Executive Director

Posted: June 8, 2021
Reports to: Board of Directors
Position: Full Time, exempt
Location: Morgan Hill, CA (temporarily remote)
Salary Range: $80,000 – $100,000 depending on experience

Organization Overview

Step Forward Foundation (“Step Forward”) is a non-profit organization providing specialized legal services to low-income communities in Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey Counties. We currently provide immigration and family law services in-house and employment law representation through a partnership with local experts. We are a small close-knit group of social justice-minded professionals serving primarily victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. We prioritize providing victim-centered and trauma-informed representation in partnership with victim services organizations. While our attorneys developed expertise within certain legal areas, we value cross-training and broad competence in our respective fields. Step Forward staff is currently working remotely due to the Covid pandemic. The Executive Director will be expected to be in the office part time or full time in the future depending on safety guidelines.

The Opportunity

This is an exciting time to join Step Forward as the organization continues its evolution to playing a larger role in legal aid in the South Bay Area. This is an opportunity for a passionate, visionary leader to take Step Forward to its next stage. Supported by a Board of Directors that brings high levels of experience in law and management, the Executive Director will be responsible for implementing the strategic goals of the organization and providing direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s vision, values, mission, goals and objectives. The Executive Director represents the organization in engaging with government, foundation, and corporate funders as well as the community by building trusted relationships with a range of stakeholders.

The Executive Director will manage a current budget of $1.3M and a staff of 10 (plus independent contractors). The Executive Director oversees the overall operation of both the legal teams and the administrative operations of the organization. Step Forward is currently funded almost exclusively by grants from Santa Clara County, the State of California, and the federal government in partnership with sister agencies throughout Santa Clara County. The new Executive Director will need to focus on diversifying sources of funding.


Representation to the Board

  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions
  • Report to and work closely with the Board of Directors to seek their involvement in policy decisions, fundraising and to increase the overall visibility of the organization

Financial Performance and Viability

  • Responsible for planning and operation of annual budget
  • Responsible for fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support Step Forward’s mission, such as grant writing and administration
  • Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position

Organization Mission and Strategy

  • Responsible for implementation of Step Forward’s programs that carry out the organization’s mission
  • Responsible for strategic planning to ensure that Step Forward can successfully fulfill its Mission into the future
  • Responsible for the enhancement of Step Forward’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations
  • Forge and maintain trusted relationships with shareholders, partners, and external authorities

Organization Operations

  • Collaboration and communication with staff members
  • Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff
  • Establishing and overseeing adherence to employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit
  • Responsible for reviewing and executing all contracts, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization
  • Devise remedial actions for any identified issues and conduct crisis management when necessary


Experience and Licensure

  • License to practice law in any state (California preferred)
  • 5 years of management experience in a nonprofit organization
  • 5 to 7 years’ experience in legal aid
  • Grant researching, writing, and administration
  • Developing budgets and fiscal management and oversight
  • Building and maintaining effective partnerships with diverse stakeholders
  • Technological savvy

Qualifications and Skills

  • An analytical mind capable of “out-of-the-box” thinking to solve problems
  • Outstanding organization and leadership abilities
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and public speaking skills
  • Demonstrated cultural competencies, and implementation of trauma-informed and survivor-centered service
  • Commitment to social justice personally and professionally
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Able to effectively and empathetically provide and receive constructive criticism
  • Able to be fully engaged both at the policy and operations level
  • High professional standards and ethics


Salary: $80,000 – $100,000 depending on experience

  • Paid time off (holidays, vacation, personal, sick days)
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance (100% premium paid)
  • CalSavers Roth IRA

The Board will begin reviewing applications immediately and the position will be open until filled.

Instructions to Apply:

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to executivedirector@stepfwd.org with “Application for [Your Name]” in the subject line.

Step Forward is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ+ persons, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Executive Director
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