Los Angeles, CA

Portfolio Manager, Ballmer Group

The Organization
About Ballmer Group

Ballmer Group Philanthropy is committed to improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States, funding leaders and organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities.

Ballmer Group Philanthropy is both a national and regional funder – we have a presence and invest deeply in southeast Michigan, Washington state, and Los Angeles County. Our organization was co-founded by philanthropist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers.

For more information on Ballmer Group, please visit https://www.ballmergroup.org/.

Our Approach

Since our founding in 2015, our focus and impact areas have continued to expand, informed by our grantees’ work and by data that shows where the deepest inequities lie. We focus on multiple impact areas and systems that can impact economic mobility – such as early learning, K-12 education, college and career pathways, housing, behavioral health, and criminal justice – and we support leaders and organizations that focus on undoing systemic racism and the barriers it has created.

We employ four levers of change that hold promise for long-term system improvements: Strengthening & Developing Place-Based Partnerships; Partnering with Government; Investing in Advocacy; Scaling Technology & Data Across Social Services. We use these approaches across our impact areas, regions, and national work.

Position Overview

Ballmer Group seeks a collaborative, motivated, and emotionally intelligent Portfolio Manager (PM), Los Angeles, focused primarily on K-12 Education. Reporting to the Executive Director, Los Angeles, the PM is a key member of the L.A.-based office of Ballmer Group and is part of a small, nimble, action-oriented team. Each LA portfolio manager focuses on one or more Ballmer Group impact areas and is responsible for developing and advancing a strategic vision, framework, and implementation plan to invest in high-potential organizations and systems change efforts in the City, County, and State. This specific PM-LA position will be focused on K-12 Education, with a possible additional focus on postsecondary access and completion. The PM identifies, shepherds, and manages a portfolio of initiatives and organizations that align with Ballmer Group strategies and priorities in both traditional school district and charter school contexts, as well as the areas of student support and advocacy. They represent Ballmer Group in select meetings and collaboratives, and manage key relationships with public sector leaders, private philanthropic partners, community leaders, and other constituents.

Key Priorities and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Portfolio Manager, LA, include:

• Strategy: Design and implement strategic investment frameworks and annual goals for Ballmer Group Los Angeles’ impact areas and investment portfolios.
• Grantmaking: Identify, explore, and cultivate high-potential investment opportunities aligned with BGLA’s strategies and priorities. Opportunities include direct service grants, as well as grants that affect the systems that impact BGLA’s priority populations; and/or that assist government entities in implementation of policies.
• Grant Management: Manage a significant portfolio of active grants, including report reviews/snapshot generation, renewal recommendations, site visits, internal presentations, and external relationship building.
• External Partnership: Partner with other funders, key public sector leaders, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and community representatives to cultivate alignment, shared commitment, and enhanced outcomes on programmatic and systems-change priorities.
• Internal Alignment: Ensure strategic alignment across Ballmer Group through 1) Ongoing communication and partnership with regional and national counterparts, 2) Impact area workgroup leadership/participation, 3) Regional team meetings and strategic planning retreats, and 4) Organization-wide sync weeks, philanthropy team meetings, and learning sessions.
• Organizational Culture: Help strengthen Ballmer Group’s organizational culture and operational efficiency through active participation in internal trainings, REDI workgroups and other efforts, as well as team-building activities.
• Learning: Facilitate internal learning to increase understanding and awareness of the K-12 Education impact area, as well as special opportunities and/or challenges.
• Brand: Enhance the reputation of the Ballmer Group through positive external relationship-building and impactful investments and in alignment with the LA Clippers’ brand and philanthropic goals (Steve Ballmer is chairman of the NBA team).

The Ideal Candidate

To succeed in this role, the ideal candidate will possess the following attributes and qualifications:

Required Experience and Skills:

• Ability to identify, shepherd, and manage a grantee portfolio of organizations and efforts that align with Ballmer Group strategies and priorities.
• At least 5 years in nonprofit, school district, or charter school management, or related government, or social sector roles. Demonstrated knowledge of the L.A. County and California nonprofit and/or government landscapes.
• Deep knowledge of local context and a strong network of contacts in areas such as South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Central/Metro Los Angeles, Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, or other areas of the County with a significant percentage of children and families living in poverty.
• Experience working in K-12 education, in district, charter management, student support, policy, or philanthropic setting.
• Understanding of K-12 education system at local and state levels.
• Experience and ability to work with diverse constituencies.
• Experience interacting with the public sector and systems.
• Excellent writing and communication skills.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, especially the ability to develop and sustain trusted relationships.
• Proven ability to work independently.
• Data driven and systems-oriented approach.
• Has a strong point of view and is eager to collaborate to help define and support a strategy.
• Is energetic, flexible, deeply committed, and has a sense of humor.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

• 8 or more years in nonprofit, school district, or charter school management organization, or related government, or social sector roles. Philanthropy experience (in addition) desirable but not required.
• Ability to develop, effectively communicate, and foster buy-in for a strategic vision and implementation plan in K-12 Education or postsecondary access and completion.
• Ability to effectively communicate to leadership the portfolio’s strategy, alignment between strategy and an investment recommendation, and potential impact for improved outcomes.
• Understanding of the complex interplay between government, the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and community.
• Understanding of equity in K-12 environment, particularly in relation to policy and budgetary issues.
• Understanding of interplay between local district (or Charter Management Organization), County, and State K-12 education policies.
• Familiarity with the fields of postsecondary access and attainment or early childhood education.
• Ability to serve as an external representative of the organization in public settings and speaking engagements.
• Ability to communicate with and galvanize a broad range of constituents.
• Ability to serve as an internal advocate for ideas or efforts that might represent an untraditional investment.

