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Executive Director

Odyssey Impact

Odyssey Impact seeks a social-justice minded, passionate, visionary leader skilled in driving creative and business strategy, fundraising, and managing and
motivating a versatile team.

About Odyssey Impact

Founded in 1987 as the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Odyssey Impact connects faith and secular communities to build a more compassionate, just, and hopeful world. Odyssey Impact employs award-winning films and social impact campaigns to change attitudes in the critical areas of religious intolerance, race, gender, gun violence, criminal and economic justice, and mental health.

Odyssey Impact believes that powerful stories catalyze change, and they unite faith-based organizations, religious leaders, and secular partners to amplify faith voices in the public square. Odyssey Impact recognizes the need for people to become more united, and uses documentaries to build and execute strategic, transformative impact campaigns around urgent social issues.

Odyssey Impact’s current social impact campaigns include:

  • “Stranger/Sister,” which tells the story of two ordinary women, one Muslim and one Jewish, who join together to stop the wave of hatred for their respective faith traditions. Overcoming a long history of distrust between their two religions, the women build a movement that turns strangers into sisters, challenging our assumptions about how to fight hate in America.
  • “Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street,” which draws a century-long thread from the Tulsa Race Massacre to the present by exploring the lingering economic, psychological, and emotional effects that undermined the rebuilding of the once thriving Tulsa, Oklahoma, community.
  • “Healing the Healers,” a Silver Telly Award winning multimedia resource collection showcasing peer-to-peer conversations with faith leaders on crisis issues designed to be used in classroom curricula, as congregational tools, and for self-learning. Each video and accompanying expert guide offers strategies and insights to educate faith leaders on challenging issues such as recovering from communal trauma, domestic violence, youth mental health, and healing communities divided by extremism and racial injustice.

For more information about Odyssey Impact, please visit Odyssey-Impact.org/

About the Position

At the heart of Odyssey Impact is the mission to connect people, communities, and organizations to the stories that uplift society’s most pressing issues. Organizational and individual partners are key to Odyssey Impact’s work of producing documentaries, creating social impact campaigns, and building coalitions of people to inspire action, connect communities, and drive social change.

As the primary face and spokesperson for the organization, the new Executive Director will be key in the creation and cultivation of new organizational and individual partnerships at Odyssey Impact, both in the secular and interfaith communities. Additionally, the new Executive Director will lead development processes at the organization, setting and pursuing strategy and annual goals. The Executive Director will also work to identify new avenues for revenue generation at the organization, particularly in the corporate and foundation space, leveraging the organization’s numerous documentaries, programs, and relationships.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will have overall management responsibility for a $2.5 million annual budget, nine employees, and nine consultants.

A dynamic, creative, faith-informed leader, the new Executive Director will set the tone for the organization’s culture, encouraging collaboration, innovation, and creativity among staff members and outside partners. A passionate, credible advocate for social justice issues and the role faith communities can play in them, the Executive Director will represent Odyssey Impact before diverse audiences in the faith and secular spaces.

Key Responsibilities

Executive Leadership and Organizational Management

  • Provide thoughtful and visionary leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and empowering in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission
  • Attract and collaborate with talented filmmakers and producers to expand the award-winning slate of powerful films and impact campaigns
  • Examine the current business model and identify viable expansion of revenue opportunities
  • Establish goals, objectives, and operational plans to implement policies and build support for Board decisions among staff
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensure that deliverables are met
  • Manage a currently remote staff efficiently, while deftly overseeing the work of consultants and third-party suppliers
  • Organize, motivate, and mentor internal team leaders to encourage collaboration, staff development, and performance management
  • Possess humility, graciousness, and a proven ability to build strong internal and external relationships
  • Apply innovative thinking and performance measurements to analyze and support strategic decision-making

Board Governance

  • Maintain regular and ongoing communication with the Board, providing leadership and support to members, and identifying risks and issues around potential decisions
  • Work with staff to provide Board members with all necessary information to function constructively and make informed, timely decisions
  • Attend all Board meetings and provide reports and updates on staff, current work, project timelines, and organizational progress
  • Present strategic options and plans for organizational impact, an d gain necessary Board approval for such plans to carry out the mission of the organization

Development and Fundraising

  • Lead the organization’s fundraising efforts by representing them to potential funders, clients, and partners, dynamically articulating the organization’s vision and programs
  • Drive development and implement annual fundraising goals in collaboration with staff and Board as appropriate
  • Nurture and expand relationships with the organization’s current portfolio of individual, foundation, and corporate donors
  • Initiate and cultivate relationships with new funding sources among faith-based and secular foundations and corporations, as well as select high-net-worth individuals

Financial Management and Administration

  • Ensure the organization’s financial stability and sustainability by maintaining a healthy cash flow and adequate reserves
  • Prudently direct resources and manage all financials within budget guidelines, and assume responsibility for the fiscal integrity of the organization, according to current laws and regulations
  • Build and administer the annual budget with Board of Trustees approval
  • Regularly monitor Board-approved budgets and manage financial operations to ensure maximum use of resources and optimal financial positioning of the organization

External Relations and Communications

  • Represent the organization publicly, and serve as chief spokesperson at events, conferences, and partnership meetings
  • Present and promote the organization and its mission, programs, and partners in a consistently positive manner, working to elevate the brand and significantly raise awareness
  • Ensure high visibility for Odyssey Impact and its work to the public and potential supporters
  • Oversee all aspects of the organization’s marketing, communications and public relations efforts

Key Qualifications

Candidates may emerge from nonprofit, foundation, government, religious, or industry backgrounds, and should possess the following: An advanced degree plus five years of prior experience as an Executive Director, or in a senior position at a nonprofit or foundation of similar size, or comparable positions within government or industry. Candidates based in the New York area would be preferred, but Odyssey Impact is willing to consider remote candidates.

  • Strong business acumen and a proven history of providing visionary leadership at the executive level
  • A thoughtful management style that promotes diversity, inclusivity, collaboration, and mentorship
  • A high emotional intelligence and infectious passion for social justice issues
  • Proven experience increasing philanthropic support and building corporate revenue through innovative programs and products
  • Experience in marketing, communications, and public relations
  • An established track record for executing organizational growth of a similarly sized nonprofit or related entity
  • Success in recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse, results-oriented teams. Knowledge of Human Resources a plus
  • Excellent written, oral, and public speaking skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong, interpersonal, and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Experience in media, particularly in film and television; ease in collaborating with and directing content creators
  • Experience in advocacy and a demonstrated track record of promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Familiarity and comfort with engaging secular and faith-based communities

Odyssey Impact demonstrates its commitment to diversity with over 30 years’ experience promoting multi-faith dialogue and cooperation. In addition to being a safe space for people of all faiths to have their voices & stories heard and respected, Odyssey Impact is dedicated to revealing and challenging racial injustice through our films and campaigns and in being an inclusive and collaborative environment for all, regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, age, or ideology.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to: [email protected]

For more information, please visit www.developmentguild.com.

Suzanne Battit

Senior Vice President

Development Guild DDI

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.