Senior Director, Community Investment Program

Fair Food Network deploys multiple tools — from financial investments to capacity building to policy advocacy — in pursuit of our mission to grow community health and wealth through food. We focus on creating immediate impact alongside systemic change in ways that harness the power of the food economy to address root causes of racial, social and environmental inequities. Together with a national network of partners, we are generating improved health, economic well-being, and environmental regeneration.

Our Community Investment Program is reimagining how capital in all forms – financial, social, intellectual – moves in communities so that food entrepreneurs can be leaders of a more equitable future. This includes a national Food Fund that deploys integrated, catalytic capital investments, often in partnership with other community lenders, as well as a growing array of technical assistance offerings. Our goal is to unlock opportunity for entrepreneurs, with a focus on businesses led by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs, in pursuit of a thriving, equitable local food economy. Our current areas of work are in Michigan, the Northeastern US, and Camden, New Jersey.

Over the last 8 years, we have supported hundreds of entrepreneurs with technical assistance and invested $4 million in businesses across nine states. Our work enables deals that otherwise might not be possible, developing leaders and fostering new funding collaboratives. In Michigan, we are the administrator of the Michigan Good Food Fund, a statewide collaboration that supports good food entrepreneurs working to increase access to healthy food and spark economic opportunity in places that need it most.

As we look to the future, we are expanding our vision and seeking to grow our impact. This includes bringing in new and diverse resources and continuing to innovate, expand our offerings, and deepen the community integration of place-based collaborations like the Michigan Good Food Fund.

The Opportunity

Fair Food Network seeks a leader to advance our Community Investment Program and champion it with stakeholders and constituencies at the local and national levels. This Senior Director will be a dynamic, experienced, and collaborative leader. They will blend impact investing skills and knowledge of effective entrepreneurial support strategies with strategic thinking, superb communications skills, and an entrepreneurial approach to advance Fair Food Network’s impact in this rapidly evolving space.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Vision and strategic direction
    • Shape and evolve the program thesis, including:
      • The deployment of integrated capital and capacity-building investments that catalyze other investments;
      • Community engagement strategies, including developing and refining community ownership, localized decision-making, and power shifting models; and
      • Strengthened place-based models that bring together community partners for collective impact, including the Michigan Good Food Fund.
    • Provide vision for portfolio construction to ensure Fund is meeting the needs of entrepreneurs, community and lending partners, and investors, as well as contributing toward organizational goals.
    • Identify and drive opportunities where the Fund’s risk-tolerant capital helps close deals that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
    • Participate in Fair Food Network’s Leadership Team, providing strategic guidance bringing a collaborative nature to growing a strong, diverse, and healthy organizational culture.
  • Thought leadership and fundraising
    • Represent our work in public forums, industry events, and with prospective and current funder/investors.
    • In collaboration with our development team, grow the network of funders and investors supporting community investment, building relationships and serving as “opener” and/or “closer” for significant gifts.
    • Develop content for proposals and reports, quarterly and annual impact reports, portfolio analyses, essays for regional and national publication, and other pieces as needed.
  • Management and implementation
    • Guide, develop, and mentor program staff, and manage the team to achievement of measurable objectives aligned with long-term vision.
    • Engage Fund investment committee to provide optimal strategic support and oversight.
    • Support program evaluation including refinement of short-term outcomes and long-term impacts measuring social impact.
    • Managerial responsibility and administrative oversight of the Fair Food Fund.

What You’ll Need

  • Experience in direct lending, private investment, and/or community development finance.
  • Demonstrated success in deal sourcing and designing creative financing strategies, particularly within Black and Latino/a communities.
  • Highly developed acumen for integrating community engagement into program implementation.
  • Strong presentation and oral communications skills and experience with selling a program to funders, industry partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Management experience with proven ability to grow and mentor an efficient, committed, and creative team.
  • Entrepreneur and “builder” orientation with track-record of professional innovation paired with a desire and ability to shape the internal systems necessary to support its success.
  • Vision and passion for this work, including a desire to push against the status quo and bring about change.

Even Better

  • Knowledge of food businesses and overall food sector.
  • Strong written communications skills to support development of pieces for external publication.

Location, Reporting Structure and Compensation

  • May be located anywhere in the US, provided the employee is able to attend meetings virtually and make regular trips to Fair Food Network headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Must be able to work during our regular Eastern Time Zone office hours.
  • Must be able to travel to client sites and stakeholder offices around the U.S.
  • Position reports to Kate Krauss, Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, and indirectly to Fair Food Fund Investment Committee.
  • Starting salary for this position is $140,000.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit a resume and cover letter at this link.

If you have any questions about the role, please feel free to email us at jobs@fairfoodnetwork.org. We look forward to getting to know you!

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Fair Food Network’s commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our mission is best advanced by contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects the diverse communities that we serve is a priority, and we encourage applicants of all ages, cultures, races, colors, religions, national or regional origins, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other status protected by law.