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Executive Search Case Study:
Director of Development


Our Approach:

To find the ideal candidate, our Cause Capacity team proactively sourced by posting the vacancy on multiple career search sites specific to the nonprofit sector. Our team compiled applications, reviewed resumes, and hand-selected the most ideal candidates to screen via phone.


After narrowing down the candidate pool through phone screens, our team worked in cooperation with leadership at Women’s Audio Mission to conduct technical and cultural fit interviews. To ensure that the candidates possessed the necessary skills and demonstrated values in line with WAM’s mission and vision, our team asked a variety of technical and cultural fit questions.


Our Cause Capacity team provided each of the interview panel members with a copy of interview questions ahead of time so they were able to familiarize themself with the questions that would be asked. After each candidate’s interview, the interview panel members independently completed an evaluation rubric. This rubric, created and provided by our Cause Capacity team, guided the panel members in making an independent recommendation regarding whether or not they felt the candidate should be selected for the role. Each panel member’s recommendation and documented thinking was provided to our Cause Capacity HR team.


Once all panel members’ evaluation rubrics and recommendations were received, our Cause Capacity team compiled the results and presented them to the WAM leadership team. Using an objective procedure like this minimized the opportunity for bias and cross-panel influence in the team’s recommendations.


The Result:

After reviewing the report of the panel’s unbiased recommendations, the WAM leadership team worked cooperatively to select the candidate they felt was best to move forward with. Two final candidates were identified– one in the Nashville area and one in the Los Angeles area. Given the organization’s priorities and their ability to quickly build donor relationships in the Lost Angeles area, as well as the music industry roots and regions openness to progressive movements, the leadership team selected the candidate located in Los Angeles. 


The selected candidate is a former musician and music educator, with over 15 years of experience in leadership and philanthropy within the nonprofit sector. She has a strong passion for the arts, having spent many years at the Music Center in Los Angeles. This valuable experience will allow the candidate to leverage her relationships and experience in order to obtain and manage donations and grants to fund and scale arts programs.

The Task:

Women’s Audio Mission, a San Francisco and Oakland-based recording studio and nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women and gender-expansive people in music/audio production and creative technology, was seeking to bring on a Director of Development. Their ideal candidate was a visionary and results-driven leader with music industry or related arts/STEM background, a passion for the transformative power of sounds, music, and media, and a deep commitment to WAM’s mission of closing the gender gap in the music industry. Additionally, their ideal candidate was located in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Nashville areas since they are working to expand their operations and increase their donor-base in those areas.

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