Executive Director

Compensation: $125,000 – $150,000 DOE/neg.
Benefits Package: 28 days PTO, healthcare, pension, 457 plan, car allowance, phone allowance.
Locations: San Diego, CA.
Reports To: Board of Directors.
Direct Reports: Director of Housing, Director of Supportive Services, Office Manager, Accountant.

Townspeople is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees.

Our Story

We believe that health starts with housing. In 1984 a group of concerned San Diegans organized to provide comfort and assistance to the growing number of residents suffering from HIV/AIDS. As patient numbers grew, so did the organization’s commitment to fundraising for critical programs and services throughout San Diego County. In 1994 the organization formally incorporated as Townspeople, opening San Diego’s first permanent housing site for people living with HIV/AIDS. Since that time Townspeople has acquired additional properties while expanding our range of housing and supportive services.

Today our team provides support, information, and referrals for over 10,000 clients every year, ensuring our most vulnerable residents have access to safe, affordable housing which is linked to on-going supportive services such as nutrition, case management, government benefits and other social services. We are an owner or operator of more than 130 units of affordable housing across 4 properties that support our target populations of previously homeless individuals, veterans, families, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS or special needs.

Our 5 core service areas include:

  1. Affordable Housing– we operate – and sometimes finance and build – affordable housing and supportive services for people with special needs to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.
  2. Emergency Housing– serving homeless/low-income persons living with (HIV/AIDS) and their households. As a short-term housing solution, it is a bridge to other long-term housing options. Emergency housing vouchers are paired with case management and support services.
  3. HIV / AIDS Housing– still one of or core programs. We believe an individual’s ability to remain stably housed is the main determinant of health and wellbeing. This is particularly true among individuals and families of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
  4. Veterans Housing – solutions tailored to the unique needs of our local veterans community, working with participants to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.
  5. Supportive Services – Townspeople residents live in communities with full access to services that encourage independence and growth, tailored to the needs of the individual or family. Our service philosophy is based on providing compassionate, individualized, voluntary services designed to help tenants meet their own goals for self-sufficiency and self-determination.

Position Summary

Townspeople seeks a charismatic and dynamic leader who will leverage new ideas and fresh thinking to take the organization to new heights. Reporting to our Board of Directors, the Executive Director will assume overall responsibility for the organization’s success, with oversight of a $3M budget and a team of 16 staff, plus a network of additional vendors and service providers. In partnership with the Board, they will define and execute an updated strategic plan for Townspeople, boosting our capacity to serve more San Diegans in need. To this end, the Executive Director will dedicate a significant portion of their attention to developing new revenue sources outside of our current federal and county contracts.

This role requires a charismatic, passionate, and sincere individual, as they will be the key representative and advocate for our organization across the community. We recognize that people are the heart of this organization, and seek a leader with experience building a healthy, supportive workplace culture through creation of shared meaning.

Anticipated allocation of responsibilities:

  1. Fundraising – 35%
  2. Partnership Development – 35%
  3. Staff Management and Board Relations – 20%
  4. Business Operations (Property Management, Financial Oversight / AP / Payroll) – 10%

Priorities within the first year include:

  • Learn the organization inside and out, developing a sound understanding of each team member’s role; identify opportunities for coaching and mentoring.
  • Spend time at each of our properties getting to know each community and the needs and challenges of its residents.
  • Assess our current organizational structure, including business systems, processes, and procedures; make recommendations for optimization.
  • Become deeply immersed in our property management operations, taking a hands-on management approach and making process and procedural upgrades as required.
  • Shift the organization to a more data-centric mindset, measuring outcomes to improve operations and service levels to our residents.
  • Implement strategies for team building and professional development for staff.
  • Work in close partnership with the Board to establish a new strategic plan.
  • Develop a strategy and pipeline for increasing the size and diversity of our board.
  • Create a new development plan, clearly defining our fundraising strategy and milestones.
  • Identify potential partnerships with other organizations and track the outcomes from pursuing these opportunities.

Priorities for years 2-5:

  • Ensure the organization is poised for sustainable growth with a balanced budget.
  • Diversify our funding streams while growing existing sources of revenue.
  • Enhance our organizational footprint through branding, marketing, and strategic communications, both internal and external.
  • Identify possibilities for to streamline and optimize reporting requirements, thereby reducing our administrative burden.
  • Review HR policies and strategies, including the employee handbook.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Partner with the Board in the strategic planning process; foster open and effective communication with the Board and fully leverage each member’s strengths and connections.
  • Promote a collaborative work environment where all staff are engaged, informed, and empowered to participate.
  • Enhance and administer an effective performance management system for all employees that includes annual goal setting and periodic evaluations.
  • Raise the organization’s public profile by 1) serving as its spokesperson and advocate and 2) serving as a high-profile visionary and influential leader in the community.
  • Participate in community events such as the San Diego AIDS Walk, San Diego Pride, etc.
  • Establish and maintain exceptional rapport with key stakeholders, including our residents, partner organizations, foundations, affordable housing developers, and our property management company.
  • Create and execute a comprehensive development plan to include individual and major gifts, grants, corporate sponsors, events, and other partnerships.
  • Set appropriate short and long-term revenue targets and take ownership for reaching them.
  • Integrate development and marketing/communications strategies to maximize our brand exposure and fundraising opportunities.
  • Ensure existing and potential new programs and events advance our mission, are financially sustainable, and adequately staffed.
  • Expand our relationships with variousaffordable housing and supportive services providers.
  • Conduct research and attend events and trainings to stay apprised of developments in the field of affordable housing.
  • Oversee the organization’s finances, including its budget and payroll.
  • Maintain official records and documents in accordance with federal, state, and local government requirements, as well as that of other grants and funding sources.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Connects authentically to our mission of providing affordable housing and support services to low-income and systemically marginalized San Diegans.
  • Leads with emotional intelligence including a steadfast commitment to creating and sustaining a happy, healthy, and high-performing workplace culture.
  • Thick skinned: brings the ability to process very tough humanitarian issues; able to maintain hope and optimism in the face of suffering and tragedy.
  • Acts with humility, self-awareness, and unyielding ethical standards.
  • Demonstrates persistence, a strong personal initiative, and a drive to complete projects.
  • Capable of having the difficult conversations and making tough decisions when required.
  • Promotes a workplace culture of accountability, inclusiveness, and collaboration.
  • Employs anopen and inclusive decision-making style; fosters strong relations with the Board.
  • Recognizes untapped potential and leverages these opportunities.
  • Focuses on the future and devises a path to get there with innovative, yet practical methods.
  • Unabashed optimist who can see through or around obstacles.
  • A natural connector who can bring the right people and resources together to effect change.
  • An effective ambassador and public speaker; a true “people-person.”

Experience & Skill Set

  • 7+ years’ experience as a leader, manager, or key team member of a small-to-medium-sized nonprofit organization.
  • Prior experience within the fields of affordable housing, human services or property/asset management is highly desirable.
  • Direct experience with case management principles and supportive services.
  • Complete end-to-end understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Skilled at connecting with individuals across all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds in the community.
  • Experienced partnering with boards on strategic planning and working to ensure goals and milestones are met or exceeded.
  • Strong written, oral, and listening skills, and able to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
  • Business acumen – formidable skills with budgeting, reporting, operations, and marketing; understanding of current HR best practices and CA labor law.
  • Gives attention to both short-term and long-term objectives.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 First Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101