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Short-Term Strategy and Grantmaking Consultancy

Short-Term Strategy and Grantmaking Consultancy
Job Description: 


For over forty years, World Education Services has advanced the field of international mobility and provided international students, immigrants, and refugees with the tools to achieve their educational and professional goals. Launched by WES in 2019, the Mariam Assefa Fund (“the Fund”) builds on WES’ decades of experience as a social enterprise working at the intersection of international mobility, immigration, and education. The Fund aims to catalyze economic inclusion, opportunities, and mobility for immigrants and refugees in the U.S. and Canada. Through grantmaking, impact investing, partnerships, and field-building, the Fund supports efforts to build inclusive economies and ensure all immigrants and refugees can achieve their aspirations and thrive. 

To date, the Fund has supported 33 grantee and investee partners in the U.S. and Canada, who share our commitment to building inclusive, equitable economies where all immigrants and refugees can thrive. Ensuring that immigrant and refugee workers can access good jobs and advance in their careers requires a range of solutions and approaches. Our partners bring expertise in workforce training and adult education; immigrant and refugee integration; innovation and social finance; worker organizing; financial inclusion and community wealth-building; policy development and advocacy; and much more. 

Alongside our partners, the Fund seeks to create a community where organizations can collaborate, share knowledge and resources, and collectively work to drive lasting change in the U.S. and Canada. The Fund works towards that goal by regularly sharing news from the field with our partners, inviting partners to join regular community convenings, as well as providing capacity-building programming on specific topics that are of common interest to our partners. 


Goals, Design, and Scope of Work 

The consultant will support the Fund’s U.S. team in developing and refining key strategy areas. Specifically, the consultant will lead the work to research, scope, and develop grantmaking strategy to support developing more inclusive communities for immigrants and refugees. As the Fund is an early-stage philanthropy, the consultant will have an opportunity to help build the strategy from the ground up and shape an important new area of focus for the Fund. The consultant may also be asked to contribute to projects in other strategy areas, as needed. 

Building on learnings from the Fund’s current partners, the consultant will identify opportunities to support innovative community-based projects, prepare funding recommendations, and assist with grants management for a small portfolio of grants. The consultant may also design knowledge sharing and/or capacity-building programs for this cohort. The consultant may also be asked to support the development of Board materials, other internal strategy documents, and external communications materials. This role will be critical in enabling the Fund to effectively develop and launch this new funding strategy and develop relationships with other funders and stakeholders working to build more inclusive communities and society.  


Key Responsibilities  

  1. Research and stakeholder engagement to develop the Fund’s inclusive communities strategy, including: 
    • Analyze the landscape of current efforts to promote welcoming and inclusive communities for immigrants and refugees in the U.S., particularly in specific geographies where the Fund has active place-based partners. 
    • Develop a funder landscape analysis, generating insights to advance partnership development for inclusive communities work and adjacent strategy areas 
    • Identify key stakeholders to engage in a strategic discussion on the above, including potential organizations to partner with. 
    • Engage with outside experts and advisors, towards surfacing key insights for strategy development  
    • Support the Fund team in articulating strategic focus and funding approach related to supporting welcoming and inclusive communities.  
  2. Grantmaking and portfolio support for inclusive communities: 
    • Draft grantmaking materials, such as RFPs or application questions, to support the identification of potential funding recipients under the guidance of the Fund’s U.S. Associate Director and WES’ Managing Director 
    • Manage incoming pipeline of individual ideas, proposals, and opportunities, and help the team to organize and respond to these ideas 
    • Contribute to oversight of a small portfolio of grants and serve as key point of contact for select grants 
    • Participate in strategy and planning meetings for 2022 grantmaking and other activities 
    • Additional projects and assignments that support the Fund’s grantmaking, as needed. 
  3. Other project management and support: 
    • Contribute to and comment on key internal and external communications, including funding announcements, updates prepared for internal quarterly review meetings, presentations to WES Senior Leadership Team, and WES Board Fund Committee meetings 
    • Support learning efforts for Fund staff related to specific strategy areas 
    • Ad-hoc desk research and interviews to support exploration of other funding strategies and/or strategic opportunities as needed 


Reporting Structure  

This consultant will report to Lauren Crain, Associate Director, US Strategy & Programs. The consultant will have weekly check-ins with Lauren to discuss progress and timely issues, and join ad-hoc calls and/or meetings as needed. The consultant will develop a monthly work plan to ensure alignment on key priorities, while also maintaining flexibility to reprioritize as the strategy work evolves.

Anticipated Timeline 

  • Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis 
  • Selection of consultant by June 25, 2021 
  • The contract is expected to begin no later than July 2021 

Budget & Contract Schedule 

The budget for this project is approximately $45,000-$60,000 with an estimated 20-30 hours per week over the term of the contract. The budget should be inclusive of all costs. This engagement begins in July 2021 (pending signed contract) and ends on December 31st, 2021. Depending on the needs of the Fund and the contractor’s performance, there may be an opportunity to refine or expand the scope outlined above or extend the contract beyond the initial six-month term. 
The location for this position is flexible, as WES offices are currently all working remotely. The consultant will be expected to have their own laptop and other basic office supplies, including a web camera. The use of a Zoom and/or WebEx account can be made available to consults for this project, if needed. 


Next Steps 

Interested partners should submit a resume, hourly or monthly billing rate for the desired scope, and brief summary (no more than 1-2 pages) outlining your professional background, experience managing similar projects, and any other information that would help inform this work.  
We’re particularly excited to work with consultants who: 

  • Familiarity with U.S. philanthropic landscape, in particular immigrant and refugee issues and funders and/or inclusive communities and civic engagement 
  • Are deeply committed to the success of immigrant and refugee communities, investing in immigrant and refugee leaders, and advancing more equitable and inclusive workforce and educational systems 
  • Bring lived experience from immigrant and refugee communities and communities of color, as well the issues that the Fund focuses on  
  • Contribute to an environment that values transparency, collaboration, and a learning orientation 

Many thanks again for your interest in partnering with the WES Mariam Assefa Fund. We look forward to receiving your application. ideas.  

For any questions, please see the contacts below. We will respond to questions as quickly as possible via email, but please allow 24 – 48 hours for a response unless you indicate you have an urgent matter. 

For questions regarding this opportunity, application requirements, or review processes, please contact:  

Lauren Crain  
Associate Director, US Strategy & Programs  
E-mail: [email protected]  

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