Senior Advisor, Tides Collective

About the Organization: Tides envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice founded on equality and human rights, healthy...
October 26, 2020
San Francisco
Job Type


About the Organization:

Tides envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice founded on equality and human rights, healthy individuals and communities, a sustainable environment, and quality education for all. Tides accelerates the pace of social change, working with innovative partners to solve society's toughest problems.

Position Purpose:

The Tides Collective team delivers high quality project and client relationship management with foundations, individual donors, and nonprofit organizations. The Senior Advisor leads the design and delivery of strategic consulting, collaborative, capacity building, and other social change initiatives collaborative facilitation to drive impact, leverage philanthropy, and scale promising social change organizations, ideas and movements. This role may supervise one or more team members.

Position Summary:

The Senior Advisor oversees a portfolio of consulting projects and collaborative initiatives and is adept at managing highly-complex client relationships with a variety of partners including foundations, individual donors, and nonprofits. In addition, the Senior Advisor assists with departmental leadership and leads cross-functional teams and organizational projects as needed. Tapping into deep field and issue area expertise, the Senior Advisor is a strong external voice for Tides and its client partners. This individual is comfortable navigating ambiguity, strategy design and iteration, and launching and implementing complex initiatives.

The Senior Advisor provides exceptional service, support, and guidance to ensure that clients’ objectives are met, and that those objectives reflect Tides’ mission and comply with Tides’ policies and procedures. The Senior Advisor will oversee the design and implementation of consulting and collaborative initiatives that support capacity building, peer learning and coordinated action; these efforts can range across issue areas, such as education, health, immigration, equal rights, and fair pay. They will also engage in the strategy development and facilitation of collaborative initiatives such as donor circles, funder collaboratives, social ventures alliances and cross sector multi-stakeholder projects with a focus on bridging silos and mobilizing individuals to unite around the achievement of a shared vision. A successful Senior Advisor is able to not only deliver on individual efforts, but also support the development of Tides’ consulting services strategy and frameworks for collaborative initiatives.

In addition to managing a portfolio of projects, the Senior Advisor leads on cross-functional team efforts to improve internal processes or services, and to increase organizational effectiveness to support clients. The Senior Advisor identifies opportunities to increase client impact through new approaches and proactively engages in new business development.

Reporting to the Director of Special Initiatives, the Senior Advisor is an exempt position expected to work the appropriate and necessary time in order to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule. The Senior Advisor may directly supervise one or more direct reports on the Tides Collective team as warranted by operational/team needs and based on Senior Advisor interest and management experience and abilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


● Serve as relationship manager for highly complex client partners that require experience navigating ambiguity, managing expectations, stakeholder engagement, and strategic advising.

● Develop and implement project strategy, as well as create management documents for initiative partners, and support the Director in leading regular meetings with partners to ensure coordination.

● Serve as an effective facilitator, support the development of a common understanding and shared language across diverse perspectives.

● Demonstrate nimble ideation genesis, ability to translate goals into a strategic approach, outline strategies, develop approaches to problem solving and define success.

● Demonstrate strategic thinking, anticipate future opportunities and consequences and make quality decisions considering multiple factors.


● Engage as part of a cross-functional team that may include Finance, HR, Grants, Legal, Comms, Innovation & Learning and other teams to support partners’ operational, capacity, and strategic needs.

● Resolve or escalate issues of concern as raised by client partners or internal stakeholders in a timely and proactive manner. Provide support to other Advisors in resolving challenges, develop policy and procedural changes to mitigate future service challenges.

● Drive hiring and managing of project specific consultants as needed.

● In partnership with finance staff, provide accurate and timely financial statements to clients to inform client’s grantmaking and investment activities.

● Track successful delivery of grant deliverables and compliance with guidelines, including development and timely submission of narrative and financial grant reports.

● Support in the development and implementation of program feedback, evaluation and tracking systems to measure and report on initiative impact.

● Oversee administrative and programmatic execution, ie submitting invoices, contracts, and grants for payment.

