Manager of Special Projects

Walton Family Foundation

Bentonville, AR, United States 🇺🇸

Position Title

Manager of Special Projects, Office of the Executive Dir.

Job Title

Manager of Special Projects

Job Description

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking a skilled, highly motivated and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation’s Bentonville office as Manager of Special Projects, Office of the Executive Director. This position will report to and work directly for the Executive Director.

About the Walton Family Foundation

Sam and Helen Walton had an unshakeable belief in the power of people to transform their own lives. As Sam said, there is no limit to what individuals can accomplish if “given the opportunity, the encouragement and the incentive to do their best.” Today that “no limits” philosophy is carried forward by their descendants through the Walton Family Foundation.
Since 2000, the foundation’s grantmaking has grown from $50 million to an anticipated more than $400 million in 2015. With grantmaking projected to exceed $2 billion over the next five years, the foundation continues to move forward with increasing intensity, focus and commitment to sustaining the Walton’s timeless entrepreneurial values and their deep dedication to making life better for individuals and communities alike. By working with grantees and collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, the foundation is focused on making a positive difference in three primary program areas of collective interest to the Walton Family:

• K-12 education

• Freshwater and marine conservation

• Quality of life initiatives in Arkansas and the Mississippi River Delta Region

In addition to these program areas, the foundation also supports grantmaking interests of individual and groups of Walton family members, as well as independent foundations created by family members. These individualized giving areas represent a high growth area of the foundation.

During 2016, the foundation plans to invest over $400 million in domestic and international projects that address significant social and environmental issues. The foundation continues to implement and expand grantmaking to fund a positive difference in many diverse communities – and in the lives of the people who call these communities their home.
Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, with offices in Washington, D.C., Jersey City, New Jersey and Denver, Colorado, a staff/consultant base of approximately 91 associates conducts the day-to-day operations of the foundation.

The Role

The Manager of Special Projects will handle a broad and diverse range of responsibilities and assignments to support the Executive Director’s leadership, both internally and externally, and to advance various dimensions of the Walton Family Foundation’s work. As a newly-created position to provide support to the new Executive Director, the Manager of Special Projects will embrace attributes of adaptability and flexibility as the specific duties and responsibilities will evolve based on both the skills of the incumbent and the changing circumstances at the foundation.

Key working relationships for the Manager of Special Projects include close work with the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director to ensure the smooth functioning of the Executive Director’s office, and collegial working relationships with staff across the Walton Family Foundation.

Position Responsibilities

• Conduct background research and analysis and prepare briefing and advance materials to support the Executive Director’s broad range of activities and engagements, both internally and externally. Projects and assignments will vary, and the capacity to be proactive, diligent and thorough will be essential.
• Support the Executive Director’s engagement with the board by assisting with meeting material preparation, as appropriate; by working collaboratively with those who assist and support the board; and by attending selected meetings involving the trustees for notetaking and follow-up purposes.
• Assist in brainstorming, design, and execution of new projects that could range across the portfolio of the Executive Director’s activities. These will be central projects as part of the Executive Director’s leadership agenda for 2017 – 2020 and could include support to improve the functioning of the WFF Board, improving the effectiveness of the organization, or helping with program strategy, evaluation, and execution.
• Efficiently manage new or unplanned projects with agility and flexibility as they arise.
• Help to manage the Executive Director’s stakeholder engagement plan. This will include helping to create and maintain a global list of leaders to engage periodically, research on organizations and leaders, and support in meeting messaging and follow up.
• Assist with the drafting of key communication products, especially those authored by the Executive Director, inclusive of social media. Work closely with the communications department on preparation for speeches, presentations and other public materials. Support the Executive Director’s engagement with communications planning and strategy development and draft selected materials for the foundation website.
• Remain abreast of key trends and developments relevant to key program areas of the foundation, and in the philanthropic sector to share key reports, articles and sources with the Executive Director or other relevant foundation staff. At times, prepare summaries of key reports.
• Serve as liaison between the Executive Director and key staff to ensure clear lines of communication, sharing of resources and information, and assisting with joint projects and initiatives as needed.
• Support the Executive Director in his oversight and management of all aspects of a foundation wide planning.
• Assist with other duties and projects, as assigned by the Executive Director.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here 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 associate is regularly required to stand, reach with hands and arms, and use hands to finger, handle or feel objects and/or controls. The employee is required to sit, walk, talk and hear, and move/carry files. The associate must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 lbs.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color, and the ability to adjust focus in order to handle extensive data collection, analysis and summary reporting. Computer work will be a part of the daily workflow and process.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics for this job are typical for this type of job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is reflective of a mid-sized office.

Compensation and Benefits

The foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience.

Basic Qualifications

The position calls for a highly organized individual with excellent project management, communications and organizational skills. The role requires self-direction combined with flexibility and a capacity to give and receive feedback graciously. Attention to detail is important for this position. The foundation seeks to recruit an individual with good interpersonal skills, a respectful attitude for the work of the foundation and our grantees, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team. The Manager of Special Projects should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

• Minimum of 5 years work experience, preferably in a nonprofit office environment requiring interaction with both internal and external “customers”,
• Bachelor’s degree preferred;
• Capacity to be proactive, by anticipating needs and looking ahead at all times; a self-started
• Superior organizational skills, with attention to detail
• Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, knowing how to prioritize and adjust timetables based on demand and other circumstances
• Ability to absorb high volume of information from a variety of sources and to synthesize the key elements
• High energy and a passionate commitment to the goals of the Walton Family Foundation mission, its program areas, and the ability/willingness to adapt as those goals evolve;
• Collegial, team-oriented, willing to pitch in as needed and support challenges at all times with a high level of flexibility
• Strong interpersonal skills to manage a broad range of relationships with care, to read situations well, and to treat others with respect and humility
• Comfortable in an environment that is flexible and with circumstances that will require a high tolerance for ambiguity
• Possessing superb judgment, impeccable integrity and the maturity to handle sensitive information with care and confidentiality
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• High proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint)
• Complete discretion required