Washington DC; Chicago, IL; or Durham, NC

Senior Director, Advocacy, Arabella Advisors

The Organization

About Arabella Advisors

Arabella Advisors helps foundations, philanthropists and investors who are serious about impact achieve the greatest good with their resources. We work on issues ranging from the social and economic advancement of women and girls, and conservation of our climate and planet, to reducing poverty and inequity in the United States and around the world. Our staff members are mission-driven and action-oriented, and have a unique combination of experience in philanthropy, business, nonprofits, government, finance, law, and other fields. We combine creative, strategic thinking with knowledge and networks developed through decades of hands-on experience. The fastest-growing philanthropic advisory firm in the nation, Arabella is also a certified B Corporation.

About Arabella’s Managed Organizations Team

Arabella Advisors provides operations and management support to multiple nonprofit organizations, including the New Venture Fund, the Windward Fund, and the Hopewell Fund—all 501(c)(3) public charities—and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4).These managed organizations house new and innovative public interest projects and nonprofits, as well as coordinate collaborative initiatives between donors and administer grants programs. This type of structure is commonly referred to as fiscal sponsorship, and candidates are highly encouraged to research fiscal sponsorship prior to a first interview. The managed organizations provide support to a diverse range of projects, including many focused on conservation, global health and civic engagement.

Position Overview

A strategic leader with deep nonprofit advocacy experience who will propel the next phase of Arabella’s client work

We seek a leader with significant experience leading advocacy initiatives and driving results. In this role, you will help quickly launch, scale, and manage operations for a variety of client philanthropic initiatives, including donor collaboratives, advocacy campaigns, and new nonprofit organizations. You will support client initiative across multiple issue areas. You will also help our team continue to grow and improve: you will use your skills to quickly build internal capacity, systems, and technologies that enable us to more effectively serve the sector.

We seek a leader with experience growing teams and developing team members, a person who combines entrepreneurial spirit with an eagerness to help clients accomplish greater good, and who values integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of their work. If you want the opportunity to help lead a fast-growing team that is reshaping the charitable sector, then this job is for you. This is a full-time position.

Essential Responsibilities

Advocacy Leadership (25%)

  • Drive implementation of five-year vision
    • Determine and execute long-term staffing plans, given resources and constraints
    • Partner with technology team to determine technology needs, roadmap and execution
    • Evaluate potential new services or platforms and recommend for implementation
    • Increase team’s proficiency in structuring and ability to efficiently implement new entities and services
    • Collaborate with communications team on communications strategy, planning and execution
  • Oversee team learning to ensure that advocacy team grows in both knowledge/skills as well as in developing new members
  • With legal and compliance teams, assess and manage risk of the managed organizations advocacy compliance policies and procedures, as well as the risk of individual projects and across projects
  • Direct annual planning for advocacy
  • Represent the advocacy team across the firm

Client Services—Advocacy (25%)

  • Oversee the delivery of excellent client services for an advocacy-focused portfolio of donors and fiscally-sponsored projects
  • Lead on structuring entities and services to meet client needs
  • Cultivate strong relationships with clients, donors, and philanthropic partners in the advocacy space
  • Oversee our efforts to provide clients with excellent and responsive service while instilling a culture of compliance
  • Develop agreements, relationships and processes that enable us to provide service to the non-profits we manage
  • Serve as senior strategist for the most complex, important engagements

Management (15%)

  • Supervise mid-level team members with a focus on developing, motivating, and mentoring direct reports
  • Identify rising stars on the team, and support strategies to retain them
  • Identify, recruit, coach and support staff across the team
  • Provide visible leadership to the local office

Strategic Leadership and Organizational Growth (15%)

  • As a member of the Managed Organizations leadership team, contribute to team and organizational strategy, and oversee the achievement of important team objectives
  • Contribute to the team and organization’s significant year-over-year growth by innovating our systems, operations and processes
  • Contribute to the development and management of the team’s ongoing structure, annual objectives, and key business performance metrics
  • Develop and share relevant and valuable expertise

