Memphis, TN

Director, Grantmaking and Capacity Building, Memphis Music Initiative

The Organization
MMI Overview:
Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) invests in youth, local communities and Memphis’ musical legacy by broadening and strengthening existing music engagement offerings in and out of schools and supporting youth-centered, community-based music programs. Our approach is three tiered. Through various unique interventions, MMI seeks to:

1) sustain existing in-school music engagement and expand instruction through partnerships with local musicians;

2) expand high-quality, out-of-school time school programs to reach more youth and remove barriers to youth engagement and participation;

3) support organizations that are providing music engagement enhance their sustainability and scale high quality programming.   From gospel to rock, soul to country, hip-hop to classical, the Memphis Music Initiative supports all forms of musical expression that have created a powerful musical legacy and tradition in Memphis.  Find out more about MMI at

Position Overview
Job Description:
MMI is seeking an experienced leader in philanthropy and/or nonprofit work to head an innovative grantmaking and technical assistance program.  MMI is committed to enhancing both the programmatic strength and sustainability of key music engagement nonprofits in Memphis.  Our approach allows us to meet organizations where they are by offering a variety of customized interventions to take their operations and programming to the next level.  The Program Director will oversee:

1) grantmaking to all music program partners and

2) MMI’s Institute for Nonprofit Excellence, a technical assistance program designed to support the infrastructural development of MMI grantees, through its pilot year and beyond.

The Program Director will manage two Program Managers, who will manage the grantmaking and the Institute on a day-to-day basis. The ideal candidate is a self- directed, innovative thinker who can embrace MMI’s unique culture and grantmaking approach. The Program Director will be able to think outside of the box of traditional philanthropic organizations and think broadly about nonprofit organizational need. The Program Director will structure program efforts while leading a small team of program managers toward ensuring grantee success, and help inform MMI’s overall strategy in grantmaking and capacity building.  The ideal candidate will thrive in an environment where there is more freedom to change course, less pressure to stick to predetermined strategies, less directives from the top down, and more accountability to design a plan that best serves our grantees.  The right candidate will thrive in a culture that understands unrelenting advocacy for poor black and Latino youth. The Program Director will report to MMI’s Executive Director.  The position is based in Memphis, TN.

Key responsibilities:
Manage internal program focus, program quality and program evaluation; Ensure grantmaking and the Institute are on track to deliver its goals, and implement processes for continuous improvement. Oversee cash grantmaking portfolio of grantees; Work collaboratively with program managers to make recommendations about cash and in-kind grants; ensure program managers are properly overseeing the administration of grant funds. To support the Institute, build base of coaches, consultants, and candidates for term embedded resources for MMI grantee organizations; Source experts in areas of grantee need (ex. marketing, development, youth development strategies) to deploy as needed to grantees. Frame distinctive MMI strategy and approach to capacity building in organizations serving poor minority youth for outside audiences; Build approach into model that has potential to be replicated; develop case studies, speak at local and national meetings and events, and engage with other philanthropic organizations to share MMI approach but learn from the approach of other groups. Create formal and informal processes for continuous improvement; Monitor program and designs, with the help of a consultant, evaluate data collection and analysis to measure the results of MMI’s interventions; implement plans related to program and content creation; coordinate thinking sessions to react to data analysis and make program improvements; scan the philanthropic landscape for ideas and benchmarks. Brief MMI senior leadership on grantee progress, grantmaking strategies, and areas for new partnership and collaboration; Engage in strategic visioning with MMI leadership towards a robust future for the Institute and MMI’s overall operations  Lead team of two program managerso; Deliver high quality coaching and guidance to direct reports.

Required Competencies:
•  Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
•  Ability to identify appropriate points of delegation to staff,   consultants and other team members
•  Excellent planning, organizational, and supervisory skills
•  Comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds
•  Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with peers, and with other organizations and entities
•  Self-starter and self-reliant
•  Ability to work with nonprofit organizations at very different points in their lifecycles, and at different levels of functionality
•  Ability to be self-directed and advocate for innovative strategies
•  Passion and vision in regard to creating stronger communities through the arts

•  Ten years’ professional experience
•  Minimum seven years experience working for at least two nonprofits, philanthropic, or nonprofit consulting organizations
•  Deep experience handling, or exposure to, all aspects of nonprofit organizations
•  Experience working with low income communities of color
•  Passionate about equity and access

Preferred Professional Experience:
•  Experience taking concept or pilot programs through their initial phases, leading evaluation and refining process
•  Experience working on a senior level with a wide berth of authority to make decisions regarding budget, program direction, staff management, and strategic shifts
•  Experience working with a range of nonprofit partners, addressing their challenges (funding, strategy, operations, etc.) and developing turnkey solutions
•  Experience using research, best practices, or respected exemplars to enrich and improve a program

How To Apply
Please submit a resume and cover letter to the attention of the Director Search Committee to  Please note that the Director must be based in our Memphis office; reasonable relocation assistance is available for the top candidate.

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