Water Table Manager
California Preferred, Remote Eligible
Type of Job
Dec 22, 2022
About the job
About Water Foundation
The Water Foundation (WF) is a nonprofit philanthropic intermediary working to support lasting water solutions for communities, economies, and the environment. The Foundation complements strategic grantmaking with creative field-building and engagement with high-level decision makers and community leaders, and helps funders identify and act on opportunities to better manage water.
The Water Foundation works in key watersheds across the West, recognizing that water crosses political boundaries and natural places face similar challenges across the region. As a funder with a singular focus on water, the Foundation deploys staff expertise to move resources to the groups that can most effectively improve water systems for the benefit of people and nature. The Water Foundation’s partners span a broad spectrum: conservation organizations, environmental justice groups, Tribes, agricultural associations, water providers, academics, business groups, and local, state, and federal agencies.
In 2019, the Water Foundation launched an ambitious 5-year strategic framework to guide organizational efforts and maximize impact. This strategy, which reflects extensive field input from partners and stakeholders, takes a systemic approach. It prioritizes securing safe, clean water for people, restoring and sustaining freshwater environments, and building resilience to a changing climate. In pursuing these goals, the Foundation supports the field in tackling immediate water problems, including polluted drinking water and collapsing ecosystems, in ways that alter system drivers, such as social inequality and outmoded infrastructure.
Inequity and injustice underlie many of the challenges the Water Foundation is working to address, such as the failure to provide clean, safe, and affordable drinking water or access to free-flowing rivers and green space to all communities. The Foundation is currently engaged in an initiative designed to provide the learning, competencies, and tools necessary to ensure that the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are embedded and embodied in individual behavior, institutional operations, and strategic programming. While this two and a half-year initiative is concluding in the coming months, the Water Foundation is deeply committed to ongoing growth, practice, and learning in this area.
The Water Foundation’s culture is one that values respect, kindness, and a sense of humor. More information about the Water Foundation can be found at www.waterfdn.org.
About the Water Table
The Water Table (WT) is a collaborative of funders dedicated to identifying and activating promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments. These goals were outlined in Toward Water Sustainability: A Blueprint for Philanthropy, which was produced in 2016 and is based on a series of workshops that included over 150 experts, scientists, policymakers, farmers, tribal leaders, attorneys, water utility executives, and others. Since then, the goals, strategies, and initiatives that are the focus of the Water Table’s work have evolved thanks to ongoing input from members and partners.
In 2020, an advisory group of Water Foundation board members and Water Table funders met to consider integrating. With the support of funders and the field and informed by an assessment of work to date, the WF and WT aligned behind a shared vision of a water field that actively and measurably advances effective water solutions, empowers impacted communities, and is propelled by funders collaborating. The entities integrated, with the WT moving into its new home within the WF in early 2022. In mid-2022, a new Water Table Lead joined the effort. To realize the vision of an integrated entity, the time is now for building out additional capacities.
In support of an ambitious vision to advance effective, innovative, and lasting water solutions for people and nature by growing, aligning, and deploying philanthropic resources, the Water Table needs a Water Table Manager.
Aligned with the WF’s overarching goals, the Manager will support WT priorities including to:
- Develop and elevate a compelling, inclusive vision for water as a nexus issue linking health, climate, equity, land use, food, and more;
- Advance systemic water solutions that lead to a sustainable water future;
- Mobilize and align water philanthropy, including to leverage and influence public and private funding;
- Facilitate and grow a learning community of water funders; and
- Support the development and funding of critical and shared resources for the water field.
The Manager’s role is to partner with the WT Lead in supporting the WT collaborative’s mission. Specifically, the Manager will work with WF program and strategic partnerships team and funders and field partners on:
- Project management: The Manager is responsible for ensuring the WT workplan is implemented and addresses priority efforts across opportunities in a complex environment comprised of 8-10 members, numerous field partners, a growing group of prospective funders, and team/consultants. Strong and adaptable day-to-day operations, workplans, and scheduling and administrative processes are essential to an effective collaborative. This role will ensure follow-up on key activities, including by drafting notes and emails and by tracking and recommending next steps. This role requires a strong attention to detail as this role is tasked with meeting logistics and copy editing.
- Collaboration: The Manager will help design events and meetings with funders and partners, ensuring a broad spectrum of perspectives are represented and that the WT goals are met. This role will also manage the overall WT calendar. The WT is a place for peer-learning and for developing ambitious goals to solve tough problems – to do so it requires a thoughtful and consistent set of discussions annually.
- Funder and field engagement: The Manager is responsible for supporting the WT Lead and partner efforts to engage members and to bring new funders and funding to water through a mix of strategy development, learning and coordination, and strategic fundraising. All of this will be done with an emphasis on hearing more directly and more regularly from – and responding to the needs of – partners in the field, particularly those closest to the problems, including BIPOC groups and communities and Tribes and native communities.
The Ideal Candidate
Given the characteristics of a new role at the center of multiple funders and partners in a nascent but growing field, a few qualities are key to being successful:
- Detail oriented: Maintain focus on key priorities; track workplans and reporting commitments; craft agendas and proposals and other materials in a professional manner. Bring precision and a strategic approach to manage calendars and schedules.
- Collaborative mindset: Build relationships; exemplify strong interpersonal skills; help the WT Lead bring different perspectives and personalities along in this work.
- Clear communication: Identify and articulate priorities and recommend solutions clearly; participate well with staff, funders, and partners; constantly and consistently support an effective flow of information and activity.
- Adaptable and proactive: Thrive when faced with new opportunities while maintaining focus on existing work; embrace changing conditions in a dynamic work environment. Regularly bring forward suggestions and recommendations on next steps and anticipate the needs of WT Lead and the complementary team and collaborative.
- Committed to Follow Through: The Water Table regularly has several parallel conversations/projects happening with an array of members. It is important that the Water Table Manager tracks these initiatives and helps keep them moving forward on-track.
Additionally, 5+ years’ experience in water, philanthropy, and project management, including role(s) with collaborations, are desired. General facility with the technical tools necessary to illustrate and recommend solutions (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc.) is needed.
Compensation and Benefits
This is a fantastic opportunity for an individual looking to partner with a great team, funders, and NGOs to respond to one of the defining global challenges of the coming years. This position offers significant opportunities for growth with an inspiring network of colleagues through the challenges it will address. The Water Table Manager joins a strong team, with leadership experience in water and collaboration.
The Water Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The starting salary range for the position is $105,000 to $120,000, depending on experience. The candidate will ideally be based near Sacramento or the San Francisco Bay Area; however, remote work may be considered for those with easy access to a major airport in the western US. Intermittent travel will be required. The Water Foundation strongly encourages people of color, from under-resourced communities, immigrants, and LGBTQ +to apply. Full Covid-19 vaccination is required.
Please submit applications to our online application form before January 9th, 2023 for consideration.