Evaluation & Learning Officer (WPF)

The William Penn Foundation is a leading American philanthropy located in Philadelphia. With over $2 billion in assets and a $100+ million annual grant budget, the Foundation is a vital part of the civic life in one of the country’s most important and historically significant regions.  The Foundation has charted a vision consistent with its enduring focus on education, the environment and the cultural vitality of Greater Philadelphia. 

The Foundation’s three core priorities are to:

  • Increase the number of children from low-income families in Philadelphia receiving a high-quality education.
  • Ensure clean water by protecting the Delaware River watershed.
  • Foster a vital and diverse cultural region by investing in the health and sustainability of arts and cultural organizations and in great public spaces.

The Foundation strategically deploys assets and fosters connections among people, institutions, and ideas to address the significant challenges of a thriving region.  It is committed to learning from its work and improving its effectiveness to address inequity and community revitalization across the Greater Philadelphia region. We seek candidates who are equally passionate about Philadelphia, share our sense of urgency, and believe improvement happens through collaboration, critical thinking, and hard work.

Position Summary

The William Penn Foundation seeks an evidence-driven and results-oriented professional to serve as an Evaluation and Learning Officer.  The Officer will advance the Foundation’s learning and improvement work, helping to produce positive, measurable results for the community.  The Officer will collaborate with the program team to provide expertise in research and evaluation to inform strategy design, refinement, and implementation; develop and manage research and evaluation projects that provide ready access to the evidence base, deepen understanding of key issues, and assess Foundation initiatives; and support evidence use by diverse audiences including the Foundation’s staff, grantees, and the field. 

The Officer will report to the Director of Evaluation and Learning and work closely and collaboratively with program and communication colleagues. We anticipate that the Officer’s responsibilities will include launching and managing several research and evaluation efforts for our Watershed Protection Program. 

This position requires occasional business travel.


  • Strategy, Objectives, and Metrics – Provide strategic thought partnership, data and analysis that program staff need to conduct their work, starting with, but not limited to, a particular focus on the Watershed Protection Program. A secondary focus may involve supporting evaluation and learning in connection with the Foundation’s work in public spaces, and participation in the arts and cultural activities. Support program staff in developing meaningful and measurable outputs and outcomes for grants and strategies. Identify and review progress indicators against Board-established objectives and help ensure alignment of grants with Board priorities and objectives.
  • Evaluation and Research – Execute project management responsibilities including oversight of research and evaluation grants and contracts and actively engage program in key aspects of these projects. Specific activities include: identifying/prioritizing research and evaluation needs; scoping projects; sourcing research and evaluation partners; managing third-party approaches from design through implementation; reviewing findings; synthesizing results; and communicating the findings.
  • Learning – Help to develop program staff’s adaptive learning skills and support a culture of learning and reflection, including the incorporation of empirical evidence and lessons learned into strategic decision-making and grants management. Write and present summaries of grantee performance, incorporating lessons learned to inform future grantmaking. Plan and implement learning events for Foundation staff.
  • Analysis and Review – Support the Director of Evaluation and Learning in developing and implementing a process with program staff for reflecting on the effectiveness of grantmaking, potential opportunities, and threats to success through activities including portfolio analysis, in-depth review of grants, sense-making of external evaluation results, and periodic strategy reviews. Make recommendations for course corrections and strategy refinements, and provide periodic grantee feedback. 
  • External Communications Work closely with the Director of Evaluation and Learning and the Communications and Program teams, to share what the Foundation is learning with grantees and the broader field.

Expected Competencies

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission of enhancing the vitality and vibrancy of the Greater Philadelphia region
  • Analytically rigorous, demonstrating the ability to think conceptually, independently, strategically, and critically, with agility to translate ideas and insights into action through sound approaches
  • Emotionally intelligent, with a sense of humor, curiosity, capacity for self-reflection, and humility
  • A self-starter able to work independently
  • Highly organized with great attention to detail
  • Outstanding communication skills: listening, writing, speaking
  • Technologically savvy, with demonstrated competency with the Microsoft Office suite of programs, including the ability to retrieve, array, summarize and graph data using Excel


  • At least five years’ relevant experience, which should include conducting evaluation or applied research, policy analysis, and research management
  • Demonstrated record of successfully working with high-performing people from a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds to deliver on established goals
  • Ability to build strong relationships with senior and junior staff and key external partners including researchers, evaluators, and non-profit organizations
  • Ability to clearly communicate concepts, research findings, and data interpretations, and to draw the implications of these analyses for strategy
  • Experience generating and refining theories of change and logic models and identifying appropriate metrics for monitoring performance and estimating impact
  • Strong time management skills to prioritize projects and meet deadlines, with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience writing and editing research findings for policy and practitioner audiences


Advanced degree in policy analysis or a related social science discipline with a focus on applied and policy research and/or policy analysis, preferably in a field related to the environment, public education, and/or public spaces, and arts and cultural activities is required. 

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The William Penn Foundation values diversity, inclusion, and equity as matters of fairness and effectiveness. We are committed to hiring and retaining a staff that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, fostering an inclusive working environment where staff of all backgrounds feel welcomed and engaged in the Foundation’s mission, and to promoting racial equity in our work.

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to bend, sit, talk, lift, or hear. The employee is regularly required to use hands and arms to operate general office equipment (personal computer, telephone, file cabinet, copier, printer). The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to ten pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.


To Apply

The William Penn Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from individuals underrepresented in the philanthropic sector, including people of color, and persons with non-traditional work and educational experience. All who believe they meet the stated qualifications are invited to apply. Applications may be submitted to [email protected]








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