ABOUT SOBRATO PHILANTHROPIES AND THE SOBRATO ORGANIZATION
Sobrato Philanthropies (SP) represents the aggregate philanthropic activities and platforms of the Sobrato family’s members, and is managed as part of The Sobrato Organization (TSO), a multi-generational, family-owned firm that has played an integral role in the emergence and growth of the Silicon Valley for over 70 years. SP was formed in 1996, with an initial focus on education, economic opportunity, essential human services and nonprofit sustainability in the Silicon Valley. Today, SP (approximately $1B in total assets) encompasses the Sobrato Family Foundation, the Sobrato Foundation (a support organization of Silicon Valley Community Foundation), the Sobrato families’ donor advised funds, and corporate and matching gifts made by The Sobrato Organization.
In 2019, the Sobrato family completed an ambitious Growth Plan seeking to channel increased funds to SP in order both to strengthen its commitment to Silicon Valley and to extend its focus areas. In 2020, Sandy Herz was appointed president of Sobrato Philanthropies, with a mandate to deepen the local place-based work of the Sobrato Family Foundation, and expand to address global issues of interest to the family, such as oceans and climate change. SP is also building out its programs and infrastructure to serve as a platform for all the family’s individual and collaborative giving, which extends well beyond its traditional program areas. Sobrato Philanthropies currently employs 22 professionals.
In addition to Sobrato Philanthropies, The Sobrato Organization comprises a commercial Real Estate & Development business and an investment firm, Sobrato Capital. These three distinct units are united through a common vision, mission, enterprise platform, and by shared values of active engagement, stewardship and accountability, integrity and ethics, and innovation and risk-taking.
Sobrato Philanthropies Mission
Partner with communities to meet immediate needs, address systemic barriers, and pursue social justice to build a more equitable and sustainable world.
Sobrato Philanthropies creates social change by partnering with communities to build a world that is more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.
Sobrato Philanthropies (SP) is the giving platform for The Sobrato Organization (TSO) and the Sobrato Family, the first multigenerational signatories of the Giving Pledge and leaders in Silicon Valley community-building and philanthropy for over 70 years. In 2019, the Family completed an ambitious Growth Plan seeking to channel increased funds to SP with the goal of deepening its regional commitment while also expanding its focus to include global issues such as oceans and climate change.
Sobrato Philanthropies seeks a Vice President, Finance and Operations to join its collaborative leadership team at a time of tremendous growth, change, and opportunity for the organization and the communities it serves.
The VP, Finance and Operations (VPFO) will be Sobrato Philanthropies’ senior finance and operations leader, and its primary authority on foundation regulations and trends. The VPFO will build functional capacity and strategic alignment both within Sobrato Philanthropies, and through its engagement with TSO as a whole.
This is a rare opportunity for a sophisticated, creative, and service-oriented finance professional to play an essential part in a dynamic, multifaceted enterprise with a profound mission, a distinguished history, and an auspicious future building strong, vibrant communities in the Silicon Valley and beyond.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Vice President, Finance and Operations will provide effective financial and operational leadership and management for Sobrato Philanthropies, and deliver on responsibilities across four primary domains.
- Represent Sobrato’s priorities and support achievement of its goals through budgeting, finance, and operations. Promote and develop these capabilities throughout Sobrato Philanthropies.
- Develop the annual budget, in coordination with the CFO, President, and leadership team, for all Sobrato philanthropic activities;
- Provide analytical expertise and pragmatic operational guidance for all Sobrato philanthropic activities;
- Oversee systems technology, design, integration and operation to meet the ongoing needs of staff, board, and family members for financial and impact intelligence;
- Oversee the development of internal and external communications on financial and operational matters, including communications to the Board;
- Facilitate opportunities for staff training and collaboration in the use of budgets to reinforce strategy, improve execution, and tell stories, as well as to maintain accountability.
- Provide expert guidance and meticulous oversight to ensure Sobrato’s financial and operational practices demonstrate its values and comply with all relevant regulatory standards.
