Director, Project Play, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

The Community Foundation creates permanent, positive change in southeast Michigan through thoughtful philanthropy. With generous support from thousands of donors, the Community Foundation is building permanent endowment for the region and helping individuals, families, and businesses fulfill their charitable goals.

  • Manage and/or inform Project Play: Southeast Michigan, including strategy, execution, learning, and evaluation
  • Manage and maintain the engagement of task force members and key stakeholders
  • Develop, formalize, and maintain a strong regional youth sports network involving a diverse group of citizens, professionals, community stakeholders, and elected officials, when appropriate
  • Facilitate the efforts of stakeholders to create shared agendas, common action plans, assessment systems, and sustainability strategies
    • Work with Director, Health Initiatives on areas of alignment with Project Play: Southeast Michigan and physical and behavioral health
    • Align the work of Project Play: Southeast Michigan to current and future efforts of public space/green infrastructure and the broader youth programming/development field at the Community Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and in southeast Michigan
  • Ensure community convenings, stakeholder events and meetings are coordinated
  • Seek and secure additional support to leverage existing resources dedicated to southeast Michigan youth activity, including attracting funding from sources outside the southeast Michigan region and/or increasing flow of government funds to physical activity via policy change efforts
  • Work with communications teams at the Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to develop and deliver key messages about Project Play: Southeast Michigan and broader coordinated funding strategies that advance opportunities for youth to be physically active as well as reflect the foundations’ brand and brand promises
  • Oversee the Southeast Michigan Youth Sports Task Force and Workgroups, including developing agendas, facilitating meetings and involving the Task Force and Workgroups in strategy development for the region
  • Oversee the grantmaking activities of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Youth Sports at the Community Foundation in partnership with Community Foundation Program staff, and promote/coordinate with grantmaking strategies of local and national partners
  • Manage relevant contracts and budgets
    • Assist the Vice President, Program in the coordination of work across program areas where Project Play intersects with other activities of the Foundation
    • Be knowledgeable of Foundation’s electronic grant tracking systems and assist with pulling reports and analyzing grantmaking activities as needed for communications activities
    • Assist with the development of content for Project Play publications and web-based information

As the key leader for this unique collaborative, a number of special competencies are desired, including the ability to:

  • Engage peer funders in project development and investment where interests overlap
  • Analyze and develop a community network of all constituent groups
  • Influence community leadership and promote policy and system changes that benefit program goals and the local level
  • Drive identification and design of outcome indicators in partnership with evaluators
  • Build and implement vision for community capacity building and leadership
  • Assess and manage risk to the project, the Community Foundation, and key project partners when considering activities
  • Think strategically and entrepreneurially
  • Manage financial, project and operational aspects of effort, with support from Community Foundation team as backbone organization
  • Actively engage in continuous learning
  • Demonstrate a high level of cultural acuity and flexibility across a very diverse seven-county region

Technical Expertise Desired

  • Ten years of progressively more responsible experience in youth sports or related community-based field
  • Demonstrated domain expertise and ability to lead strategy development
  • Past experience playing, coaching and/or management experience within sports is preferred
  • Proven program development and project management experience, prioritizing multiple projects within tight deadlines
  • Extensive knowledge of the youth sport sector and culture and experience in leading and facilitating community coalitions
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with persons of diverse backgrounds and organizations throughout the Southeast Michigan community
  • Bachelor’s degree minimum, with Graduate Degree strongly preferred; relevant backgrounds may include sports management, planning, public administration, education, business, economics, etc.
  • Experience in communicating in a persuasive, credible manner, in person, in digital settings, and in writing and presentations
  • Strong analytical, evaluative, and managerial skills
  • Experience in the management and supervision of staff
  • Computer proficiency in all Microsoft components
  • Technology skills and the ability to apply software knowledge
  • Demonstrate consistent quality
  • Commitment to the team effort of the Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation


  • Solid judgment and apparent leadership skills
  • A team player who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment
  • An individual who can handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities
  • Impeccable integrity
  • Strong analytical skills, business intuition, and common sense with the ability to innovate
  • Strong work ethic
  • Entrepreneurial mindset with the ability to work both collaboratively and autonomously as the situation dictates
  • Strong time management skills
Salary & Benefits: 

Competitive salary and benefits including medical, dental, vision, life/LTD, paid parking, paid vacation, holidays, personal days and sick time, 403(b) savings plan and foundation funded pension program.  

How To Apply: 

Send your cover letter, resume and salary requirements to Nancy Davies, human resources director at: [email protected]

Hiring Organization: 
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Director, Project Play
City and State: 
Detroit MI
Hiring Deadline: 
August 19, 2020

In order to provide equal employment opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the Foundation will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, political or union affiliation, disability or any factor prohibited by law.