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Director of Research and Evaluation

Director of Research and Evaluation
Job Description: 

Director of Research and Evaluation

Administrative · Bay Area, California

Magic Cabinet ("MC") is a philanthropic foundation that seeks to fundamentally redefine how philanthropy and nonprofits partner for sustainable and thriving communities. We seek a Director of Research and Evaluation to help deepen our learning with the explicit goals of evolving internal processes and sharing findings with our internal and external partners. 


The Director of Research and Evaluation establishes a learning strategy across the foundation and its complementary work streams. This work will involve partnering with internal Programs, Philanthropic Partnerships, Advocacy, Operations, Leadership, and Communications teams, and outside research and evaluation partners. This position reports to Magic Cabinet's Chief Executive Officer and collaborates with the foundation team and board to transform learnings into amplified impact in supportive, humble, and transparent ways.

You are well qualified if you have/are: 

  • Senior-level experience architecting, implementing, and overseeing research and evaluation work as an internal team member or outside consultant
  • Confidence in interpreting research and evaluation findings
  • Experience working with teams to evolve practice and establish recommendations based on findings
  • Experience building new teams, processes, and procedures from the ground up
  • Deep experience managing and collaborating with internal and external teams 
  • Excitement for turning findings into stories intended for sharing 
  • Experience and or excitement for building equitable practices in evaluation that center nonprofit needs and mission
  • Comfortable, willing, and interested in advocating for a new approach to grantmaking, funder/grantee relationships, and funder/funder relationships that challenge and advance established best practices 
  • Excitement for building tools and methodologies meant to share internally and externally
  • A passion for racial, social, environmental, and economic justice
  • Experience working with culturally, economically, and racially diverse groups
  • Comfort presenting in front of groups of people
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and relationship building
  • Experience working independently and with minimal oversight 

The Director of Research and Evaluation will be responsible for the following:

Strategy and Execution: 

  • The development of a foundation-wide research and evaluation strategy 
  • Establishing the framework and hiring strategy for a newly forming research and evaluation team
  • Collaborate with internal and external communications teams to turn findings into stories and opportunities 
  • Identify strategic and programmatic opportunities learned from working in partnership with MC peers and by analyzing current and emerging sector trends
  • Creating, managing, and updating shared documents, reports, and analysis tools 
  • Collaborating with leadership on the implementation of research recommendations with internal teams and systems
  • Attending select MC board meetings, retreats, donor and cultivation events as an ambassador of Magic Cabinet, its partners, and its values
  • Being responsive to varying and evolving needs and opportunities


External Relationships: 

  • Meeting regularly with external partners and participants
  • Advocating for MC's unique approach to participatory philanthropy 
  • Helping the team stay current on philanthropic trends through research and connections with experts in the field 
  • Seeking opportunities to learn from and share new evaluation approaches, models, and best/promising practices 
  • Working with MC peers to develop, host, and participate in regional events that support collaboration and networking among nonprofit, foundation, and evaluation partners



  • Partnering closely with MC's leadership team to establish high-level strategy amongst critical stakeholders
  • Participating in sharing and discussion of internal team successes and failures
  • Working with members of the growing research and evaluation team to help set individual and group goals
  • Presenting at conferences, classes, and other community events to share the MC approach and highlight our partners' work and impact

We're looking for a Director of Research and Evaluation who is: 

  • Passionate about the power of philanthropy and driven to deepen and amplify its impact
  • A creative problem solver who thrives in a growth-mindset 
  • Skilled and experienced in taking ideas from brainstorming to reality
  • Excited to transform findings into practice
  • Committed to locally inclusive communities and the nonprofit sector
  • Excited by the prospect of developing and implementing new and creative strategies that center partners' goals and missions
  • An excellent written and oral communicator with a high degree of emotional intelligence
  • Energized by building new relationships and a passion for network weaving
  • Highly organized with keen attention to detail and process
  • Confident and with a proven track record of conceiving and completing complex projects with multiple sets of stakeholders
  • Intellectually curious with a deep respect for learning and a drive for personal and sector-wide improvement
  • An active listener who can quickly translate words into action
  • Excited about joining a growing foundation, empowered by the prospect of further refining their role on an expanding team
  • Goal-oriented with a deep respect for incremental analysis, refinement, and flexibility 
  • Comfortable engaging in and contributing to a consensus-driven decision-making process
  • Aware of societal and personal bias, comfortable engaging in dialog surrounding its presence, and committed to dismantling its influence
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work with various partners and staff graciously and with a sense of humor
  • An experienced professional with a high level of comfort working with all walks of people

The Magic Cabinet provides all full-time employees with the following:

  • Medical insurance is covered at 100% for you,
    • 90% for your dependents
  • Generous dental and vision care stipend for you and your dependents 
  • 401(k) retirement plan with employer match
  • Yearly 401(k) bonus
  • Life insurance
  • Disability Insurance 
  • Ample paid time off (PTO)
  • Progressive parental leave program
  • An automatic 3% salary increase annually 
  • The ability to work from the office or home
  • Home office stipend for internet and other home office needs
  • Generous foundation-wide sabbatical policy with eligibility starting at year 5 of employment 
  • Ample foundation-paid continuing education, networking, and wellness opportunities 


$147,000/year if based in Seattle, $162,750/year if based in the Bay Area (FIRM)

Next Steps: 

For Director level positions, highly competitive applicants can expect to participate in a multi-step interview process typically consisting of the following: 

  • 30-minute phone interview
  • 60-minute interview with up to 3 Magic Cabinet team members 
  • 60-minute interview with up to 3 Magic Cabinet team members
  • 60-minute final interview with up to 3 Magic Cabinet team and board members


Magic Cabinet asks all future team members to undergo a background check as a final step in the hiring process. However, having a prior criminal record does not automatically disqualify candidates. 


Position open until filled. 

More on Magic Cabinet's Mission, Vision, and Values:

Magic Cabinet champions communities' work by partnering with nonprofits and other philanthropists to achieve the nonprofits' missions. We do this by providing long-term capacity-building grants, access to peer networks, and advocating for the broader adoption of collaborative, trust-based philanthropic practice. We believe nonprofits, communities, and philanthropy can build a just and equitable world by working in solidarity. 


Five values guide all of Magic Cabinet's internal and external work:


  • Ongoing Partnership. We engage in deep, collaborative, long-term relationships through multi-year grants, nonprofit investments, and support.
  • Equity. We purposefully and actively redistribute power to weigh community voice.
  • Trust. We support authentic and reciprocal relationships amongst nonprofit peers.
  • Flexibility. We are committed to listening and adapting to ever-changing community needs and contexts.
  • Informed Decision Making. We ground ourselves in data and translate research and feedback into innovative practice.

Equal Opportunity Statement: 

Magic Cabinet is an equal-opportunity employer. We celebrate community leadership while cultivating an inclusive environment for all employees.