Director, Project Play WNY


The Director, Project Play WNY (DPPWNY) will lead the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s efforts Building a WNY community in which all children have the opportunity to be active in sports. The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Ralph W. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, will be leading this collective impact initiative through cross-sector partnerships that engage public, private, and philanthropic institutions, as well as residents, in collective action. This position is funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

The Community Foundation will serve as convener, co-creator and administrative backbone organization, working with Advisory Council and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to mobilize stakeholders and develop breakthrough initiatives. Initiative change strategies map to The Aspen Institute Project Play framework and build upon the Western New York State of Play report released in June, 2017 and subsequent collective impact initiative.

Together with the Chief Community Impact Officer (CCIO), the DPPWNY is primarily responsible for leading, managing, coordinating and executing the Community Foundation’s role in Project Play WNY (PPWNY).

This will include: (1) serving as the link between the Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, contractors (including Aspen Institute), the WNY Youth Sports Advisory Council, working groups and key stakeholders, as well as the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; (2) maintaining strong knowledge of relevant community issues; (3) developing and maintaining strong relationships in the youth sports ecosystem; (4) and utilizing tools for advancing collective action, including: convening partners, building coalitions, forging common agendas, organizing media campaigns, initiating grants, and leveraging resources.


  • Manage the PPWNY, including strategy, execution, learning, and evaluation
  • Manage and maintain the engagement of Council and committee members and key stakeholders
  • Develop, formalize, and maintain a strong youth sports network involving a diverse group of citizens, professionals, community stakeholders, and elected officials), when appropriate
  • Facilitate the efforts of stakeholders to create shared agendas, common action plans, assessment systems, and sustainability strategies
  • Ensure community convenings, stakeholder events and meetings are coordinated
  • Seek and secure additional support to leverage existing resources dedicated to WNY Youth Sports, including attracting funding from sources outside the Western New York region
  • Work with Knowledge Management to continually improve the metrics and assessment tools for community leadership
  • Work with the Communications to develop and deliver key messages about PPWNY that advance Youth Sports in the region as well as reflect the Community Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s brand and brand promises
  • Participate in review as well as manage the process for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation small grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Youth Sports at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Manage relevant contracts and budgets


  • Play a key role in educating the Community Foundation Board, staff, and constituents on leadership initiatives, and other issues of concern to the PPWNY
  • Represent the Community Foundation at local and national meetings
  • All other duties, as assigned


  • Currently, DPPWNY manages 3.0 grant funded positions


  • Generally, travel is primarily within Western New York and to Southeast Michigan. Some domestic travel may be required for job training, professional development and relationship development on behalf of PPWNY.


  • Demonstrated domain expertise and ability to lead strategy development
  • Minimum ten years of progressively more responsible experience in philanthropy, sports management, youth development or related fields
  • Bachelor’s degree; relevant backgrounds may include sports management, planning, public administration, business, economics, etc.
  • Proven program development and project management experience, prioritizing multiple projects within tight deadlines
  • Extensive knowledge of the nonprofit sector and experience in leading and facilitating community coalitions
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with persons of diverse backgrounds and organizations throughout the Western New York community
  • Experience in communicating in a persuasive, credible manner, in person, in digital settings, and in writing and presentations
  • Commitment to the team effort of the Community Foundation


Community foundations are designed to grow and evolve as our community’s needs change, and new positions are regularly created as a result. As the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo continues to grow, we’re looking for talented people who want to use their abilities to make a lasting difference. If that is you, then please send a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and what you would bring to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

Send cover letter and resume as a single Word or PDF document via email to:

Please submit responses electronically via email. Response may also be received by U.S. Postal Service if an electronic medium is not available. No calls please.

Application deadline: Open until filled.  We thank all candidates for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity, practices inclusion and works to advance equity.