Vibrant Village Foundation (VVF) is a private foundation based in Portland, Oregon, USA. We make grants to non-profit organizations primarily in Africa and Latin America, and directly manage programs from our offices in Ghana and Kenya.
We are dedicated to supporting locally-led organizations who help families in rural communities build their own futures and thrive.
We currently have a growing portfolio of grant partners in East and Southern Africa and are looking to expand our grantmaking in these regions over the next five years. We are also interested in exploring partnership opportunities in the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo) and beyond.
We see ourselves as active, long-term partners to organizations and communities. We are actively listening to our grant partners and peers and learning and evolving as a Foundation. We see ourselves, not as a capacity builder, but as a connector and facilitator, as a sounding board and advocate for our partners.
• Respect- We recognize and value differences, are aware of how our actions impact others, and treat people with care.
• Humility- We seek to approach situations with openness, to understand other perspectives and to learn.
• Integrity- We strive to be transparent in all that we do, to hold ourselves accountable to our values, to recognize when we have misstepped, and to stand for what we believe in.
The Africa Partnership Lead (PL) will support the growth of the Foundation’s grantmaking efforts primarily in East Africa, but will also assist in other regions, as needed. The PL leads outreach and due diligence process to select strong local organizations, conducts respectful monitoring of grant partners, builds strong trusting relationships with partners and facilitates Support beyond Grant Funding (SbGF).
This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced strategic leader with expertise in community-led development, who is excited to lead the sourcing and management of a portfolio of local African organizations on behalf of a grantee-centric foundation.
Primary Job Responsibilities
The PL is an integral part of the Vibrant Village Foundation team. The PL reports to the Director of Programs and Partnerships and collaborates with the Executive Director and Director of Operations. They are responsible for the following:
Outreach and Due Diligence
• Conduct outreach to identify new grant partners and build a strong pipeline of potential partners;
• Work closely with the Director of Operations and Director of Programs and Partnerships to conduct due diligence of grant applicants and make funding recommendations;
• Lead the initial assessment and annual review of potential and existing grant partners; and manage the grant award process.
• Manage a grant portfolio primarily in East Africa and assist in other regions, as needed; maintain regular communication with grant partners and build trusting relationships;
• Review, analyze and summarize findings from grant partners’ reports and share learnings;
• Conduct annual to bi-annual site visits to monitor grant partners’ activities and strengthen our understanding of their work and context;
• Manage occasional external program evaluations and consultant contracts; and
• Maintain filing, track reporting, update VVF grantee database and other back-office tasks.
Strategy, External Relationships and Communication
• Lead the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy in East Africa and advise on potential expansion in the region;
• Contribute to the ongoing improvement of our grantmaking practices and tools to support our partnerships including due diligence process, grant agreements, grant reporting and other program-related templates and documentation.
• Contribute articles and other pieces (for blogs, newsletter etc.) that feature the learning, innovation and successes from our grant partners;
• Represent the Foundation at external events (conferences, meetings and forums) by conveying a clear vision of the organization’s vision, mission and goals; and
• Expand our network of peer funders to share learnings and build our grant pipeline.
Support Beyond Grant Funding (SbGF)
• Help shape and refine our SbGF strategy based on thoughtful listening of grant partners’ needs and with an equity perspective;
• Contribute to the development of SbGF initiatives in collaboration with grant partners and Director of Operations; co-lead implementation of the strategy with Director of Operations; and
• Build a strong grant partner network and develop a plan for periodic partner convening.
The ideal candidate has:
• A passion for fostering the potential of African leaders and communities;
• Fluency in Swahili and proficiency in other East African languages, preferred;
• Experience living in East Africa and deep understanding of the local context, particularly in rural communities;
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English;
• Excellent analytical skills; ability to collect and analyze data to inform strategic thinking, planning, and recommendations;
• Strong interpersonal skills, with an aptitude for relationship building;
• Experience working with a non-profit organization, social enterprise, international development agency or other relevant sector;
• Experience in the areas of poverty alleviation, WASH, conservation agriculture, health, education, climate change or livelihoods preferred;
• Experience in M&E, gender, or social inclusion, a plus;
• Ability to skillfully collaborate and problem solve in a multicultural environment.
• University degree in a relevant field or comparable work experience; and
• 5+ years of relevant work experience.
This position can be based anywhere in East or Southern Africa with frequent travel across the region (up to 50% of the year) and occasional travel to the US. VVF doesn’t currently have a grantmaking office in East Africa, therefore this would be a work-from-home position, with flexibility to consider other workspace options (shared office space, for example), if desired.
This is a full-time position. The candidate should have a valid work permit where they are based. The employment contract will comply with local labor laws and be set in local currency.
Minimum annual salary at the equivalent of $40,000 (in local currency), negotiable based on experience.
Please submit a carefully crafted cover letter that articulates your interest in the position and fit for the role, along with a current resume, through our application portal:
We strongly encourage African national applicants for this position. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted through November 15th. Desired start date is January, 2022.
VVF is deeply committed to a community of excellence, equity, and diversity and welcomes applications from women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, sexual minority groups, and other candidates who will contribute to the diversification and enrichment of ideas and perspectives. We believe that our organization is enhanced when diverse groups of people with diverse ideas come together to learn.
You can find more information about us on our website: https://www.vibrantvillage.org