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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > News > Position Filled: Director of Projects

Position Filled: Director of Projects

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

Founded in 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit organization that transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. As a thought leader, catalyst, and fundraiser, the Parks Foundation is uniquely positioned to help clarify the community’s interest and drive philanthropic investment, collaboration, and private sector expertise in support of the Minneapolis park system.

The Parks Foundation is an independent nonprofit that partners with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) in guiding transformative initiatives, like RiverFirst, and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of signature projects. We champion innovations within parks through curated events, including Next Generation of Parks Events. We also help donors invest in important parks projects throughout the system. Through the People for Parks Fund, the Parks Foundation directs grants toward community-initiated programs, events, and park amenities and engages a diverse audience of leaders to help support and sustain the fund.

Job Summary

The Director of Projects is a key position within the Minneapolis Parks Foundation leadership team responsible for identifying and implementing transformative park initiatives and Parks Foundation-supported projects into focus and completion. The Director of Projects leads MPF’s work in coordination with our public agency, nonprofit, and private-sector partners. The Director of Projects develops and leads processes and partnerships that result in completed projects, guides MPF community engagement from vision to completion, and communicates to diverse audiences the vision and impact of transformative park and public realm efforts. The Director of Projects will be responsible setting project and program strategies and goals alongside the Executive Director and the Chief Development Officer.

This position will serve as the primary liaison to key public partners, especially the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County staff and will serve as MPF liaison with other professional project consultants and stakeholders. In coordination with other MPF staff, the Director of Projects will develop the outreach and engagement strategies for community stakeholders and park interest groups. It is necessary that candidates understand and have experience working with the diverse tapestry of cultures and backgrounds within Minneapolis and is informed of emerging practices that lead to equitable systems change.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management

  • Guide transformative park projects and initiatives from vision to implementation, elevating Minneapolis as an international model of park innovation.
  • Provide key project-level support to ensure that all Parks Foundation funded projects remain on track and at the highest level of quality.
  • Provide detailed analysis of project budgets and timelines.
  • Serve as primary liaison with MPRB planning and program staff and other public agency partners.
  • Work with architects, landscape architects, community programming professionals, and urban planners to deliver innovative new parks with public partners.
  • Provide input for establishing organizational priority projects based on community input, partner priorities, and philanthropic support.

Public Partner Liaison and Community Engagement

  • Draft agreements formalizing project partnerships between the Parks Foundation and our public partners – primarily MPRB but also city, county, and other public agencies as needed.
  • Build, strengthen, and steward the community partnerships necessary for delivering innovative and equitable park and public-space projects with a commitment to racial diversity and equity.
  • Represent the Parks Foundation in the community at public meetings, presentations, and community forums, highlighting the organization’s role of delivering transformative park projects.
  • Develop meaningful engagement and outreach strategies with diverse stakeholders, especially communities of color, indigenous people, and immigrants.
  • Participate in research and design projects in collaboration with organizational partners, such as the University of Minnesota.

Organization Operations and Staff Supervision

  • Assist in the development and management of organizational and project budgets.
  • Supervise the Project Coordinator.
  • Expand and oversee the Minneapolis Parks Fellow program.
  • Be an integral part of a high-functioning, multi-disciplinary team.
  • Work closely with development and communication staff to identify funding opportunities and to effectively communicate mission impact for grants and fundraising.
  • Provide reports and updates to Board and Committee members.
  • Provide staff support to the Project Committee of the Board of Directors

Qualifications, Experience, Education, and Skills

  • Advanced degree required, preferably in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Public Affairs, or a related field.
  • At least seven years of experience guiding park or public-realm projects and processes.
  • Strong knowledge of Minneapolis governmental structures, especially MPRB as well as public funding sources.
  • Strong writing skills for project agreements, grant proposal narratives, and marketing content.
  • Excellent communication and community engagement skills, with the ability to work with a wide variety of individuals and diverse communities.
  • Comfortable working with a variety of stakeholders, including community leaders, stakeholders, donors, consultants, and contractors.
  • Familiarity with and appreciation for the diverse communities currently benefiting from (or could potentially benefit from) Minneapolis parks.
  • Enthusiasm and curiosity about parks and other public spaces.
  • Highest professional standards.
  • Well-organized and self-directed, with great attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with nonprofits and working in a small office atmosphere.
  • Software/computer skills: Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Salesforce or similar CRM system, and social media.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as necessary.
  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout Minneapolis and, on occasion, nationally.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements

The Project Implementation Director must be able to:

  • Effectively communicate with others.
  • Work at a desk for extended periods of time.
  • Operate a personal computer (keyboard, mouse, monitor) and other office equipment (phone, printer, copier, scanner).
  • Move throughout the office to conduct various tasks. Bend to file or retrieve documents.
  • On occasion, lift and move items up to 30 pounds unassisted.
  • Travel within the Twin Cites metro area for meetings and events.
  • Independently navigate across uneven ground, hillsides, and other outdoor environments.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits including health and dental insurance, employer-contributed retirement, and vacation. Salary range is $76,000 – $92,000, depending on experience and qualifications.

To Apply

To apply, prepare a cover letter describing your interest, experience, and qualifications for the position; a resume; and a list of three professional references. Email your application to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but applications received by November 11, 2022, will be given strong consideration.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is strongly committed to growing an organization that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Minneapolis. The Parks Foundation is committed to the principle that all persons shall receive equal employment opportunities in accordance with their individual job-related qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or presentation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic status, marital status, familial status, veteran status, status in regard to public assistance, or any other characteristic protected by law.

No phone calls and no employment-agency submissions, please.

All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check.

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