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Senior Manager, Partnerships--Aspen Forum for Community Solutions

Department: FORUM
Location: Washington, DC

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions (AFCS) promotes collaborative, community-based efforts that build the power and influence of those with the least access to opportunity. Among these are Opportunity Youth (OY), young people aged 15-29 not in education, employment, or training, and/or working informally. Prompted by a call for community-based initiatives from the White House Council on Community Solutions, the Opportunity Youth Forum was launched in 2012 to leverage momentum of the opportunity youth movement. It is currently hosted by AFCS.

The Opportunity Youth Forum inspired the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN), which works to support opportunity youth internationally in collaboration with key global partners Prudential Financial, YouthBuild International, Global Development Incubator, Catholic Relief Services, and Accenture. GOYN is a multi-year, collective action, place-based approach that catalyzes systems shifts in communities through the creation of sustainable economic opportunities that improve the quality of life for OY. GOYN collaboratives are thriving in Bogota, Colombia; Mombasa, Kenya; eThekwini (Durban), South Africa; Săo Paulo, Brazil; and Pune City and Ramgarh District, in India. New collaboratives are planned in Senegal and Mexico in 2021.

After a period in which GOYN established proof of concept and grew its footprint conservatively, GOYN now anticipates significantly expanding corporate, foundation, and other partnerships, as well as the network’s global footprint. The dynamic Senior Manager, Partnerships (SMP) position will play a critical role in helping GOYN:

  • Source, cultivate, and close new partnerships
  • Realize national, regional, and international scaling opportunities
  • Support global communications and thought leadership efforts as they relate to partnerships efforts


Summary of Position:
Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) seeks a Senior Manager, Partnerships (SMP), a senior-level professional to lead on GOYN’s partnership efforts, in close coordination with GOYN’s Director, Strategy Advisor, global partners, and network members. The SMP will report directly to GOYN’s Director. Core tasks include:

  • Partnerships Strategy and Tracking – Working closely with GOYN’s Director and Strategy Advisor to define a growth strategy for strategic partnerships for 2021 and beyond, and leading GOYN’s partner database and tracking efforts.
  • New Partnerships – Sourcing, cultivating, and closing new partner and fundraising opportunities in pursuit of GOYN’s partnerships strategy.
  • Existing Efforts & Partnerships – Supporting management and oversight of existing Global partner relationships, and supporting network members with local-level partnerships when deemed important to GOYN strategy.
  • Support Key GOYN Functions – Serve as a technical expert on partnerships and fundraising as part of GOYN’s broader reporting, thought leadership, and strategy development and implementation activities.

To reliably accomplish this work, the SMP must have demonstrated experience cultivating and fostering partnerships to support social enterprises and nonprofit initiatives. Having an existing network of key funder, foundation, and corporate relationships that can be readily leveraged will be highly valued. Knowledge of modern CRM applications and procedures will be important. Experience building significant partnerships for new and growth-oriented initiatives is ideal.

To ensure the SMP can lead co-design proposal processes to advance GOYN’s work and model for prospective partners, candidates should have a solid understanding of principles of collective impact, systems change, and global youth economic opportunity. Diverse geographic experience is a plus that will help develop relationships with GOYN community members and partners across the very difference geographic, cultural, and linguistic regaions in which GOYN operates.

Candidates should have excellent oral and written communication skills, a high level of attention to detail, and the ability to effectively meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Importantly, certain partnership process requirements will periodically require heavy inputs, and the SMP must be able to manage competing demands under pressure.

The SMP will be based in the Washington DC area. For the immediate future, responsibilities of this position will be carried out remotely. Once pandemic restrictions enable a safe return to the Aspen Institute’s offices, this position will be based full-time at our Washington, DC headquarters.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Partnerships Strategy and Tracking
    • Co-lead development of GOYN Partnerships Strategy with Director and Senior Strategy Advisor to grow funding for 2021 and beyond
    • Support development or improvement of partner pipeline and data tracking tools as applicable
    • Oversee and maintain partner pipeline tracking, including ensuring accessibility and comprehension by global partners team
    • Ensure partnership and funding meets annual goals and benchmarks


  • New Partnerships - Cultivate and expand new global partner and fundraising opportunities in pursuit of GOYN’s growth strategy. Core responsibilities:
    • Source, cultivate, and close emerging partnerships in close collaboration with the GOYN Director
    • Build and maintain strong, trusted relationships with GOYN funders/future funders
    • Lead funding application processes end-to-end, including both proactive and reactive design of new concept papers/proposals/pitches for funding, overseeing GOYN partners supporting on various application processes, and ensuring successful submission
    • Drive funding and partnerships on new, topical funding niches, for example specific youth opportunity pathways, or structural injustice and/or racism
    • Drive funding and partnerships for potential new GOYN communities, per GOYN new community priorities
    • Lead organization of all calls, meetings, etc. related to new partnership pursuits
  • Existing Efforts & Partnerships
    • Support management and oversight of existing Global partner relationships when and if needed
    • In coordination with GOYN relationship managers and program leads, maintain relationships with existing donors/funders/partners to increase opportunities for ongoing partnerships beyond existing contract/grant terms.
    • Supporting network members with local-level partnerships when deemed important to GOYN strategy, through correspondence, pitches, concept notes, proposals, and any other relevant tool.
  • Support Key GOYN Functions
    • Lead GOYN reporting to funders, in close collaboration with the GOYN Director
    • Support Senior Strategy Advisor to contribute to GOYN thought leadership that positions the network including through presentations, conferences, webinars, briefs, GOYN website, and other learning events
    • Contribute to effective implementation of GOYN Learning Agenda and the production of dynamic learning products and events that are shareable across network, friends of GOYN and with funders and donors;
    • Provides mentorship to Program Associate and other staff as needed
    • Ensure all budgets developed for individual partnerships are linked to overall GOYN programmatic/operational budgets
  • Additional Duties – as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in international development or other related social sciences
  • Skilled professional with a minimum of 7 years experience, including successfully cultivating and fostering partnerships in support of growth of social enterprise/NGO sector initiatives
  • Demonstrated success in successfully raising significant funding through a variety of methods (i.e. bilateral grants, foundation grants, corporate grants/partnerships, major gifts, crowdfunding) for multiple organizations
  • Demonstrated experience leading end-to-end approaches to sourcing, cultivating, and closing new partnerships
  • Demonstrated experience successfully driving youth ecosystem development solutions
  • Operational experience including in work/strategic planning, team and partner mentoring and budgeting
  • Experience supporting collective impact/place-based systems change is a significant asset
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, entrepreneurial, management, and writing skills
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, growing environment, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously under pressure
  • Passion for issues of youth opportunity, equity & justice, and dignified work for all
  • Knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and/or Hindi is an asset
  • Proficiency in MS office, leading teleconferencing and meeting-organization tools, and leading CRM software
  • Cross-cultural competency
  • Willingness to travel internationally on assignment as needed

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.


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