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We’re looking for a new Executive Director!

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We’re looking for a new Executive Director!

A note from Lisa Rudman:   It’s time for me to carefully pass the leadership torch here at Making Contact.  I’d like to return to my media production roots and create radio programs and podcasts for MC and other outlets and continue to mentor emerging journalists.

Meanwhile I am looking forward to working with our Board in hiring and on-boarding a new leader and then doing everything I can to support them and our mission.  We’re in a strong position to make this change. Board and staff commitment remains strong. Ongoing support is great and we are ramping up efforts to seek new foundation and individual support.  Our talented radio producers and freelance reporters keep putting out amazing work.

We invite everyone’s participation in finding a great new ED!  Please spread the word throughout your networks, so we don’t have to pay an agency like The Marketing Heaven to help us through.  We hope you will continue to support the ongoing work and express confidence in the future  by offering any leads for transitional funding sources.  Looking forward to what lies ahead with enduring enthusiasm and pride. Lisa

Please help us spread the word!


Making Contact  Executive Director Job Announcement:

Are you passionate about social justice and media-making? 

Do you have outstanding communication skills and a strong track record in fundraising?  

Do you enjoy motivating and managing teams?

Are you hungry to grow your skills in leadership, administration, and collaboration?

Making Contact seeks an Executive Director. Founded in 1994, Making Contact produces media that analyzes critical issues and showcases grassroots solutions in order to inform and inspire audiences to action. We are proud of our 25 years of independent nonprofit broadcasting, our national distribution, and that from the start, we have asked how our storytelling and journalism could accompany grassroots movement-building by our communities.

At this critical juncture in our organization’s growth, Making Contact seeks a visionary and strategic leader to provide creative, collaborative, and effective organizational leadership. To lead this organization, you will need passion, practical grit and know-how, and a belief in the possible. 

The organization’s core focus is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly documentary-style public affairs program heard on 151 radio stations in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Making Contact’s weekly shows feature the stories of indigenous people, immigrants, imprisoned people and others as they seek solutions to critical issues like police brutality, ensuring women’s reproductive health, LGBTQ liberation and racial justice. 

Making Contact has been a learning laboratory for many in the fields of journalism and social justice — with staff and freelance producers often translating their Making Contact experience into positions at larger media organizations or community groups. The nonprofit also currently provides fiscal sponsorship services to mission-related projects and has started to offer fee-for-service support to groups in the creation of their own podcasts. 

Making Contact is a dynamic organization, ever-evolving with plenty of room to grow. The field of radio journalism and podcasting is changing quickly, and you will have the opportunity to test new possibilities in podcasting, audience engagement, and more, while still benefiting from the organization’s 25-year infrastructure, history and reputation.

Although the best candidate will have some background in radio or audio production, that is not necessary. We seek an Executive Director candidate who has experience and demonstrated capability in fundraising, project planning, budgeting, and an interest in building new earned revenue streams to add to Making Contact’s steady base of major donors and small foundations. We strongly encourage people of color and individuals from historically underrepresented communities to apply.

The salary range for this position is $75,000 – $90,000 based on experience. The organization does not currently provide health benefits, but that is a priority as we grow. Making Contact is currently based in Oakland, CA but can be centered anywhere in the United States. Making Contact is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We have flexibility in timing for the right person, but seek to start onboarding new ED by March. To smooth the leadership transition, the current ED will stay on for six months overseeing production and assisting with fundraising, while providing the new ED with onboarding and support.


To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to

Initial Application  Deadline January 24, 2020  (We are accepting applications until job is filled and initial interviews will begin Jan 22)

Making Contact  

Executive Director Responsibilities and Qualifications

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Making Contact’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. 



  • Ensure ongoing mission-centric programmatic excellence and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction. 
  • Communicate Making Contact’s mission and vision clearly to supporters and partners and to the journalism community at large.
  • Actively engage and energize Making Contact’s board members, partnering organizations, funders, donors and staff.

Revenue Generation

  • Expand and develop relationships with major donors, family foundations, and philanthropic foundations.
  • Expand and develop fee-for-service business, (podcasts etc.)  ensuring that such business is mission-centric and revenue positive.
  • Lead a team of staff and board in grassroots fundraising and major-donor expansion.

Mission Generation

  • Grow the Making Contact community of listeners by maintaining current relationships with terrestrial radio; increasing digital listenership (web and podcast); and increasing social media presence.
  • Get creative around other ways to share Making Contact content through collaborations, partnerships, events, and other means.
  • Work collaboratively with partner organizations to increase the impact of Making Contact’s journalism.


  • Work collaboratively with Making Contact’s small staff, providing staff with clear, regular evaluations; professional development opportunities; and a common sense of purpose. 
  • Review and refine data systems, ensuring Making Contact follows best practices around data privacy and data maintenance. 
  • Ensure financial best practices are followed and realistic budgets are met. 


The ED will be thoroughly committed to Making Contact’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, fundraising and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • Unwavering commitment to social justice, and especially to racial and gender equity and justice. 
  • Management experience with the ability to work collaboratively with staff, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a 400k budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to raise money; experience with major donors and/or foundations.
  • Experience building new revenue streams for any type of organization.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate. communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Media experience preferred. Radio/audio experience a plus, but not required.


Author: Radio Project

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