Senior Vice President – Arabella Advisors
Arabella Advisors is looking for an experienced and accomplished senior leader to lead our Managed Organizations team, which provides shared support services to our fiscal sponsor clients–and thereby enables social impact in more than 100 countries around the globe as well as in all 50 states, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. The leader who takes on this role will oversee client service delivery for a team of over 200 programmatic, administrative, financial, and HR-focused staff members who go to work daily with our nonprofit clients to incubate, launch, and manage an extraordinary range of innovative social-impact projects.
Arabella Advisors is a business dedicated to making philanthropic work more efficient, effective, and equitable. Along with our clients, we are working to build a better future—one with healthy air, water, and food for all, with strong democracies and engaged citizens, with flourishing communities, expanded opportunity and enhanced equity, and without racism. We help our clients by sharing our expertise and experience, which includes providing outsourced operational support to nonprofit organizations. We are proud to be a certified B Corporation, a Great Place to Work, a member of the Inc. 5000, and a two-time winner of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Entrepreneurial Companies” award.
Arabella leads with the following values:
Be Bold. We tackle touch challenges inside and outside our walls.
Create Together. We go farther by creating and building in humble partnership with others.
Find a Way. We discover solutions where others see no path forward.
Do Good Better. We pursue sustainable positive impact by delivering excellent service.
Since its founding 17 years ago, Arabella has grown alongside the social-impact sector, we anticipate continued future growth as the sector continues to evolve, and we continue to help our clients achieve their impact goals.
Arabella works for a variety of foundations, corporations, families, individuals, and nonprofit organizations. We provide these clients with a wide range of services in two key areas:
- Through our Nonprofit Management Services, we provide operational and administrative support to nonprofit organizations that operate as fiscal sponsors, including compliance management, human resources management, and accounting services. We refer to the team that provides these services as Managed Organizations (MO).
- Through our Advisory Services, we provide advice to clients on how best to achieve their philanthropic goals, help them design their philanthropic platforms, and more.
The nonprofit fiscal sponsors we support—including the New Venture Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the Hopewell Fund, and the Windward Fund—function as incubators, accelerators, and enablers of hundreds of nonprofit projects working to advance needed social change and impact. In 2021, the aggregated revenues of the nonprofits Arabella supports exceeded $1.67 billion.
With offices in five cities including Washington, DC; Durham, NC; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; and San Francisco, CA, plus clusters of remote employees in cities across the country, Arabella employs 380 staff members under the leadership of Rick Cruz, President. For more information see Arabella Advisors Impact Report 2021 and visit https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/.
Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Senior Vice President (SVP) is a top-tier, newly created senior leadership position that oversees Arabella’s provision of fiscal sponsorship support services. The executive in this role will be responsible for the directives, design, and implementation of an innovative, efficient, and exceptional client service strategy that includes the oversight of over 220 programmatic, administrative, financial, and HR-focused staff. The SVP’s direct reports will be senior leaders themselves, and a fluency and level of experience with scaling shared services is critical to the successful assessment, design, and application of a framework and strategy for Managed Organizations (MO) that will advance the efficiency of complex processes and result in outstanding client services within a heavily matrixed working environment.
In addition to overall senior team leadership, this person will manage important stakeholder relationships with Arabella’s Executive Team, the Business Development Leadership Team, and leaders within the nonprofit clients we support. The person will join the Executive Team, and direct reports will include a team of Managed Organizations Senior Directors with responsibility for client service, operations, accounting across the Managed Organizations function.
The SVP will oversee 220 staff responsible for a significant multi-million-dollar portfolio working closely with the business development team to advance the design and development of an efficient reporting structure and related processes and systems.
Arabella will look to the SVP for a high level of understanding and analysis regarding its approach to client service, a dedication to investing in the next generation of team leadership and talent, and the technology acumen to ensure unified and cohesive client and staff relationships. While this person focuses on scale through technological investments and other growth strategies, there will also be significant P&L management responsibilities.
12-18 month priorities for this role include the following:
- Update Managed Organization’s strategic vision to closely align with Arabella’s recently developed firmwide strategy and operating plan.
- Structure and systemize functions across MO to deliver excellent client service in a way that is replicable and differentiated.
- Develop a clear perspective on systems, technology, and process improvement investments and ensure the realization of measurable results on those investments.
Primary responsibilities are outlined in the following areas: Client Service Strategy, Talent and Technology Strategy, and Relationship Management and Business Development:
Client Service Strategy (50%):
- Refine and implement MO team’s multi-year strategic vision including development and growth potential toward the fulfillment of annual team objectives to ensure the team sets and meets its ambitious targets.
- Align the MO business, including MO staff and the business development team, around achieving shared business results alongside Arabella’s multi-year strategy.
- Lead integration efforts across MO departments, including finance, compliance, and the HR client service team ensuring streamlined decision-making and a mutual commitment to excellent client service and cultural cohesion.
- Ensure that client service strategy, standards, and tools are clear, consistent, and aligned to accommodate significant scaling potential and the delivery of high-quality service.
- Partner with others to meet new client service needs, including the development of new services.