- Monitor planning, implementation, and spending to ensure alignment within the parameters of the operating plan and budget;
- Oversee the grants management team to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, practices that meet or exceed industry standards, and impeccable stewardship of grantees;
- Create regular financial reports and statements; prepare multi-year projections and analyses around endowment, spend-down, distributions, and cash flow;
- Oversee all audits, tax filings, and required legal compliance;
- Engage consultants and other contractors to provide expertise and services outside the remit of SP staff. Manage the contracting process and related spending for such consultants and other contractors.
- Engage, manage, and support people within Finance and Operations, and throughout Sobrato’s organization.
- Support, counsel, and collaborate with the President and CFO;
- Manage a staff of 3, including 2 direct reports with responsibility for finance and grants management, and support their development as leaders, team managers, and individual professionals;
- Work closely with the Board and other relevant stakeholders to understand and respond to the Board’s needs for reports, dashboards, and other information products;
- Work closely with SP entities and departments, including Governance and Effective Philanthropy (in formation), to support data collection, analysis, learning, reporting, and storytelling;
- Work with the Finance and Accounting leadership of TSO to coordinate accounting, planning, budgeting analysis and systems for the overall organization;
- Work with TSO entities and departments, such as Real Estate and Investments, to understand and respond to their needs for SP financial data and reports. Serve as operational liaison between SP and TSO.
- Provide leadership within and on behalf of Sobrato Philanthropies.
- Support the President and collaborate with SP function and program leaders in strategic and operational planning;
- Support the President and CFO to ensure due consideration of external conditions, risks, and trends in planning and projections;
- Serve as SP’s primary authority on foundation innovations, regulations, trends and best practices;
- Build relationships with organization leaders and other key constituents; maintain open communication channels and encourage feedback;
- Mind the full scope and detail of SP’s complex financial structure and systems while operating for the good of the order, with ongoing awareness of and dedication to the organization’s mission, people, and priorities.
Sobrato Philanthropies is especially interested in candidates with the following types of experience and capabilities:
- Budget development and financial management responsibility for one or more complex corporations or non-profits during periods of significant growth and change;
- Experience developing and supervising the performance of financial and operational systems, plans, and processes to deliver on strategic goals and objectives;
- Experience modeling financial and operational scenarios, and providing related guidance and recommendations to executives, boards, and managers;
- Knowledge of budgets and budgeting techniques (eg, participatory budgeting) to advance strategy and improve organizational effectiveness;
- Experience creating data communication products such as dashboards and reports to meet the information needs of executives, boards, and managers;
- Experience building trust with, and providing strategic and operational counsel and support to executives, board members, and colleagues;
- Experience cultivating and managing direct and indirect reports and teams for professional performance and development;
- History working in complex organizational and financial environments, and operating with different business types, models, and sectors;
- Demonstrated service orientation and pragmatic approach to solving problems and addressing constituents’ needs;
- Highly conversant in contemporary philanthropy and foundation operations, including issues and trends in grants management;
- Adept operating in a dual reporting environment.
The Vice President, Finance and Operations reports to both the President of Sobrato Philanthropies and to the CFO of The Sobrato Organization.
The VPFO will supervise Sobrato Philanthropies’ finance and grants management personnel, currently a staff of three; and will coordinate with The Sobrato Organization on all financial matters pertaining to Sobrato Philanthropies.
Sobrato Philanthropies is based in Mountain View, California.
The Vice President, Finance and Operations will be expected to work on site at the Sobrato Philanthropies headquarters in Mountain View, CA*.
*as of October 2021, Sobrato Philanthropies is operating on a part-time remote basis
Sobrato Philanthropies offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; 401(k) plan with a generous employer match; paid time off; access to professional development resources; and matching gift contributions.
HOW TO APPLY: APPLY HERE
Sobrato Philanthropies has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this search.
In order to apply, please submit a CV and thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest and addresses your relevant qualifications here. Applicants may expect an email from Schaffer&Combs confirming receipt, and conveying a brief survey treating relevant qualifications. Completed applications will consist in three components: cover letter, cv, and survey. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
All inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at SobratoPhilanthropies@schaffercombs.com.
Applicants will receive full consideration without discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Sobrato Organization is committed to fostering an inclusive culture, and seeks to grow its staff to include diverse voices representing different lived experiences.
Please refrain from contacting Sobrato Philanthropies directly. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through November 23rd, 2021.