Director of Learning and Evaluation, Encore.org Campaign for Children and Youth

Encore.org is a national nonprofit building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world. Originally called Civic Ventures, Encore.org was founded in 1997 by social entrepreneur Marc Freedman and grew out of a desire to transform the aging of America—one of the most significant demographic shifts of the 21st century—into a powerful, positive source of individual and social renewal. Our ultimate goal is to create a better future for young people and future generations.

The Encore.org Campaign for Children and Youth

Encore.org is launching a five-year campaign to mobilize a million adults 50+ to dedicate their time, talent and experience to help children thrive.

While the United States is among the world’s richest countries, millions of children in this country live in poverty and lack the resources and support they need to live fulfilling, successful lives. Reversing this trend must become a national priority—and a key resource for this effort is hidden in plain sight: The millions of Americans moving into their 50s and beyond who want to leave a positive legacy for future generations. Encore’s latest research indicates that 29 percent of adults 50+ are very/extremely interested in participating in the campaign, translating to a receptive target audience in excess of 30 million people.

These two groups—children in need of supportive adult relationships and adults with the time and inclination to fill those roles—fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Encore.org’s campaign will bring them together through three complementary strategies:

  1. We’ll mobilize the million.
  2. We’ll build a cross-sector network of organizations, to help us mobilize the million, and to serve as thought partners in identifying and solving the big obstacles that stand in our way.
  3. We’ll change the narrative around aging in this country, so that service to children and youth is embraced as a compelling—and highly accessible—pathway for adults 50+.

The Position: Director of Learning and Evaluation, Encore.org Campaign for Children and Youth

This position reports to the Vice President/Campaign Director, and is a full-time, exempt position.

Encore.org seeks a Director of Learning and Evaluation to lead the campaign’s strategic learning and evaluation efforts, and to drive continuous improvement for the campaign, individual partner organizations, our network of partners and the field. The Director of Learning and Evaluation will lead the development and implementation of strategic learning, research and evaluation plans to support learning and improvement across the campaign’s outcomes in six overlapping  impact areas:

  1. Create positive impact on children and youth and the institutions that serve them.
  2. Create positive impact on the adults 50+ whom we mobilize.
  3. Create intergenerational social capital.
  4. Enhance attitudes and beliefs among adults 50+ about their role and value in their communities and within the broader society.
  5. Facilitate structural/systemic changes—within organizations, the policy environment, the cultural narrative, etc.—to accelerate and make self-perpetuating the movement of adults aged 50+ to work with children and youth.
  6. (Internal goal): Build Encore.org’s capacity by creating a reusable engine/template that can be repurposed for future campaigns on different issues.

We seek an out-of-the-box thinker with a strong background in strategic, analytic and applied research, and real-time and utilization-focused evaluation approaches (e.g., developmental evaluation), who will work closely with the project teams to articulate intended outcomes, identify real-time learning associated with specific innovation strategies, facilitate learning discussions and share actionable insights with internal and external stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the development and execution of a robust campaign-wide learning agenda.
  • Spearhead data-gathering, evaluation and research plans to maximize learning and continuous improvement.
  • Analyze and translate individual and aggregated partner data into actionable insights and opportunities for partner learning and deeper research.
  • Design and execute primary and secondary learning and research plans to surface questions, areas for deeper investigation, insights and opportunities for learning across the campaign’s six impact areas; build and manage relationships with academic and other research partners to implement mutually beneficial research projects.
  • In partnership with the Director of the Partner Network, create and facilitate opportunities for campaign partners and others to use data, research, evaluation and other insights to accelerate impact, and support an intensive Innovation Lab[1] for the campaign’s most engaged partner organizations.
  • Position Encore.org to learn from and significantly contribute to the fields in which we operate by effectively linking the campaign’s growing learning and evaluation agenda to existing data and research.
  • Identify insights and determine the most effective ways to disseminate them, including working with the campaign and broader Encore.org teams to publish research and findings.
  • Supervise the Data Manager to develop and manage the campaign’s data systems and infrastructure, including quality assurance and quality improvement data feedback loops.
  • In partnership with the Director of Operations, ensure that sufficient and relevant data are being captured to inform grant reporting for institutional funders.
  • Partner with fellow directors and VP/Campaign Director to help guide and contribute to campaign-wide strategy and activities.
  • Support development of annual campaign budget and manage program spending within approved annual budget.
  • Advise Encore.org more broadly on its own nascent learning and evaluation strategy and work with other Encore.org program areas to design and set success measures and evaluation techniques (~20 percent of time).

