| May 2, 2024

Director of Programs & Partnerships

Guest Author

..

  • Full Time
  • Philadelphia
  • $70,000-95,000 USD / Year

Website The Merchants Fund

SUMMARY OF POSITION
The Director of Programs & Partnerships (DPP) is a pivotal senior leadership role responsible for
overseeing and advancing TMF’s grantmaking initiatives and business coaching and support program, Beyond the Grant. This role also entails cultivating, maintaining, and expanding strategic partnerships with external organizations and stakeholders to amplify TMF’s impact and reach. The DPP reports directly to the Executive Director and will have supervisory responsibility for interns, business coaches, and volunteers, as well as administrative functions related to grantmaking and program activities. In partnership with the ED, the DPP will lead and manage programming and community outreach to advance TMF’s mission and achieve strategic goals.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

1. Partnerships & Engagement
○ Identify, cultivate, and nurture relationships with external partners, government agencies,
and community partners (e.g. CDCs, BIDs, CDFIs, etc.) to support grant applicants, grantees,
Beyond the Grant (BtG) participants, community events, etc.
○ Collaborate with partners on joint initiatives, events, and campaigns to broaden TMF’s reach
and impact, including representing TMF at events, speaking on panels, etc.
○ Negotiate and manage partnership agreements, ensuring mutual benefit and alignment with
organizational goals.
○ Partner with local universities to develop and oversee projects that enhance TMF’s
capabilities and further the organization’s programmatic objectives.

2. Grantmaking Leadership
○ Develop and implement comprehensive grantmaking strategies aligned with TMF’s mission
and objectives.
○ Oversee all aspects of the grant application process, evaluation, and reporting to ensure
transparency, efficiency, and compliance. This includes:

i. Support applicants from initial inquiry through Board review, funding decision, and
grant disbursement. Provide guidance on grant eligibility and guidelines, including
support throughout the application process, particularly for those with limited
computer or English-language literacy.
ii. Manage and maintain grants and relationships for a portfolio of grantees.
○ Collaborate closely with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce to effectively implement
the Emergency Grant program in accordance with contract guidelines and deliverables.
○ Serve as staff liaison to the Board Program Committee. Prepare grant docket materials for
committee and board meetings.
○ Monitor and evaluate grant outcomes to measure impact and ensure alignment with
organizational goals.
○ Collaborate with staff, Board Program Committee, and relevant community partners to
design, implement, promote, assess, and adapt programs to advance the TMF mission.
Oversee new programs and liaise with partners as needed to ensure program success.
○ Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in relevant sectors
(community/economic development, philanthropy, etc.), particularly issues impacting
merchants and small businesses to ensure programs and grantmaking are high-quality,
equitable, and responsive to the needs of the TMF community.

3. Grants Administration
○ Maintain responsibility for grant management system, including overseeing back-end design
and maintenance, intake, review, approval/declination, disbursement, and reporting.
○ Ensure applicants and grantees receive the necessary support, particularly those with limited
computer or English-language literacy.
○ Conduct due diligence by reviewing applications for completeness and accuracy.
○ Maintain the integrity of the grants management system and ensure disbursements match
payables recorded in QuickBooks (QB).
○ Oversee timely disbursement of grant payments; ensure accuracy across platforms
(QB/Foundant).

4. Program Management
○ Lead the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Beyond the Grant business coaching
program, ensuring its effectiveness and relevance.
○ Collaborate with team members and coaches to identify and select qualified
coaches/advisors/professional service providers, develop program content, build out peer
engagement opportunities, and ensure ongoing support to participants.
○ Continuously innovate and improve programs based on feedback, emerging trends, and best
practices.

5. Evaluation & Impact
○ Data Collection & Analysis
i. Develop and implement data collection methods, such as surveys, interviews, and
focus groups, to gather relevant program data.
ii. Manage and maintain databases or tracking systems to store and organize program
data effectively.
iii. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data to measure program outcomes, performance
indicators, and success metrics.

v. Prepare and present comprehensive reports on program performance, trends, and
findings to stakeholders.
○ Performance Metrics:
i. Identify and define key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure program
success and impact.
ii. Establish benchmarks and targets for KPIs to guide program goals and objectives.
iii. Monitor and track KPIs regularly to assess progress towards targets and identify areas
needing attention.
iv. Review and update performance metrics as needed to align with evolving program
goals and strategies.
○ Continuous Improvement
i. Lead efforts to continuously improve programs, processes, and methodologies.
ii. Stay updated on best practices and trends in programs, evaluation tools, and
performance measurement.
iii. Share knowledge and insights with the team to foster a culture of learning and
continuous improvement.
iv. Implement changes and enhancements to evaluation processes based on feedback
and lessons learned.

6. Marketing & Communications
○ Respond to general email inquiries especially those related to grantmaking and programs.
○ Participate in the implementation of a communications and marketing strategy to promote
TMF’s programs and initiatives, and build the organization’s reputation.
○ Oversee TMF’s website content to ensure it is current, engaging, and aligned with
organizational goals.
○ Oversee the creation and schedule of social media posts across various platforms to increase
visibility and engagement. Monitor social media channels and website analytics to track
performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
○ Prepare reports, presentations, press releases, and e-newsletters for stakeholders, the
board, and the general public.
○ Support ED in coordination with graphic designers, writers, and other creative professionals
to produce marketing materials, such as newsletters, videos, and other collateral.
○ Collaborate with internal team members to ensure consistent messaging and branding
across all communications and marketing materials.

