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(Archived) Greater Cincinnati Foundation President & CEO

Last Updated: 8/24/23

Job Description


  • Are you passionate about making Greater Cincinnati a more vibrant, equitable and inclusive community?
  • Do you embrace being the leader of an organization with staff, community partners, donors, business leaders and public officials?
  • Are you a natural relationship-builder and strong fundraiser?
  • Have you reported to a Board or served as a Board member of a philanthropic organization?
  • Have you developed and led a talented, passionate, and driven leadership team?

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is hiring a President & CEO to lead the organization and ensure continued growth and community impact.


As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant and equitable Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. A staff of 61 passionate team members steward approximately $900 million in assets and made grants of $112 million in 2022 in the areas of human services, the environment, education, arts and culture and economic development. GCF is a leader and convenor in advancing community progress around racial justice, economic mobility, impact investing and affordable housing.


The President & CEO has primary responsibility for positioning and developing GCF as the philanthropic resource for the Greater Cincinnati community. Working in partnership with the Governing Board, the President & CEO establishes GCF’s vision and strategic plan. The President & CEO translates GCF’s strategic plan into a coherent course of action for the organization, providing leadership and motivation for staff and the various constituencies of GCF, including donors, grantee partners, and community leaders and residents. The President & CEO is the chief spokesperson for GCF, taking the lead to promote GCF within the community as a visible catalyst and advocate for creative community problem solving. The President & CEO is accountable to the Governing Board for effectively managing the organization and achieving successful results.


  • Asset Development (Giving Strategies): With the Chief Philanthropic Officer and Development Committee, develop comprehensive plans for asset development. Participate directly and actively in promoting the Foundation’s benefits and services to current and potential donors. Spearhead the effort to double the amount of GCF’s assets under management in the next five years.
  • Communications and Public Relations: With the Vice President of Marketing and Integration, guide the communications strategy to promote GCF’s goals for community impact, regional relationships, and asset growth. Serve as GCF’s primary spokesperson. Represent GCF with local and national organizations as well as at a variety of events.
  • Community Leadership: Convene and/or engage in collaborative efforts with other grant makers and community organizations, creating and supporting programs and initiatives in which GCF has a mutual interest. Have a seat at the table for critical community conversations.
  • Donor Services: Develop and oversee the Foundation’s strategy for continuously expanding and improving philanthropic services to donors. Cultivate and steward relationships with prospects and existing donors. Serve as relationship manager for key donors as part of the Foundation’s overall donor services strategy.
  • Finance and Investment: With the Chief Financial Officer and Finance/Audit & Investment Committees, oversee GCF’s financial operations, including preparation of the annual operating budget, monitoring and control of expenditures, and periodic reporting to the Governing Board. Provide oversight to ensure that the investment strategy is providing attractive returns.
  • Administration: Ensure that the Foundation establishes and operates under policies, procedures and accreditation standards to guide efficient operations. Ensure GCF complies with all regulatory and legal requirements and reports the activities of the Foundation in a timely manner. Recommend new policies that warrant Board approval.
  • Community Investment: With the Vice President for Community Strategies Committee, oversee the design and development of GCF’s responsive and strategic grant making programs. In collaboration with program staff, investigate special areas of program interest. Keep abreast of trends and developments in the fields representing the Foundation’s primary focus areas.
  • Governance and Board Relations: Serve as primary liaison to the Governing Board and ensure alignment with the Board. Staff the Governance Committee.
  • Organizational Management: Develop an effective organizational structure to carry out the organization’s strategic plan. Establish a structure for employee compensation and performance evaluation. Directly manage the leadership team comprised of the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Philanthropic Officer, Vice President Civic Advancement, Vice President Community Strategies, Vice President Marketing and Integration, and Executive Assistant
  • Strategic Planning: Establish the Foundation’s strategic plan in collaboration with the Governing Board and staff who currently use the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). Communicate the Foundation’s vision and strategic plan to the community. Provide leadership to design, develop, and launch new programs and initiatives. Provide accountability reports to the Governing Board to track achievement of the plan.


  • Proven leader whose successful career has been distinguished in large part by passion for community service and engagement
  • Experience being the face of an organization and building authentic relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Significant fundraising experience, either as a chief executive officer or development officer, or as a key volunteer for a substantial program; preference for major and planned gift solicitation experience
  • Experience working with Boards and engaging volunteers and donors to support a mission-driven organization
  • Evidence of creating an equitable and an inclusive culture
  • Ten (10) or more years of successful experience in executive management and leadership within the private, public or nonprofit sectors with a track record of significant growth and impact
  • Experience recruiting, managing, developing and empowering a collaborative, driven and accountable leadership team
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, including a proven ability to engage and inspire a wide range of stakeholders, both internally and externally
  • Robust network in the Greater Cincinnati community or proven ability to develop such a network
  • Able to convene diverse stakeholders to achieve community impact
  • Solid financial acumen with previous P&L responsibility for a complex organization
  • Uses metrics to measure progress and communicate results
  • Has led or been an active participant in a robust strategic planning process
  • Working knowledge of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) a plus
  • Experience leading advocacy efforts around a key community issue (such as affordable housing) with public officials and community partners a plus
  • Foundation experience helpful but not required
  • Bachelor’s degree required


  • A charismatic, inspiring relationship-builder
  • Confident, decisive, natural leader and unifier
  • Able to connect with and relate to people across multiple sectors
  • Visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit; bold & courageous
  • Empathetic and passionate, with a heart for racial equity
  • Embraces and cultivates a diverse and inclusive culture
  • Puts the community and the organization ahead of themselves
  • Wired for growth and expanding community impact
  • Can manage conflict and navigate difficult conversations
  • Motivates and empowers staff; is not a micro-manager
  • Exceptional communicator and listener; speaks from the heart
  • Accessible to staff and community partners


  • Be the steward of a reputable, financially sound organization with even greater community impact
  • Lead an experienced, passionate and talented management team and staff
  • Work with a Board that is supportive, engaged, connected and a willing collaborator
  • Partner with the community’s top leaders to shape the future of our region
  • Live in a city that is more vibrant, equitable and inclusive

Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) recruits, employs, trains, compensates, promotes and celebrates employees of all races, religions, colors, national origins, sexes, sexual orientations, disabilities, ages, veteran status and all the other characteristics that make individuals unique and extraordinary. At GCF, we have a clear vision: to be an employer of choice where a diverse mix of talented peopled want to be and can do their best work. GCF exists exclusively to support our community, and we know our organization runs on the hard work and dedication of our passionate and mission-driven employees. GCF is a Gold Level certified with Ellequate (Formerly Queen City Certified), which is the first data-informed employer certification and cohort-based leadership program for gender equity in the U.S. workplace.

GCF will offer a competitive salary and provide a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life, and disability coverage. There is a 401-K program with an 8% employer match. Relocation assistance will be provided.

To apply please send your resume and a brief cover letter to:

Michele Plessinger or

Barry Elkus

Company Details

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States