Initiative Manager via Idealist

Water Funder Initiative

San Francisco or Denver, , US

About the Water Funder Initiative

The Water Funder Initiative (WFI) helps water philanthropy develop better strategies, coordinates between foundations, and mobilizes new funding toward the field’s most important needs. A lean team with diverse expertise and a proven track record is executing the project, working closely with foundation representatives and other water experts. More information is available on our website: 

Primary Responsibilities

The Initiative Manager’s overarching role is to steward the project’s financial, human, and other resources such that the project’s goals are achieved, the resources are managed efficiently, and the funders are engaged in the right ways and at the right times. This position leads at every stage of translating ideas into a reality: team resource use; project and event management; consultant management; budgeting and financial systems; and relationship management with the project’s fiscal sponsor, Windward Fund. The Initiative Manager will work most closely with Susan Bell, Managing Director, WFI, and Jennifer Kurz, Team Lead to:

Manage the project and major events:

  • Coordinate the Spring and Fall Water Table meetings to create an experience for funders that draws them in and creates the relationship that will undergird success on the substance of the work
  • Manage agendas and preparation for WFI team meetings and “in-town” weeks (a regularly scheduled series of in-person WFI meetings)
  • Manage WFI’s scheduling of internal and external meetings

In collaboration with the project’s core staff and consultants, especially Team Lead Jennifer Kurz, help allocate team time effectively:

  • Help the team and funders develop, set and follow a work plan to deliver its goals for the year
  • Look for ways to improve team efficiency (including technological solutions) and implement them in collaboration with the team

Manage aligned and other consultants

  • Manage contract renewal, invoices and payments 

Manage the project’s budget as a tool for funder engagement and efficient resource allocation

  • Manage the Project’s relationship with the Windward Fund’s core team, including contracts, grants, financials, HR, and benefits
  • Work with the fiscal sponsor to develop budgeting and expense systems and execute the WFI component of them
  • Track expenses against the budget and develop budget narratives for funders that support progress reporting
  • Work with the core team to adjust the project’s budget as needed

Assist with other activity as needed

Candidate Skills and Experience

We are looking for someone with:

  • An interest in making a difference in the world and an eagerness to run the operations of this project such that they contribute to that;
  • Attention to detail;
  • A client service and team player attitude;
  • Experience in operations that are relevant to this position; and
  • Experience in philanthropy or environmental issues a plus.


As a dynamic start-up organization, WFI is flexible in structuring this position to fit the specific needs of the right candidate. The Initiative Manager will have the option of working from either San Francisco, CA or Denver, CO. The position is currently structured as an at-will, part-time role and considered exempt for overtime purposes. An excellent benefits package is available that may include health, dental, vision and prescription coverage, disability and life insurance, and a retirement plan.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an individual looking to shape how philanthropy responds to one of the defining global challenges of the coming years. This position offers significant opportunities for growth through the diversity of challenges you will help solve. You’ll join a solid team with strong leadership, working most closely with WFI’s Managing Director and Team Lead. You will have the opportunity to access a wide network of funders, organizations, and experts, and build relationships with the leading water philanthropists, develop connections across the field, and craft a start-up effort that will continue to benefit the field immensely. Pay is commensurate with an early stage NGO of this nature.

Windward Fund Careers

Water Funder Initiative is a project of Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. As such, this position is accountable to the Board Chair of the Windward Fund. Windward Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward Fund ‘s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education required

4-year degree

How to apply

Applicants should send a PDF document with a cover letter and resume to [email protected], with the subject line “Initiative Manager.” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through May 14, 2018.