UpTogether is a national organization of individuals across the country with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities who share a passion for social justice and racial equity. Our mission is to recognize, highlight and invest in the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of people in historically undervalued communities and partner with government and philanthropy to do the same.
After working with thousands of families since our founding in 2001, at UpTogether, we are certain people don’t live in poverty because they are lazy, uneducated, or mismanage money, as stereotypes would indicate. Instead, the poverty cycle, which disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities, can be traced to well-intentioned but inadequate governmental and charitable policies and practices that rely on a traditional top-down approach.
UpTogether’s Strengths-Based Approach (SBA) includes:
- Community: We center our work around the strengths and initiatives of people living in undervalued communities and promote the role social networks within these communities play in helping people accomplish their goals and achieve long-term socioeconomic mobility.
- Capital: We invest in our members with unrestricted cash in recognition of the initiatives they are taking to improve their lives.
- Choice: We trust that people in undervalued communities know what’s best and are capable of making decisions for themselves and their families.
UpTogether reveals and accelerates the initiative people are taking to improve their lives.
As a community, a movement, and a platform, we use the power of information—compelling insights and personal success stories—to transform stereotypes, beliefs, practices, and policies. Together with our members, we are championing a community-led movement to boost economic and social mobility in communities that have been undervalued and underinvested in for far too long.
At UpTogether, we work toward these values:
- Community: We honor the strengths and initiatives of people living in undervalued communities and promote the role social networks within these communities play in helping people accomplish their goals and achieve long-term socioeconomic mobility.
- Impact: We test and scale strategies for systems adoption of a strength-based approach to accelerate socioeconomic mobility for people living at or below the poverty line in the U.S.
- Collaboration: We center the lived experiences of families in undervalued communities and engage the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of our board, partners, and staff to build and grow a strength-based approach to end poverty.
- Racial Equity: We are committed to being an anti-racist organization, and we promote anti-racist policies that eliminate the racial wealth divide.
- Leadership: We acknowledge that leadership is not based on a title and honor the many forms in which it appears. We celebrate leadership that embodies all of our organizational values, driving us to act against the dominating deficit-based approach to fighting poverty.
- Choice: We trust that people living at or below the poverty line know what’s best and are capable of making decisions for themselves and their families.
UpTogether is seeking a full-time Director of Strategy and Operations (DS&O). Reporting to the COO of the organization, the overall purpose of this role is to provide leverage for the COO by managing critical cross-functional priorities and initiatives and their associated operational processes. This is a generalist role that will work across UpTogether to support linkages across the organization, provide targeted support to drive the organization’s operating model and annual planning cycle, and develop and refine new systems and processes. The DS&O will play a key role in advancing UpTogether’s organization-wide goal of Organizational Excellence.
This is a 100% remote position (must be based in the United States). A reliable internet connection and functional work environment, including a fully functional computer (laptop or desktop) with video conferencing capabilities, are required to be successful in this role. UpTogether offers reimbursements and stipends for work-related equipment for full-time staff.
- Ensure UpTogether continuously raises its operating standards by partnering with teams across the organization to identify and implement system and process improvements in all areas of operation and administration. This is an opportunity for a detail-oriented generalist with emphasis on operations and cross-functional leadership to maximize and strengthen the internal capacity of UpTogether and increase our operational sustainability.
- Manage alignment and integration across UpTogether. This includes identifying connection opportunities and facilitating and managing collaborative projects. Lead transformation initiatives and process improvement projects to achieve organizational goals. Specific responsibilities may include facilitation of cross team working groups, information synthesis, strategy implementation, and internal partnership building.
- Design, coordinate, and manage execution across several internal and external stakeholders. The role also includes identifying and building buy-in on opportunities to operate with greater efficiency, and tracking and reporting on internal operating metrics.
Organizational Strategy and Planning
- In partnership with the COO, lead design and implementation of UpTogether’s annual planning process, ensuring delivery against our multi-year organizational strategic plan.
- Lead collaboration across departments to ensure coordination on annual planning and implement processes for quarterly progress tracking and reflection.
Operations Process Management
- Manage the COO’s all-team meetings and other engagements that drive alignment, shared knowledge, and learning.
- Formulate and coordinate organization-wide procedures and work to improve existing processes for maximum clarity, efficiency, and success.
- Manage special projects (e.g., Contribute to Board presentations and reports, development of impact metrics).
Qualifications and Attributes
- Project Management: Ability to work-backwards from set goals and understand critical path dependencies, establish and manage different workstreams, draw from a diverse set of tools and approaches to manage progress and mitigate risks, and adapt when circumstances change.
- Execution: The ability to work with multiple stakeholders to drive towards milestones. Stays focused on priorities in the midst of many competing demands. Able to quickly develop “plan B” when original plans hit roadblocks.
- Strategy: Strategic mindset with ability to identify and prioritize what’s important in any project, demonstrates innovative and creative approaches to work, ability to organize chaos into coherent plan.
- Communication: Able to translate complex topics into simple language. Can participate appropriately in executive settings and tailor briefs to a range of internal clients. Can represent the organization in a wide range of settings and confidently communicate to a range of audience sizes and types, whether in-person or remotely.
- Leadership: An entrepreneurial sense of ownership over individual work and a sense of accountability to ensure the entire team succeeds. Comfortable with ambiguity and can move forward in the midst of changing circumstances.
- Teamwork: Flexible in playing whatever role is necessary for team success. Demonstrate inclusiveness in encouraging participation from everyone to generate the best ideas and results. Can leverage the entire team – reports, peers, and managers – to achieve results.
- Entrepreneurship: Proactive in crafting new ideas and creatively solving problems. Able to creatively secure and mobilize the resources required for a project’s success.
Experience and Skills
- 5–8 years leading fast-paced, strategic projects in a relevant setting, such as foundations, philanthropic strategy units in companies, governments, rapidly growing non-profits or start-ups, project-based professional service firms.
- Proven ability to execute.
- Expertise in process design and management, organizational transformation, and systems management.
- Superior competency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, and project management software such as Asana, Monday, etc.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required; Master’s degree preferred or equivalent qualification/experience demonstrating the ability to learn quickly and produce high quality knowledge product.
- Ability to thrive in a remote work environment; self-directed; proactively reaches out, responsive; comfortable in a virtual setting.
- Demonstrated commitment to, or passion for, our mission; deep belief and trust in the innate capabilities of families with limited incomes and their communities; willingness to engage in conversations aimed at addressing erroneous stereotypes about people with limited incomes and people of color.
- Exceptional communication, written and verbal; skilled at making complex information easy to understand. Ability to effectively communicate with diverse teams and across all levels of management.
This is a full-time position with a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision, 401(k), and vacation. The salary range is $110,000–$140,000 annually.
We strive to create a community that embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion, and we support the efforts of others to build such communities. We encourage all qualified and interested persons to apply, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
To be considered for this opportunity, please submit a resume and cover letter here. Your cover letter should outline how your personal and/or work history will contribute to the mission of UpTogether. We ask that you do not include an image of yourself in your cover letter or resume as part of our efforts to mitigate unconscious bias. Applications submitted without a cover letter will not be considered.