Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Organization Summary:

United Way of New York City (UWNYC) is a nonprofit that mobilizes people and organizations to break down barriers and create opportunities that improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers. Part of the United Way Worldwide system, UWNYC is one of the world's most recognized charitable brands.  We envision caring communities in which all individuals and families have access to a quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives.  We strive to model our values in all our relationships, both internal and external along the principals of Collaboration, Compassion, Integrity, Accountability, and Superior Performance.

UWNYC works side-by-side with individuals, nonprofits, government, businesses, foundations, faith-based organizations, and community partners in developing strategies to produce far-reaching results.  We create and fund initiatives focused on improving the quality of life for individuals and families; provide technical assistance, leadership development, and other supports to strengthen the capacity of our nonprofit partners; and advocate on important issues affecting our communities.  All UWNYC activities are focused on improving quality of life for under-resourced individuals, families and communities across New York City’s five boroughs. 

Position Summary:

The Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives (AVP) reports directly to the Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives (SVP). The Office of Strategic Initiatives is a part of the President’s Office and is focused on developing and executing initiatives that represent the current strategic priorities for the President and CEO.  The portfolio of initiatives depends on the current state and desired future state of the organization.   The initiatives can range from programmatic design, development and incubation to the development of strategic and implementation plans to resource the organization from new or emerging revenue channels.  The current portfolio of strategic initiatives is focused on projects that will lead to the successful implementation of UWNYC’s recently completed Strategic Plan and include developing strategic partnerships with foundations, government, and other institutions to resource and implement our work.  The AVP’s primary responsibilities will include:  serving as a thought partner with the President and SVP, Strategic Initiatives to develop and design strategic initiatives; developing concept papers, proposal, business processes and reports; developing and managing (internally and externally) project plans to manage the initiatives; and cultivating and stewarding the necessary stakeholders. The AVP will have a grant writer and project coordinator reporting to them.

The AVP will be expected to bring knowledge of and comfort working with nonprofit, corporate, foundation, and government partners. Consultative skills and experience in nonprofit development will be utilized. Establishing and maintaining effective relationships, both internally and externally, will be a key requirement of this position.

The work of the AVP will draw on a track record of success in the design and implementation of complex, multi-partner, Collective Impact initiatives. Understanding the perspectives of key stakeholders—institutional investors, the beneficiaries of our work, and UWNYC as a “backbone organization” that connects Community Based Organizations (CBOs), investors from multiple sectors, and the communities we serve via a Collective Impact approach—is essential.

Job Responsibilities:
Strategic Thought Partner to the SVP and President

The AVP brings deep knowledge, comfort, and experience working in the spaces where corporations, nonprofits, government, and philanthropic foundations intersect, and understands how our value proposition furthers these organizations’ philanthropic objectives.  As such, the role adds value by contributing a strategic and integrative perspective to the way the President interfaces with existing and prospective partners.  

Specifically, the AVP, Strategic Initiatives is responsible for:

  • Contributing to the SVP’s and President’s thinking regarding which foundations, government agencies, and other institutions’ philanthropic missions align with ours, and how to craft and deliver proposals to engage them
  • Understanding the interests of UWNYC partners (investors and CBOs) and how they align with UWNYC’s mission and value proposition
  • Sustaining a long-term focus on building and fostering our most valuable relationships
  • Keeping the SVP and President abreast of current opportunities, challenges, trends, and innovative approaches that could impact the effectiveness of the President’s initiatives, particularly in regards to procuring institutional investments

Executes Foundation, Government, and Institutional Investment and Partnership Strategy

The AVP works closely with the SVP and relevant internal and external resources to ensure the smooth cross-departmental collaboration necessary to execute against the President’s strategic initiatives. 

Specifically, the AVP, Strategic Initiatives is responsible for:

  • Identifying issues, resource requirements, and solutions (often requiring cross-departmental coordination) especially in the service of timely completion of proposals and reports and other activities
  • Coordinating cross-functional development of concept papers, proposals, reports, business processes and other initiatives originating from the SVP and/or President
  • Writing concept papers, proposals, authoring and producing fundraising and other materials (e.g., PowerPoint presentations, concept papers, etc.) as needed

Represents the President’s Office

The AVP is a frequent and essential conduit between the President’s Office and stakeholders, particularly implementation/mid-level staff at foundations and government agencies. As such, the AVP must be available to meet and present off-site, have a strong professional presence and presentation skills, and enjoy stewarding relationships.  They must also demonstrate independent judgment in alignment with and support of UWNYC’s mission and strategic priorities.

Specifically, the AVP, Strategic Initiatives is responsible for:

  • Knowing, communicating, and acting on the President’s strategic priorities
  • Day-to-day oversight and management of the pipeline of strategic investment opportunities that originate within the President’s office
  • Developing effective feedback mechanisms to ensure that the SVP, President, relevant staff, and external partners are kept current regarding all aspects of the President’s initiatives
  • Representing the President’s Office as needed, particularly with institutional investors

Works in close coordination and contact with the Chief Financial & Operations Officer, Chief Development Officer, Chief Impact and Strategy Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and other members of the Executive Leadership Team

While the position reports directly to the SVP, Strategic Initiatives, the AVP will need to work closely with other senior leaders, particularly in regards to coordinating foundation/government grant cycle milestones and forecasting revenues and well as project management of the strategic initiatives.

Skills, Knowledge, & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred
  • 10+ years’ experience in leadership positions in nonprofits and/or corporate philanthropy
  • Staff management experience preferred
  • Ease leading cross-functional teams, demonstrated ability to consistently meet tight deadlines in fast-paced environment
  • Nonprofit development consulting skills and experience are helpful
  • Knowledge of and experience working with Collective Impact initiatives a plus
  • Extraordinary writing, speaking, and interpersonal engagement skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Advanced skills using MS Office, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Willingness and ability to quickly learn and access SharePoint and other data-sharing systems used at UWNYC
  • Professional presence
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Demonstrated ability to lead change

Key Competencies

  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • Relationship Oriented
  • Planning and Implementation
  • Effective and Engaging Communicator
  • Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving

How to Apply:

Please send cover letter with salary requirements and resume to with the title "AVP, Strategic Initiatives" in the subject line.

United Way of New York City is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer