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Opening: Partnerships Manager

Publication date: 
January, 2021

Position: Partnerships Manager
Organization: LIFT Fund
Location: Flexible Location – East Coast preferred

Position Summary

The Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund identifies and supports unique opportunities to catalyze the conditions under which worker centers, emerging worker organizations, and labor unions can collaborate on strategies to build worker power, improve workplace conditions, and increase community well-being. Through grantmaking, convening, learning, and research, the LIFT Fund develops a strong network of collaboration and innovation across the labor movement and philanthropy.

At this tumultuous and opportune moment, the LIFT Fund is poised for growth and expanded impact and now seeks a new Partnerships Manager who will support the fund’s grantmaking, learning, convening, and research agendas in partnership with the Executive Director and Steering Committee. They will be a strong and detail-oriented project manager who is familiar with the culture, rhythm, and emerging trends in philanthropy paired with a deep and sustained passion for worker rights and economic justice. The Manager will lead and coordinate a broad and diverse learning and research agenda in partnership with stakeholders across the fund’s network and support opportunities to expand the fund’s reach and base of support. This is an exciting opportunity to influence and foster innovation at the intersections of philanthropy and the labor movement.

Organizational Overview

The Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund identifies and supports unique opportunities to catalyze the conditions under which worker centers, emerging worker organizations, and labor unions can collaborate on strategies to build worker power, improve workplace conditions, and increase community well-being. The LIFT Fund seeks to foster an environment of learning, experimentation, and innovation that provides value for the broader field of worker organizing and for fund members. Established in 2011 as a partnership between the AFL-CIO and philanthropic institutions, the LIFT Fund is a first-of-its-kind fund supporting collaboration and innovation around new forms of worker organizing.
The fund is led by a Steering Committee, composed of representatives from the AFL-CIO, philanthropic institutions, including Omidyar Network, Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Solidago Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Fund, as well as representatives from academia. Now in its ninth year, the LIFT Fund focuses on grantmaking, funder and field learning, convenings, and the dissemination of research and learnings. The LIFT Fund is fiscally sponsored by Neighborhood Funders Group.


Grant-Making: The LIFT Fund focuses on moving resources into the field through grants to worker organizations who are engaged in cutting edge strategies for building worker power and working in collaboration with a labor union partner. The grants are critical for supporting the work on the ground, but they are also a means toward broader learning and strategy development within the field. The fund strives to invest in experimental work and then disseminate those learnings to a broader audience of funders, field leaders, labor leaders, and others. Since its founding, the fund has granted over $4.5M to over 60 organizations.

Convening Spaces: The LIFT Fund creates spaces for learning and strategic conversations for field leaders as well as funders. A flagship program of the LIFT Fund is its regular national and regional convenings, designed as spaces for strategic field conversations leading to new ideas, collaboration, and experiments in worker organizing.

Documentation and Research: Since its founding, the LIFT Fund has supported various research projects documenting innovations in worker organizing. This year, the fund supported research that led to the recently published Platform Power to the People focused on digital strategies and tactics for worker organizing.

A Learning Hub: The fund serves as a dynamic space for funders and grantees to learn and experiment together, develop new strategies, and document the impact of these unique contributions and investments to advance the labor movement. Key activities for funders include: the creation of a Learning Agenda to analyze the work and shape grantmaking; and Learning Days which are opportunities for LIFT Funders to be on the ground with grantees. In the midst of the pandemic and a significant shift to online work, the fund has supported the creation of a peer learning space between grantees and other labor organizations to think strategically on how to enhance their digital worker organizing strategies.

The Opportunity

The Partnerships Manager will join a small but growing team dedicated to building worker power and sustaining and expanding the combined philanthropic and labor movement support to achieve that mission. A new position to the LIFT Fund, the Partnerships Manager will bring leadership in the following areas:

Relationship Stewardship

  • In partnership with the Executive Director (ED), identify, develop, and cultivate cross-sector collaborations between labor and philanthropy that further the fund’s goals and expand opportunities for investment.
  • Develop and nurture strong collaborative relationships with the fund’s network of program officers and stakeholders.

Research & Learning

  • In partnership with the Steering Committee, lead the conceptualization, organization, and implementation of the fund’s learning and research agenda, linking overarching learning agendas to funding strategy
  • Coordinate communities of learning, practice, and well-being that advance shared understanding and movement building between philanthropy and labor.
  • Develop and execute Learning Days bringing funders on the ground with our grantees and other local leaders to engage in deep learning while exploring key questions about their work and campaigns.
  • Coordinate a range of research projects covering the documentation of cutting-edge innovation in the field of worker organizing.
  • Collaborate internally with other staff to identify field needs and develop programs and convenings that are timely and relevant.

Organizational & Resource Management

  • Support the Executive Director and the Steering Committee in the cultivation of key funding partnerships and their integration into long-term learning and collaborative culture of the organization.
  • Manage and oversee research, writing, and grant/application proposals and reports to multiple donor sources.
  • Support the ED, Steering Committee, and fiscal sponsor in stewarding the financial and organizational health of the fund through on time and high quality reporting to key funders, strengthened governance and internal communication, and processes and procedures that support the fund’s growth and the development of new programs.

External Communications

  • Coordinate publicity and marketing of all special events, strategic initiatives, and public events.
  • Coordinate the production of the fund’s written materials, including but not limited to, annual reports, webpages, press releases, brochures, and outreach materials.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

The Partnerships Manager will be a mission driven professional with a passion for advancing worker justice and the field of philanthropy. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

  • Deep commitment to the mission of the LIFT Fund, the labor movement, worker rights and economic justice.
  • Familiarity with the field of philanthropy through experience inside a grantmaking organization or by supporting the broader field of philanthropy; experience grant-writing or managing grants preferred.
  • Outstanding project management skills with the ability to drive complex, multi-faceted projects forward to deliver high quality results on time; advanced problem-solving and decision-making skills and the ability to multitask in a dynamic and growing environment.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written; sophistication to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials and through multiple platforms.
  • Team orientation and collaborative spirit required in a small and growing organization; self-starter with the ability to work independently toward common goals and objectives.
  • Experience with program evaluation, data collection, and analysis.
  • Technology savvy and adaptive style required in today’s evolving workplace.
  • Highly positive and enthusiastic style; can-do attitude paired with a collaborative and inclusive style.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred or the combination of relevant lived and professional experience applicable to the role.

To Apply

More information about the LIFT Fund may be found at:

Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume to


 The LIFT Fund is fiscally sponsored by Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). Compensation for this position is targeted at $80,000-$95,000.

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