Operating Partner (aka "Chief Operations Officer")

The Imago Dei Fund
Posted: August 11, 2017
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Position: Executive
Field: Advocacy, Community development, Environment, Health, International
Salary: Competitive
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Category: Executive
Employment Level: Full-time


The Imago Dei Fund (“IDF”) is a private grant-making foundation that dedicates its resources to bringing about a more just, free, and sustainable world. Founded in 2009 by Emily and Ross Jones, IDF has established itself in the philanthropic landscape as a faith-inspired foundation working across faith and secular lines to fund social change, enter into partnerships to expand the impact of our philanthropic investments, and catalyze movements which are transforming the deeper roots of injustice and working to restore wholeness to our world.

We seek to do our part as a funder to not just support individual non-profit organizations but also to partner to create greater collective impact across different sectors.

With the aim of both deepening and widening the foundation’s philanthropic impact within the larger movements/sectors within which we fund, we are seeking to build out a more robust internal team by adopting a “partnership” organizational structure to segment our grantmaking with lead Program Partners overseeing and proactively managing separate (yet overlapping) portfolios (“nodes”) within the foundation’s larger portfolio.



The Operating Partner is responsible for managing IDF’s daily operations including office and systems management, board administration and all grants administration.  Primarily an internal-facing position, the Operating Partner develops operational and grants management processes that support staff, board, and grantee partners to work effectively and collaboratively together. S/he is a highly motivated, problem-solving, solution-oriented self-starter who can hit the ground running. S/he will play a lead role in creating and maintaining the organizational systems which enable a creative and collaborative work culture for the entire staff. 

In partnership with the Program and Founding Partners, s/he will take the lead in developing a 3-year plan for operations based on a new partnership organizational structure with segmented grantmaking into multiple “nodes” (6+/-), each led by a Program Partner who has ownership/responsibility for proactively building out each portfolio and cultivating grantee and funding partnerships.  S/he will work with the Founding Partners to create an esprit de corps which fosters a sense of shared purpose, team-building, ongoing learning, thought partnership across program sectors, high professional standards, and creative approaches to partnering with and supporting grantee partners to advance larger goals.  S/he will create and manage a master calendar of team meetings including: regular operations and program team meetings, occasional all-staff team-building meetings, and monthly board meetings.  S/he will hire new staff including a Grants Manager.  S/he will manage an operations team which will include part-time IT and administrative staff and outsourced operational resources as needed.  S/he will also liaise with the Founding Partners’ family office, Castle Rock Associates (CRA) around financial planning and tax-related matters.




Operations Management

  • Manage all internal operations for IDF and function as the “hub of the wheel” of all of the program nodes to create an operational context for creativity and collaboration to happen
  • Maintain and evolve internal systems that facilitate communication and connectedness for a schedule that is part office-based and part virtual and involves external partners
  • Research and design system solutions that support efficient operations to a small staff team
  • Serve as a liaison to Board of Directors including providing support to board committees and serving as the point person for board meeting logistics
  • Oversee logistics and coordinate agendas and communications for regular staff and board meetings
  • Manage and improve the overall information systems including technology, website, and
  • Coordinate special events and manage special projects
  • Manage administrative functions including office supply orders, phone service, communication with vendors, and other support as needed


Grants Management

  • Oversee the work of the Grants Administrator to manage execution of the grant cycle and the administration of grants
  • Work with Program Partners to manage due diligence review for all grants, highlighting issues related to operational soundness
  • Oversee/work with Grants Administrator to process grants, including creating online grantee files and award documents; enter and/or review data in the grant database; track signed grant agreements; manage payment notifications and grantee reports
  • Understand and stay current on IRS requirements and regulations for private foundations and distill this information to assist staff in applying requirements appropriately
  • Provide links between program, finance, information technology, and other administrative staff so that all grant making activities are effectively implemented
  • Work with program teams to facilitate the grant review process
  • Manage incoming grantee inquiries with care and attention
  • Monitor our online grants management systems and continuously seek to streamline processes for grantees and staff, including researching and transitioning to new grants management software as required



  • A bachelor’s degree; advanced degree a positive
  • 7+ years relevant work experience in a not-for-profit, philanthropy, and/or a proven operational track record in a corporate setting
  • Excellent operationally
  • Ability to be a thought partner with the board, founding partners, and with program staff
  • Understanding of best practices in grant-making
  • Demonstrated experience managing administrative operations and events
  • Experience in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, assisting with the formulation of policy, and developing and implementing new systems, strategies and procedures
  • Facility with technology; enjoys researching, learning, and acclimating to new technological solutions to increase the team’s productivity
  • Planning and organizing skills: prioritizes work activities, uses time efficiently, and develops realistic action plans with a strong attention to detail
  • Oral and written communication: ability to present information clearly and succinctly in conversation and in writing; ability to present concise themes visually
  • Strong project management skills
  • Ability to travel 2 times a year for 2-3 days at a time
  • Shares and embodies IDF’s core values and is inspired by the its mission and vision
  • Team player