GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving - and millions of lives - by allowing donors to provide capital grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of which is allocated to evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing a benchmark, and in the process accelerate the end of extreme poverty. GiveDirectly has raised over $400M in revenue (>$150M in 2020 alone), while being recognized as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company. The growing movement toward cash transfers and GD’s role in that movement have also been featured in This American Life, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, and Business Insider.
Cash transfers are at a potential inflection point: COVID-19 has amplified the challenges of bulkier in-kind aid models, and governments are deploying cash as their most common tool of assistance to vulnerable populations. GiveDirectly has an opportunity to leverage its strong track record (i.e. operations across 9 countries, >$250M transferred to over a million individuals, 13 randomized control trials), to both deliver immense impact and position itself as the premiere cash implementation vehicle globally.
About the role
We are seeking an entrepreneurial individual who can lead the our operations team through this next phase of growth: innovating on our model (e.g. scaling contactless approaches post-COVID), establishing a foothold in new markets (e.g. creating a sustainable humanitarian practice), and investing in exceptional talent. This role requires a dynamic leader, who is animated by both the problem-solving required to drive operational excellence (e.g. how do we tamp down on new forms of leakage?), and the higher level questions around how to grow the global cash movement.
Our team is passionate about shifting the status quo with respect to how and by whom decisions are made in the aid space. We believe elevating recipient choice is critical, as is demonstrably committing to transparency around metrics and evidence. We are looking for applicants who are deeply aligned with these objectives, and energized by the prospect of building an organization that advances them.
Reports to: Managing Director
Location: NYC, London, Nairobi, Lilongwe, Kampala, Kigali, or Monrovia
- Establish GiveDirectly as the premier cash transfer delivery organization globally by building and articulating our value proposition
- Establish a vision for and drive the ongoing evolution of operations at GiveDirectly, from both a technology and program management perspective, to ensure we continuously improve our recipient experience and expand our capacity to reach more recipients
- In partnership with our Chief Growth Officer, build a strong connection, grounded in long-term expansion strategy, between our growth efforts and our in-country operations leadership
- Develop, with the support of the VP, People, and functional team leads, an effective long-term talent bench for key leadership positions within the operations pillar
- Support team members to set ambitious and strategic fundraising goals, in line with long-term strategy, and provide ongoing coaching and support to ensure they consistently meet those goals
- Build and leverage relationships with partners, institutions and donors to ensure their ongoing confidence and support
- Management and coordination of teams
- Promote a strong organizational culture, in alignment with GiveDirectly values, by building trust and through consistent modeling, feedback, and accountability
- Translate strategy to quarterly goals and oversee the effective execution of plans
- Serve as an exceptional people leader with diverse, multinational team, consistently operating as an inclusive manager - with a high degree of emotional intelligence who develops strengths in others through modeling, thought partnering, and active coaching
- Ensure effective and efficient recruitment to allow for nimble expansion of team as needs and opportunities arise
- Provide leadership through change by establishing strong communication channels with team members, making decisions based on sound and rigorously vetted logic, communicating decisions clearly and effectively, and following through on commitments and establishing systems for accountability.
- Establishing and maintaining systems and processes for collaboration across technology and field functions
- Operations oversight
- Ensure excellence across all operational
functions by strategically leaning in to high-level and high-risk
decisions and strong management of functional leads including:
- Africa Operations
- Field Tech and Data
- Ensure excellence across all operational functions by strategically leaning in to high-level and high-risk decisions and strong management of functional leads including:
Core competencies and experiences
- Track record of results - demonstrated ability to consistently make sound decisions and solve complex problems based on logic and good judgment
- Experience leading a large, multicultural, and layered teams, specifically in emerging markets - Leads with authenticity, with a passion for people and community, exceptional communications skills, and ability to quickly earn trust and build an inclusive culture
- Strategic planning and strong execution - ability to seamlessly navigate between big-picture strategy and day-to-day operational decisions, ability to navigate through ambiguity
- Business Acumen - ability to navigate tensions and balance between operational integrity and growth priorities
- Communication - understanding of GiveDirectly brand and ability to position the organization well through verbal and written external communications, with an equally strong ability to clearly and authentically communicate with internal audience in a compelling and inspiring manner
- Alignment with GiveDirectly Values:
- Recipients first.
