R0020156 Senior Strategy Officer
A renowned entrepreneur and co-founder of The Home Depot, Arthur M. Blank is now recognized for his values-based Blank Family of Businesses (BFOB) and as one of America’s leading philanthropists through The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. All his industry-leading businesses and the Blank Family Foundation operate on six core values: Put People First, Listen and Respond, Include Everyone, Innovate Continuously, Lead by Example, Give Back to Others.
After 25 years and more than $800 million in giving as of July 2021, the Blank Family Foundation has committed to significantly escalating the impact of its philanthropy over the next 10+ years. This milestone coincides with deeper participation among the next generation of Blank family members on the board and in advisory capacities, partnering around their shared core beliefs, including the Jewish value of tikkun olam (“heal and repair the world”), and seeking a fuller realization of American ideals.
The Board is embarking on a journey of deeper learning and strategy setting for its new collective areas of giving, which include Youth Development, with a focus on workforce development and economic mobility; Democracy, with a focus on key areas of Voting Rights and Journalism; and Environment, with a focus on key areas of Conservation and Climate Resiliency. Across these portfolios, the Blank Family Foundation will look for opportunities to address the growing crisis of disconnection in our nation. Geographically, much of the work will continue to prioritize Georgia (with a focus on Atlanta) and Montana, while also considering the potential for greater national impact and influence.
In addition to the collective areas of giving, the Blank Family Foundation will continue to oversee a large portfolio of Founder-led initiatives, including a newly developed focus on youth Mental Health and Well-Being, and guide the seven Associate-led giving committees operating across the Blank Family of Businesses.
The Effective Philanthropy Team
The foundation’s new Effective Philanthropy team provides internal advisory services to all programmatic and founder-led initiatives. The team is responsible for developing the tools and systems that will support the foundation to develop evidence-based strategies, understand and measure progress, and learn from its own, grantees and others’ experience how best to achieve meaningful results across its work. As it grows, the team will be known as an internal resource, thought partner and source of pragmatic, timely and responsive support, bringing advice, insights and capacity to the foundation’s teams and grantees.
The Effective Philanthropy team’s core business will be to design and support teams with tools, guidance and structures for program strategy, monitoring, learning and evaluation; promote a dynamic culture of learning, rigor and reflection; and collaborate within AMBFF, across the BFOB and with peers and experts outside the organization to recognize and realize synergies and opportunities for impact. As the foundation’s capacity for evaluation and learning grow, the Effective Philanthropy team will be a clearinghouse for high quality strategy and evaluation consultants that add value to AMBFF’s portfolios and for cutting-edge research and evaluation that supports colleagues and grantees.
Over time, the team will have the opportunity to leverage select opportunities to share the foundation’s lessons and evaluation findings, for the benefit of grantees, partners and other interested parties.
Position Description Summary:
The Foundation is seeking an agile strategic thinker to join the Effective Philanthropy team. The Senior Strategy Officer will be a key resource to program teams as they embark on their learning journeys and develop strategies. Working with the Managing Director, the Strategy Officer will support the development of foundation guidelines, tools and routine processes that help teams to communicate their intentions and plans with the President and board and facilitate meaningful dialogue and decision making. The Senior Officer will also develop the tools and process and support teams to review and refresh foundation strategies.
This position will be based in Atlanta and report directly to the Managing Director of Effective Philanthropy.
Design and lead the curation of Board learning sessions for all new collective giving areas that do not yet have a strategy.
Lead the development, use and continuous improvement of foundation guidelines, tools and organizational routines for strategy development, refresh and review.
Act as a lead, thought partner and facilitator for program leaders and teams engaging in all strategic processes – including strategy development, review and refresh.
Develop and author strategy memos, issue briefs, and updates for leadership.
Partner with the Managing Director of Founder Initiatives to develop light touch strategic tools that support the associate-led, participatory grant making that happens in both Atlanta and Montana.
Lead the design and implementation of a learning agenda that supports the foundation’s ability to understand, analyze and learn from historical and outside philanthropic practice.
Work with the Communications team to develop for grantees and partners relevant materials and content on program strategies and the foundation’s strategy development processes.
Work across all program leaders (Managing Directors) to help shape strategic gatherings at the West Creek Ranch in Montana that advance partner learning, reflection and effective collaboration in priority areas.
Collaborate with team members to support grantee partners to strengthen program strategies as needed and relevant.
Represent the Foundation externally at relevant program area and philanthropy conferences, both in and outside of Georgia.
Promote a strong sense of teamwork by working together effectively, respectfully, and efficiently with Foundation colleagues and all associates.
Support and model excellent service by exhibiting a positive attitude and enthusiasm toward the job and the company to both internal and external customers in all forms of communication.
Embrace and embody the Blank Core Values and be a culture leader within the organization.
Qualifications and Education Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree required. Graduate degree or equivalent experience strongly preferred.
A minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in a philanthropy, consulting firm or nonprofit setting.
Superb critical thinking skills with ability to research and recognize the root cause of social problems, identify strategic options and approaches supported by evidence, and communicate the consequent logic in both written and verbal form.
Excellent facilitation skills, with the ability to support ongoing dialogue and interrupt it gently and effectively to support progress and decision making.
Excellent research and analytic skills, with the ability to conduct secondary research quickly, recognize the most relevant sources and synthesize in writing and verbally.
Self-starting personality with the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
A hands-on and can-do attitude with the ability to creatively navigate challenges and adapt to a changing environment.
Passion for learning and the ability to seek input and support as needed.
Mastery of Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and SharePoint.
Excellent written and oral communications skills
Impeccable organizational and time-management abilities
Exceptional attention to detail as well as ability to see the big picture