MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. MassEquality seeks a new leader with strong fundraising skills and a passion for grassroots LGBTQ movement building to work closely with MassEquality’s three boards to leverage its strengths to achieve legislative and policy reform and electoral action on behalf of LGBTQ people.
Since transitioning from a single-issue coalition focused on marriage equality to a multi-issue advocacy organization working to assure that LGBTQ people are safe and free to live open and authentic lives, MassEquality has achieved numerous victories. These victories were accomplished by partnering across issues, identities and communities to build a broad, inclusive and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories.
MassEquality is comprised of two non-profit entities and a PAC: MassEquality.org, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization; MassEquality Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable and public education organization; and the MassEquality PAC, a Massachusetts-level Political Action Committee. As the only LGBTQ-focused political organization in the Commonwealth that combines legislative lobbying with highly effective support for electoral candidates, MassEquality plays a unique role in achieving victories that have a life-changing impact on LGBTQ lives. The MassEquality PAC stands with, develops and elects candidates who are outspoken champions for justice and equality for all LGBTQ people across Massachusetts. The PAC board works diligently to ensure that these candidates have the platforms to advocate for LGBTQ equality for all. As evidence of the organization’s influence, 19 of MassEquality’s 23 endorsed local and statewide candidates won their elections in 2014.
MassEquality’s political, legislative and field program makes it safer for young people to be themselves at school; helps assure ensure that LGBTQ elders receive more culturally-competent care so they are not forced back into the closet in their final years; advocates for equitable laws that treat transgender people fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve; and addresses disparities affecting the quality of life of marginalized people within LGBTQ communities. MassEquality continues to make great strides to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS among young gay and bisexual men, particularly gay and bisexual men of color and transgender women. MassEquality is currently working on the passage of these important bills:
- Transgender Nondiscrimination Protections: Adds “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights laws for governing public accommodations, which currently allow for the exclusion of transgender people;
- Conversion Therapy Ban: Prohibits any efforts by licensed mental health professionals who counsel minors from attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor;
- Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools: Ensures that if a school in Massachusetts offers sexuality education, the curriculum will be comprehensive, medically accurate and age appropriate;
- Lipodystrophy Treatment: Requires insurance companies cover the cost of treating a debilitating and disfiguring side effect of HIV medications;
- Cultural Competency Training for LGBT Elder Service Providers: Requires the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum for delivery of accessible and appropriate services to LGBTQ older adults and their caregivers;
- Increased Healthcare Access for Homeless Youth: Improves the access of homeless youth to healthcare by amending the state statute to ensure that homeless youth are more easily able to prove that they are managing their own financial affairs as currently required to consent to medical and dental care.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
MassEquality is at an important juncture as it continues to determine how to leverage its significant legacy of success. The fight to ensure full equality and justice for LGBTQ people did not end with the attainment of marriage equality. Strategic planning will be an important undertaking in 2016 to define the best approach to marshal the community's power to continue improving the lives of all LGBTQ citizens. Led by the new Executive Director, MassEquality is ready to harness the energy of its many dedicated supporters, Board members and the broader community to realize the following organizational priorities:
- Building, overseeing and participating in a strong 2016 election cycle program, endorsing and supporting champions of equality and justice for LGBTQ people;
- Leading and representing the organization in pursuing the unfinished work of MassEquality’s active 2015 legislative agenda, while maintaining strong relations with supporters and coalition partners;
- Garnering funding and resources for MassEquality’s continued efforts by building and energizing a fundraising program that includes corporations and foundations, events and individual supporters;
- Establishing stakeholder, partner and donor relationships statewide and creating ongoing ways to listen to the community and incorporate community feedback into institutional priorities;
- Marshaling support from partners, weighing in on social justice issues and playing an active role in LGBTQ and social justice movements in the Commonwealth.
MassEquality projects a FY16 operating budget of approximately $250,000 - $300,000 with the hope and expectation that it will grow under the leadership of a new Executive Director. This budget supports a small staff residing in an office near the State House in Boston. An interim executive has been leading the organization for the past six months.
The Ideal Candidate
This position requires the Executive Director to be a self-starter with the enthusiasm to build MassEquality’s small, grassroots organization. The organization seeks a hands-on operational manager who can also fundraise and be the face of the organization. MassEquality’s ideal candidate will possess and demonstrate these skills, attributes and experiences:
Knowledge of the LGBTQ Movement
The new Executive Director will be knowledgeable about the history and current events of the LGBTQ community and movement. The successful candidate must have a genuine passion for inclusive LGBTQ community engagement. Knowledge of the Massachusetts LGBTQ political, activist and funding landscape, while not strictly required, will be a distinct advantage for the successful candidate. The ideal candidate will also possess a basic understanding of the national LGBTQ landscape and the issues at play in moving an advocacy program forward in a nation-wide post-marriage environment.
Fundraising Enthusiasm and Relationship-Building Skills
The ideal candidate will sincerely enjoy the process of cultivating and retaining donors. The candidate will have acumen in acquiring diverse funding and will possess strong writing skills for grant and solicitation development. The Executive Director will be the most visible face of the organization, working with a dedicated board to attract funder interest and commitment. A warm, welcoming and approachable demeanor is essential.
A Collaborator and Bridge Builder
The ideal candidate will have the skills to forge collaborative relationships and partnerships with a wide variety of constituencies. The candidate will be a culturally competent and sensitive leader with the savvy to manage dynamic relationships and perspectives among the coalition of LGBTQ movement supporters.
Skilled in Message Development and Media Relations
The next leader of MassEquality will serve as a spokesperson who can effectively represent MassEquality to the public and media. The ability to think critically about the portrayal of LGBTQ people and issues in the media is vital and the ideal candidate will have experience with, and a basic knowledge of, crisis communications and strategic communications planning. Message development and crafting well-reasoned responses to media requests will play a pivotal role in ensuring MassEquality’s ability to remain a thought leader on relevant issues as well as a strong resource for disseminating information to the media and the public on a range of issues.
Resource Management Experience
The ideal candidate will be familiar with effective financial and operational management in a nonprofit agency of MassEquality’s size. The organization requires a self-starter who can manage a small office efficiently. Marketing expertise is a plus.
Experience Working with Boards
MassEquality seeks candidates experienced in working effectively with boards or advisory groups to carry out the mission of the organization.
Education and Leadership Experience
A Bachelor’s degree is required. Seven or more years of increasing leadership responsibility is essential.
This executive search is being conducted by Third Sector New England (TSNE) with Transition Consultant Nancy Jackson. All submissions are confidential.
Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary requirements, where you learned of the position, and a description of how your qualifications and experience match the needs of MassEquality.
This is a full-time position offering a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with skill and experience.
MassEquality is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. People of color, women, and transgender people are encouraged to apply.