SFRC seeks Executive Director to lead school funding group

The School Finance Research Collaborative seeks an Executive Director to provide vision, leadership, and oversight to accomplish the strategic goals of the organization as it moves into the next phase of its work on behalf of Michigan’s schools.

The Executive Director will partner closely with the organization’s Board of Directors to establish and expand upon those goals and develop a detailed work plan to meet them within agreed upon timelines.

The ideal candidate will have experience building advocacy campaigns, a track record of self-motivation and success in building collaborations and relationships with key partners, funders and communities along with the ability to manage tasks and plan ahead for what comes next.

The Executive Director is a new position being created as the SFRC turns its focus toward continuing the organization’s research projects, building support for adopting the SFRC’s research at the state level and establishing the SFRC as the single most respected voice in school finance in Michigan.

The Executive Director will report to and receive direction from the Board of Directors.

Organizational Background

The School Finance Research Collaborative is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that was formed in 2016 as a diverse group of business leaders and education experts, from Metro Detroit to the U.P., who agree it’s time to change the way Michigan’s schools are funded.

The first efforts of the SFRC were to undertake a groundbreaking adequacy study to determine not only the true cost of providing a quality education to all students, regardless of their income, location or other circumstances, but identify better funding formulas that take into consideration geographic cost differences and the unique needs of each and every student in Michigan.

Since releasing their report in early 2018, the SFRC recommendations have been held up as the gold standard of how Michigan can – and should – better meet the needs of our schools and our students. It’s work has earned wide praise and agreement from educators and business leaders alike that the SFRC’s plan represents our state’s best path forward for funding our public schools, with multiple studies released since affirming the SFRC’s work.

The SFRC now is looking to expand on its initial report and both continue researching the needs of our schools and our students in a post COVID-19 environment while working with parents, teachers, support staff, administrators and others to build support for adopting the SFRC’s work as Michigan’s new funding approach for our K-12 schools.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership necessary to implement a state-wide awareness campaign to educate the public on the need to change how our public schools are funded.
  • Take responsibility for the day-to-day efforts of the SFRC.
  • Work closely with SFRC’s research team to ensure new research projects are both meeting agreed upon timelines and adhering to the SFRC’s standard of quality.
  • Meet with educators, school boards, business groups, community groups, unions, government officials and others to build awareness and collaboration around the SFRC’s work and goals.
  • Collaborate with the SFRC’s communications consultants to proactively position the organization to be the leading voice on school finance in Michigan.
  • Identify potential new funding partners and secure additional funding – including grant writing – to further the SFRC’s research and outreach efforts.
  • Manage the SFRC’s operational budget and ensure all SFRC work adheres to appropriate tax codes.
  • Lead efforts to expand legislative awareness of SFRC recommendations and the need to build state budgets around them.
  • Build new – and grow existing – partnerships with other organizations to further the work of the SFRC and its goals.
  • Identify additional organizational needs to achieve goals and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on them.
  • Build and maintain effective communication with both the Board of Directors and the SFRC membership at-large to keep them fully informed of the organization’s operations, financial health, strategy and operational issues in a timely manner.

Desired Background

The Executive Director does not need to be an expert on school finance, but must have an eagerness to learn from and work with the research team and possess the experience to know how to build the plan, the coalition and the resources necessary to turn the SFRC’s research into reality.

Education: Four year college degree (BS/BA) in any field, with a focus on political science, community organization, public or business administration, nonprofit management, communications, marketing or public relations preferred.

Experience: Candidate must have a background showing strong communications and influencing skills along with public speaking and writing. Candidate must have demonstrated an ability to develop and implement fundraising strategies along with an ability to build and sustain community relationships/partnerships.

Candidate must also have a demonstrated ability to be detail-oriented and manage multiple responsibilities at once. Political or advocacy campaign experience along with a history of working within the legislative and policy arena is preferred.

Candidate must be self-motivating and able to work on their own to accomplish tasks.

Location: While office space is available in Lansing, the day-to-day work of the position can be done remotely from a location of the Executive Director’s choosing.

Travel: The position will require travel within Michigan to meet with individuals and groups, as needed, to build collaboration and help educate others on the SFRC’s work. A current valid driver’s license and good driving record is required.


Salary is commensurate with experience and a specific compensation package will be discussed with the candidate upon their selection.

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a resume and three references via email to Ms. Katie Whitman-Herzer at by the close of business on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Any questions about the position can be emailed to the address above.

For more information about the School Finance Research Collaborative, visit: