Soccer Without Borders (SWB) was born of a vision for a more inclusive and equitable world, where all youth have the opportunity to reach their inherent potential. Established in 2006 with a mission to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, SWB provides under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. SWB implements year-round programming at 42 sites across five U.S. states, Nicaragua, and Uganda – including 79 teams, 44 camps, 16 league seasons, and over 100 community events. Leveraging the skilled work of over 60 full and part-time staff, more than 100 youth leaders, and engaging over 250 volunteers annually, SWB’s program design deliberately addresses barriers that typically leave marginalized youth excluded.
Soccer Without Borders seeks nominations and applications for a new Executive Director to lead a passionate staff, external partners, and participating communities in supporting youth to be their best selves. The new Executive Director will work closely with the board, staff – including both the Founder and Co-Founder, who remain in key leadership roles – and external partners to build on the continued success of Soccer Without Borders. The incoming ED will lead the strategic vision and planning process, the implementation of strategic plans, and the prioritization of efforts within departments and lanes while maintaining a vision of the whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. They will also represent SWB to external constituencies and maintain an awareness of external context and trends affecting the SWB work and mission. They will be a humble and motivating leader who can effectively inspire a diverse team, create a sense of belonging, and build an environment of open generative discussions, connections, and accountability internally. They will possess fluency in and experience implementing principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This Executive Director position is an exciting opportunity to join a thriving organization, poised to scale in innovative ways. This position has evolved as a part of a thoughtful succession-planning process. Soccer Without Borders is ready for a new leader to drive the next chapter.
The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the overall programmatic, operational, and financial viability of SWB, so that it can achieve its mission of using soccer as a vehicle for positive change. SWB strives to be innovative and inclusive in its organizational decision-making and functional structures, making this Executive Director role uniquely collaborative and team-oriented while maintaining its primary leadership responsibilities as the chief executive officer. Specifically, the ED has five main areas of responsibility:
Vision and Strategic Planning
Alongside the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team, the Executive Director ensures that Soccer Without Borders meets all obligations and reaches its full potential as a mission-driven 501c3 organization. The incoming ED will lead SWB’s ongoing visioning and strategic planning efforts, ensuring the organization remains deliberate in its approach, nimble in response to changing circumstances, and effective at empowering youth.
The Executive Director will participate actively in the Board of Directors meetings and initiatives, including serving as an ex-officio member of all committees, and work with the Executive Leadership Team to drive the overall organizational vision and strategy, help the board set priorities, and cultivate and maintain relationships with members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Boards.
Management and Team Building
Soccer Without Borders is an organization that believes in shared leadership, thoughtful power structures, and elevating the voices of those most affected by decisions. As the chief executive officer, the ED must model and bring to life the organizational values of process-orientation, focus on the whole person, authenticity, and equity through policies, leadership, culture, and action. They will co-develop and approve department priorities and goals, making sure they align with the strategic goals of SWB, and facilitate decision-making through collaboration and conflict resolution. The ED will supervise the SWB Executive Leadership Team, which includes the Managing Director of Programs, the Managing Director of Advancement, the Managing Director of Finance & Operations, and the Co-Founder.
The incoming ED will work with colleagues to lead mission delivery and internal operations; serve as a mentor and thought leader across different lanes and teams within SWB; seek out input and listening opportunities from participants, coaches, staff, and stakeholders; advocate and design for inclusive structures and collaborative visioning; and participate actively in committees and teams including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the Program Leaders Council.
The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring that the organization meets its financial goals (FY23: $4.7 million) and obligations, fulfilling all reporting requirements laid out by grant-makers, the IRS, national, state, and local laws. In partnership with the Advancement Team, the incoming ED will oversee the financial growth and stability of the organization, matching needs with the capacity required to reach organizational strategic goals. The Executive Director will steward a portfolio of relationships and pursue new prospects through direct fundraising and partnerships against an annual goal of $1 million. The ED will also support their colleagues in meeting individual development plan goals and will identify and pursue new opportunities for corporate and other partnerships and individual giving.
