The Steelcase Foundation was established in 1951 by Steelcase founders and original trustees, Walter Idema and David Hunting Sr., to support “charitable, scientific, literary, and educational causes.” Although the Foundation is a separate and independent entity from the Steelcase corporation, the founding families believed that the people of their communities should share in the success of the Steelcase corporation.
Today, the Foundation supports projects that drive systemic change in Steelcase’s home communities, with a goal of directing 60 percent of the annual grants budget toward education. With assets of more than $100 million, the Steelcase Foundation grants between $4–5 million each year to programs that have the power to address societal inequities and change people’s lives.
The Steelcase Foundation seeks an accomplished and strategic leader who is passionate about accessible, quality early childhood and K-12 public education and social justice and who has strong alignment with the mission and values of the Steelcase Foundation. This individual will have the innate ability to build relationships quickly and will display strong leadership qualities of empathy, honesty, integrity and intelligence.
The individual must be a strategic thinker and problem-solver without seeking or desiring to solve every challenge themselves; a healthy and intentional reliance on staff and board members is required. Humility and an attitude of servant leadership will be effective traits in harnessing the efforts of others and in furthering the legacy of the Steelcase Foundation.
The person we seek must possess the core strengths of critical thinking and strategic planning ability. They will be skilled in organizational management and development, with a minimum of five to ten years of senior leadership experience. This person will possess well developed administrative skills, including strong financial acumen and a working understanding of investments. Most important, they must be a systems thinker who understands how to assimilate and translate diverse thoughts into actionable and cohesive foundation and public policies.
The President & CEO is responsible for managing the Steelcase Foundation and for recommending and administering the disbursement of grants from the Steelcase Foundation to designated non-profit service organizations, programs and projects within the communities where Steelcase has manufacturing plants. The President & CEO will have the following responsibilities:
- Be aware of social welfare, health and cultural activities in the communities in which Steelcase operates. Have a good understanding of the priorities regarding various community needs. Work closely with the Steelcase Foundation trustees in appraising and evaluating such needs as they relate to potential Steelcase Foundation grants.
- Administer all affairs of the Steelcase Foundation, including supervision of the performance of the fiduciary trustee. Also includes preparing for and managing growth of the Foundation.
- Review applications received from non-profit organizations requesting grants from the Steelcase Foundation.
- Recommend which organizations should be considered for receipt of a grant based on the analysis of information supplied on the application and through independent research and knowledge of the organization.
- Advise or counsel community organizations seeking financial aid or guidance from the Steelcase Foundation.
- Communicate regularly with Steelcase corporate leadership on the synergies between the company's community involvement and the Steelcase Foundations' grantmaking.
A bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university is required A candidate with experience working with nonprofit organizations is preferred.