Hybrid Work with In-Office Emphasis:

The position is in Los Angeles, California and operates as a hybrid role with an in-office emphasis. While typical team norms include Tuesdays, Thursdays, and key meetings requested as in-person collaboration opportunities in the office.


Passion for the Mission with a Commitment to DEI

The Portfolio Manager will have a sincere commitment to the mission of Ballmer Group and their commitment and work in Los Angeles County as well as a passion for improving economic mobility for children and families. Ballmer Group endeavors to live their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their policies and practices, continuing to find inclusive ways to elevate staff voices while acknowledging persistent, pervasive racism in our education institutions and systems that must be eliminated if we are to improve outcomes for all children and families. As an active and engaged listener, this individual will demonstrate respect for diverse perspectives and have experience working with diverse constituencies. The Portfolio Manager will have demonstrated experience with and a strong commitment to applying a racial equity lens to their work.

Education Content and Systems Expertise
With the ability to identify, shepherd, and manage a grantee portfolio of organizations and efforts that align with Ballmer Group strategies and priorities, the Portfolio Manager will have a demonstrated knowledge of education systems and policies with understanding of the LA County nonprofit and/or government landscapes. Possessing a strong network in and around the LA area, including San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, and other areas of the County with a significant percentage of children and families living in poverty, this individual will understand the intersection of systems relating to policy and practice to further organizational goals. The Portfolio Manager will bring demonstrated experience interacting with the public sector and public systems, with experience in at least one impact area relating to economic mobility in education, social services, career success, or affordable housing.

Strategic Thinker and Entrepreneurial Spirit

This leader will collaborate with key constituents, nurturing creative ideas and practices to strengthen and diversify programs and partnerships in pursuit of Ballmer Group’s mission. The Portfolio Manager will develop and articulate the overarching strategic framework, helping to facilitate and implement strategic planning at an organizational and programmatic level, articulating a clear connection between vision and action. This high energy individual will have proven and successful experience in program leadership, seeding and launching new and innovative projects, introducing different ways of looking at problems.

Relationship Builder with High EQ

This individual will have demonstrated experience developing community partnerships and engaging with elected officials, policy makers, thought leaders, and others that advocate on behalf of children, families, and education. With the ability to remain flexible and thrive in a fast-paced environment, this individual will be a natural bridge-builder and engaged active listener who will endeavor to connect and sustain relationships with existing and potential partners. With an understanding that institution building requires patience and difficult conversations, the Portfolio Manager will possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and humility.

Excellent Communicator and Collaborator

The Portfolio Manager will possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and the capacity to authentically articulate complex issues with purpose to a variety of audiences. This individual will have a confident presence with the ability to demonstrate credibility and engender the respect of others, both internally and externally. The Portfolio Manager will have a demonstrated track record of inspiring and facilitating open, productive, and challenging conversations centered on equity and justice and will have exemplary skills in constituent relations and public speaking. This individual will have an inspired ability to listen intently to a variety of constituent groups, synthesize input, make decisions, and share information broadly to build consensus and support for action with a clearly articulated vision.

Compensation & Benefits

As a mission-driven organization and culture, Ballmer Group invests in employee success and satisfaction. We support employees to strive and achieve, and we give recognition for contributing to our impact. We offer a total rewards package that includes competitive cash compensation and benefits, plus additional perks.

As a mission-driven organization and culture, Ballmer Group invests in employee success and satisfaction. We support employees to strive and achieve, and we give recognition for contributing to our impact. We offer a total rewards package that includes competitive cash compensation and benefits, plus additional perks.

The pay range for the Portfolio Manager role is $152,000 to $233,000. We aim to hire new employees between $152,000 to $192,000 allowing future compensation growth within the range based on aptitude in the role and context, and progress and performance against goals over time.

Featured Benefits & Perks
• Medical, dental, and vision insurance with employee and dependent premiums entirely paid for by Ballmer Group.
• 3 weeks per year of paid vacation annually.
• 11 paid holidays, plus paid days off for the weekdays between Christmas and New Year.
• 80 hours of paid sick leave annually.
• 401(k) with 6% employer contribution.
• 2:1 Ballmer Family Giving Match for charitable contributions.
• Professional development reimbursement up to $2,000 per year.

How To Apply

Contact Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Michelle Bonoan, Medelene Beasley, and Jennifer Smith of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Express interest in this role by https://talent-profile.diversifiedsearchgroup.com/search/v2/19998 or email Michelle, Medelene, and Jennifer directly at https://tinyurl.com/3f7mwtax, https://tinyurl.com/46zvrwuv, and https://tinyurl.com/2p8e68xa. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email https://tinyurl.com/2xf3f73n. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Ballmer Group is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is valued. Individuals seeking employment at Ballmer Group are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit http://www.koyapartners.com/.

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