As the U.S. field office of Mercy Corps, Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) works to build more just, productive and resilient communities in the Pacific NW. Our programs support over 2,000 small business owners each year; reduce prison re-entry rates for participants by 50%; improve services at more than 30 local nonprofits; and support under resourced communities with disaster preparedness knowledge.
At MCNW, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life regardless of their background. By investing in those without ready access to resources, existing economic disparities will become more equitable and motivated, hard-working individuals and families will have opportunities to break intergenerational cycles of poverty for good. For more information about Mercy Corps Northwest, visit www.mercycorpsnw.org
This position supervises and manages the Mercy Corps Northwest AmeriCorps VISTA Program, which is responsible for between 20-25 VISTA members and 15-20 VISTA partner host sites every year. The VISTA Program Manager is responsible for the administration of the sponsorship contracts with AmeriCorps (formerly the Corporation for National and Community Service), including all aspects related to overseeing agreement deliverables and donor regulations. This position is also responsible for program data collection and management; grant reporting and renewals; program budget and financial management; program strategy and innovations; training of the site supervisors and VISTA members; oversight of site performance; recruitment of VISTA members and VISTA partner host sites; member supplemental benefits administration, coordinating the VISTA Advisory Committee to inform programming; monitoring member and site compliance; supervision of two VISTA Leaders; management of up to 20 community partnerships; and overall accountability and oversight of 20-25 VISTA members.
The VISTA Program Manager will also ensure that the VISTA Program integrates with existing MCNW programs, promotes MCNW’s vision of advancing human potential for positive change, and takes initiative in advancing both MCNW and VISTA Program goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The VISTA Program Manager is essential in creating a strategy and vision for the VISTA Program and for the entire MCNW organization. In accordance with funder requirements, the successful applicant must be willing and able to undergo and pass a full fingerprint-based background check prior to the start date to confirm that they are not a registered sex offender and have not been convicted of murder. This position is funded through February 2022 and will be subject to yearly grant renewal.
Strategy & Learning
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve program objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.
- Lead program strategy, innovation, and development to ensure the program continues to meet community needs and realize valuable impact.
- Brainstorm and pilot ways to attract and retain more diverse candidates to be AmeriCorps VISTA members and lead overall strategy to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are centered in program decisions and processes.
- Manage and administer the AmeriCorps grant (formerly Corporation for National and Community Service) to MCNW, including all grant reporting and grant renewals.
- Oversee 20 – 25 VISTA members and host sites in Oregon and Washington State, ensuring the successful completion of their respective work plans for their VISTA members.
- Supervise two VISTA Leaders in their roles in supporting VISTA members.
- Manage the collection of program performance data for program reporting. Strategize to improve monitoring and evaluation systems and procedures to improve data collection efforts as needed.
- Ensure that VISTA members operate safely and effectively within their chosen organizations.
- Develop and deliver two In-Service and Mid-Service training sessions for all VISTA members and two trainings for all new VISTA site supervisors annually. Lead implementation of additional adhoc training sessions as needed.
- Recruit new community partners through a Request for Proposals process twice annually and lead partner site application, vetting, selection, and project design process through to final implementation.
- Support the development of the scope of all VISTA capacity building projects and position descriptions, ensuring compliance, strategic fit, and alignment with community needs.
- Coordinate VISTA Program Advisory Committee, leading committee member recruitment and engagement, and managing committee vision, feedback, and effectiveness.
- Oversee planning and coordination of all program events, including training events, days of service, quarterly team meetings, and end of service events.
- Advance program sustainability and development by pursuing new opportunities and funding sources. Lead or co-lead proposals to secure funding as needed.
- Develop the capacity of the entire VISTA team, including all VISTA members and Leaders, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Actively support VISTA members, Leaders, site supervisors, and MCNW team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance, reach objectives, and grow professionally.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and are comfortable receiving feedback.
- Manage recruitment of 20-25 VISTA members and Leaders annually, including recruitment marketing, interviewing, selection, and onboarding.
- Coordinate all VISTA member training, oversee member support, and manage member conflict and issues as they arise.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance for MCNW and its partner sites with AmeriCorps agreement policies and expectations, including conducting annual site monitoring visits to each project site.
- Prepare and manage overall program budget, including grant budgets and site payments for all VISTA projects.
- Manage forecasting for site cost share payment with assistance of MCNW Finance & Compliance Manager for each new cohort of VISTA members.
- Advance program’s financial commitment to equity and inclusion, including administration and growth of the program’s supplemental benefits policy for all VISTA members.
Influence & Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, host site partners, donors, VISTA member recruitment, partners, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Regularly check in with AmeriCorps contacts, participate in all opportunities to provide grantee feedback, and take on leadership role in national and regional AmeriCorps events.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- Actively train on and promote accountability to Mercy Corps’ Safeguarding Policy and procedure and Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) to ensure VISTA member, partner, and beneficiary safety, security, and accountability.
Two VISTA Leaders. Oversight and accountability of VISTA members and limited oversight of partner agencies.
Reports Directly To: Executive Director, MCNW
Works Directly With: All MCNW team members, AmeriCorps Program Officer, VISTA members, VISTA site supervisors and representatives from the Mercy Corps HQ Americas Desk.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills*
We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please submit a cover letter that clearly shows how your experience meets the minimum qualifications and prepares you to perform the key responsibilities of this role; be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.
- BA/S or equivalent in management, international studies, economic development, social work,or related field of study. U.S. based or international degrees are both acceptable.Professional work at or near the level of this position can substitute year for year for the educational requirement.
- 2 years of program or project management experience
- 1 year of supervisory experience and/or coordinating multiple stakeholders
- Experience in developing and/or maintaining relationships with partner organizations
- One completed term of service with AmeriCorps VISTA or AmeriCorps State/National is strongly preferred
*Transferable skills: Any skills you have gained through education, volunteer or work or life experience (including the military) that are relevant for this position will be considered. Be sure to describe any transferable skills and how they apply to this position in your cover letter.
Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills, experience managing partnerships and overseeing employee and/or client performance.
Experience managing funding sources (especially federal funding sources) and preparing and managing operational budgets.
Ability to function independently and to coordinate multiple projects both independently and in collaboration with other MCNW programs, staff, and partner organizations.
Able to effectively lead a team around a shared vision that creates the greatest impact with the communities we serve.
Lived or other experience working with low-income and multicultural populations, particularly with women, justice-involved community members, refugees and immigrants on issues relating to community economic development, poverty alleviation, housing, or asset development.
Strong writing skills, experience developing grant proposals and reporting.
Ability to follow and enforce complex policies and procedures and juggle competing priorities and deadlines.
Experience in the development and delivery of programs and training, including basic event management.
Firsthand experience with and knowledge of Oregonian communities and nonprofits.
Experience with project monitoring, working with and analyzing data, and database management.
Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Portland, Oregon, with occasional travel throughout Oregon and Washington State to VISTA host sites and nationally for VISTA events.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.