Venture Philanthropy Partners
Director of Outcomes,
Assessment, and Learning
For over 20 years, Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) has delivered long-term outcomes that improve life opportunities for children and young adults in Greater Washington, setting them on the path to learn, graduate, secure employment, and become successful, healthy adults. Our work began with strengthening individual non-profits across Greater Washington, which expanded to connecting them into networks. Then, we built upon those networks to include cross-sector collaborations with community members, governments, businesses, and the philanthropic community.
VPP has deployed management expertise and invested more than $110M in capital to strengthen executive leadership. We have increased the capacity of local nonprofits, helping them expand to 80 new sites and serve on average 57,000 young people each year, resulting in healthier newborns, improved childhood development, better academic achievement, and higher graduation rates. VPP has always believed that all children and youth possess the capacity to succeed and thrive. Our experience investing in improving outcomes for the young people of the Greater Washington region has affirmed our belief that, most often, the impediments to our children’s success are systemic. The most pernicious and intractable of these are the racist and racialized impediments that undermine the progress of young people of color, notably Boys and Young Men of Color.
As we looked ahead to the next 20 years, we also recognized that we needed to do more, be bolder, and act faster to make changes at the systems level for our most vulnerable youth. In April 2020, we formed a strategic alliance with Raise DC—a member of the national StriveTogether network— to build an investment organization capable of driving alignment among communities, nonprofit and business leaders, jurisdictional and regional leaders around systems change agenda. VPP+Raise DC (as the combined organization is now known) has committed to “call out and confront policies, practices and systems that contribute to racial inequity…, and further, to “develop, institute and communicate an approach to embedding racial equity and antiracism into all levels of the organization.”
To help lead this effort and to ensure VPP is having the impact it intends, VPP is looking for a talented Director of Outcome, Assessment, and Learning (OAL).
Position Responsibilities and Objectives
The Director of Outcomes, Assessment, and Learning will act as the lead team member managing, refining, and evolving VPP’s approach, process, tools, and mechanisms around information collection, reporting, and use, for assessing VPP’s performance as a philanthropic investment organization, as well as the performance and impact of its portfolio of investments. This position works closely with executive leadership to instill a culture of managing to outcomes and using data effectively for VPP and its Investment Partners. The Director of OAL is a member of the Strategy and Operations team reporting to the VP of Strategy and Operations and supports other functional areas of the VPP Team to ensure seamless integration of the work and optimal effectiveness, using a grid-management approach.
VPP + Raise DC has a strong commitment to racial equity and this role will uphold and ensure that commitment, both internally at the organization and externally at its investment partners and network members by: using data to promote equitable outcomes; collecting and disseminating data in ways that do not harm or misrepresent children, youth or communities of color; informing quantitative data with the qualitative stories of children, youth, and their communities; and building the capacity of young people and their communities to access, evaluate, analyze, and use data to participate in decision making.
Consistent with the overall strategy, the Director of OAL will:
Support VPP’s landscaping and investment selection process by:
• Assessing and determining the quality and effectiveness of programs and potential investment partner (using, for example, the Organizational Assessment tool and/or the Performance Imperative as a guide) – and by reviewing performance measurement systems, external and internal evaluations, examining data collection methodologies, interviewing staff, etc.; and
• Participating in the program review analysis and report development – with a particular focus on analyzing the potential investment partner’s theory of change, existing evidence of program quality and effectiveness, implementation and use of performance tracking systems and outcome measurement, key reports, and assessments.
Provide strategic management assistance to Investment Partners by:
• Assisting in the development of meaningful metrics and measures to track their performance;
• Directly assessing the capacity of evaluation systems, making recommendations for improvement and providing direction for effective implementation;
• Providing advice on developing and implementing rigorous evaluations to demonstrate proof of impact, including helping to broker expert advice on methodological design options from experts in the field; and
• Serving as a liaison between external evaluation partners and the Investment Partners to ensure that data collection applications effectively interface across all systems, and together, offer meaningful insights.
