Director, Portfolio Management

Director, Portfolio Management

The Audacious Project

New York, NY   |   February 25, 2020

The Audacious Project: A donor-led collaboration to fund solutions at thrilling scale

Housed at TED (the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading), The Audacious Project was launched in April 2018 to foster collaborative philanthropy for big, bold ideas with the potential to spark global change.

With The Audacious Project, TED brings together an active community of donors and partners, including some of the most respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy. This coalition of leading organizations and individuals – among them the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, The Valhalla Charitable Foundation, The Bridgespan Group and others – has collectively catalyzed over $1.2B in philanthropic support (in direct and secondary funding) for 16 social impact projects.

The Audacious Project empowers social entrepreneurs to dream boldly and take on the world’s biggest and most urgent challenges by removing barriers associated with funding. Audacious grantees are already making a significant difference in our world in criminal justice reform, climate change, global health and more.

The Opportunity: Director, Portfolio Management

The Audacious Project seeks a Director, Portfolio Management, who will report directly to the Audacious Project Executive Director, Anna Verghese. This person will help position The Audacious Project for success in its next phase, crafting and leading implementation of a comprehensive strategy to engage and support a growing portfolio of Audacious projects to achieve their bold ideas.

Specifically, the role will focus on four priorities:

  1. Growing a thriving Audacious Project grantee community, including managing long-term relationships with funded projects, providing light-touch advice to projects as they implement their projects, and building connection amongst the projects through special events, communications, and social platforms;
  2. Serving as a bridge between Audacious project grantees and donors, ensuring strong ongoing partnerships between the donor community to support project impact;
  3. Tracking project implementation and highlighting stories of impact from across the Audacious project portfolio (in partnership with Audacious’ Editorial Director, who manages the Audacious brand building and marketing);
  4. Building portfolio management infrastructure for The Audacious Project, including portfolio management systems and managing a growing team.

We’re looking for someone action-oriented and creative, able to shape a unique role and motivated by both setting a strategy and by delivering results. This position requires a strong empathic ability and an understanding of the dynamics of organizational growth, scale and investment. You will be joining a rapidly growing, high energy team committed to doing what it takes to unlock hundreds of millions of philanthropic dollars toward social change projects around the globe.

Your responsibilities will include:

Growing a thriving Audacious project community:

  • Develop a comprehensive approach to manage a growing portfolio of projects (16 currently) that span a diverse range of issues and geographies;
  • Foster strong ongoing relationships with project leaders and their teams to keep abreast of their work and learnings, maintaining regular points of communication and providing light-touch advice as needed;
  • Build and deepen the connection amongst projects, developing cross-cohort and peer-to-peer exchanges along functional roles, through webinars, workshops and social platforms.

Serving as a bridge between Audacious projects and donors:

  • Serve as the main point person for Audacious project leaders and their teams through the course of their multi-year project period;
  • Alongside the Manager of Donor Engagement, facilitate connections between project organizations and the donor community, including development and execution of the project deliverables and regular reporting and communication to donors.

Tracking project implementation:

  • Gather and distill learnings from across the Audacious portfolio, capturing trends and insights that can be effectively shared with other projects and practitioners, the Audacious team, and donors;
  • Serve as an informal advisor and coach to project leaders and their core team, identifying and deeply understanding where the projects are on track and where additional support may be needed;

Building portfolio management infrastructure for The Audacious Project:

  • As the Project Portfolio team grows over the next three years, develop job specs and oversee hiring / onboarding, and day-to-day management for team of 2+ additional staff;
  • Put in place portfolio management systems and planning tools required to perform in this role, and maintain these systems as appropriate (directly, or via staff).
Who You Are:
  • Convener: You recognize that a well-prepared and supported community can achieve far more than a single, highly talented individual. You can bring together thought leaders and facilitate conversations to identify the best/most creative ways to build a community that is both nurturing and generative. You enjoy removing barriers to our partners coming together including taking care of the logistical details so they don’t have to.
  • Mobilizer: You’ve got that rare mix of vision and tactics that makes other leaders admire you. You’ve managed multiple teams on a range of different projects, but you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches yourself.
  • Resourceful & Adaptable: You’re at ease with ambiguity and rapid change. You possess a positive, can-do attitude, and are adept at identifying creative solutions to obstacles. You can juggle many important responsibilities at once and you’re rigorous about prioritizing.
  • Relationship Builder. You thrive on meeting new people and like to foster relationships. You enjoy learning what motivates people, what inspires their work and makes them feel appreciated.
  • Committed to Inclusion: You’re always asking: “whose voice is not at the table?” You have experience working with diverse teams and successfully navigating cross-cultural communication in both local and global contexts, and you deeply value creating a workplace that is supportive of difference.
  • Humble Leader : Nothing is beneath or above you. You are quick to always lend a hand, or two! You are able to earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects or large strategic goals.
What You’ll Need:
  • 7-10 years of overall professional experience.
  • 3+ years of related experience in social impact stewardship at a foundation, non-profit or private firm.
  • Experience hiring and managing a team of at least 2+ program staff.
  • The capacity to gather and analyze impact and financial data, derive key insights, and identify opportunities for iteration and improvement.
The Application Process

TED has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. To apply, please create a Basic Profile using this link or click the Express Interest button. The process takes no more than 5 minutes and all you need is your resume.

Individuals who complete the profile by Tuesday, March 17th will be given priority; therefore, we encourage you to submit yours soon!

When you apply, we kindly ask you to remove your schools from your resume. There is no need to reformat your resume, and you may leave your degree (e.g. “B.A. Economics”). Just remember to remove any undergraduate and graduate school name references where possible. This “bias blind” process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates; reviewing applicants on performance assessments instead of resume proxies (e.g., where you went to school). Lastly, we intentionally do not ask for a cover letter, so we kindly request that you not send one in your application.

This evaluation process will follow best practices shown to reduce bias in decision making and may be different from other application processes you have experienced.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please feel free to email Abe Taleb, ataleb@koyapartners.com.