Oakland, CA

Director of Education Strategy and Ventures
The Organization

About The Foundation

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a family foundation that collaborates with creative thinkers to enhance quality of life by championing the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Founded in 2008, the organization believes in taking smart risks to achieve breakthroughs. Today, with a team of over 40 and total annual grants and investments of approximately $19.5 million, the Foundation supports visionary artists in the Bay Area, creates opportunities for Oakland’s youngest learners, and funds researchers on the forefront of scientific discoveries to cure chronic disease. Through grantmaking and operations, the Foundation embraces the values of collaboration, leveraging of all assets, innovation, responsibility and equity. Inherent in our core values is a belief in compassion, respect, humor and joy.

The Foundation also embodies an combination of the strategic and creative approaches. While it engages in three diverse program areas with a focus on long-term growth, it embraces innovation and allows for its passionate program staff to pursue the best possible paths to impact their respective areas of expertise. The result is a developing culture that is both unified and intentional.

Position Overview

About The Position

The Director of Education Strategy and Ventures leads and strategically expands the Foundation’s education grantmaking portfolio and initiatives in Oakland. The Director oversees the Rainin Foundation’s partnerships with community-based nonprofits, the City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Charter Management Organizations. Reporting to the Chief Program and Strategy Officer (CPO) and working with a committed and passionate team of a Program Officer, Program Associate and Literacy Coaches, the Director develops and drives strategy and ventures for Rainin Foundation early childhood education programs with annual grants and investments of approximately $4 million.

The Director of Education Strategy and Ventures works closely both with high-level partners in the city and district, and directly with teachers and principals to improve literacy and educational attainment for children. The leader in this role will have deep understanding of current issues that impact early literacy such as social and emotional development, trauma, family resources and community assets. The Director will be responsible for a grantmaking strategy that advances this programmatic priority, leads to effective interventions, and achieves more equitable results for children.

This role requires a collaborative, strategic and effective leader with the demonstrated ability to develop strong relationships with key stakeholders within and external to the Foundation. We seek a skilled innovator who can capably collaborate to: build new and sustain existing relationships, use subject matter expertise and strategic thinking to drive change that yields improved student outcomes, and leverage all of the Foundation’s resources to help expand high-quality early childhood education to all children in Oakland.

This position also requires an understanding of venture philanthropy: high-engagement grantmaking that can be summarized as “grants plus advice.” Venture philanthropy takes concepts and techniques from venture capital finance and high technology business management and applies them to achieving philanthropic goals through innovative grantmaking.

The Director serves as the public face and voice of the Foundation’s Education program at high-level academic and government events locally and nationally. The Director must have the presence, humility and interpersonal skills to work effectively and professionally with a diverse range of people, internally and externally, from different environments and sectors of society. They must also possess an evidence-informed and outcome-focused orientation to goal setting and thrive in a workplace environment that values transparency, communication and the exploration of new ideas to solve complex problems.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Grantmaking Strategy & Execution (40%)

  • Identify potential opportunities for change that lead to more equitable educational outcomes in OUSD and charter schools, and develop grant recommendations and long-term initiatives
  • Drive and manage the process of planning, reviewing, evaluating and developing initiatives
  • Use evidence to help shape the rationale for deploying Foundation resources in support of interventions that promise to achieve more equitable educational outcomes
  • Shepherd resources responsibly and transparently to advance the mission and align with Foundation values
  • Collaborate with Foundation colleagues to ensure grants are legally sound, well positioned for learning and success, are captured in the grants database, and are communicated effectively to internal stakeholders
  • Show up as an accountable and humble partner in relationship to internal and external partners and collaborators
  • Develop strategic programmatic plans based on in-depth knowledge and expertise in education and early childhood literacy

Impact Monitoring (30%)

  • Develop performance measures to track and demonstrate impact on achieving more equitable educational outcomes for children
  • Work with grantees and partners to shape attainable success measures and progress indicators
  • Support iterative learning in initiatives through on-the-ground presence with key partners
  • Research trends, data, and issues in the field and provide logical and well-written findings
  • Craft a framework for building the capacity of grantee partners to collect, track, analyze and report on critical performance indicators
  • Effectively communicate to Foundation stakeholders a state-of-the-field analysis and progress on the Foundation’s resource commitments

Leadership (30%)

  • Lead and manage the performance of the Education program team
  • Provide training, mentoring and frequent feedback for the team
  • Complete staff reviews for each team member and invest in the skill development and career advancement of the Education team
  • Develop relationships to create high-impact investments
  • Act as a thought partner for stakeholders
  • Represent the Foundation in written communications, presentations and more
  • Develop initiatives that fortify the capacity of grantees and elevate their impact
  • Work with colleagues to improve understanding of successes and setbacks among stakeholders
  • Elevate lessons from grantee partners to improve practices and policies

Required Experience and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree preferred or ten years of related experience and/or training or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Strong commitment to the philanthropic goals of the Foundation
  • Programmatic experience in and knowledge of early childhood education preferred
  • Demonstrated success in strategic planning and execution
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, with the ability to synthesize information succinctly
  • Ability to identify, negotiate and manage Program Related Investment opportunities a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage competing responsibilities
  • Ability to collaborate, lead a team, and engage in productive relationships
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as strong relationship building capacity
  • Communications or nonprofit external relations experience preferred
  • A community organizer with an ability to relate to people from multiple levels and different fields of work with cultural competency
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage resources needed to get things done
  • Proficiency in researching, analyzing and presenting complex information using multimedia formats
  • Sound business judgment and analytical skills
  • Self-motivated, results-oriented, and adaptable with a sense of humor
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite requiredCOMPENSATION AND BENEFITSThe salary range for this position is commensurate with qualifications and experience. A comprehensive benefits package is also included.

How To Apply

To apply, email a cover letter, resume and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to your references) to krfoundation@walkeraac.com on or before 5:00 PM on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Use the subject line: Director of Education Strategy and Ventures. Submit Microsoft Word or PDF files only (one combined PDF file is preferred). Resume review begins immediately.

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