Provide strategic management assistance to Networks/Collaborative Investments by:
• Designing and overseeing all aspects of the performance management system for the networks/collaborations. This may include, for example, developing an integrated logic model reflecting the theory of change, inputs, outputs and outcomes per network/collaboration; overseeing the design and execution of data collection, aggregation, reporting, and analysis/interpretation to guide network-wide performance management discussions and learning, etc.;
• Creating a safe and supportive environment for network/collaboration partners to share performance management and evaluation findings in support of group learning and encouraging program improvement;
• Facilitating meetings among network/collaboration partners to cooperatively build integrated logic model, performance management data system, data collection, data sharing, and reporting processes; and
• Identifying relevant data and lessons learned for publication to a variety of stakeholders (e.g., investors, nonprofit and philanthropic fields, funders, government partners) and using a variety of media platforms (e.g., monographs, case study, blog, twitter, etc.).
Support ongoing portfolio management activities by:
• Providing thought leadership around and serving as the primary contact for all initiatives related to outcomes and evaluation;
• Proactively consulting with Principals to consider and advise regarding what information might be needed and to provide key information related to all periodic reporting requirements of performance goals, supporting data and methodology and the analysis of performance measures;
• Developing appropriate performance metrics and milestones for portfolio management and monitoring;
• Overseeing VPP’s processes to systematically collect data about Investment Partners’ progress toward meeting their stated objectives; and
• Analyzing and reviewing data to create meaningful reports and narratives for lay audiences that clearly exhibit and document Investment Partner performance in order to capture and share useful accessible knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices for the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.
• Commitment and understanding of capacity-building, systems change, and racial justice.
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a related field.
• At least 10 years’ experience in managing and building teams and managing and building new projects.
• A risk-taker, outcomes driven, and ability to “think outside the box”.
• Experience as a thought leader and strategic thinker.
• Experience in research, evaluation, and outcome measurement.
• Experience across multiple youth development issues areas such as education, health, housing, and safety – is preferred.
• Ability and experience building partnerships and bringing partners together to work on collective goals and have collective impact.
• Ability to communicate a new direction and create a roadmap to impactful outcomes – both short-term and long-term.
• Understanding of statistical techniques, data analysis methods, and data sources, including the theoretical and practical strengths and limitations of various statistical methodologies, is a plus.
• Strong communication skills (both written and verbal) and experience producing research reports, messaging, framing, and talking points.
• Experience working with a variety of organizations (government agencies, school districts, nonprofit organizations, etc.) to access and transfer data. Strong preference for experience negotiating and maintaining formal data sharing agreements with government agencies or school systems.
• Experience working with organizations and government agencies in the DC/MD/VA area is plus.
• A positive, solution-oriented attitude, and an ability to be flexible and work under pressure.
• Demonstrated ability to work as a self-starting member of a team.
• Well-organized, hard worker, with good time management skills and an ability to work well under pressure and meet shifting deadlines.
• Ability to deal with ambiguity, appreciation of the value of all kinds of diversity, and great interpersonal skills.
VPP is committed to supporting employees’ maximizing productivity while managing the requirements and constraints of our work, and simultaneously navigating life’s demands outside of work (e.g., family, and other life-related issues, responding to external shocks such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic/endemic). VPP’s work requires significant collaboration, internally among team members and externally with investment partners, investors and funders, and members of our networks throughout the Greater Washington area. Much of this highly relational work is performed in person. VPP recognizes that while in-person work is frequently optimal in our work, the opportunity for Remote Work in some instances offers advantages for VPP’s employees. Such potential advantages include increased productivity and performance, crisis response (including but not limited to COVID-19 or other health and safety responses), office space flexibility, employee work-life balance, and increased job satisfaction.
The salary range for this role is $151,000-$188,700 and a generous benefits package is available to all staff.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is committed to leading systems change that delivers better outcomes for the children and young people of the Greater Washington region. In pursuit of this important mission, VPP is dedicated to ensuring an inclusive workplace, which values the diverse identities, backgrounds, experience, expertise, and contributions of all employees.
Shaquile Coonce, Talent Consultant