VC Director @ Defy Ventures in Los Angeles, CA

You are eager to join Defy (Linkedin, Crunchbase) as our Executive Director in Los Angeles, working to develop and execute strategies that achieve aggressive fundraising goals and facilitate ambitious growth. You are an experienced, resourceful, and strategic startup leader, with proven skills to cultivate local individual, foundation, and corporate support as an effective pipeline to sustained growth. You are capable of leading the continued evolution of Defy’s life transforming work on the West coast. You are dynamic, entrepreneurial, and relational, and are most satisfied when your work has deep, meaningful impact.

We look for the following when evaluating new teammates:

  • Culture fit: we have a spirited/ambitious/fun culture that is passionate about redeeming lives and restoring communities. We strive to display heart, empathy, and resolve in our daily interactions with one another.
  • Organizational prowess: You are a strong project manager, capable of driving multiple work streams and stakeholders toward deadlines and juggling priorities in a dynamic environment. 

You will be entrusted with your own share of massive responsibility.

You will have the support of teammates who look out for you and want you to succeed.

You will make a difference in the lives of America’s biggest underdogs.

Although Defy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we take pride in our application of corporate best practices and operate as a lean, results-oriented startup. This high-impact opportunity is perfectly suited for a professional looking to transition out of the corporate world. Many of our most successful employees come from for-profit backgrounds.


  • Source and develop relationships with high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations capable of providing major gifts ($10,000 – $249,999) or principal gifts ($250,000+) to fund the Los Angeles area program budget
  • Engage CEOs, VCs, entrepreneurs, and business professionals in Defy’s mission as business plan competition judges, speakers, volunteers, and donors
  • Raise Defy’s profile through marketing, speaking engagements, and one-on-one networking with key stakeholders, media outlets and the general public to engage prospective volunteers, entrepreneurs-in-training (EITs), employers, and donors
  • Lead program related events both in prisons and in the community with inspirational leadership that motivates EITs, volunteers and donors
  • Develop and expand a business development strategy throughout Los Angeles, to establish a network of support that will drive local program development and success
  • Partner with the CEO, President and the leadership team to define and execute strategic vision and long-term program development that aligns with the values and mission of Defy
  • Oversee and expand the Los Angeles area’s program activities while meeting operational benchmarks, timelines, and ensuring availability of resources needed to achieve consistent quality results
  • Contribute to the budget development process by planning and projecting staffing and resource needs, and manage Defy’s annual budget for the Los Angeles area
  • Develop and expand a business development strategy throughout Los Angeles to establish a network of support that will drive local program development and success
  • With the recruiting team, identify and cultivate partnerships with providers of transitional services to source EITs for Defy’s Los Angeles area program
  • Cultivate relationships with employers who will provide career opportunities to EITs
  • With the help of the CEO, manage and expand the Los Angeles Board
  • Help build and lead the Los Angeles team


  • Proven track record of fundraising/sales and initiating, cultivating, and managing relationships with key constituencies, including familiarity with corporations, foundations, and community-based organizations; strong business sense required
  • Outstanding communication skills, with the ability to build, cultivate and leverage personal and professional networks and relationships, develop and deliver successful presentations, and collaborate and negotiate effectively
  • Superb organizational skills, with the proven ability to create and implement efficient operational systems, plan strategically, allocate work, set and manage objectives, analyze and mitigate risk, and create and manage projects
  • Proven success in recruiting, managing, and developing a strong team; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower leaders from the bottom up, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed
  • Excellent judgment and strong decision-making ability; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance to leadership and take unpopular stands when necessary
  • Passion, humility, integrity, positive attitude, emotional intelligence, mission-driven, and self-directed
  • Adaptable and reliable in conflict or crisis
  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university required; master’s degree or commensurate experience preferred

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