Director of Learning and Evaluation

The Opportunity

Soccer Without Borders (SWB) is seeking a dynamic teammate to take our Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) into the next stage of the organization’s development.  This is a new role that aims to expand our current monitoring and evaluation practices to include new program types, aligning with our updated Theory of Change. Soccer Without Borders programming includes direct service through six Community Hubs across the USA, Nicaragua and Uganda that together serve over 4,000 youth annually. It also includes capacity-building and consulting programs through SWB Assist, an entrepreneurial new division of the organization which leverages what we’ve learned to support partners to advance their own social inclusion goals.  Running these programs effectively is the result of hundreds of decisions every day by coaches and leaders that bring together the right combination of people, culture, SWB methodologies, funding, and partners.  When programs are operated with fidelity, they support the individual to feel agency, belonging, and grow skills to contribute to a society that has increased community cohesion and gender and racial equity.  The Director of Learning and Evaluation will play a critical role in SWB’s culture of assessing, communicating, and learning from our diverse portfolio of programs, so we can understand, share, and constantly improve the quality for participants.

The Organization

As one of the few global languages, soccer has the power to shape the world for the better.

Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth in the U.S. and abroad with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. Founded in 2006, Soccer Without Borders is a leading non-profit in the sport-for-development sector, recognized by the FIFA Diversity Award, the Lipman Family Prize from the Wharton School of Business, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award, and two Beyond Sport Collective Impact Awards.  With a focus on social inclusion of newcomer youth and marginalized girls, our holistic programs provide participants with a platform for positive engagement, an avenue for personal growth, and a toolkit for a brighter future.

The Candidate

SWB Directors must be energetic, communicative, collaborative, proactive, organized, and efficient multi-taskers. As a leader, Directors should model and inspire SWB’s core values of authenticity, whole-person approach, process-orientation, and equity.  The ideal candidate for this position is:

  1. A process-oriented leader who believes that the “how” of program delivery is as important as the “what.”  They are eager to utilize a suite of MEL tools that provides a diverse group of stakeholders easily accessible avenues to share about their programming experiences.  They know that capturing that information helps us to improve our quality of delivery as well as communicate our outcomes.
  2. A self-driven and proactive communicator and collaborator who is not afraid of a blank page.  This person is able to imagine and bring to life new tools and resources to capture lessons learned, supporting knowledge transfer within and outside the organization.  They are adept at rolling out these new tools and approaches across an organization, bringing in colleagues from other departments to strengthen alignment across organizational goals.
  3. Someone who enjoys holding a vision while monitoring its day-to-day delivery.  They have agility and comfort moving between guiding, north star documents like a Theory of Change and the day-to-day tools that help coaches and Program Leaders monitor and capture our impact.  They appreciate the details and effort that go into accurately monitoring an organization’s reach, so are interested in systems and tools that are efficient for coaches on the field.
  4. Fluent in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning best practice and systems and eager to teach others.  This person is energized working in excel and databases and has sufficient comfort and knowledge within technology tools to support others to become proficient too.  They should be eager to advocate about Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning to a diverse set of stakeholders and optimize their unique perspective to build connections and understanding across people, departments, Hubs and programs.

The Director of Evaluation and Learning will possess a combination of several of the following skills, qualities, and/or experiences:

  • Experience with data management systems, MEL planning, data quality assurance, analysis, and reporting.
    Strong analytical orientation, with an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.  Comfort with data analysis and visualization.  High proficiency in excel and data dashboards.
    Experience introducing new data and/or evaluation systems to organizations and supporting the full change management process.
    Experience applying a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to MEL.
    Track record of supporting diverse groups of stakeholders to be accountable to goals.
    Professional maturity to work effectively remotely or across locations/time zones is a must.
    Self-starter with excellent problem-solving skills and proven ability to prioritize and handle time effectively.
    At least 5 years of significant professional experience with increasing responsibility and ownership (full-time or equivalent) in related fields.
    Prior experience in sports-based youth development, the football for good sector or in non-profit structures is preferred.
    Prior experience in grant writing specifically about outcomes and outputs and evaluation processes is a plus.
    Spanish language skills are a major plus.

Typically, Directors at Soccer Without Borders join our team with a bachelor’s degree and 6-10 years related work experience (or the equivalent in work and leadership experience). In addition they bring prior experience working in a non-profit either as staff or through significant volunteering, experience working cross-culturally and/or internationally, and experience as a supervisor and/or managing teams, formally or through coaching. We believe that valuable and relevant experience comes in many forms so if you do not have all of these qualifications but believe you are a great fit, please tell us why!

