Fountain House seeks a Vice President and Chief Development Officer to drive the strategy and growth of its comprehensive development program.
For more than 70 years, Fountain House has empowered people with serious mental illness to live and thrive in society. Today, it is the most widely replicated community-based mental health model for people living with mental illness in the world with over 300 replication programs serving over 100,000 people throughout the US and in more than 30 countries, all operated by people with mental illness and built from the ground up to respond to the economic, social, and cultural needs of their individual communities.
Nearly 2,000 individuals with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, come to Fountain House in New York to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities and build friendships. Side-by-side with staff working in direct accompaniment with members, they operate award-winning programs including employment, education, wellness, housing, and social enterprise, and work as partners to perform the functions that sustain and grow their member community. In doing so, Fountain House members break the bonds of social isolation and marginalization that they disproportionately face due to their illness and related stigma and are able to realize their full potential and capabilities in an environment that elevates their agency, dignity, and hope.
Fountain House is one of the largest mental health service non-profits in the country and is the first mental health organization to receive the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the largest and most prestigious recognition of humanitarian non-profit efforts.
In the US and around the world, people with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, find themselves incarcerated, homeless or unstably housed, and cycling through emergency rooms, shelters, and jails. They experience housing discrimination and limited educational and employment opportunities creating a domino effect of poverty, social isolation, marginalization, and preventable suffering. They are disproportionately likely to be the victims of serious violence, including gun violence. On average, the World Health Organization estimates that people living with serious mental illness live up to 25 years less than the general public, due to unaddressed mental, physical, and social needs. This is a public health and social crisis that has been relatively hidden from view and remains unaddressed by all segments of society.
Mental illness impacts 450 million people globally. Nearly one million people take their own life each year, including over 40,000 in the US last year alone. The World Bank Group and the World Health Organization estimate the direct and indirect costs of mental illness at $2.5 trillion today. By 2030, that cost is expected to reach $6 trillion.
In the US, people living with serious mental illness face myriad challenges, including unemployment (85%), homelessness (40%), incarceration (24%), and 9.2 million also live with a co-occurring substance use disorder, including opioids and alcohol. The National Institutes of Mental Health estimated a loss of productivity due to serious mental illness of approximately $257 billion.
Fountain House proves that recovery is possible for people with serious mental illness. It knows that access to safe, dignified environments and programs in which to recover is a matter of human rights and social justice, as well as good policy and politics. Fountain House knows that recovery is different for each individual, but that the conditions to foster recovery put the member at the center of their own healing and growth.
Fountain House members experience an improved quality of life compared to others with serious mental illness, as evidenced by reduced hospitalizations and a significant decrease in healthcare costs, higher education completion rates and employment rates, as well as lower rates of homelessness, incarceration, and recidivism.
Fountain House is a solution at the level of the individual, family, community, and society, and increasingly is engaged in policy discussions at the local, state, federal and global levels.
Fountain House strives to increase awareness of serious mental illness, ensure access to care and support, reduce stigma, sponsor related research, and expand the global impact of its community-based model.
Using public and private funding, Fountain House operates several organizational units and facilities, including:
This past September, Fountain House welcomed Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D., as its new President and CEO. Dr. Vasan’s expertise in healthcare, public health policy and political and social advocacy on a local and global level will advance Fountain House’s work around mental illness, homelessness, criminal justice, healthcare and social welfare for marginalized people and communities. Building from strength, Fountain House now seeks to expand on its proven community system of care and its reach and influence on a local, national and global level. In particular, Dr Vasan has laid out a priority to explicitly focus on the policy and political intersections with mental health, and the urgent need to position Fountain House both as non-partisan but also explicitly progressive in its vision for a more equitable, just, and dignified future for people and communities affected by mental illness.
In close partnership with Dr. Vasan – and working in collaboration with the Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer as well as key leadership across the organization – the Vice President and Chief Development Officer will advance Fountain House’s essential mission by growing and broadening its development program. This results-orientated strategist and relationship builder will be responsible for the development and implementation of Fountain House’s fundraising strategies and initiatives which currently include major gifts, grants, annual giving, planned giving and endowment development. A skilled relationship builder, this person will strengthen a fundraising department currently raising approximately $6M annually from private donations alone.
A very competitive compensation and benefits package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.
Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Senior Vice President & Director, Principal
Development Guild DDI