Director, Portfolio Impact

  • Remote
  • Full Time
  • Audacious Project
  • Manager/Supervisor

At TED, we seek to bridge, include, diversify because we truly believe ideas are for everyone. It is important to us to attract individuals from diverse backgrounds who are curious about the world and interested in helping us spread ideas far and wide.

ABOUT THE AUDACIOUS PROJECT 

The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that is unlocking social impact on a grand scale. 

TED is a nonprofit dedicated to “Ideas worth spreading,” and we’ve thought for a long time about how to turn big ideas into action. The Audacious Project — a collaborative funding platform — is a project of TED designed to do this at scale. 

By inviting the world’s change-makers to dream bigger than ever before, the Audacious Project surfaces ideas with the potential to affect millions of lives and impact entire systems. Using our curatorial expertise, and in partnership with the Bridgespan Group and several others, we support selected applicants to shape their ideas into actionable, multi-year proposals. We then convene a community of donors who collectively contribute large-scale funding directly to individual organizations. 

Our collaborative funding model attempts to address a major frustration faced by the world’s change-makers: Without access to venture capital or stock markets, social entrepreneurs have to pitch donors one-by-one -- often a deeply inefficient process for all involved. Now in its fifth year, the Audacious Project has catalyzed over $3 billion for 39 organizations engaged in a wide range of social impact efforts around the world.  

Beyond mobilizing capital, our design is dynamic and responsive to the needs of projects once they receive transformative funding. To that end, we have set out to build our capacity to help projects achieve their goals for both impact and sustainability. 

 

POSITION OVERVIEW

 

The Audacious Project seeks a Director for the Portfolio Impact team. This position will help to create and deliver a best-in-class capacity to help funded organizations thrive on the Audacious platform. Our work is in service of Audacious social entrepreneurs and the incredible impact they are making in the world.

 

The Director of Portfolio Impact will manage relationships with a subset of funded organizations in our portfolio, guiding social entrepreneurs through the Audacious journey – from proposal development and goals setting through grant development, project launch and implementation, and planning for exit and long-term sustainability. The Director will also serve as a bridge between project teams and their Audacious donor groups, creating strong partnerships to advance impact and learning across the platform. This position will specifically support our Breakthrough Science organizations, but will oversee a diverse portfolio of organizations across all of our issue areas. 

 

While TED’s headquarters are in New York City, this position is fully remote. The candidate can be based anywhere in the world, but this person must be willing to have some daily working hours overlap with US time zones. 

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Supporting a vibrant portfolio of Audacious organizations

  • Manage relationships with approximately 20 funded organizations, working in partnership with another Director to ensure that every funded project is supported effectively and in line with Audacious’ equity principles. 
  • Serve as a go-to resource for the grantee portfolio, onboarding them onto the Audacious platform and advising on a wide range of strategic and tactical matters over the course of their multi-year grant terms. Help grantees identify areas where course corrections or additional support may be needed, engaging the donor community and other stakeholders accordingly. 
  • Maintain an updated perspective on grantee and portfolio-level implementation and impact. Capture insights and trends to share with the Director of Evaluation & Learning and share with other practitioners and key stakeholders.
  • Build and deepen connections amongst funded organizations in the portfolio, developing cross-cohort and peer-to-peer exchanges.
  • Serve as the informal advisor and coach to the grantee leadership and core teams, identifying and deeply understanding where they are on track and where additional support may be needed.

 

Serve as a bridge between Audacious project grantees and donors

  • Strengthen ongoing partnerships between funded organizations and Audacious donors to advance impact and shared learning; help grantees establish and cultivate relationships with their donors and the broader Audacious network over time.
  • Organize and facilitate regular meetings between grantees and their Audacious donor groups; help projects with planning, preparation, and follow-through.
  • Advise grantees on donor communications and reporting as they work towards the goals and milestones set forth in their Audacious proposals. As needed, support revisions to grant terms in response to major opportunities or challenges that arise over the course of the multi-year grant agreements.
  • Help donors support their funded projects in a rewarding, equitable, and meaningful way consistent with their own and Audacious’ values.
  • Serve as a credible champion of the work of the Audacious portfolio by developing sufficient knowledge and understanding of the organizations, their issue areas, and the geographic and cultural contexts in which they operate.

