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Associate

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Boston or SF/Menlo Park

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Duration: Full-Time


Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is looking for an Associate to help us find strong mission-first organizations to fund, to evaluate potential grant/investment opportunities alongside our team in an effective, efficient and equitable way, and to advance our organization’s and our portfolio’s strategic priorities.

Organization
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK) is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early-stage, high-impact social enterprises. The world urgently needs transformational entrepreneurs and their organizations to take on society’s most complex challenges with innovative pathways to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. We know that these early-stage unrestricted investments, dedicated to exceptional entrepreneurs who see the possible, are the building block for profound, lasting positive change.

Our model is borrowed from our venture capital legacy. We find, fund, and support exceptional entrepreneurs and partner with them to help their organizations scale and reach their fullest potential. We fund mission-driven, non-profit and for-profit organizations with three-year unrestricted funding as we believe:  1) unrestricted capital fuels essential capacity building and innovation in growing organizations, and 2) multi-year funding, as opposed to a one-time grant, is critical to enabling early-stage organizations to achieve scale. We target organizations that are well-positioned to reach 10,000 lives or more within five years of operation and with the probability of impacting 1,000,000 lives or more over ten years and clear visibility towards systems change thereafter. 

For almost 20 years, we have helped our portfolio organizations scale promising social ventures. As board members and close partners, we are capacity builders, strategic partners, and scaling enablers. We are a support team working to strengthen fundraising, build strong and generative governance boards, develop strong leaders, reinforce strategies, cultivate strong and diverse teams, improve organizational effectiveness, and more.  We have worked side-by-side as investors and board members for Kiva, Room To Read, One Acre Fund, Cowtribe, Last Mile Health, Living Goods, SIRUM, Braven, WattTime, Detroit Justice Center and over 180 other organizations working around the globe and across a wide range of social and environmental issues.

We are a high-energy, super curious, low-ego, and inclusive team motivated by a shared commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable or marginalized populations and leveraging our individual and collective skills to advance compelling organizations and committed leaders. With a deep appreciation for one another and the diversity of perspectives and expertise that each member of the team brings to DRK, we work in close partnership to find, fund, and support some of the world’s most high-impact, early-stage social ventures.

We are deeply committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where everyone is welcomed, valued, and supported.  We know that a diverse workforce allows us to see problems in more nuanced ways, creating the thought leadership needed to find, fund, and support entrepreneurs and organizations who can change the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. DRK is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.

The Foundation is chaired by legendary venture capitalists William H. Draper III and Robin Richards Donohoe and former HBS Professor and Vice-Chair of Goldman Sachs and former CEO of Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, Robert Kaplan, and funded by legendary investors and foundations committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

What You’ll Help Our Team Do
(Time allocations are intended to give a sense of the role; they will vary over time and by individual.)

• Find some of the world’s most incredible social entrepreneurs with big ambitions to make the world better (~25% of your time)
- Help us keep a wide-open lens with our open application process, reviewing online applications and identifying high potential opportunities.
- Build your own network and use ours to keep a pulse on where great leaders are entering the field of social change.  
- Use your insight, curiosity and analytical skills to help us learn about social entrepreneurs and their ventures, and to help us determine their fit for our portfolio.   
- Stay on top of social movements, social issues and opportunities for high-impact change on a broad range of issues including education, criminal justice, climate change, economic opportunity, and health.

• Drive a world-class decision process with a world-class team (~50% of your time)
- Set goals with the team that make us better each year at finding, funding and supporting a diverse and extraordinary group of entrepreneurs.   
- Drive a diligence process that is rigorous, welcoming, fair, insightful and inclusive.  
- Iterate on systems that keep us running smoothly as a team.  

• Support our portfolio entrepreneurs to build strong enterprises (up to 25% of your time)
- Participate in check-ins with portfolio organizations
- Work on special projects with current portfolio organizations, helping to support them as they build their organization and their impact.  

Use the DRK platform to build a social impact career (ongoing)
- Take the opportunity to lean into your strengths while adding value to DRK.  There will be opportunities to take on projects and initiatives that build on your individual strengths and interests.  We are committed to supporting your individual career path.  
- Get exposed to an unparalleled range of organizations and issues, particularly around how to design and build organizations for impact at scale.  

Who You Are:

• Curious and smart.  Your open and creative intellect will enable you to spot potential.  Your strong judgment and insight will enable you to evaluate opportunities and to assess fit with DRK’s lens. Our team values well-informed opinions and also respects good listeners. You do as well.  

• Flexible and self-directed, with an ownership mindset.  Your flexibility, levelness and sense of humor will help you get things done in our entrepreneurial environment and to keep multiple balls in the air at the same time. You see your work through to completion and you know how to move others forward and drive alignment. You spot new opportunities to have impact and you grab them.

•  High EQ.  You are able to put entrepreneurs in our process at ease and to bring out the nuances of their stories. While you are self-directed in your own work, you love working with a team. You are energized by networking to constantly open your lens for new ideas and investment opportunities. 

• A great communicator.  You can capture the heart of what an entrepreneur is doing and why it matters, and you can bring it to life for the rest of our team.  You can represent DRK in a professional, engaging and dynamic manner as you speak with many people in the field externally every week.  

• Organized. You have superb project management skills and exceptional attention to detail.

• Experienced. You have around 5-7 years of work experience in rigorous business roles, perhaps including an MBA. You have meaningful experience in the for-profit world and you might also have experience with non-profit models. You understand what it takes to get a venture off the ground, and have some familiarity with start-ups or fast-growing social mission organizations. 

• Fun. You enjoy learning, collaborating, and working smart and hard to effect change. You’re open to new projects and professional opportunities and get excited by the discovery process that comes with new venture diligence.      

Our Hiring Lens:
We are committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace in which everyone is welcomed, valued and supported.  We know that a diverse workforce allows us to see problems in more nuanced ways, creating the thought leadership needed to find, fund and support entrepreneurs and organizations who can change the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. DRK is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.

Location:
We are a global organization with staff in Africa, Europe and across the U.S. This role can be based out of San Francisco/Menlo Park or out of Boston where much of the DRK team is. We are continually assessing our ability to co-locate safely, and our team’s safety and health are of utmost priority. When possible, we do value in-person collaboration and our plan as of this posting is to follow a 3/2 model in 2022, with 3 days a week in office, including Tuesday and Thursday team days. (In the Bay Area, team days will be in Menlo Park.) To enable safe in-person collaboration we follow rigorous COVID protocols including vaccination requirements, rapid tests provided at the office, and adherence to local mask regulations. We are happy to share more about these practices.
A note on timing: DRK’s offices will be closed for the winter holidays from December 18th, 2021 through January 2nd, 2022. Our system will be accepting applications throughout that period, but we will not begin reading applications until mid January 2022.

About Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises. We believe that with early funding and rigorous support, exceptional leaders, tackling some of society’s most complex problems, can make the world a better place.

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Want to learn more about Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation? Visit Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation's website.