● Conduct field research, client trainings, client onboarding and orientation as needed.


● Partner with department Directors to lead internal cross-functional initiatives that enhance the client experience, address client needs, or support systemic change to client service delivery at Tides.

● Mentor and share experience/expertise with team members in support of department and individual goals.

● Hiring, onboarding and supervision of direct reports or project staff, ensuring they meet collective and individual goals and they develop appropriate skills and have the support needed to achieve their objectives.

● Craft timely (or periodic) thought leadership pieces in partnership with Communications Team that involve research, knowledge of the field, and incisive synthesis to showcase Tides’ knowledge on important and/ or emerging issues to demonstrate Tides’ thought leadership for key stakeholders, including current clients.

● Serve as organizational expert on philanthropy, a specific issue area, and/or organizational development to accelerate impact of Tides and its partners.

● Co-develop new service offerings to scale impact for clients, including strategic consulting, multi- stakeholder collaborative approaches and convenings, in partnership with Tides’ colleagues.

● Co-develop department team building activities.

● Pursue professional development opportunities to learn new skills that strengthen individual and departmental knowledge.


● Build and maintain relationships with philanthropic and programmatic communities; learn from communities of practice and bring back learnings to the department and the Tides Network.

● In partnership with the Tides Collective Director, develop new or enhanced offerings for clients that build clients’ capacity, enhance clients’ philanthropic impact, and contribute to global social justice.

● Work with the Marketing and Communications team to develop marketing and other collateral materials.

● Support Strategic Partnerships (business development) in business development through outreach to potential clients and by working collaboratively on proposals

● Represent Tides on a regular basis by attending and presenting at conferences, gatherings, professional associations and other external events.

● Lead and support other special business development initiatives and duties as requested.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

● Strong personal alignment with Tides’ Vision, Mission and Approach.

● Where relevant to client needs, demonstrated experience (5+ years) working effectively with individual donors, institutional foundations and corporate donors, ideally in a donor advised setting or consulting role pertaining to program strategy, grantmaking, organizational development, and multi-stakeholder collaboratives.

● Ability to hold self and others accountable for high-quality, timely, and effective client service with a demonstrated commitment to meeting the needs of internal and external clients for a high level of satisfaction.

● Strong project management skills, high attention to detail, and solid experience in working across entities and networks undertaking significant, complex planning efforts.

● High level of analytical skills, including the ability to work with and manipulate data from multiple sources, assimilate and present information in a clear and concise manner.

● Ability to manage, track, and understand advanced financial management concepts.

● Knowledge of and a minimum of 5 years of experience working in one of Tides’ social justice issue areas: Human Rights, Quality Education, Sustainable Environment, Healthy Individuals and Communities, and Economic Opportunity.

● Experience leading a team and supporting the professional development of team members.

● Manage in an environment of change, or ability to lead through adaptive change.

● Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills with a strong ability to facilitate collaborative problem-solving to reach solutions that benefit all parties.

● Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to and appreciation for diverse viewpoints, different communication styles, and a wide range of diverse colleagues and client partners.

● Ability to identify key influencers and market drivers that impact Tides’ introduction and expansion in new markets.

● Ability to impact the sustainability of Tides and the client’s partnership by identifying and recommending improved services to client.

● Strong business development, fundraising and/or sales experience, with a proven ability to develop proposals.

● Strong verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking, presentation development and diplomacy when speaking directly with clients

Education and Experience:

● B.A./B.S. or higher degree, or equivalent experience.

● 8-10+ years of relevant and applicable work experience in nonprofit management, client-focused consulting, multi-stakeholder collaboratives, and/or philanthropy.

● Experience in the areas of program design and management, governance and complex multi-stakeholder engagement, organizational development, capacity building or grantmaking preferred.

● Experience with strategy consulting, developing and leading communities of practice, and cross-sector collaboration among foundations and nonprofits preferred.

● Proficiency with MS Office, Google Drive, Salesforce, Fluxx and NetSuite preferred.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Applicants with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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