Valhalla is the private foundation of Scott Cook and Signe Ostby who have committed over $600 million to nonprofit organizations and social enterprises in recent years, and are proud signatories of The Giving Pledge. Valhalla’s lean grant-making team brings deep rigor, kindness, and intentionality to the work of driving measurable and meaningful improvement in outcomes that matter. The team and Trustees are driven by a laser focus on outcomes and their drivers, and the team brings an innovative and nimble approach to their work. The Foundation prioritizes both general operating and non-monetary support to many of its portfolio organizations, including leadership coaching, connection to other funders, goal setting and strategy assistance, and support for staffing and infrastructure as needed to scale impact. Valhalla also shares a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Foundation’s culture and practices.
The Associate will focus primarily on Valhalla’s early childhood (prenatal to age 5) portfolio – which has a goal of improving kindergarten readiness so that all children, especially low-income children and children of color, get off to a strong start in learning and life. Towards that end, Valhalla funds scalable programs, research studies, and field-building efforts to dramatically improve the social-emotional, cognitive, and health outcomes that matter for kindergarten readiness. The early childhood portfolio is the primary growth area for the Foundation and the area where Valhalla supports organizations most intensively. While early childhood will comprise the majority of the Associate’s focus, they may also spend a small portion of their time supporting Valhalla’s K-12 and data literacy portfolios.
Through active inquiry, strong analytical skills and a learning posture, the Associate will add value to the early childhood development portfolio and additional projects (as needed) in the following ways:
- Grantee Diligence, Performance Measurement, and Learning: The Associate will work with Senior Directors in vetting organizations for investment and reinvestment, in managing relationships with select early childhood grantees, and in working to accelerate the results of those grantees. Specific activities may include reviewing grant reports; collecting and analyzing grantee reach, impact, and financial data; assessing and documenting grantee performance; and finding ways to help grantees ‘beyond the dollar’. Over time, there is the potential to develop into a trusted advisor to grantee leaders and to own relationships more independently. The Associate will also gather learnings from grantees and then derive key insights and implications for grantees and for the portfolio overall.
- Project Management: The Associate will manage and coordinate cross-team and cross-portfolio projects, as well as find ways to improve relevant processes and team functioning. These projects might include aspects of our annual and quarterly portfolio reviews or delivery of our non-monetary supports. These efforts will sometimes involve working and coordinating effectively with a dedicated team of external consultants from The Bridgespan Group.
- Research and Data Collection, Analysis, and Synthesis: The Associate will stay up-to-date on research, findings, and trends from the early childhood field as well as synthesize and share the information with the team.
The Valhalla Foundation offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and generous benefits. The salary for this role currently starts at $120,000.
Strong candidates will have robust research and analytical skills and be a detail-oriented, self-starter that also enjoys working collaboratively. They will be deeply interested in meaningfully improving outcomes for kindergarten readiness through scalable solutions, research, and field-building efforts. Experience in early childhood desired but not required. Successful candidates will possess the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Research and Analytical Skills
• Minimum 4 years of demonstrated experience analyzing data and research synthesizing insights and elevating important learnings.
• Previous experience applying critical and strategic thinking into practice by identifying opportunities for action and/or the most important questions for further exploration.
• Ability to effectively create and manage data-focused reports and Excel spreadsheets.
• Familiarity with research process and design, best practices, and metrics in early childhood development or an adjacent, relevant field.
Project Management Skills and Attention to Detail
• Ability to meet and balance multiple deadlines, deliverables, and project objectives simultaneously, effectively, and independently.
• Strong detail orientation.
• Exceptional written and oral communication skills, ability to translate quantitative and qualitative data into key insights and implications, and ability to articulate clear and succinct recommendations backed up by the most important data and rationale.
• Ability to build strong and trust-based relationships with Valhalla staff, consultants, grantees, and other stakeholders.
Personal Qualities and Characteristics
• Demonstrated passion for social impact and social change.
• Inquisitive learner-orientation and appetite for growth.
• Sound judgement and high decision quality
• A collegial and team-oriented working style.
• A track record for being highly productive and a “doer.”
• Unquestionable integrity.
How to Apply
More information about Valhalla Foundation may be found at: www.valhalla.org
This search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet, Catherine Seneviratne, and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
Valhalla’s operations are supported by Fox Hollow Ventures, Scott and Signe’s family office. Valhalla staff are employees of Fox Hollow Ventures. The Associate will work remotely for as long as COVID-related realities make that necessary. However, assuming a return to pre-COVID “normal,” the full team plans to be in-person at Valhalla’s Woodside, CA office, with the option to work remotely two days per week – as early as April.
Fox Hollow Ventures is an equal opportunity employer. Valhalla Foundation is committed to building a diverse team that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.