Director, Research and Impact

  • VA-7, Arlington, VA, USA
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Full-time

Company Description

ProInspire envisions an equitable and just society – free of systemic oppression where all people thrive. We activate leaders at all levels to accelerate equity in their work, within their organizations, and across the social sector. We design and deliver programming, consulting, and resources to support individual leaders, strengthen organizations, and influence and equip the sector. Our goal is for individuals at all levels in the social sector to have the competencies, confidence, and connections to accelerate equity and leadership. ProInspire’s values of equity, authenticity, collaboration, and courage are essential to who we are and what we do.

Founded in 2009 and based in Washington, D.C., ProInspire runs programs in multiple cities across the United States. We partner with leading local, national, and international nonprofits and foundations, including Arabella Advisors, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Communities in Schools, Kauffman Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Share Our Strength, and more. ProInspire’s funders include Annie E. Casey Foundation, American Express, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Meyer Foundation. Over 4,000 individuals have participated in ProInspire’s open enrollment and custom programs to-date. ProInspire was named by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of 7 Nonprofits to Watch in 2015, and as a Top-Rated Nonprofit from 2015 to 2018.

Job Description

Are you passionate about leadership, race equity, and social impact at nonprofit and philanthropic organizations? Do you want to help social sector organizations achieve their potential for impact by supporting leaders in building more diverse, inclusive, and equitable cultures? Do you thrive on bringing people together and supporting them in their learning and change journeys?

If so, we’re looking for you…
ProInspire is seeking a Director to play a key role in driving our work supporting organizations with advancing equity and leadership. The new Director will work on a portfolio of projects to develop ProInspire’s strategic plan and research and data philosophy, strengthen partner organizations through training programs, consulting services, and communities of practice, and influence the sector through publications and resources.

Directors lead large projects, such as research studies, organizational change process and communities of practice. Example projects include:

  • Designing and facilitating the race equity arc of learning for full staff of an organization
  • Researching, developing, designing interactive tools to help leaders advance race equity, such as a 360-evaluation
  • Supporting a senior leadership team with adaptive change to shift organizational culture through coaching and facilitation

The Director will have experience advising organizations in their race equity change journey, confidence facilitating senior leaders through challenging conversations, and understanding how to move people from talk to action.

The Director, Research and Impact will report to one of our co-CEOs and will work closely with staff based across the country, as well as ProInspire partners, funders, faculty, and consultants. When we engage affiliate consultants on projects, the Director may be responsible for managing those consultants.

Strategy and Impact Assessment (40%)
Play a range of roles on projects, including:

  • Lead strategy projects, centering the needs of BIPOC leaders
    • Proactively includes everyone in the discussion and centers voices of those most impacted
    • Demonstrates ways of being that disrupts white dominant norms
    • Incorporates and weighs perspectives of BIPOC stakeholders when making meaning
  • Meaning-Making
    • Demonstrates making sense and meaning of quantitative and qualitative data with a race equity lens
    • Allows spaciousness and incorporates storytelling or metaphors to communicate
    • Observes and identifies shared needs and distinct differences for BIPOC leaders from different racial groups
  • Project Implementation & Leadership
    • Define goals and priorities for ProInspire’s strategic plan (2022-2023) and related special projects
    • Ensure overall accountability for the success of projects, programs, and services
    • Design project scopes or change processes
    • Lead project team of staff and/or external consultants
    • Manage consultant engagement and oversight on projects
  • Facilitation and Implementation
    • Facilitate trainings, learning sessions, and client meetings (virtual and in-person, when in-person sessions return)
    • Incorporate emergent learning and power analysis into facilitation and advisory work
    • Design agendas and facilitation guides
    • Create deliverables (e.g. presentations, online workshop tools, etc.)
    • Provide coaching and ongoing support to clients around their learning and change processes both in-person and virtually
    • Manage data analysis and reporting (conducting interviews, surveys, etc.)
  • People Management
    • Identify, hire, and manage staff and/or consultants, as needed

Data, Research, and Thought Leadership (30%)

  • Strengthen brand visibility through research and data
    • Lead collaborative research projects that further race equity in organizations and produce sector-level insights
    • Build ecosystem partnerships and engage new sector-level partners
    • Apply a variety of methodologies, including design thinking and emergent strategy
  • Develop a research and data philosophy for ProInspire
    • Develop an approach and plan to collect impact data, including designing surveys and other data collection methods
    • Capture and apply learnings from our work through team reflection, client/participant feedback, and data gathering
    • Rethink our approaches and content to align with our equity goals and field trends
  • Deliver and design content and tools
    • Develop workbooks or toolkits tied to our growing research around the leadership practices that advance race equity
    • Develop new programs, tools, and resources for individuals and organizations to advance race equity
  • Business Development & External Engagement
    • Identify thought leadership goals and strategy in collaboration with Co-CEOs and Communications team
    • Increase organizational visibility through conference presentations, storytelling, writing
    • Lead engagement and build relationships with ecosystem partners, foundations, and other organizations
    • Write proposals, prepare grant reports, oversee budgets, and respond to RFPs
    • Manage client engagement on related projects

