Current Opportunities

Chief Operating Officer (COO)


Co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, True Colors United implements innovative solutions to youth homelessness by focusing on the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Through an array of training & education, advocacy, and youth collaboration programs, True Colors United is ensuring that every LGBTQ young person, wherever they live, is celebrated for being their authentic selves.

Job Description

After experiencing rapid growth during its first ten years, True Colors United is embarking on a new period of expansion at the start of its second decade. The organization is looking for an empathetic, mission-focused, seasoned, strategic, and process-minded leader with experience scaling up an organization, mentoring staff at all levels, and developing a human-centered, equitable, and inclusive culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals. The COO must be a leader who is able to help others at True Colors United make a measurable, cost-effective impact. Importantly, a successful COO will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the strengths that each member of the team brings to preventing and ending youth homelessness for LGBTQ and other highly impacted youth. It is essential that the COO ensure efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, while fueling the creative and collaborative spark that drives True Colors United.


Reporting to the Executive Director & CEO, the COO will lead all internal operations and will have the following responsibilities:

  • Work in partnership with the Executive Director & CEO to implement True Colors United’s strategic vision, and the processes and approaches to achieve it.
  • Serve as the internal leader of the organization:
    • Coordinate the organization’s annual strategic planning and budgeting process, as well as manage and oversee its project management system.
    • Provide a strong day-to-day leadership presence for staff, support an open-door policy and environment, and actively build a culture that values vulnerability, courage, creativity, and equity.
    • Oversee operations of our New York City headquarters and Washington, D.C. satellite office, and ensure a strong and connected team.
  • Lead and manage the organization's human resources, finance, technology, and legal functions:
    • Cultivate the core values (Equity, Empathy, Collaboration, Creativity, and Community) of True Colors United within the organization.
    • Instill a human-centered and inclusive culture within True Colors United; upgrade human resources operations including: training, development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation, and recruiting.
    • Improve upon the existing accounting system to enable strategic budgeting and ensure quick access to financial information; lead the annual audit process for the organization.
    • Analyze the current technology infrastructure and scope out the next level of information technology and financial systems that support the growth of programs and the organization overall.
    • Work with pro bono attorneys and other consultants to ensure that True Colors United meets all of its legal obligations and manages risk responsibly.
  • Oversee the operational aspects of fundraising, including:
    • Development and implementation of systems for reporting, measurement, and supporting revenue generation.
    • Administrative aspects including financial reporting for grant proposals.
  • Work with the national Board of Directors, including presenting to the Board at meetings, and serve on the finance/audit/investment committee.
Key Qualifications

The successful candidate will have had extensive management experience with a non-profit organization. As noted, True Colors United is an organization driven by its core values (Equity, Empathy, Collaboration, Creativity, and Community), so experience in managing a “values-driven” organization will be highly prized. Additional requirements are:

  • Results - proven track record of meeting goals; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, empathy, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful financial management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness
  • Strategic Vision and Agility - ability to think strategically; ability to anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan
  • Capacity Building - ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity; ability to develop a top-notch team and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly
  • Leadership and Organization - exceptional capacity for managing, supporting, and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; ability to connect with staff both on an individual level and in large groups; demonstrated ability to create and maintain an equitable, inclusive culture and work environment; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate innovation, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed
  • Action Oriented - enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; 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
  • General Management - thorough understanding of finance, technology infrastructure (in particular Salesforce and Google Suite), and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, human resources, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, and marketing
  • Solid educational background (undergraduate degree; MBA or similar advanced degree highly desired) or equivalent work experience (10 years or more)

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly-respected organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. True Colors United is prepared to offer an attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, retirement, life insurance, and vacation benefits. This position will be based out of True Colors United’s New York City office.

True Colors United is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people of color, people of diverse gender identities, women, and people with lived experiences of homelessness to apply.

Please submit a one page cover letter and resume with salary requirements to [email protected] In your cover letter, please highlight in particular why you would like to work at True Colors United.