 

Stewarding smooth grantmaking and reporting processes

  • Shepherd the grant development process by aligning grantees and their donor groups around a common set of  goals, KPIs, reporting requirements and timelines, and payment schedules and ensuring timely execution of grant agreements.
  • Track and manage a wide range of  grant-related activities, including: funding commitments, payment schedules, project implementation milestones, reporting deadlines and donor update meetings. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS / SKILLS

 

The Audacious team represents a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences: We are storytellers, producers, consultants, technologists, and social sector professionals. We actively seek candidates with a diversity of backgrounds, particularly with lived experience in the Global South. With that in mind, we seek a candidate with the following qualifications and skills:

 

  • 10+ years of overall professional experience, with at least 3 years in social impact stewardship at a foundation, nonprofit, private firm or in the public sector 
    • A track record of building and / or advising mission-driven organizations
    • Working knowledge of social sector design elements such as operating models, governance, program design and execution, partnership development, fundraising, strategic communications, etc.
    • The capacity to develop and manage grants or contracts 
    • Experience conducting due diligence across a wide range or geographies and issues areas
  • Applied science background, ideally with experience in a social / environmental context
    • Interest and proficiency in a broad range of scientific topics
    • Ability to analyze and assess feasibility of cutting-edge scientific ideas for funding and potential for impact
  • Willingness to flex up and down in the role, from shaping strategy to executing the details
    • Aptitude for managing complex projects, centering multiple stakeholders (particularly in cases where you are not the expert in the subject matter), and motivating team members 
    • Capacity to collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data, derive and communicate key insights in a cohesive and compelling narrative, and identify opportunities for iteration and improvement
  • Fluency across borders and sectors
    • Experience operating in different cultural contexts (particularly in the Global South), with multinational teams and with a wide range of global issues
    • Understanding of how different sectors – government, international development institutions, civil society, business, and finance – impact systems change, both locally and globally
  • Strong facilitation and communications skills
    • A track record of building trust and forging consensus among multiple stakeholders, understanding where interests diverge and proposing actionable solutions that bring them together
    • Experience with agenda setting and meeting facilitation, from one-on-one meetings to larger convenings and roundtables
    • Ability to bring together thought leaders and facilitate conversations to identify the best ways to make change that are both nurturing and generative
  • Critical thinking and analysis
    • Experience in analyzing investment proposals, reports and other key data to pull out trends, key insights and important questions for further discussion 
    • Demonstrated experience in effectively communicating analysis in writing – through proposals, reports, assessments, or due diligence

 

WHO YOU ARE

 

  • A Generalist with a Scientific Mindset: You have a background in the sciences, either through your education or your professional experience. You have a knack for understanding and analyzing a wide range of scientific ideas. But you also have a broad and innate curiosity across a wide range of issue areas that makes you a generalist at heart. You enjoy delving into scientific topics, but don’t want that to be your entire experience.  
  • Humble Leader: Nothing is beneath or above you. You are quick to always lend a hand, or two, and you're not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches yourself! You are able to earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects or large strategic goals.
  • 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.
  • Convener. You recognize that a well-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 ways to make change that are 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.
  • 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.
  • Planner & Thinker. You are excited about making projects work and have a knack for getting things done. You are meticulous about planning and are always thinking three steps ahead. You have an eye for keeping track of the little things--in service of big, exciting projects.
  • Changemaker. You are ready to take on opportunities to make the world a better place. You understand what it takes to put big ideas into practice--and can share what you’ve learned about getting things done. You see the way the public, private, and nonprofit sectors can work together to make things happen and you are ready to help changemakers across the globe solve many different kinds of problems.

 

IN-OFFICE COVID PROTOCOL

Due to in-person meetings and occasional office requirements, proof of full vaccination will be required prior to acceptance of employment 

 

WORKPLACE CONDITIONS 

  • This position is fully remote, with the option to work at the New York City headquarters if desired. This person must be willing to have daily overlapping work hours (at least 2-3 hours) with US time zones (both west and east coasts)
  • Computer programs to include MS Office, Mac programs, Google Suite, functional related databases
  • Travel: US and international travel will be required based upon team and portfolio needs and opportunities, at least once per quarter but potentially more frequently

 

TED Conferences LLC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We invite all qualified candidates to apply online with a cover letter and CV.

 

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