AVF Portfolio Manager

Africa, Full time


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About AVFund
 

The African Visionary Fund channels unrestricted and unburdensome funding to high-impact, African social changemakers transforming development across the continent, while simultaneously tackling inequities, injustices and power imbalances in grantmaking.

Our vision is a world where African social changemakers have access to the resources they need to accelerate their impact and are recognized by funders as critical drivers of systems change on the continent. 

Our Core Values

Transformative Impact: Many of the issues that African social changemakers seek to address are entrenched within existing systems. We seek to support changemakers as they upend systems, build ecosystems, accelerate collaboration, and deliver deep, systemic, community-rooted change.

Equity: We recognize the existing imbalance of power in funding and we choose to work in partnership with African social changemakers to fight unjust structures and systems. 

Solidarity: We acknowledge our relative power and access and leverage it to create room at the table for those closest to the communities they partner with. We are allies, not gatekeepers.  

Trust & Integrity: We trust our partners, respecting their expertise and lived experiences because we believe that proximity matters in improving lives. We seek to amplify their work, not lead it, and we follow-up on our commitments with the courage to do what is right.

Striving to Learn: We know the issues we seek to tackle are complex and systemic. We seek to humbly learn from others, to hold strong ideas loosely and to continuously question our assumptions.

Role Summary

  • Why does this role exist? 

We are a young organization striving to constantly learn from our partners to evolve our grantmaking process and relationship development. Our goal is to create a simple, straightforward and mutually enjoyable relationship with our partners. We strive to be consistent in iterating our grantmaking criteria and selection process to be more equitable and inclusive. We believe that co-designing our programs with our partners in sub-Saharan Africa leads to an impact that is true to our mission and aligns with the mission of our partners. 

We are looking to expand our team in Sub-Saharan Africa with a dynamic self-starter who will work closely with our Africa Co-CEO to manage AVFund’s growing portfolio of diverse African Visionary organizations, help us build a pipeline of new and impactful organizations and co-create a portfolio management strategy centered on building equitable relationships of trust and mutual respect with our partners. As the third full time hire for the fund, this role is for someone excited to grow with the fund and ready to play a critical role in a team that is changing the game in how funders relate to their African Visionary partners. 

Essential Competencies

The right person for this role has to truly believe in equitable funder-grantee partnerships that are built on understanding that we are here to be equal partners, to listen and learn so we can come up with collaborative solutions to overcome the challenges our partners face as African Leaders.

  • A deep understanding of the realities of grassroot African social changemakers, their organizations and their role in development. Open and comfortable to work with organizations across different regions and different sectors.
  • Proven ability to consistently build and maintain equitable relationships with diverse stakeholders. 
  • Strong ability to analyse financial and organizational data, identify opportunities for growth and use the insights gained to inform strategy and decision making 
  • A proven ability to create results effectively while adapting to fast-changing and unforeseen events 
  • Ability to step into unique contexts, creatively troubleshoot and co-create impactful solutions with various stakeholders. One should be excited about getting their hands dirty! 
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to successfully handle multiple and complex moving pieces while nothing falls through the cracks.
  • A resourceful self-starter has a high level of initiative and has a strong ability to work independently 
  • Possess a strong ability to create and operate within structure and systems while remaining agile and flexible in thinking and execution
  • A commitment to experimentation, an iterative mindset and constant learning as key ingredients for building sustainable solutions and achieving the desired outcomes 
  • Ability to lead from a coaching approach with the intuition to sense where people are, ask the right questions, challenge where needed, help troubleshoot their most immediate problems and offer the right and empowering support. 
  • Exposure to diverse organizations at different growth stages, which has equipped you with knowledge and strategies for navigating various organizational growth stage challenges our partner's encounter 
  • Organized and capable of managing multiple projects with many moving parts at the same time.

Nice to have 

  • Proven track record in successfully overseeing a diverse investment or fellowship portfolio. 
  • Having created or overseen a community of vision aligned stakeholders is an added advantage

Why would someone want this job?

  • Meaning: This is an opportunity to amplify and accelerate the impact of African social changemakers and to tackle inequities, injustices and power imbalances in funding in Africa. 
  • Autonomy: This is the first non-executive hire for a nimble startup. There is considerable autonomy and agency to shape how our grantmaking, capacity investment and portfolio management strategies are designed and implemented
  • Variety: From engaging with existing grantee partners to cultivating relationships with prospective ones to creating a portfolio management strategy, no two days in this role will look alike. 

Main Responsibilities

Organizational development - 40%

  • Help in the co-creation and implementation of organizational assessment tools and frameworks that enable our partners to identify opportunities that will catalyze their growth and development. 
  • Support in the creation of bespoke organizational development plans in collaboration with our Visionaries for the duration of our partnership.
  • Proactively work with the Visionaries to identify the areas that need investment for organizational strategic growth and work on prioritizing timely and impactful needs to effectively channel resources.
  • Manage the process of annual organizational development funding disbursements and feedback loops/reporting mechanisms.
  • Perpetually audit AVF’s approach towards organizational development to stay true to our mission of creating an equitable relationship with our partners.

