Date Posted

Application Deadline


New York, USA

View all current openings
Summary Description

The Ford Foundation is launching a strategic initiative called BUILD, which aims to develop a robust, effective and sustainable set of resilient organizations addressing inequality around the world. From 2016 through at least 2020, the Foundation will invest $1Bn in a limited number of BUILD organizations and provide them with intensive organizational strengthening support.

The Foundation will invest BUILD capital into organizations it views as central actors in a larger network of organizations striving for social justice. By strengthening organizations that are core to the social justice infrastructure, the Foundation aims to ensure BUILD organizations have the stability it takes to drive change over the long term and in turn achieve greater impact. The Foundation also sees an opportunity to contribute to the philanthropic sector’s knowledge about what types of investments and approaches work in making organizations effective in the global north and in the global south.

The initial cohort will likely be organizations already working in and across our seven thematic areas and selected by invitation. As BUILD develops over the next few years, the Foundation will increase the number of organizations that receive this kind of support and will establish open processes. BUILD grants will be fully integrated into the grant making of our seven thematic areas.

We continue to design the BUILD program toward its introduction into our grant making in 2016. In the process, we seek questions and shared learning that will be useful to the philanthropic sector as a whole and to the wide range of organizations and networks working to advance justice around the world.

The newly created BUILD team will focus on helping BUILD grantees across the globe become stronger, sustainable, more effective organizations and networks. The BUILD team will do this by both serving as a resource to Foundation program officers and providing thought leadership on organizational development both within and outside the Foundation. The Director will lead a team of five people who support grant-makers in New York and 10 offices across the globe. This is an entrepreneurial leadership opportunity, and the Director will be building a new program at the frontier of knowledge.

While the work of this team will depend on the ultimate BUILD theory of change, it is anticipated that the BUILD team will be responsible for four primary functions, under the leadership of the Director:

  • Supporting program teams - Serving as ‘business partners’ to Thematic Area teams and Regional Offices in planning and executing their BUILD investment plans; helping to ensure quality and sufficiency of support plans created by grantees and program teams; creating and refining knowledge assets and tools; developing knowledge about what really works in making these organizations effective (across budget sizes, life-stages, and geographies); training and coaching Foundation staff and refining iteratively based on real-time experience
  • Developing BUILD grantee support model and approach - Thinking holistically about the kinds of supports individual BUILD organizations will need; determining and executing approach for recommending, sourcing and vetting external providers (including rethinking some of the most common models of contracting providers) and monitoring and updating those providers; helping to design convenings and effective ways of learning across subsets of BUILD grantees
  • Executing Program Vice Presidents’ BUILD grants - Designing and managing $30MM per year Program Vice President BUILD budget to focus on investments in grantee strengthening with a small portion set aside for BUILD team expenses / supporting resources
  • Engaging/leading in the sector - Documenting and sharing what we learn in ways that can help the larger field of organizational development and philanthropy adopt effective practices and collaborate more; fielding external questions; engaging co-funders in collaboration; doing outreach to the sector and providing sector leadership

    While the foundation has a rich and long history of capacity-building work, it is making a significant and intentional increase in our commitment to building organizations and networks and asking our program officers to work in new ways to deepen their organizational development support to grantees. The BUILD team will be critical in supporting this change, and the Director will lead this change management.
    2016 will be a start-up year and an intense period of testing and learning. In 2016, the Director will:

    Develop the strategic foundation for BUILD
    • Refine the Theory of Change for BUILD
    • Develop a BUILD support model and approach (i.e., what supports/tools/technical assistance might BUILD grantees receive from the foundation, how will those be delivered and by whom) and balancing the tension between consistency in applying an equitable process across teams and offices and evolution in knowing how and where to make accommodations
    • With the Director, Strategy, Learning and Evaluation, develop a learning agenda and measurement system for BUILD, in order to setup what is needed to track the results of BUILD
    • Develop priorities, goals and strategic imperatives for the BUILD team

      Assemble the team for BUILD
    • Define the role of a BUILD program officer
    • Build a team of two program officers, one program associate, one department coordinator and one grants manager
    • Lead the team on the creation of a defined number of high quality knowledge products
    • Lead the team on the development of effective plans and tracking systems for the team’s progress to goals, knowledge creation and team learning
    • Lead the team in ensuring consistent documentation of BUILD processes
    • Develop program staff knowledge and engagement on BUILD and metrics for this

      Design and implement the inaugural BUILD cohort
    • Develop capacities through trainings to implement BUILD throughout the Foundation but particularly with program and grants management staff
    • Support teams in the invitation process with BUILD grantees
    • Support teams in co-creating tools and processes for diagnostic, planning, and investment with BUILD grantees
    • Qualifications
    • Minimum of 15 years of experience with demonstrated track record of successful leadership working with NGOs , strengthening NGOs in an internal senior management capacity or as an organizational development consultant, or some combination of the above
    • At least five (5) years of management level experience working internationally within an international organization and/or with international clients
    • Strong expertise and track record of success working on organizational development with NGOs and/or social justice organizations and a keen interest in helping organizations become stronger and more effective in order to drive impact
    • Skill and knowledge in organizational assessment – understanding of successful governance and leadership models
    • Proven success hiring, leading, and developing high-performing teams
    • Experience designing, developing and implementing business- strategy, either programmatic or operational
    • Experience managing change in an organization
    • Skill and knowledge in financial analysis and analyzing business models
    • Demonstrated ability to work constructively with civil society
    • Ability to map and understand fields and to think about broader systems change
    • Strong ability to partner with other funders
    • Knowledge of potential technical assistance providers and/or how to develop these, including in the Global South
    • Familiarity or comfort with evaluation and/or learning, including peer-to-peer learning
    • Deep commitment to Ford Foundation’s mission

      Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • High emotional intelligence and awareness of how to navigate power imbalances
    • Strong coaching skills
    • Strong team player
    • Ability to apply innovative and creative thinking to complex problems
    • Ability to develop and execute on a strategic vision
    • Independence, adaptability, and resilience
    • Empathy and enthusiasm for understanding the perspectives of others
    • Ability to communicate effectively and influence others at a high level
    • Ability to navigate complex stakeholder relationships
    • Exceptional customer-service focus
    • Strong team leadership abilities, plus a willingness to work as an individual contributor to get the job done
    • Superior project and people management skills and detail orientation
    • Openness to learning through the inquiry of peers
    • MBA or other organizational development degree preferred

      Travel and Hours:
      10-15% travel is expected. Given that we work across every time zone, some non-traditional hours for early or later calls are an expectation of this role.

      To Apply:
      For confidential consideration, kindly contact Machlowitz Consultants, Inc. at [email protected]