William Penn Foundation: Director of Evaluation and Learning

Posted June 6th, 2017 at 12:23 pm.

Mission:  To improve education for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creative communities that enhance civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Greater Philadelphia region.


The William Penn Foundation is a family foundation located in Philadelphia with more than $2 billion in assets and a significant annual grant budget.  The Foundation is a vital part of the civic life of one of the country’s important and historically significant regions.  The Foundation has charted a vision consistent with its enduring focus on education, the environment, and cultural vitality of Greater Philadelphia.  The Foundation’s core strategies drive its work:  1) increasing the number of children from low-income families receiving a high-quality education; 2) ensuring clean water by protecting the Delaware River watershed; and 3) fostering a vibrant city through support to arts and culture organizations, arts education programs, and creating great public spaces.

The Foundation strategically deploys assets and fosters connections among people, institutions, and ideas to address the significant challenges of a thriving region.  The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors and managed by a professional staff who work with nonprofit agencies to advance the vitality and vibrancy of the Greater Philadelphia region for all.


The William Penn Foundation seeks a data-driven, results-oriented professional with strong analytical rigor and experience in driving strategy, evaluation, and learning to serve as Director of Evaluation and Learning.  The Foundation deeply values the importance of listening, learning, and collaboration.  The new Director will demonstrate these Foundation values and help support the culture of an organization committed to maximizing its impact.

This position reflects the commitment of the Foundation to learn from its work and improve its effectiveness in addressing inequity and community revitalization across the Greater Philadelphia region.  The Director will help to create the culture, structures, and capacities to help advance learning and measure impact.

Using knowledge and strategic and creative judgment coupled with finesse and focus, the Director will create and oversee evaluation grounded in research and data for diverse audiences including the Foundation’s staff, Board, and a wide array of grantees and stakeholders.  Within the Foundation, the Director will provide internal leadership, representing the Foundation’s commitment to evaluation and learning in a positive, encouraging, and inspirational manner, as she/he works directly with staff and Board members.

Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the Board Evaluation task force, the Director will work with the program team to develop the assessment of grant initiatives, portfolios, and strategies.  In assessing the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking, the Director will play a critical role in informing program strategy to ensure that the Foundation’s work leads to positive measurable results for the community.


  • Learning – Develop an overall approach to evaluation and learning for the Foundation and design the structures and processes to support this work throughout the organization. Identify opportunities for learning that improve practice and build the processes to assist program staff in reviewing strategies.  Develop materials for learning, and create opportunities for educating the Board and staff with special attention to information specifically designed to advance the education and learning of the Fourth Generation family members as they transition into leadership roles on the Foundation Board.
  • Evaluation – Lead design and implementation of evaluation program. Devise and implement internal systems to collect, monitor, and analyze grant data to support Board and staff decision-making.  Work closely with Executive Director and Board of Directors to share findings that inform decision-making, strategy development, and governance.  Work collaboratively with program staff, grants management, IT, and planning teams, and serve as an internal advisor in the development and commission of effective external evaluations.  Work with program staff to develop appropriate metrics to measure progress against Board-established objectives, and ensure alignment of grants with Board priorities and objectives.
  • Strategy, Objectives, and Metrics – Work with Board and Executive Director to document strategic priorities and objectives. Develop a reporting system and appropriate measurements and metrics to enhance oversight and inform decision-making.
  • Collaborative Leadership and Management – Propose the goals and work plan for Evaluation and Learning in consultation with Board leadership and program directors. Utilize the most effective vehicles to collect, analyze, and report data and build cross-disciplinary connections.
  • Grant Structuring and Monitoring – Provide support to program staff to articulate clear outcome-oriented results with respect to grants.  Develop and carry out a collective process to code and track the progress of grants.  Identify strategic opportunities to design and commission third-party evaluation for certain investments and manage and monitor external evaluations.
  • Analysis and Review – Establish and implement a process to work with program staff to reflect on the effectiveness of grantmaking, potential opportunities, and threats to success including portfolio analysis, in-depth review of grant investments, external evaluation results, annual strategy reviews and updates, recommendations for course corrections and strategy refinements, and periodic grantee feedback.
  • Internal and External Communications – Work closely with the Executive Director, the Board, and the Communications team to develop external communications strategies. Along with Board and executive leadership, represent the Foundation and its Evaluation and Learning work to the region and beyond to share the results of its grantmaking strategies.


The Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

Personal Skills and Qualities

  • A commitment to the Foundation’s mission of enhancing the vitality and vibrancy of the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Analytically rigorous. Demonstrated ability to think conceptually, independently, strategically, and critically, with agility to translate ideas and insights into action through sound approaches.
  • Sound thinker and careful listener with mature judgment, integrity, and respect for others.
  • A proactive, results-oriented, creative, entrepreneurial, fiscally responsible, and nimble individual.
  • A demonstrated track record of fostering learning in an organization.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Emotional intelligence, sense of humor, curiosity, capacity for self-reflection, and humility.
  • Experience and track record with appropriate technology.


  • Demonstrated record successfully working with high-performing, diverse, collaborative people to deliver established goals. Ability to build strong relationships and confidence with Board members, senior and junior staff, and key external partnerships.  Experience creating and reinforcing a transparent, open, and mutually respectful work environment where all have a commitment to a shared purpose.
  • At least seven to 10 years’ experience conducting evaluation research and effective gathering, analysis, and effective use of data.
  • PhD in a relevant field preferred, or equivalent professional experience and qualifications demonstrating knowledge and understanding of multiple approaches to evaluation and learning.
  • Expertise in qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation methodologies.
  • Demonstrated experience with the development of appropriate metrics to assess impact and organizational performance.
  • Experience designing and managing data management systems.
  • Ability to clearly communicate concepts, research findings, and data interpretations, and to draw the implications of these analyses for program strategy.
  • Experience selecting and managing consultants and vendors.
  • Strong time management skills to prioritize projects and meet deadlines, with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

The William Penn Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

For additional information on the organization, please visit their website at http://www.williampennfoundation.org/.

Please send applications and nominations to Paul Spivey at:  WilliamPennFoundation@PhillipsOppenheim.com.

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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