Associate, Programs and Practice

About Independent Sector

Independent Sector (IS), founded in 1980, is the only national organization where leaders and practitioners from philanthropy and the nonprofit community come together to learn from each other, and advance our shared commitment to improving the world.

The world has changed in dramatic ways since our founding. For the past year plus, IS has been engaged in a comprehensive strategic visioning process to better understand how those changes impact the environment in which our sector operates and the ways in which IS—as an instrument of the sector—can best add value to the work of our members and all those who contribute to the common good. It is a time of unprecedented opportunity and importance for all who work to improve life. But is it also a time we must work in new ways.

IS is now engaged in a process of listening carefully to the many voices of the social good space around the nation, and testing new approaches to the work we do and the ways in which we do it. We are building new strategic partnerships, piloting exciting ways to build on our 35-year legacy of convening actors in the field, protecting and promoting the sector through our public policy work. As it is for the charitable sector it serves, it is also a time of excitement and new possibility at Independent Sector. We are at a re-founding moment.

The goal for Independent Sector is to enable the charitable sector to be a more effective agent for positive social change in a highly interdependent world that requires new mindsets, approaches, partnerships and practices. This revitalization and re-empowering of the charitable sector is of fundamental importance if we are to move forward with the collective challenges before us.

Job Summary

The Associate of Programs and Practice provides research, programmatic, and administrative support to the Programs and Practice department as it identifies, assesses, and implements programs to address leadership development and critical cross-sector issues facing the charitable and philanthropic sector. The ideal candidate will be a self-starter and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support the department’s work by researching and analyzing current trends in leadership, impact, effectiveness, and good governance.
  • Prepare for advisory committee meetings and other convenings by drafting invitations, tracking responses, assembling materials, organizing food and other room needs, serving as notetaker and assisting with post-meeting follow up.
  • Assist with program development and event logistics for the department’s conference programming, including the NGen pre-conference program and C-Suite conference track, and regional events, including C-Suite Sessions.
  • Support the American Express NGen Fellows and Leadership Award recruitment and selection processes, as well as ongoing communications with these groups. 
  • Assist the Program and Practice team in developing new curriculum and other materials to support program areas of focus and disseminate tools and resources to the charitable and philanthropic community. 
  • Monitor use of the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice report and identify new opportunities to track and communicate outcomes and impact on our ethics and accountability portfolio. 
  • Support the assessment and development of new areas of IS activity by researching and analyzing trends, funding models and potential funders, innovations and best practices of interest to the nonprofit community.
  • Support the evaluation and continuous improvement of existing IS programs by collecting, analyzing and presenting data, identifying themes and preparing recommendations to be considered by department.
  • Draft emails and other correspondence on behalf of the Vice President and other members of the team and take the lead on scheduling a range of internal and external meetings.
  • Provide support on all department-sponsored digital learning events (including but not limited to webinars) and conference calls, including reserving time, preparation, set up using Adobe Connect system, managing event registration, and managing system during digital learning events.
  • Work collaboratively with the Communications and Marketing and Networks and Member Engagement teams to implement marketing efforts to support programs including developing lists, providing feedback on emails, and contributing to the social media efforts.
  • Assist in establishing and maintaining information management systems and web updates using the organization’s CRM (contact and data management system) and CMS (website back-end management) systems.
  • Coordinate weekly staff team meetings and agendas.
    Recommend ways to make departmental operations and processes more efficient.
  • Provide periodic administrative support for departmental projects, as requested.
  • Support the NGen and C-Suite Online Communities through research and content curation.
  • Provide support for American Express NGen Leadership Award Twitter Town Hall (planning, communication and implementation).
  • Provide support for NGen receptions at partner conferences (selection, planning and coordination).
  • Provide support for power dynamic pilot research, analysis, tool development and testing.
  • Provide support for power dynamic pilot communications efforts.
  • Assist with special projects and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (concentration in nonprofit or public management or other relevant discipline preferred); 3–5 years of full-time or internship experience working on issues related to the nonprofit community desirable but not required. 
  • Superb written communication skills, including attention to detail and deadlines when composing reports and proofreading materials; ability to quickly draft letters, memos, meeting summaries, email, and talking points, and other documentation, as needed.
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to draft summaries of research; to provide written input for reports and other materials that are prepared for both internal and external audiences; and to prepare draft emails and other materials for departmental and organizational leadership.
  • Excellent anticipatory and organizational skills, including the ability to juggle multiple competing tasks and prioritize demands while contributing toward progress on issues impacting the nonprofit community.
  • Outstanding project management skills and the ability to respond to internal and external requests. This requires the use of good judgment in knowing when to respond and when to seek additional guidance on how to proceed.
  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills, including excellent oral communication, customer-orientation, and sound judgment exemplified by an ability to consistently demonstrate a professional manner in dealing with individuals at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • Motivation to learn and contribute balanced with a flexible approach and comfort with ambiguity.
  • Deep interest in learning about and supporting the work of the nonprofit and philanthropic community.
  • General excitement, enthusiasm, and discipline necessary to contribute and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proficiency in the use of technology with emphasis on Microsoft Office, Adobe Connect, Google Docs, and database applications.
  • Knowledge of and interest in the engagement of technological solutions and social networking.

To Apply

Please email resumes@independentsector.org with the subject line "Human Resources - Associate" with the following information:

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in and qualification for the position; 
  2. A resume; 
  3. Your salary history for the three most recent years, including cash compensation other than salary (this information will be held in strict confidence); 
  4. A writing sample (no more than six pages) 

Independent Sector is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.