Director of Learning & Equity

  • Social Venture Partners
  • Portland, Oregon
Full Time Nonprofit

Job Description

SVP Overview

Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a multi-generational community of professionals engaged in venture philanthropy. Our current goal is to ensure that all children in metro Portland are ready for kindergarten. We make strategic investments of human, financial, and social capital in nonprofit organizations and system innovation initiatives that prepare children to enter kindergarten with the foundation for learning and life success. We are focused on kids in our community who are called “at risk” but who are really full of promise.

Position Context

SVP has always been a learning community. In addition to making investments, our Partners seek to learn about best-known practices in philanthropy, nonprofit management, systems change, and community needs and solutions. We offer learning opportunities through volunteer engagement, events, structured learning and formal trainings.  

In 2015, we prioritized our resources for children whose disparities in educational outcomes are greatest: children living at or near poverty, children of color, and/or children whose first language is not English. While inequities and disadvantages persist across many categories, data consistently shows that racial disparities know no boundaries, and we acknowledge systemic racism as a significant factor.

We have recently made formal public commitments to creating a culture of learning, to racially and ethnically diversifying our leadership and Partnership, to investing in culturally-specific programs, and to transparently communicate our progress. We have been working diligently to increase our understanding and ability to address racial disparities among our priority populations. We believe we are uniquely positioned to help our Partnership learn to be most effective in advancing racial equity and philanthropy.


Position Summary

We are seeking a Director of Learning & Equity (DLE) with a deep understanding of adult learning theory and a proven track record of advancing equity within an organization or company. The DLE will develop, refine, and implement educational opportunities and equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies with our Partnership. You will work closely with staff and Partners to identify the needs and opportunities for learning and advancing equity.  


You must be skilled in creating experiential and/or engaging learning opportunities—focused on equity and other areas important to our effectiveness. You will be responsible for developing and implementing curricula for our Rising Leaders and Encore Fellows programs, as well as the scaffolding for learning opportunities among all of our Partners. In all of these learning opportunities, drawing on content experts, community leaders and our nonprofit partners is essential for implementation.

The Director of Learning and Equity must know what it takes to help people and organizations achieve their potential. You should be a natural listener, learner, and teacher. You must be comfortable both “in front of the class” and orchestrating behind the scenes. Successful candidates will have content expertise and experience in leading equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and still have broader interests in best-practice philanthropy.

You will report directly to the VP of Development and Marketing and work closely with our CEO, Board, staff leadership, Partners, and the nonprofits with whom we partner.


The ideal candidate is someone who friends and colleagues would describe as:

A servant leader. You are dedicated to making our community better and show unwavering commitment to a mission like SVP’s. You demonstrate humility, wisdom, and tact. You strive to understand and empathize with others and help them achieve their potential.  

A change agent. You are comfortable with driving progress with individuals and in an environment at varying degrees of readiness. You understand principles of change management and are able to envision a future and then help make it a reality.

Authentic and committed. Warm and intuitive, you possess high emotional intelligence and integrity. You are both trusted and trustworthy.

Organized and systematic. You approach responsibilities both strategically and pragmatically, and you are comfortable using data systems and tools to help drive results as well as continuous improvement.

Creative. You are able to look “outside the box” and show enthusiasm for working in a collaborative environment with many constantly moving parts.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Facilitate, refine, and expand upon SVP’s current events and training sessions on areas critical to our success, including venture philanthropy, early childhood learning, and racial equity.
  • Lead our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee in the creation, successful implementation, and tracking of our annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plans.  
  • Continually monitor forces affecting the evolving cultural and philanthropic landscape in order to educate, mentor, and coach the Partners/donors on best-known practices.
  • Manage contract with a third-party vendor for the Encore Fellows training curriculum (through year-end 2017).  
  • Meet regularly with Partners and “Investees” (the nonprofits in which we invest) to better understand learning needs and create learning opportunities designed to meet these needs.
  • Use qualitative and quantitative data to identify needs, develop plans, drive solutions, continuously improve and measure results.  
  • Ensure best practice principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in recruitment, hiring, retention, performance management, leadership development, and diversifying SVP’s Partnership, and all other aspects of human capital management.


  • 5+ years of experience in a role with similar focus and demands.
  • Demonstrated understanding of adult learning theory and significant experience providing quality learning experiences for adults.
  • Proven track record of success in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion efforts, especially for underrepresented racial groups.  
  • Proven ability to inspire, influence, and guide others to achieve meaningful and lasting change.
  • Exceptional communications and change management skills.


  • Full-time (40 hours per week), exempt position, with opportunity for broad and impactful work in a visionary, growing organization. Family friendly environment, with flexible work schedule in order to attend meetings and events after traditional business hours.
  • Compensation package will include:
  • A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience based on published trends by The MBL Group (MBL). (Salary range discussed in first round of interviews.)
  • Benefits: health insurance with alternative health benefits, IRA plan with employer match, paid holidays (seven days with five additional flex day) and vacation (15 days in first three years), sabbatical (after seven years employment), paid professional development opportunities, and Flexible Spending Plan for pre-tax savings on transportation, child care and/or out-of-pocket medical expenses (with $100/month contributed by SVP).

Ability to travel to local off-site venues is required, and occasional out-of-state travel is required and paid for by SVP. Training and connecting with other professionals in the field is encouraged and leveraging efforts with SVP’s international office, and network affiliate sites is available throughout the year and occasionally in out-of-town locations.  

Please submit the following materials electronically (PDF preferred) to

  • A one-page cover letter clearly outlining the qualities, specific skills, and knowledge you bring to the job and how they are a good fit with the responsibilities of this position. 

  • A resume (no more than three pages) detailing relevant experience, work history, education and

SVP is a nonprofit committed to Equal Opportunity Employer standards. We are dedicated to the value of advancing equity and we seek to build an organization that reflects the diversity of our community. We strongly encourage applications from all persons from marginalized communities, including racial/ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities. 

Application closing date: 7/1/17

Preferred start by mid-July   

NOTE: We will be reviewing applications and qualifying top candidates on a rolling basis.


Corporate Training, Diversity Management EEO Compliance