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Senior Advisor, Special Initiatives

Senior Advisor, Special Initiatives
Application Deadline: 
Friday, January 31, 2020
Job Description: 

About the Organization:   

Tides envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice founded on equality and human rights, healthy individuals and communities, a sustainable environment, and quality education for all. Tides accelerates the pace of social change, working with innovative partners to solve society's toughest problems.  

Position Summary:   

The Senior Advisor supports a portfolio of consulting projects and collaborative initiatives and is adept at managing highly-complex client relationships with a variety of partners including foundations, individual donors, and nonprofits. This individual is comfortable navigating ambiguity, designing and iterating, and self-starting complex initiatives.  

The Senior Advisor will oversee the design and implementation of consulting work primarily focused on nonprofit capacity building; these efforts can range across issue areas. They will also engage in the strategy development and facilitation of collaborative initiatives such as donor circles, funder collaboratives, social ventures alliances and cross sector multi-stakeholder projects with a focus on bridging silos and mobilizing individuals to unite around the achievement of a shared vision.  

In addition to managing a portfolio of projects, the Senior Advisor leads on cross-functional team efforts to improve internal processes or services, proactively engages in new business development, and may directly supervise one or more direct reports as warranted by operational/team needs.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  


  • Serve as relationship manager for highly complex client partners that require experience navigating ambiguity, managing expectations, relationship management, and strategic advising.  
  • Demonstrate nimble ideation genesis, ability to translate goals into a strategic approach, outline strategies, develop approaches to problem solving and define success.   


  • Engage as part of a cross-functional team that may include Finance, HR, Grants, Legal, Comms, and other teams to support partners’ operational, capacity, and strategic needs.  
  • Oversee administrative and programmatic execution by submitting invoices, presenting budgets and cash flow reports, processing contracts, and reviewing grants for payment.   


  • Co-develop new service offerings to scale impact for clients, including strategic consulting, multi- stakeholder collaborative approaches and convenings, in partnership with Tides’ colleagues.  
  • Supervision of direct reports or project staff, ensuring they meet department and individual goals and they develop appropriate skills and have the support needed to achieve their objectives.  
  • Craft timely (or periodic) issue area briefs in partnership with Communications Team that involve research, knowledge of the field, and incisive synthesis to showcase Tides’ knowledge on important and/ or emerging issues to demonstrate Tides’ thought leadership for key stakeholders, including current clients.  
  • Pursue professional development opportunities to learn new skills that strengthen individual and departmental knowledge.   


  • In partnership with Client Services Director, develop new or enhanced offerings for clients that build clients’ capacity, enhance clients’ philanthropic impact, and contribute to social justice.  
  • Support Strategic Partnerships (business development) and CS Directors in business development through outreach to potential clients and by working collaboratively on proposals.  
  • Represent Tides on a regular basis by attending and presenting at conferences, gatherings, professional associations and other external events.   

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:    

  • Strong personal alignment with Tides’ Vision, Mission and Approach.  
  • Demonstrated experience (5+ years) working effectively with individual donors, institutional foundations and corporate donors, ideally in a donor advised setting or consulting role pertaining to program strategy, grantmaking, organizational development, and multi-stakeholder collaboratives.  
  • Ability to hold self and others accountable for high-quality, timely, and effective client service with a demonstrated commitment to meeting the needs of internal and external clients.  
  • Ability to manage, track, and understand advanced financial management concepts.  
  • Manage in an environment of change, or ability to lead through adaptive change.  
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills with a strong ability to facilitate collaborative problem-solving to reach solutions that benefit all parties. Strong verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking, presentation development and diplomacy when speaking directly with clients.   

Education and Experience:    

  • B.A./B.S. or higher degree, or equivalent experience.  
  • 8-10+ years of relevant and applicable work experience in nonprofit management, client-focused consulting, multi-stakeholder collaboratives, and/or philanthropy.  
  • Experience in the areas of program design and management, governance and complex multi-stakeholder engagement, organizational development, capacity building or grantmaking preferred.  
  • Proficiency with MS Office, Google Drive, Salesforce, Fluxx and NetSuite preferred.   

 Application Instructions:  

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.  

Equal Employment Opportunity:  

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.  

Applicants with Disabilities:  

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.