- Oversee pricing and scoping strategies and manage P&L and budget for the MO team.
Talent and Technology Strategy (25%):
- Oversee talent strategy to ensure that the staffing plan meets strategic objectives.
- Directly supervise and contribute to the building and structure of a high-functioning team of senior leaders.
- Develop succession planning scenarios and cultivate and implement talent development practices to support and encourage transitions to key leadership posts and functions as the team scales.
- Oversee systems, processes, and technology strategy to improve efficiency, automation and effectiveness of team service delivery and operations.
Relationship Management and Business Development (25%):
- Partner with executive and senior leadership to run and supervise Managed Nonprofit Organizations’ relationships; serve as primary relationship manager for select clients.
- Partner with business development team in setting, tracking progress towards and meeting overall MO revenue and profitability targets each quarter and annually.
- Serve as a public representative of Arabella as needed with clients, prospects, and partners.
- Ensure the business development team is sufficiently supported by MO team members to reach revenue targets and launch strategic, impactful projects.
- Maintain perspective on the market environment including donors, competitors and the sector at-large, incorporating that knowledge as appropriate to ensure a continued strong and differentiated positioning of the business.
- Partner with business development and other teams to identify and implement innovation and growth opportunities.
- Contribute to business development for Arabella’s most important clients and review the positioning and scope of all top-tier projects.
- Overseeing and communicating perspective around the ideal client portfolio and ensuring that the business development team is equipped to pursue that portfolio.
Arabella currently uses the following technology platforms: Salesforce, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Dynamics GP, SharePoint.
Skills and Expertise
Successful candidates for this position will share a commitment to Arabella Advisors’ mission and values and will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to Arabella, including:
- A minimum of 15 years of relevant professional experience, with a professional background at the intersection of the social sector and professional services preferred.
- Demonstrated record of strategic accomplishment in managing complex lines of shared services, building teams, and a track record of success in scaling operations in a heavily matrixed working environment or similar setting.
- Experience owning revenue responsibilities related to client services and success resulting in business expansion and growth management in a sophisticated professional service setting.
- Capacity to work well with competing priorities and deadlines and contribute high-level strategic thinking with a process improvement mindset and a focus on detail.
- Facility with technology and implementing technology to scale in a transactionally dense business environment.
- Expertise in data to inform and drive strategic analysis, process improvements, and change management.
- Strong and relevant networks of potential partners and clients highly desired.
- Excellent communication skills and the demonstrated ability to structure and organize large amounts of information, data, and findings into clear and concise summaries expressed through a variety of communication vehicles including reports, narrative, presentations, and organizational charts.
- Experience in senior management and supervisory positions that have included supporting talent development practices and identifying training and growth opportunities that contribute to these practices for direct reports.
- Demonstrated ability to support and enhance the desired organizational culture and workforce environment.
- BA required. Graduate degree in relevant field (e.g., business administration, organizational development, public administration) or equivalent experience preferred.
Qualities and Attributes
- Commitment to the mission and values of Arabella Advisors.
- Exceptional leadership ability, team management, and strong interpersonal skills both inside the organization and with external partners.
- A strategic and proactive mindset, with the ability to effectively lead decision-making and engage and motivate a team to meet deadlines and organizational goals.
- Exceptional relationship-building and interpersonal communication skills as well as speaking abilities; ability to establish trust and build relationships with people at all levels of the organization as well as outside stakeholders and clients.
- A natural leadership presence and professional approach that also registers as thoughtful, adaptable, and empathetic.
- The ability to relate well to persons and groups of diverse backgrounds and a sensitivity to issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
Arabella Advisors is operating with a hybrid schedule that is moderately flexible with an expectation of 3 days in the office per week for the first three months, and then the choice of either an office-based (3+ days/week in office) or hybrid-based option (2 days/week in office). Residency is required in a region in which Arabella has a dedicated office; in order of preference, these are Washington, DC; Durham NC; Chicago, IL; and New York, NY.
Arabella’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our firm and in our work with partners is critical to our mission. To be effective partners to philanthropists, nonprofits, and communities impacted by philanthropic dollars, we need to have a highly diverse staff, a workplace where individuals are encouraged to retain their uniqueness and can feel a sense of belonging, and a nuanced understanding of the racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and other disparities that undergird the issues we engage in and the interactions we have with one another. For us, equity means that our staff members, our clients, and the people they serve can experience the same level of success, no matter their starting place.
Arabella’s commitment to equity is long term, and the reasons that motivate us to engage in this work vary. For some of us, this work is personal: we have experienced marginalization and exclusion and feel a responsibility to repair the systems that have failed our communities. For some of us, this work is still new, and we are still learning about the systems that shape our society and sector and create inequitable outcomes. But regardless of our lived experiences and backgrounds, all of us recognize our privilege as close partners to funders and want to use this privilege in a way that advances equitable outcomes for communities.
To apply, upload resume, cover letter, and salary requirements by clicking here. For other inquiries, contact Suzanne Tan at email@example.com. No other application materials will be reviewed at this time. Resume reviews begin immediately.