Business Development (20%)

  • Work closely with Managing Directors and other team leaders to inform and support business development
  • Support/participate in structuring discussions for potential clients and projects
  • Maintain familiarity with ongoing relevant sector research and share with team and clients
  • In partnership with BD team, develop and manage relationships with key advocacy external partners, including channel partners, funders, and KSA clients
  • Contribute to thought leadership
  • Represent the firm at conferences and events

 To be successful in this role you’ll need:

  • At least 15 years of work experience with steadily increasing job responsibility, including extensive people management experience
  • Deep experience with or understanding of nonprofit (c3 & c4) advocacy compliance
  • Graduate degree in relevant field (e.g., business administration, nonprofit management, or public administration) or equivalent experience in the social sector or in business
  • Deep knowledge of and experience in the social sector.  The ideal candidate has philanthropic or nonprofit experience in an organization that has been advocacy focused or done a great deal of advocacy
  • Significant experience with providing high-quality customer service in fast-paced, sophisticated environments
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing skills, and demonstrated ability to structure large amounts of information into written documents that are clear and easy to understand
  • Ability to manage and lead complex projects, to oversee and delegate to others on the team, and to meet deadlines

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 

Advancing DEI within our firm and in our work with partners is critical to our mission. To be effective partners to philanthropists, nonprofits, and communities impacted by philanthropic dollars, we need to have a highly diverse staff, a workplace where individuals are encouraged to retain their uniqueness and can feel a sense of belonging, and a nuanced understanding of the racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other disparities that undergird the issues we engage in and the interactions we have with one another. For us, equity means that our staff members, our clients, and the people they serve can experience the same level of success, no matter their starting place. We expect all our employees to share this commitment, and always seek ways to improve how well we live these values. Click here to learn more about DEI at Arabella and read our official DEI statement.

Working with Us 

While this full-time position must be based in Washington, DC, please note that due to COVID-19, all Arabella Advisors’ offices are closed, and we remain a remote-first organization until further notice. We have a strong firm culture rooted in collaboration and in-person interactions between colleagues. To that end, once our offices reopen it is our expectation that all staff will generally work from the office according to a schedule agreed upon with their supervisor.

We offer a competitive and holistic total rewards package that includes salary, bonus, and benefits. Our base salaries are based on a blend of similar sized organizations from different sectors, including nonprofits, foundations, and professional service firms. They are also based on local market rates and differentiated by geography. You’ll start with 18  days of vacation, 10 days of personal time, and 20 hours of paid time to volunteer at an organization of your choice. In addition to seven federal holidays, you get to pick four more from a list of inclusive cultural and religious holidays and your birthday. Our competitive health package includes medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance, and our retirement package includes a 401(k) plan that is fully vested from day one. We also provide funds for professional development, a fitness benefit, and cover part of your personal cell phone plan.

We are committed to having a passion-driven, inclusive, transparent, collaborative, healthy, and fun culture. We invite you to visit our careers page to learn more.

How To Apply

Submit a resume and a one-page cover letter online: https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/careers/open-position/?gnk=job&gni=8a7887a878279a000178288cf916469d&gns=ABFE. The cover letter should address why you’re excited to work at Arabella and why you’re qualified for this specific job.

Arabella Advisors is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to racial equity. If we can make the application process easier through accommodation in the recruitment process, please let us know.

We encourage you to read (or listen to) our DEI statement prior to applying.  We make a particular effort to recruit people of color and members of marginalized groups to apply for open positions. Once you have applied, we welcome your feedback on how you have experienced our values around DEI in the recruitment process.

While Arabella is open to individuals from various locations applying to join our team, please note that we generally are unable to pay for relocation expenses, and, except in rare circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis, all applicants must already be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of application to be considered for this position.

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