The Position

This is a new position within the organization, meaning that we expect it to evolve to optimize the strengths of the person who fills it and to adjust to new organizational needs within monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge management.  For the first year, this position will have four primary areas of responsibility:

  • Theory of Change Integration: Manage the full integration of SWB’s new Theory of Change into the organization.  This includes working with members of the Collective Impact Team to imagine and then deliver tactics to incorporate this tool into all areas of the organization- the website, grant proposals, staff training, staff onboarding, and beyond.
  • Technology Transition and Monitoring Maintenance: Lead the transition to new data and evaluation technology tools used across the organization.  Collaborate with the Managing Director of Programs to plan and implement this transition including but not limited to drafting new MEL technology guidelines for the organization and overseeing a historical data transfer.  Work with Hub teams and Collective Impact Team to train staff on new tools and maintain a strong culture of monitoring across the organization amidst this transition.
  • Knowledge Capturing: Work between and across teams – from Communications to Advancement to People & Culture – to capture the reach, impact and best practices of SWB and share them widely.  Iterate upon internal communication tactics already used to tell the story of SWB’s mission delivery and vision new strategies to address gaps.  Update key external systems such as the Better Business Bureau and Guidestar with updated MEL output and outcome information.
  • MEL Planning: Work with Hub and Assist teams to set annual plans for MEL and oversee their compliance of these plans throughout the year.

Compensation Philosophy

Soccer Without Borders values all contributions to the mission and prioritizes internal compensation equity over external benchmarks. We invest our resources in mission delivery first and foremost, and view resource development and stewardship as a full team effort. We approach staff wellness and benefits holistically, investing in staff development, training, professional growth opportunities, travel opportunities, wellness days, team-building, and empathetic work environments in addition to base compensation and benefits. This whole-person approach has led to an average annual retention rate of over 90% for full-time staff.  In short, we work hard to live our values and are seeking a teammate who aligns with this philosophy.

The Director of Learning and Evaluation is a full-time exempt position with an ideal start date of early July.  The salary range for this position is $64,000 – $78,250, with a starting salary determined by experience. Benefits include employer sponsored health care, 401k plan, 19 paid holidays, paid sick leave, full-time staff protections such as worker’s compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, paid family and medical leave, flexible vacation leave up to 4 additional weeks, and paid sabbatical leave after 5 years.


Surrounding Supports, and Reporting Structure

This position is a member of the Collective Impact Team and reports to the Managing Director of Programs.  It works within the Programs Lane with an expectation of frequent overlap and connection to the Advancement and People & Culture Lanes. In the Programs Lane, the Director will work closely with the Managing Director of Programs, Evaluation Specialist and MEL Captains from each Hub.  While the position does not currently involve direct supervision of any staff, it does require use of systems and tools to train on and oversee accountability to MEL systems for every staff member in the organization.  This position participates in the Program Leaders Council, which includes all Program and non-program Directors and Managers, as well as the Board of Directors Programs Committee, which is a committee composed of select staff and Board of Directors members.  The Programs Lane has a record of working with consultants and university groups for capacity building or highly skilled projects.  As these opportunities occur, the Director could take a leading role in managing these groups.

Work Location

Candidates based in the pacific and mountain time zones are preferred in order to align with the workday hours of teammates in the Programs Lane.  If you are not in those time zones but see yourself as a great fit, know that we are open to discussing alternative setups for the right candidate.  This position could be fully remote or be at home with a hybrid work model at one of our Hubs in Oakland or Denver.  The position will include occasional travel to visit Community Hubs and meet with teammates in person.

Application Process

To apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter that answers the questions “Why is this position right for you at this point in your career? Why are you interested in the Soccer Without Borders mission? What about your experience makes you a great fit for this position at Soccer Without Borders?” to Lindsey Whitford, Managing Director of Programs, lindsey@soccerwithoutborders.org.

If you are an experienced candidate who is interested in requesting an informational interview to explore if the position could be a fit before applying, please reach out to Lindsey explaining your interest and questions, and include a resume or LinkedIn profile.

Soccer Without Borders encourages persons of any race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and background to apply. Unfortunately, SWB is not able to provide visa sponsorship. Soccer Without Borders believes that diverse perspectives and lived experiences make our team stronger and are actively strengthening our inclusive and anti-racist staffing practices. Our current team comes from 13 countries and speaks 19 languages, including 40% who are program alumni. We look forward to meeting you!