CEO & Publisher
Religion News Foundation/Religion News Service
The Religion News Foundation and its subsidiary, the Religion News Service, are seeking a resourceful and dynamic chief executive officer to lead both organizations. This person would be the president of the Foundation and publisher of the news service. This person will oversee staff and programs at both entities, will help develop strategies and plans for their sustainability and growth, and will have the primary role in seeking grants and creating other new revenue streams.
About the Religion News Foundation
The Religion News Foundation is the supporting organization of the Religion News Association. RNA, created in 1949, advances professional standards of religion reporting and provides a support network for religion reporters, editors and producers. Since 1999, the foundation has worked to seek, receive and administer grants to create tools, training, and models for religion reporters, including scholarships; a tip sheet called ReligionLink; a religion stylebook and primer; webinars; and regional and global training events.
About the Religion News Service
The Religion News Foundation acquired the Religion News Service in 2011 and created a Board of Managers to oversee its operation. RNS is a non-profit news site that is reinventing itself in the digital age. RNS aims to be the largest single source of news about religion, spirituality and ideas. For most of its 80 years, it has been a wire service providing content to a wide range of publications and web sites. Its mission is to provide in-depth, non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ideas using the highest standards of public service journalism.
The Foundation in Fiscal Year 2017 expects to receive roughly $2 million in grants, primarily to finance the news service. It employs a part-time development director and a small part-time administrative staff based in Columbia, Missouri at the highly respected University of Missouri’s Journalism School.
RNS has an annual budget in Fiscal Year 2017 of about $1.7 million, with about three quarters of that coming from grant income. It has an editorial staff of 9 plus contributors, correspondents and columnists and a business staff of 2. It is based in Washington D.C. in the National Press Club Building.
Leadership & management:
The CEO will have overall responsibility for RNF staff, will chair the Board of Managers and will work collaboratively with the RNS editor, RNF board and partners to execute the news service and foundation’s mission by:
- Building relationships globally with media organizations, religion journalists, educators and foundations that support religious literacy, freedom of press, freedom of religion and a robust and informed public discourse. This person will develop programs and content that keep reporters and the general public informed.
- Ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, and all aspects of communications to engage and energize staff, volunteers, board members, committee members, partners and funders to embrace the RNA/RNF/RNS mission with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
- Providing day-to-day supervision of the RNS business staff and editor, advising on editorial products and overall editorial strategy from a business perspective. (Individual news judgment and editorial managerial control belong to the Editor-in-Chief.)
- Working collaboratively with the RNA chief operating officer to fulfill the foundation’s role as a supporting organization.
Expand RNF revenue-generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and global expansion. This includes seeking and renewing grants, identifying and developing fee-for-service opportunities and cultivating donor relations. A significant part of this includes developing a membership component, products and advertising strategies for RNS.
This is an exciting opportunity for a creative and innovative leader to assist a well-respected organization with ambitious goals. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. While no candidate is expected to have all of the professional and personal characteristics sought in this position, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:
- Demonstrated commitment to a belief in journalism as necessary for free and open societies and a record of staying current with cutting-edge thinking in digital journalism, publishing and community building
- A background in entrepreneurial experimentation, planning and business development, particularly in developing advertisers, donors, underwriters, and other revenue sources based on an engaged community
- Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop small and geographically dispersed teams, set and achieve strategic objectives and manage a budget
- Strong marketing, public relations and fundraising experience with the ability to create strategic partnerships and engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures, including a variety of religious traditions and media platforms.
- Knowledge of grant-making and meaningful relationships with key media and/or religion funders
- Visionary who is willing to take risks and continue the entrepreneurial innovation required to align priorities, goals and overall mission of RNF and RNS
- Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation with the flexibility to adapt and accommodate changing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
- Excellent interpersonal, as well as written and verbal communication skills and a management style combining respectful collaboration, wisdom and humor with disciplined productivity and persistence.
- Aptitude and drive to lead, mentor and motivate board members and staff and energize donors, funders, subscribers, other constituents
- Ability to travel internationally and represent RNF and RNS, and in the interim work from home, unless currently residing in Washington, DC (editorial office) or Columbia, MO (the RNF/administrative office) where an office is available if desired.
Salary and benefits
The salary offered is around $100,000 with the potential for significant increases based on performance markers. The benefit package is through the University of Missouri, which manages all employee human resources matters for RNF and RNS.
Candidates should send a cover letter explaining what strengths they would bring to this position as well as a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also list three references who could be contacted if you advance in the selection process. The deadline for applications is August 1, 2016. All applications will be kept confidential by the search committee.
RNF is an equal opportunity employer.