President and CEO - Ascend Nonprofit Solutions
Ascend Nonprofit Solutions – whose mission is to strengthen the Charlotte area’s nonprofit community through access to facilities and services that lead to greater impact and efficiency – seeks a visionary leader and natural relationship builder to serve as its next President and CEO. Reporting to and working with a 22-person Board of Directors, the President and CEO is responsible for the implementation of policies, and annual goals and objectives set by the Board as well as financial, program, and administrative management of the organization.
The President and CEO will provide leadership for the implementation of Ascend’s strategic direction with emphasis on growing and strengthening the organization’s partner base, geographic footprint, and funding sources. The President and CEO will lead a team of thirty who provide high-quality, affordable facilities and finance, HR, and IT solutions to its nonprofit partners so they can focus on advancing their missions.
The Ideal Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate has the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Strategic and Visionary Thinking
The President and CEO looks at the big picture and brings forth innovative ideas that further Ascend’s mission and vision. The leader maintains currency on trends related to shared services, the nonprofit sector, and the Charlotte region and interprets those to assess opportunities for or impacts on Ascend. The President and CEO is not satisfied with the status quo and can visualize the future and translate that vision into actionable plans. Ascend’s next leader is an inspiring communicator who is willing to take calculated risks and capable of rallying others around an idea or direction.
The President and CEO serves as the lead relationship builder for Ascend, fostering collaboration and championing the shared services model and nonprofit sector as a whole. The President and CEO is the face of the organization, tasked with identifying and cultivating opportunities that lead to partnerships, funding, and achievement of Ascend’s strategic goals. The ideal candidate strives to build effective coalitions with a broad range of stakeholders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, successfully articulating Ascend’s vision and benefit to the community. The President and CEO engages with diverse audiences to understand their perspectives and work toward solutions that foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within Ascend and amongst its partners and other stakeholders, recognizing that this will propel the organization to greater heights. The President and CEO is a strong communicator who is naturally curious and maintains positive working relationships with the staff, board of directors, partner agencies, committees, and other stakeholders critical to Ascend’s success.
The President and CEO leads a $5M+ organization, responsible for implementing sound policies and practices that ensure Ascend’s sustainability. This leader safeguards Ascend’s assets, monitors organizational capacity against commitments, and develops a staff that can execute the operational aspects of Ascend’s work in a manner that meets (and ideally exceeds) its partners’ needs. The President and CEO has solid financial literacy, strong emotional intelligence, knowledge of the environment in which Ascend operates, an understanding of stakeholder interests, and the ability to make both strategically significant and day-to-day decisions. Ascend’s next leader is an effective delegator who sets priorities and ensures accountability, using data and metrics to evaluate progress and drive decision-making while also fostering a unified, positive culture.
The President and CEO is an effective storyteller who can articulate Ascend’s value to the community and attract new supporters. The leader is capable of securing financial and other resources and has experience soliciting gifts from diverse funding channels including individual giving, foundation grants, corporate support, and fee for service arrangements. The President and CEO is Ascend’s chief fundraiser and promotes relational (vs. transactional) resource development efforts, ensuring that funders, donors, and partners feel appropriately acknowledged and appreciated.
Key lived experiences, attributes, and skill sets sought in the President and CEO
Ascend’s next President and CEO will demonstrate a myriad of experiences, attributes and skill sets from those outlined below.
