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Senior Advisor, Special Initiantives

Tides Foundation


The Special Initiatives team is part of the Tides Client Services (CS) Department, which interacts directly with Tides clients to provide strategic and management services to drive high impact, effective philanthropy and to scale promising social ventures. The Special Initiatives team leads Tides’ core offering for social impact strategy consulting services, and multi-stakeholder collaborative initiative design, development, and implementation. These services are rooted in trust-based and participatory practices and delivered to clients across each of Tides’ four core partner segments: corporates, social change leaders (or social entrepreneurs), high-net-worth individuals & families, and foundations.

The Senior Advisor oversees a portfolio of social impact consulting projects and collaborative initiatives, while managing highly-complex client relationships with diverse partners from across Tides’ key segments. As needed, and based on Senior Advisor interest and experience, they may also directly supervise one or more direct reports to support the design and implementation of projects. This role also assists with departmental leadership and supports cross-functional teams and organizational projects, as needed. Tapping into deep field and issue area expertise, the Senior Advisor is a strong external voice for Tides and its client partners and supports business development activities along with the Special Initiatives Director and the Strategic Partnerships team. 

In the past, Tides staff have worked predominantly from our offices in San Francisco and New York.  Today, we are creating a new hybrid work model to support staff with remote work from anywhere in the United States, work from one of our offices when they formally re-open on September 7, or a combination of both. This is an exciting time to join Tides.

Reporting to the Director of Special Initiatives, the Senior Advisor is a full-time exempt position expected to work the appropriate and necessary time in order to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 


  • Manage all service delivery for an assigned portfolio of strategy consulting and program design and implementation partners, ensuring all partners receive the very best level of service from Tides.
  • Lead on the production of deliverables for clients, including reports and memos, project plans, strategy outlines and program documents. 
  • Conduct partner trainings, onboarding, and orientation, as needed. Ensure strategies and capabilities of new partners are aligned with Tides’ objectives.
  • Deepen Tides’ expertise and knowledge management in specific strategy consulting, program design and implementation, systems change, collaboration and network science, participatory and trust-based philanthropy and/or organizational development and capacity building to accelerate impact of Tides and its partners.
  • Work with cross-functional partners (HR, Legal, Finance, JEDI, Innovation & Learning) to manage project operations, including hiring and managing staff and consultants; managing budgets, expenses and invoicing; tracking and evaluating progress and impact; developing and ensuring timely submission of narrative and financial reports. 


  • Serve as relationship manager for a portfolio of highly complex partners that require experience navigating ambiguity, managing expectations, relationship management, and strategic advising. Ensure all partners have deep, trust-based, long-lasting relationships with Tides.
  • Proactively identify opportunities to deepen engagements with partners, by identifying additional ways Tides can support these partners and connecting these partners with new opportunities within the Tides ecosystem. 
  • Resolve or elevate issues of concern as raised by client partners or internal stakeholders in a timely and proactive manner. Provide support to other Advisors in resolving challenges, and develop policy and procedural changes to mitigate future service challenges.
  • Work with the Special Initiatives Director and the Strategic Partnerships (business development) team to support the development of a pipeline of specific new partnership opportunities and secure partners with these clients in order to achieve annual revenue goals 
  • Develop and maintain broad external relations with desired partners, organizational expertise areas, and issue areas
  • Lead and support efforts to identify opportunities within the Tides Partner Network for prospective new partners, deeper engagement with current partners, and enhanced services opportunities.


  • Mentor and share expertise with peers and other teammates. As determined with the Special Initiatives Director, manage one or more direct reports to achieve organizational and team goals, mission and priorities, while also helping them to achieve individual goals. 
  •  Support or lead internal cross-functional initiatives that enhance the partner experience, address broader partner portfolio needs, or systemic change to partner service delivery at Tides.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Knowledge of nonprofit operations and governance, including accounting, compliance, and administration.
  • Knowledge of key issues and practices impacting racial and economic justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills with a strong ability to facilitate collaborative problem-solving to reach solutions that benefit all parties.
  • Excellent facilitation skills and ability to align multiple stakeholders around a shared vision and goals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking, presentation development and diplomacy when speaking directly with clients.
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to and appreciation for diverse viewpoints, different communication styles, and a wide range of diverse colleagues and client partners.
  • Ability to build long term relationships with a good networking track record.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize amongst multiple commitments, and to drive multiple high profile and complex projects simultaneously in a challenging and fluid environment.
  • Ability to navigate and manage ambiguity and help partners move towards clarity.

Education and Experience: 

  • B.A./B.S. or higher degree, or equivalent experience.
  • 8-10+ years of relevant and applicable work experience in:
    • Social impact strategy consulting in a professional services environment working with nonprofit, philanthropy, and/or corporate social impact partners. 
    • Designing, developing and implementing social impact programs in a nonprofit, philanthropy and/or corporate social impact environment. 
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in:
    • One or more of focus areas of Tides’ social impact and program design and implementation work: multi-stakeholder collaboration, collective impact, network science, systems change, participatory and trust-based philanthropy and/or organizational development and capacity building.
    • One or more of Tides’ social justice issue areas: Human Rights, Quality Education, Sustainable Environment, Healthy Individuals and Communities, and Economic Opportunity. 
  • Established professional network in the non-profit, philanthropy, and/or corporate social impact community.
  • Business and client development experience, including structuring complex proposals and negotiating terms.
  • Strong personal alignment with Tides Vision, Mission and Approach.
  • Experience leading a team and supporting the professional development of team members, preferred.
  • Proficiency with MS Office, Google Drive, Salesforce, Box and NetSuite preferred.  

Application Instructions:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Applicants with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. If you seek an accommodation, please advise in writing at the time you apply.

United States

Experienced (Non-manager)
Social Sector