About You

You’re passionate about the aims of the campaign. You love to learn, both for its own sake and in order to improve the way you and your colleagues work. You’re a FiveThirtyEight enthusiast and you seek out surprising analogues and counterintuitive insights from diverse and eclectic sources of information. You’re an outstanding facilitator of other people’s learning, and you thrive in a driven, collaborative, optimistic and occasionally ambiguous environment, with the opportunity to define the direction of the work. You’re an aficionado of behavioral economics and design thinking; you have a hunger for enabling continuous improvement and a passion for the collective-impact approach. You appreciate Edward Tufte and share his enthusiasm for elegant and accessible data visualization. You see evaluation as a vehicle for learning and innovation as much as for a tool for accountability and proof of concept, and you’re adept at helping others embrace this approach.

Key Qualifications

  • Demonstrated capacity to build and lead effective learning communities; excellent facilitation skills.
  • Experience designing and implementing evaluation plans and systems to support ongoing program development and improvement.
  • Experience designing systems for measuring individual and collective impact.
  • Excellent strategic-thinking skills, with the ability to operationalize concepts, transform ideas into action and present them clearly and concisely to inform decision-making.
  • Exceptional project-management skills, with demonstrated success producing high-quality deliverables on time and within budget.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including demonstrated negotiation, mediation, facilitation and listening; a good sense of humor; and experience building strong professional relationships with diverse colleagues.
  • Facility with basic statistical analysis and research methodologies.
  • Significant knowledge of and experience with a variety of data—both qualitative and quantitative—and ability to synthesize these data from multiple sources to create new insights or products, a plus.
  • Capacity to lead applied research activities at a university, company or organization, and to synthesize large volumes of data to inform and drive progress, a plus.
  • Experience supervising staff and/or consultants.
  • Track record of demonstrating sound judgment by making appropriate decisions, knowing when to take the initiative to anticipate problems and innovate creative solutions, managing complex situations with discretion and tact, and prioritizing and completing tasks in a skillful and timely fashion.
  • Prior experience in one or more of the fields in which the campaign will operate (e.g., early-childhood, K-12 education, youth development, aging, etc.), with a deep understanding of the field, its major players, its thorniest challenges/issues, existing research and emerging innovations (relationships with current or likely campaign partners a strong asset).
  • Working knowledge of (or willingness/ability to quickly learn) Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Webex, Salesforce; familiarity with online collaboration tools (e.g., Google docs, Google Hangout, Dropbox).
  • Willingness to travel domestically up to once per month.
  • Relevant graduate degree preferred.

How To Apply

Please submit your resume along with your answers to the questions below by July 8, 2016. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. These short-answer questions (200 words each, 600 words total) are designed to replace a cover letter, and they will be judged as a writing sample.

  • We want someone who values tangible impact in their work. What outcome(s) of your work in the last five years are you most proud of? Why? Be specific.
  • Please describe an experience you’ve had convening a group of people for shared learning. Please outline the process and the outcomes and what you learned from the experience.
  • Please describe a time when you successfully oversaw/executed applied research. This means any situation where you had to find a lot of information, analyze it, synthesize it, communicate about it, and then put it to use to achieve the objective(s) of your organization. What was the outcome?

Please send your resume and answers as one document to g2gdle@encore.org. Name your attachment with the format: “LastName Campaign DLE 2016 Application” (for instance, “Jefferson Campaign DLE 2016 Application”).  Applications that do not follow this format may not be reviewed.

It is Encore.org’s policy to employ, compensate and advance personnel without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, height and weight, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, partnership status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, arrest record and any other characteristic protected by law. We are an Employer of National Service: AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply and to tell us how your service experience has shaped your career.

We are seeking to develop a multigenerational and diverse team. Qualified people of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Open until filled.
 

A Note on Encore.org’s Culture

Our staff members are part of a social movement that challenges old norms and seeks to establish a new definition of success in later life. We are a small, geographically distributed team, committed to making a significant impact. We attract people who think about how small investments can yield big results in the service of Encore.org’s mission.

We work hard, and we value our colleagues and the causes we dedicate time to outside of working hours. We understand the importance of commitments—family and otherwise—beyond Encore.org. Vacation time is meant to be used.

As an organization focused on deploying human talent in innovative ways, we try to walk the talk. We strive to have an intergenerational team. We also encourage and sometimes require flexible work; results matter more than face time. Many Encore.org positions require some or a great deal of travel; all require the use and mastery of a growing array of virtual tools.

Perhaps most important, Encore.org is in a period of transition and growth. We work in a dynamic environment that values mutual respect, rapid response to changing conditions or new opportunities, flexibility and intelligence, as well as a sense of humor and humility. Those who thrive tend to be creative, entrepreneurial types who are dedicated to our mission and who know how to execute ambitious plans in a lean environment.


[1] Innovation Lab to be modeled after the Networked Innovation Community model designed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.