Grantmaking and portfolio management - 50% 

We are still learning how to create an impactful and equitable grantmaking process. This role will proactively contribute to the iterative development of our grantmaking criteria, selection processes and portfolio management. As we constantly and proactively learn about African organizations and leaders through mechanisms such as peer partner referral systems across the continent, this role will play a key part in managing our pipeline development mechanisms ensuring we have a smooth and efficient process for documenting and communicating with potential partners. 

  • Contribute to the constant iteration of our grantmaking criteria and selection processes by effectively incorporating the voice and input of our partners & pipeline. 
  • We are looking for African founded and led organizations with high potential and a track record of success in catalyzing impact in their communities but who are often overlooked. You proactively participate in the creation of an inclusive pipeline across the continent through strategically and actively engaging local leaders for referrals and recommendations. 
  • Support in implementing the AVFund’s grantmaking processes, including developing grantmaking work plans, managing grantmaking timeline, managing the due diligence process and facilitating the grant disbursement and reporting process for each cohort.
  • Collaborate with our communications team to ensure our partners' impact is strategically positioned in the right places and networks leading to the creation of new growth opportunities. 
  • Implement an equitable approach to effectively and efficiently deliver professional support in a portfolio with many diverse organizations, across different regions and a wide range of sectors.
  • Co-create and implement systems for the efficient and organized management of our portfolio.
  • Ensure the real-time updating of internal systems used to track critical information about organizations in our portfolio for equitable engagement with each partner.
  • Participate in the long term creation of a resource-based portal/platform that is a resource for our partners and a portfolio management tool for our team.

Partnerships and ecosystem engagement - 10%

  • Keep a finger on the pulse of social sector trends and developments to identify opportunities to leverage our presence, our networks, and our experiences to benefit our visionary partners and the general social impact ecosystem in SSA.
  • As needed participate in strategic activities to amplify our work and share our approach on equitable and unrestricted grantmaking in collaboration with our marketing and communications team
  • As needed, support the Africa co-CEO in cultivating relationships with INGOs, embassies, foundations, high net worth individuals and other on-continent funders to leverage funding for our partners.

Other information

The anticipated start date is latest January 2022. The ideal candidate is an African based within the African continent with pre-existing work authorization for any employer in their country of location. Working times are within East African Time zone. Candidates should be ready for rural travel with basic amenities. There will be a six-month probationary period and we will agree on performance and learning objectives. We are looking for candidates who are ready to make a long-term commitment

Does this feel like you? Application details are below!

  • First, please have a look at this guide on how to submit your application and tips on our selection process: http://bit.ly/CandidatesGuide 
  • You will be asked to upload your CV on the application form. Please ensure it is in PDF format, tailored to this role and no more than 3 pages.
  • Applications will be shortlisted on a rolling basis. For any questions get in touch with AVFund@edgeperformance.co.ke
  • Recruitment process in partnership with edge. All emails regarding this role will come from email accounts in the domains @edgeperformance.co.ke and @africanvisionary.org
Apply to Job
Full Name*
Email*
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Resume*
Do you have a minimum of 5 years working with, working with grassroots African Social Innovators across Sub-Sahara Africa?*
Yes   No
List the names of African countries you've worked in/with through your work. For each indicate your role and organization.*
This role will support in the co-creation and implementation of organizational assessment tools and frameworks that enable our partners to identify opportunities that will catalyze their growth and development. Share with us ONE of your most proud achievements where you have led or directly been involved in a similar work context. Briefly, why do you choose this one? Secondly, tell us more about the context of the work. 1) At what stage of growth was the organization? 2)What were their key org development challenges? 3) What unique approaches successfully worked for you in supporting them and why? 4)Finally what was the impact of your work to the organization strategic growth?*
In what various ways has the coaching approach transformed 1) you and 2) the organizations you've served in your career journey so far? Based on your understanding of the African Visionary Fund Vision and Approach, how would you tap into this approach to succeed in this role?*
The right person for this role has to truly believe in equitable funder-grantee partnerships that are built on understanding that we are here to be equal partners. Share with us in your own words, how do you envision equitable-funder relationships? And why does such a pursuit matter? Please share with us 2 work experiences examples clearly illustrating where and how you've worked & contributed in a similar/tranferrable context as described above. Ensure your response clearly illustrates 1) The context that matches the description above 2) The role you played 3) The results/impact your efforts/contribution created.*
Please share with us your current gross salary (Monthly USD)*
Please share with us your expected gross salary (Monthly USD)*