The United Way of the National Capital Region has been looking for a new way forward as its longtime model as a workplace-giving middleman has been disrupted by online philanthropy platforms. The organization is seeking a senior leader to develop new programs, nurture partnerships with outside organizations and to track emerging trends in the field.
The job posting for the vice president of community impact says United Way NCA seeks an “adaptable professional who can wear many hats in a small department and who is not afraid to get his/her hands dirty.” Here, Rose Watson, the organization’s senior director of human resources, talks with Capital Business about the position.
When you’re reviewing résumés, what’s something that would make a candidate stand out from the pack?
We’re really looking for someone who has demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs in our community. Someone who has had general management experience around program areas, who has experience in setting budgets, who has developed external relationships, who has demonstrated some advocacy and policy work. So it will be a wide range of things.
How you define leadership at United Way NCA?
When we think about leadership, we think about someone who is really rolling their sleeves up, who is mission-focused and embodying our organizational DNA. Someone who is a critical thinker, someone who is a problem solver. But more importantly, someone who can help build relationships and become that person who knows how to engage others in our path forward.
How much time do you expect this person will be in their office vs. out in the community?
That’s a very good question. It’s really hard to say. It would be dependent on the candidate and the relationships that they build.
Are you hoping it’s someone who is already in the D.C. area and knows the community well?
Absolutely, that would be helpful. But we’re open to anyone who brings to bear the competencies.
What kind of touch do you expect this person to have with their direct reports?
We certainly want someone who really understands the meaning behind talent management, who’s willing to develop their team to help them be the best they can be. And someone who really knows how to be a good leader and mentor.
On day one, what’s the first thing on this person’s to-do list?
I think one of the first priorities is the people. You need to make sure you have the right team to be effective. With [chief executive] Rosie Allen-Herring coming on board, there were three focal areas for our leadership, one of them being talent management. Everything from professional development to recruiting. So whoever comes on board needs to understand that talent management is a key priority.