We prioritize recipient preferences over those of donors or ourselves.
We do not impose our preferences, or judgments, on the beneficiaries; instead we respect and empower them to make their own choices, elevating their voices in the global aid debate. This value is core to GiveDirectly’s identity as the first organization exclusively devoted to putting the poor in control of how aid money is spent. It comes at a potential cost, as it means that neither we nor donors get to set priorities (and we may even lose some “efficiency” in providing this option).
- Team next.
We do what’s best for organizational - not individual - success.
This is a team sport, where we will succeed (or fail) together. The best players are not those with the best individual statistics, but those with biggest impact on our overall performance. We avoid territoriality, self-promotion, and I’m above this attitudes.
- Be proactively candid.
We say what we believe, and are honest in sharing information.
Having confidence that other people are telling us what they truly believe, without gloss or omission, is critical to effective communication and to our ability to learn and grow from feedback. We owe it to each other - and our donors - to instill this confidence even though giving and receiving information candidly are unusual in both professional and social life, and can be very uncomfortable.
- Create positive energy
We strive to be a source - not drain - of energy for our colleagues.
Our work is hard, practically and emotionally, and we cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, enjoying the company of our colleagues, and not taking ourselves too seriously. In doing so, we aspire to generate energy and excitement amongst our colleagues in pursuing our mission. This should not preclude candor, and we aspire to achieve both.
- Think rigorously; act quickly.
We are intellectually rigorous with a drive towards action - not debate.
We reason from first principles, grounding our decisions in objective claims about the world, rather than hard-to-disprove assertions or hierarchy. We aim to brainstorm inclusively and respectfully, but critically self-vet ideas we put forward, so as to ensure productive and prudent decision making.
Demanding this level of rigor forces us to think harder about decisions and our assumptions than we otherwise might. This is a real cost. It can be taken too far: it is possible to overthink decisions, and we avoid debate for the sake of debate. We are not here to philosophize or ensure consensus. We decide and act quickly, avoiding getting bogged down in debates.
- Accept reality. Propose solutions.
We do not dwell on problems. We work actively to create solutions.
There will always be an endless list of things to improve. We focus on the things that can be changed; find the most important of those things, and propose actionable answers. We do not allow “problems” to weigh us down and be a source of negativity. We are forward looking, which we believe not only leads to better team outcomes, but also creates a more enjoyable, energizing environment for all.
- Be productively ambitious.
We take the risks to pursue industry-changing success, not incremental progress.
We seek step-change improvements at all levels, and are willing to make big-bets; we do not accept complacency nor do we simply optimize existing processes. In doing so, we allow ourselves to dream big with a belief that perceived constraints are merely opportunities for creativity.
Such ambition not only requires hard work (i.e., this is not a 9-5 job), but also a willingness to accept and learn from temporary setbacks and failures. In accepting these failures, we’re conscious to not point fingers, nor obsess over “mistakes” made.
- Know yourself and grow.
We recognize and accept our imperfections with a focus on growth.
We are an organization of exceptional people and trust in each other’s abilities, yet we recognize that none of us is perfect. We strive to maintain an accurate understanding of our individual and institutional strengths and weaknesses, in order to position ourselves to maximize our chances of success.
At the same time, we seek personal growth for ourselves and our teammates. Feedback is given with a spirit of helpfulness; and sought out with a desire to learn.
**GD is committed to observing all local, national and international laws that protect children, vulnerable adults, and basic human rights of all. GD is committed to a policy of “zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH)” and expects anyone who works for GD to uphold the protection and safeguarding of our recipients as a priority.**