscape. S/he will speak passionately about race, equity and inclusion and will have the energy, passion and determination to guide the sector into uncharted territory. The President & CEO will be able to inspire the staff, Board and the GIA membership to see where the sector should be going and push the membership forward in an inclusive and collaborative manner. S/he will be an explorer, a person who naturally looks past the horizon, and will promote the value of thinking creatively.

Strategic Leadership

The President & CEO will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who is experienced at articulating and implementing a plan for increased impact in an organization’s next chapter. S/he will effectively use GIA’s position to strengthen the impact of arts grantmaking and promote best practices amongst the membership. The President & CEO will have the enthusiasm to remain at the forefront of the sector and to develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission. S/he will be dedicated to the needs of GIA’s membership and the greater philanthropic community. The President & CEO will lead GIA to new heights in terms of programming and will attack new ideas with drive and energy.

An Ambassador for GIA

The President & CEO will be a high-energy, charismatic leader who will serve as an ‘Ambassador’ for GIA. S/he will be a confident public speaker who inherently enjoys the external side of the role. S/he will represent GIA in the national arts, culture and philanthropic arenas and will be credible and effective at conveying GIA’s mission and vision. The President & CEO will be an experienced or emergent fundraiser and will be successful generating support from all stakeholders. S/he will be a strong verbal and written communicator who serves as an effective public face of the organization.


The President & CEO will have a track record of success in organizational management. S/he will have strong financial and operational experience to continually improve GIA’s programs and outcomes. S/he will be a strong manager who engenders trust in the staff and holds people accountable. S/he will have a successful track record in staff development and Board relations. The President & CEO will be an inspirational and team-focused leader of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search firm that works with nonprofit clients, has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please email Alison Ranney and Alexandra Corvin directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Candidate interviews are expected to begin in late May / early June 2017.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

Posted on April 10, 2017.