Internal Stakeholder Engagement (30%)

  • Team Activities
    • Participate and lead regular retreats, weekly team meetings, etc.
    • Represent the organization at board meetings, conference presentations, and convenings
  • Internal Work
    • Engage in ongoing internal work around building a race equity culture
    • Push the organization to live into our values and further the theory of change
  • Organizational Development
    • Support or lead internal projects
    • Mentor and develop people across the organization

What you will gain from this role:

  • Impact: You’ll have the opportunity to advance leadership, equity, and inclusion in the social sector and see the impact you have on individuals and organizations through their engagement in our programs.
  • Build on Strengths: You will have the opportunity to shape your work and our programs, building on your strengths and your lived experience.
  • Learning: You will continuously be learning as you support our partners and through your own professional development.
  • Visibility: You will be responsible for facilitating training, speaking to large groups, and representing the organization with partners.
  • Autonomy and Ownership: You will have responsibility for specific programs and services, setting strategic objectives, leading teams, and overseeing project budgets.


About You
This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual to lead projects and work collaboratively with our staff, consultants, and partners. This role provides a high level of responsibility and independence for individuals to determine how and when to complete their work.

What we are looking for:

  • Relevant Experience:
    • You have led research studies and have experience analyzing quantitative and qualitative data to assess impact in BIPOC communities
    • You have experience doing work inside a social sector organization or as a consultant focused on equity and inclusion, talent, organizational development, or training and facilitation
  • Design and Facilitation:
    • You have facilitated groups with navigating challenging conversations
    • You have experience with program design or curriculum development
    • Bonus points for skills with virtual meeting design and facilitation
  • Race Equity Experience:
    • You authentically dive into work about the role that identity and race plays inside organizations, and are able to speak from your lived experience
    • You understand how to support an organization’s race equity change journey
  • Communication:
    • You have skills to verbally communicate with groups, including making presentations to senior leaders
    • You have skills to write materials with attention to detail, including facilitation guides, training presentations, and survey reports
  • Relationship Building:
    • You are a compelling relationship builder with people working at all levels in organizations
    • You are able to work independently and maintain productivity with colleagues and stakeholders in different locations
  • Approach:
    • You bring integrity, humility, resilience, and passion for ProInspire’s mission
    • You don’t have all the answers, but are willing to figure things out
    • You have an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to expand our impact

Additional Information

Why should you work with us

At ProInspire, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering our mission and we strive to make ProInspire a great, collaborative place to work. ProInspire values equity, authenticity, collaboration, and courage. In our benefits and HR policies, this means:

  • We prioritize approaches that serve all of us and promote our collective impact, ensuring we meet the needs of those with least access to decision-making power
  • We identify both individual and team-wide solutions, providing flexibility and support for each other
  • We share transparently about the opportunities and limitations we face as a small nonprofit organization, engaging staff in the process to shape our approach
  • We think creatively about how to align our values and meet our goals within our policies, identifying how we various types of benefits can strengthen our culture

We aim to accomplish two goals through our benefits and HR policies:

  • All staff members have what they need to do their jobs well, to do their best work, and to grow individually - including accommodations for various needs and functional roles, considerations for growth within role and organization as well as towards career goals
  • All staff members have what they need to take care of themselves, recognizing the wholeness of who we are, our personal wellbeing, and how that may impact us at work and in our lives outside of work

Our benefits include:

Focus on Wellbeing

  • Unlimited PTO: Minimum 20 days expected, includes vacation, sick, mental health, family care, etc.
  • Org-Wide Holidays and Digital Detox Windows: Total of 20 days (10 Holidays and 2 Detox Windows of 5 days each) to support everyone with fully disconnecting
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Includes options for structuring work week/days, space for learning/collaboration
  • Robust Health Benefits with 90% of individual premium covered
  • Short-Term Disability/Long-Term Disability/Life Insurance
  • Wellness Fund (with additional telework benefit for 2021)
  • 401k Enrollment with organizational contribution
  • Benchmarked Compensation with Annual Opportunities for Increases

Support to Do Jobs Well and Grow 

  • Professional Development Fund: $1,000/FTE/year
  • Laptop Reimbursement Fund
  • Access to/Participation in Trainings and Conferences
  • Opportunity to Engage in Projects Aligned to Personal/Professional Goals

Position Details

  • Salary: Starting salary for the first year ranges from $96-110k.
  • Travel: This role will require work travel, such as delivering programs, attending conferences, and meetings; on average, 2-3 trips per month. There are also occasional events during non-standard business hours.
  • Start Date: Flexible, with target start date in December 2022 or January 2023
  • Location: We no longer have a physical office space due to the pandemic.