The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation champions economically disadvantaged youth. We partner with other investors to expand programs with compelling evidence in order to help more vulnerable young people become successful adults. EMCF makes large, long-term investments in programs that have demonstrated their effectiveness and potential for growth. We invest on the basis of sound business planning, aggregate growth capital to implement such plans, and hold grantees accountable for executing their plans by tracking their performance. Our investments help build the evidence and organizational capacity grantees need to improve, expand and sustain their operations at greater scale. For more than four decades, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has sought to uphold the values that inspired the Clark family to create it. In our work with grantees and with each other, EMCF and its staff strive to live up to and put into action five core values: humility, belief in people, pragmatism, trust and high standards.
Reporting to the Director of Evaluation and Learning (“the Director”), the Senior Portfolio Associate, Evaluation is an exempt level position that supports and helps develop a portfolio of investments in youth-serving organizations that result in increased positive opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth. The Senior Portfolio Associate’s role includes partnering with the Director to design, execute, and support learning from program evaluations conducted on portfolio grantees and assessments the Foundation conducts on its own work. The Senior Portfolio Associate is also responsible for supporting relationship management, working closely with youth-serving organizations, reporting on performance and leading key projects relevant to the foundation’s strategic priorities.
Primary Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
Grantee and Foundation Evaluation (approximately 50%):
- Support Blue Meridian partners with evaluation related questions that arise during due diligence and investment management processes. Also support the portfolio team and Blue Meridian during grantee evaluation plan development and performance tracking.
- Manage the PropelNext portfolio’s Developmental and Impact evaluation efforts. Become an integrated member of the PropelNext team and bridge its learnings on quality improvement to the Youth Development Fund’s portfolio team and Blue Meridian Partners as appropriate.
- Work with the Director to develop internal capacity to support grantee continuous quality improvement efforts.
- Oversee the progress of grantee conducted program evaluations, and with the support of the Director and the portfolio team ensure progress remains on track.
- Ensure evaluation consultants and vendors are in alignment with EMCF’s investment approach, provide EMCF grantees with excellent treatment and add value for the Foundation.
- Assess grantee progress on building evidence, comparing current tracking results against the levels of effectiveness and evaluation plans.
- With the support of the Director, develop agendas for the Evaluation and Advisory Committee (EAC), helping to ensure high quality meetings that are well integrated with EMCF investment management and evaluation and learning needs. Coordinate internal initiatives to track the level of effectiveness and comparative performance of grantees programs.
Supporting a Grantee Relationship (approximately 30%):
- With senior team members’ direction, guidance and collaboration, and aligned with the Foundation’s theory of investment, operating principles, performance behaviors and investment management plans, ensure excellent relationship management with grantees that integrates financial sustainability, evaluation and growth plans.
- Contribute toward grantees receiving excellent relationship management and support from the Foundation. Lead quarterly reporting processes and support the development of financial sustainability plans, evaluation plans and strategic growth plans in coordination with external consulting partners.
- Earn and maintain the respect of grantees; be a trusted point of contact with grantee management teams and a supporting resource for strategy development, refinement, and implementation, performance management and other activities.
- As requested, participate productively in business planning; facilitate sharing high-quality and timely information within the Foundation and support the program team’s advancement of investment decisions.
- Design, participate in and sometimes facilitate grantee meetings, strategy sessions and performance reviews.
- Take ownership of grantee Investment Management Plans, ensuring documents are current and reflect the team’s perspective on grantee performance, risks and potential future investment tracks, and authentically and adequately capture the grantees’ current strategic position.
- Contribute to the production of high-quality progress reviews and board updates.
- Help craft performance milestones with grantees that reflect alignment of the Foundation and grantees interests and chart a roadmap for success.
Project Management (approximately 10%):
- Manage projects and initiatives critical to the Foundation successfully implementing its overall strategy and its grantmaking efforts.
- Develop project plans, manage internal and/or external teams to accomplish project deliverables, and prepare written and oral presentations for the program team and other senior team meetings.
- Under the Director’s guidance, manage the design and execution of grantee program evaluations and Foundation program assessments.
Other (approximately 10%):
- Interact and support, as needed, other areas of the Foundation’s work, including other program teams, Blue Meridian Partners, Finance, Human Resources, IT and Communications.Perform other responsibilities and duties consistent with the achievement of Foundation goals.
The Senior Portfolio Associates, Evaluation, must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to represent the Foundation externally in alignment with its core values and culture. They should be passionately driven by issues affecting young people and social justice, and have the capacity to work with diverse peers, trustees, consultants, advisers, grantees and communities. They must also have/be: An experienced project manager with a demonstrated track record in program impact evaluations, analysis and program management is required. Experience building and maintaining performance measurement systems, and knowledge of youth development field or experience working the public sector is desired.
An undergraduate degree and at least 7-10 years of professional experience in finance, management consulting, or a related field in the private or public sector is required; an advanced degree in business administration, public policy, or law is preferred. A strategic and highly rigorous professional approach, balanced by a flexible and empathetic demeanor that is responsive to the needs of grantees, teammates and others. Able to develop strong grantee relationships, while remaining objective and committed to meeting established goals.
Superior quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, with demonstrated ability to conduct and synthesize timely, thorough and objective analyses of organizations in areas such as leadership, finances, programs, and operations. Must be comfortable with analyzing disparate and even contradictory information.
Skilled at thinking independently while carefully considering and engaging colleagues’ points of view. Sound judgment and the ability to use discretion, seek input and feedback, listen well and make sometimes difficult decisions independently while understanding the need for collaboration and leadership’s endorsement of final results. Results-oriented with a track record of charting a clear course of action that requires both multi-disciplinary and complex team delivery with the measurement of results against goals.
Experience in managing and organizing projects and priorities through time sensitive and at times short deadlines while maintaining a strong attention to detail, a positive attitude and producing effective, professional and timely results; able to contribute as a lead or participant. Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to speak up and present in group settings that may include senior executives and boards of directors, as well as to draft agendas, letters and memoranda, assist with document and report content, and produce and proofread materials.
Strong computer skills with extensive knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the ability to master new software quickly; experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint is a plus.A professional yet genial demeanor required.Able to travel approximately 15% of work time.
Salary & Benefits
Salary falls between the high $80’s to mid-$90’s. Total compensation includes a base salary, commensurate with knowledge, skill and experience, and the potential for an annual incentive award. The Foundation offers an exceptional benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, 403b retirement plan with employer contributions and generous time off.
 This is a guide to the primary responsibilities of the job, not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, qualifications, physical demands and work environment conditions.
For consideration, applicants must include: resumes, cover letters and salary requirements sent to EMCFcareers@emcf.org, being sure to include “SPA – Evaluation” in the subject line. No phone calls or in-person applications, please.
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.