- History of demonstrating the sound judgment, administrative skill, and financial acumen necessary to oversee day-to-day operations, direct staff, and manage a multi-million-dollar budget
- Strong interpersonal and deep relational skills, with the ability to advocate for the mission and build trust, garner respect, instill confidence, and develop camaraderie among diverse groups that include board, staff, partners, and community leaders
- Experience casting vision, developing strategy, and creating and executing against a plan
- Understanding of public, private, and nonprofit sectors with experience developing relationships between these entities
- Demonstrated fundraising experience with success in individual, corporate, foundation, and government giving; experience cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts
- Appreciation for, understanding of, and experience implementing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices
- Excellent communication skills
- Experience working effectively with a board of directors
- Experience in a nonprofit or shared services leadership role
- Experience in commercial real estate, property management, and/or facilities management
About the Organization
Ascend Nonprofit Solutions, originally known as Children & Family Services Center, was created in the early 2000’s to address the facility needs of nonprofits as a result of rapid growth and development in Charlotte. Ascend is a capacity-building nonprofit dedicated to strengthening other nonprofits through access to facilities and finance, HR, and IT solutions. In turn, nonprofits are able to redirect time and resources back to what they do best – advancing their missions.
Ascend’s mission: Strengthening the Charlotte area’s nonprofit community through access to facilities and services that leads to greater impact and efficiency.
Ascend’s vision: The Charlotte region is one where nonprofit organizations with community-serving programming have access to high-quality facilities and services that increases their impact.
Ascend opened its doors in 2003 to six nonprofits as a shared space with shared cost and a common purpose, then began offering additional support in 2009.
Ascend currently operates a five-story building in uptown Charlotte that provides office, meeting, and co-working space for its partners. They offer human resources, finance, information technology support, and fiscal sponsorship services.
Ascend has served 62 nonprofits and charitable organizations since its inception, with 18 of these being emerging grassroots organizations led by people of color. Of the nonprofits currently serviced:
- 80% are female led
- 70% minority led
- 58% of employees from nonprofit partners are people of color
Also a nonprofit, Ascend understands the challenges that being a nonprofit can bring. It's why they work hard to be as cost-effective as possible. By utilizing a shared services model for back-office solutions and offering below-market rent, Ascend is able to pass these savings on to their partners. By leveraging economies of scale and sharing in the cost, nonprofits have saved more than an estimated $25 million in rent and back-office support since Ascend’s founding.
In late 2021, Ascend (then Children & Family Services Center) adopted a new five-year strategic plan with the following goals:
- Augment the organization’s current Center City facility to foster a positive work environment while growing the facility footprint to include additional space(s) for use by current and new tenants.
- Expand access to Shared Services to support nonprofits of all missions while working collaboratively to solve the challenge of supporting and scaling emerging community-based organizations.
- Rebrand and reposition Children & Family Services Center (now Ascend Nonprofit Solutions) and its Shared Service offering to drive a new value proposition that encourages new client relationships and near-term investment toward long-term goals.
- Attract and retain the human resources necessary to realize the strategic plan to include an expanded organizational chart for staffing and a realigned structure of governance to secure volunteer leadership aligned to organizational vision.
These goals are guided by Ascend’s core values:
- Client-oriented: We make the organizations we serve the focus of everything we do.
- Compassion: We believe in the power of nonprofit leaders in our community to make change and empathize with the challenges they face through a welcoming, empowering environment.
- Expertise: We provide best-practice services and support, with a focus on exceptional service that is reliable and ethically provided.
- Inclusive: We provide equitable access to facilities and services for a wide variety of organizations and community champions, creating a culture that treats all with respect, dignity and fairness.
- Supportive: We increase the capacity of our organizational partners, helping them create more efficient approaches to service delivery that drive impact in the community.
Want to know more? Visit Ascend Nonprofit Solutions’ website at ascendnps.org.
Think you are Ascend Nonprofit Solutions’ next President and CEO?
Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please, and no applications will be accepted by email or directly from third-party posting sites.
Review of candidates will begin in May 2023 and continue until the position is filled.
Salary is commensurate with the requirements of the position and begins in the $170,000 range. Benefits include medical with a wellness option, dental, vision, life, AD&D, short, and long-term disability insurance; employee assistance program; flexible spending accounts; 401(k) retirement plan; paid time off; and 13 paid holidays.
Ascend Nonprofit Solutions actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates and is committed to equal employment opportunity.