Strategy Officer: Community Power

About Victoria Foundation

Founded in 1924, Victoria Foundation is a private foundation based in Newark, New Jersey, with an endowment of $320 million. For the past 55 years, Victoria Foundation has focused most of its resources on children and families living in Newark, New Jersey, with grants totaling $300 million. The current grantmaking of about $11 million a year has been traditional in nature, with 160 grantees receiving annual grants to support operations and to provide a broad range of programs and services.

The Foundation is emerging from an intense time in its 97-year history. Throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, trustees and staff engaged in a strategic planning journey to consider how the foundation might generate greater impact with its resources. The key question at the outset of this effort was: How might the foundation address the root causes of generational poverty in Newark? As this essential inquiry was explored, the need to understand the pernicious role of structural racism as a root cause of persistent poverty was fundamental. Government sanctioned racist policies and other forms of institutional racism over the centuries have contributed deeply to the current reality of Newark: a highly segregated, postindustrial city where 36% of children are living in poverty or extreme poverty.

Victoria trustees recently adopted the following mission:

Victoria Foundation partners with Black and Brown residents and other marginalized communities and nonprofit organizations in Newark to champion bold strategies that strengthen community power, foster economic justice, promote youth selfdetermination, and respond to pressing needs.

Role Summary

Supervised by the Vice President of Strategy, Impact, & Communications (the VP), the Strategy Officer (one of three) oversees a portfolio of grants and other investments, develops strategies, and manages the on-the-ground execution of Victoria’s strategic goal to Strengthen Community Power. Utilizing a racial equity lens, the Strategy Officer works closely with members of the Newark community to co-design and implement strategies that advance the goals of Victoria’s strategic framework, potentially including a variety of programmatic, communications, policy, organizing, and advocacy approaches. In addition, this position will help develop qualitative and quantitative approaches for evaluating success and for continuous learning to strengthen the local network of relationships among change-makers as well as evaluating the Foundation’sprogram strategy and impact.

Responsibilities

  • Works under the supervision of the VP, and collaboratively with the VF team and community members to lead strategy development and implementation for a portfolio of investments that strengthen community power in Newark using a racial, social, and economic justice lens.
  • Builds support for the ecosystem of grassroots organizations and community organizers, including support for new leaders to enter and grow in this space.
  • Helps identify and support community-based advocacy and policy campaigns on local issues and builds connectivity between local organizers and state-wide policy organizations.
  • Builds collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with fellow Strategy Officers, identifying areas of synergy.
  • Works with the VP, the Senior Strategy Officer, and the Communications Associate to cultivate communication strategies and tools aimed at supporting and advancing efforts on the ground in Newark.
  • Continually surveys the local, regional, and national landscapes to identify emerging innovations, policy opportunities, research findings, and trends to bolster the work; organizes study trips with local stakeholders to learn about innovative practices.
  • Partners with grantees and VF staff to develop mutually beneficial evaluation tools and metrics to assess the impact of VF investments.
  • Prepares funding recommendations, strategy reports, evaluation assessments, and other written materials for senior leadership and VF board review.
  • Staffs the Community Power board committee, working closing with its Chair to develop content and agendas, create learning opportunities, and present grant investment strategies.
  • Leverages other resources to extend Victoria Foundation’s investments, fostering the appropriate local, statewide, and national relationships.

Qualifications And Experience

While no candidate will have every qualification, ideal candidates will meet most of the following criteria:

  • At least five to eight years of experience successfully working closely with residents,nonprofits, grassroots groups, community organizers, coalitions, networks, and other local stakeholders.
  • Direct work experience with community organizing is preferred.
  • Authentic knowledge of and experience working/living in Newark (or similar urban community) and ability to listen to and channel community voices, including experience with civic engagement and locally-led organizing/advocacy campaigns.
  • Deep commitment to an equity-centered approach to work and organizational culture.
  • Familiarity with the philanthropic sector and desire to work within philanthropy to advance positive social change.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Outstanding writing, public speaking, meeting facilitation, agenda planning, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work well both independently and within a team in an environment of organizational change with multiple priorities.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred (open to consideration of robust and relevant work experience).
  • Direct community organizing experience.
  • Familiarity with program evaluation and data analysis.
  • Experience with fundraising and/or leveraging resources.
  • A personal orientation toward kindness, empathy and humility.
  • A passion for the Foundation’s mission, vision and values.

Ideal Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate possesses a communication style that reflects clarity, authenticity, transparency, confidence, and approachability, along with the ability to listen deeply and balance different perspectives. Anticipating that the Strategy Officer will join the Foundation during a shift in mission and strategy, the ideal candidate should be creative, energetic, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and comfortable with ambiguity. The ideal candidate will bring the energy of a community organizer to the role of change-maker from within philanthropy, eager to uplift and support community voices and priorities and willing to work with colleagues in the philanthropic sector to advance community-led systems change in service of a more just distribution of resources in Newark and beyond.

Compensation

For the Strategy Officer position, Victoria Foundation anticipates an annual base starting salary in the $90,000 to $102,000 range. The Foundation is committed to supporting its staff with a highly competitive benefits package and multiple opportunities for professional development.

Victoria Foundation Commitment To Equal Opportunity Employment

We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We employ qualified people without regard to: race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; physical ability; sexual orientation; pregnancy or breastfeeding; veteran or military status; marital status; civil union or domestic partnership status; arrest record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.

How To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and the names of 2 references to Irene Cooper-Basch, Co-Executive Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by January 28, 2022.

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Location

Victoria Foundation
31 Mulberry Street, 5th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Contact

Ph. 973-792-9200
Fax 973-792-1300
e-mail info@victoriafoundation.org

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