The ED will cultivate relationships with partner organizations, cross-sector partners, and members of the larger youth development through sports movement. They will be entrepreneurial and create new relationships to maximize SWB’s reach and impact and ensure that SWB is listening and learning with authenticity. Together with the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Advancement, the ED will establish effective lines of communication with other groups in the movement, helping to raise SWB’s stature and influence within the growing movement.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Soccer Without Borders is seeking a dynamic leader who is enthusiastic about joining the team at this exciting moment. Strong candidates will resonate with the following statements, which are among SWB’s six guiding mantras:
We’re Glad You’re Here: You are excited to lead a welcoming and diverse community of staff, participants, and partners that values all voices and perspectives through community-driven programming and a shared leadership model.
Leave Your Shoes at The Door: You bring meaningful cross-cultural experiences through your personal or professional journey, and prioritize listening and learning. This position carries a responsibility to lead and represent a diverse community of programs and partners from the global North and South, with core values of authenticity and equity at the fore.
You Play Best When You’re Smiling: You are self-driven and embrace creative solution-seeking with an optimistic mindset. The SWB family prioritizes happiness and seeks someone who is a great culture fit and enthusiastic about joining the SWB team.
Celebrate the Pass More than the Goal: You are an authentic and collaborative leader who never misses an opportunity to give an assist, lifting up the team around you. Relationship-driven professionals who have the ability to motivate, mobilize, and lead others toward a shared vision will thrive in this position.
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- Demonstrated passion for Soccer Without Border’s mission and commitment to youth leadership development;
- Sophisticated executive leadership and trust-building skills developed through experience with progressive strategic leadership in a relationship-centered and fast-scaling organization;
- Results-oriented operational approach that sustains and builds on the current growth trajectory;
- Record of successful partnership building with the private sector, community-based organizations, and philanthropic organizations;
- Authentic leader who can effectively inspire and motivate a diverse team, and build an environment of open generative discussions, connections, and accountability;
- Charismatic and experienced communicator with the ability to convey ideas clearly and openly in public and private environments;
- Credibility and drive in cultivating and building trust with funders to sustain the financial health of the organization and expand its impact, ideally well networked in the immigrant and refugee funding universe;
- Ideally well networked in girls’ sports empowerment networks;
- Fluency in and experience implementing principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Proven ability to support global teams; a natural orientation towards collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and experience bringing together diverse groups toward shared goals;
- Appreciation of the financial and administrative building blocks necessary for compliance, risk, finance/accounting, facilities, etc.;
- Ability to leverage technology, including tools and platforms, to inform decision-making and enhance strategic vision and execution;
- Experience developing, collaborating with, and leveraging a committed board;
- A leader who is disciplined and focused while also being agile and adaptive;
- Someone best described as passionate, empathetic, strategic, trustworthy, and reliable; and
- Ideally a proficient Spanish speaker.
POSITION DETAILS & SUPPORTS
Soccer Without Borders values all contributions to the mission and prioritizes internal compensation equity in alignment with established wage ratios and locality adjustments. SWB approaches staff wellness and benefits holistically, investing in staff development, training, professional growth opportunities, travel opportunities, wellness days, team-building, and empathetic work environments in addition to base compensation and benefits. This whole-person approach has led to an average annual retention rate of over 90% for full-time staff.
The salary range for the Executive Director position is between $125,000-$145,000. Benefits include a monthly, tax-free health care reimbursement, 401k plan, 15 paid holidays, paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, flexible vacation leave up to 4 additional weeks, and paid sabbatical leave after 5 years.
This position reports directly to the Board of Directors, led by the Board President and Executive Committee, and is directly supported by the Executive Leadership Team to achieve mission-delivery and fund development goals. Collectively, the SWB team leverages and values the contributions and experience of the Founder and Co-Founder, as well as Hub Directors and Program Leaders with over 120 years of collective institutional knowledge.
Preferably Baltimore, MD; Alternatively Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Oakland, CA
How To Apply
More information about Soccer Without Borders may be found at:www.soccerwithoutborders.org
This search is being led by Tamar Datan and Britni Russell Bianchi of NPAG. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their resume and cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
Soccer Without Borders encourages persons of any race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and background to apply. Unfortunately, SWB is not able to provide visa sponsorship. Soccer Without Borders believes that diverse perspectives and lived experiences make our team stronger and are actively strengthening its inclusive and anti-racist staffing practices. The current team comes from 13 countries and speaks 19 languages, including 40% who are program alumni.
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