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 our answer for how to do this most effectively.
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, we then support selected applicants to shape their ideas into actionable, multi-year proposals to mobilize large-scale funding from the Audacious donor community.
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 nearly $2 billion for 29 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 funded projects as they absorb and deploy transformative investment to realize their Audacious visions. To that end, we have set out to build a Portfolio Impact Team: a dedicated resource and partner to help funded projects thrive on the Audacious platform, achieve their goals, and generate impact at game-changing scale.
Position Description -- Portfolio Officer
The Portfolio Officer will partner with the Director of Portfolio Impact on creating and delivering a best-in-class capacity to help funded projects thrive on the Audacious platform. Our work is in service of Audacious social entrepreneurs and the incredible difference they are making in the world.
The Portfolio Officer will manage relationships with a subset of funded projects in our expanding portfolio, guiding social entrepreneurs through the Audacious journey -- from proposals and goal setting through grant development, project implementation, and planning for exit and long-term sustainability. The Portfolio Officer 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.
Specifically, the role will focus on three priorities:
- Supporting a vibrant portfolio of Audacious projects
- Manage relationships with up to 20 funded projects (as the overall portfolio reaches about 35 - 40 funded projects over the next year), working in partnership with the Director of Portfolio Impact to ensure that every funded project on the Audacious platform is supported effectively and in line with Audacious’ equity principles
- Serve as the go-to resource for project teams, 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 projects identify areas where course corrections or additional support may be needed, engaging donors and other stakeholders accordingly.
- Maintain an updated perspective on project and portfolio-level impact, capturing trends and insights to develop a portfolio-wide impact story to share with other practitioners, the Audacious team, and donors.
- Build and deepen connections amongst funded projects, developing cross-cohort and peer-to-peer exchanges
- Serving as a bridge between Audacious project grantees and donors
- Strengthen ongoing partnerships between funded projects and Audacious donors to advance project impact and shared learning; help projects establish and cultivate relationships with their donors and the broader Audacious network over time.
- Organize and facilitate regular meetings between grantees and Audacious funders; help projects with planning, preparation, and follow-through.
- Engage and support donors to maximize their impact via the Audacious platform; help donors support their funded projects in a rewarding, equitable, and meaningful way consistent with their own and Audacious’ giving values
- Stewarding smooth grantmaking and reporting processes
- Shepherd the grant development process by aligning projects and their donor groups around clear goals, KPIs, reporting requirements, etc. and ensuring timely execution of grant agreements
- Meticulously manage multiple processes and projects, including tracking funding commitments and grant agreement schedules, project implementation milestones, etc.
- Advise projects 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 of the course of the multi-year grant agreements.
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 varied employment backgrounds to join our team. With that in mind, the following attributes will help the Portfolio Officer perform well in this role:
- 7+ years of overall professional experience, with 3+ years in social impact stewardship at a foundation, non-profit, 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
- Willingness to flex up and down in the role, from shaping strategy to doing very detailed execution oneself at times.
- Aptitude for managing complex projects, centering multiple stakeholders, motivating team members, etc. (particularly in cases where you are not the expert in the subject matter)
- The 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
- Familiarity operating in different cultural contexts, with multinational teams, and / or with global issues
- An understanding of how different sectors -- governments and international development institutions, civil society, business, and finance -- impact systems-change work, 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-to-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.
Who You Are
- 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 and 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 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.
- Full health benefits (medical, dental, vision) 100% paid by TED for employee coverage
- Paid family leave
- Work-life balance encouraged (TED closes for a 2-week summer break and 1-week winter break plus you're eligible for additional paid time off)
- Free OneMedical and SpringHealth membership for you and your dependents to address physical and mental well-being
- 401k with match