7. Board Relations
○ Strategic engagement with the Board, particularly as it relates to grantmaking and
programming.
○ Serves as board liaison to the Program Committee.

 

PROFESSIONAL CHARACTERISTICS & QUALIFICATIONS

● Eight (8) years or equivalent experience in nonprofit, philanthropic, or entrepreneurial
experience with a minimum of three (3) years in leadership and management roles incorporating
grantmaking, program management, and/or partnership development in relevant sector(s).
● Strong network of contacts in the nonprofit, business, government, and philanthropic sectors.
● Proven track record of designing and implementing successful programs and/or business
coaching initiatives.

● Strategic thinker who can develop and execute innovative initiatives that align with
organizational goals.
● Demonstrated leader who can inspire and motivate. Recognizes staff expertise and brings out
their best to advance the organization’s goals while building staff leadership and professional
development.
● Direct experience working with small businesses, or as a small business owner, is preferred
though not required. A deep commitment to TMF’s mission and a strong understanding of our
grantees/small business ecosystem is crucial.
● Excellent communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.
● Exceptional attention to detail, organizational and time management skills to keep projects on
track and manage small details without losing sight of the big picture; ability to prioritize and
balance multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
● Discretion and confidentiality when handling sensitive and confidential information.
● Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and equivalent Google Suite
products (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar), including Google Drive, as well as other common office
software. High level of confidence and ability to master new software products and platforms.
Experience with Tableau, WordPress, MailChimp, and Foundant is preferred, but not required.
● High emotional intelligence, ability to easily develop deep, trusting relationships with diverse
individuals from many different backgrounds, and foster an atmosphere that respects and
celebrates cultural and individual differences.
● Fluency in Spanish or Mandarin would be helpful though not required.

 

WHO WE ARE…
The Merchants Fund (TMF) was founded in 1854 by Philadelphia merchants to support each other during times of economic hardship. It evolved from the Mercantile Beneficial Association, an organization dedicated to providing business advice, networking opportunities, and protection from financial failure or default due to illness, old age, or disability at a time in our nation’s history when there were no pension plans, or health or disability insurance. Today, TMF continues to fulfill the mission and vision of our founders by providing small grants to small businesses that demonstrate financial need. We prioritize support for businesses that are critical to the communities they serve, and those that are owned by women, people of color, and immigrants. We are a small team, but are privileged to work in close coordination with dozens of community partners across Philadelphia and an incredible portfolio of small business grantees. We believe in work-life balance and strive to keep workloads reasonable even though we are ambitious, passionate about our work, and cultivate a high-touch and responsive culture. Work hours are flexible, though some regular evening and (very) occasional weekend work will be required in working with the board; timely email response is necessary regardless of schedule. Spring and early Fall tend to be the busiest periods at TMF, with opportunities to focus on deferred projects or other aspects of the role at other times of year.

 

WHO YOU ARE…
In addition to demonstrated experience and ability to fulfill the essential job functions and meet
minimum skills requirements, TMF staff members value the role small businesses play in our city and neighborhood eco-systems, while also understanding the unique challenges they face. TMF staff are passionate about providing exceptional customer service and communicate in an open, helpful, and patient manner. TMF staff embody the following characteristics and demonstrate the following core competencies:

● Empathy, Flexibility, Adaptability, and Patience: ability to shift styles to accommodate the needs of a wide range of individuals, cultures, and organizations while maintaining an open mind and continually being oriented toward unparalleled customer service rooted in patience,
responsiveness, and kindness. Your ability to go with the flow will increase your job satisfaction.
● Humility and Integrity: maintains an awareness and understanding of the inherent power
dynamics that exist within philanthropy and actively works to narrow the power gap by checking
one’s own ego, acting with integrity at all times, and intentionally working to advance equity.
● Embraces servant leadership (we define a servant leader as one who focuses on the growth and
well-being of the community, builds trust, encourages others, acts with humility, listens more
than talks, values diverse opinions, and takes the long view).
● Sense of humor, love of laughter, and ability to take TMF’s work seriously without taking one’s
self too seriously.
● Ability to work independently and as a member of a small team: takes initiative, exercises
independent judgment, meets deadlines under pressure, manages competing priorities, and
maintains confidentiality.
● Ability to work some evenings, typically around quarterly board meetings or community events.

 

APPLICATION/HIRING PROCESS and TIMELINE
● Email a single pdf packet (resume and a thoughtful cover letter identifying what attracts you to
the role and what makes you uniquely qualified) to [email protected] with the subject
line: DPP – Your Name. Please no phone inquiries.
● Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Those applicants who are a strong fit will be
screened by phone and may advance to an in-person interview. References will be checked for
any finalist(s). We hope to make an offer by early June and hope to have the selected candidate
start by the end of June, if not sooner.
● Deadline to apply is May 15, 2024.

 

DISCLAIMER
The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed in this role. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all functions, knowledge, skills, and abilities required, nor will all functions need to be performed by every incumbent.

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
The Merchants Fund, an equal opportunity employer, seeks to reach a broad and diverse candidate pool when filling vacant positions. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment. We strongly encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds, believing that TMF and our work benefit from the varied perspectives, experiences, and talents of a diverse staff. The Merchants Fund does not discriminate with respect to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other protected status.

To apply for this job please visit merchantsfund.org.