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Chief Operating Officer

Alexandria, VA

Relocation expenses: Paid

C-Suite/Vice President
Full time
5 - 10 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree

Published on 31 Oct 2018

Expires on 31 Oct 2018

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Chief Operating Officer

The Opportunity

This is a tremendous opportunity for a senior executive who is seeking to make a difference with her/his skills and experiences, and to join a distinguished organization whose mission is to advance communities across the world. With a focus on education, income and health, United Way Worldwide fights to provide individuals and communities with the building blocks for a good quality of life.


United Way has long partnered with 60,000+ companies worldwide on workplace giving, employee volunteerism and other social purpose activities. Today, companies have desired a simpler, easier way to help their employees change the world. In response to this, a new game-changing technology platform has been developed called the Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud. The technology not only addresses the changing donor landscape, but increases opportunities for United Way Worldwide to better serve and engage even more strategically across the network. This marks a truly exciting time for the organization and partners as new digital services and products inspire, connect and empower social change.  


The new Chief Operating Officer will join United Way Worldwide as this phenomenal digital transformation takes place, and s/he will play a very valuable role in ensuring organizational excellence in honor of a powerful mission.


organization BACKGROUND

With a network of nearly 1,800 community-based organizations in 40 countries and territories, United Way Worldwide (UWW) has worked diligently to advance the common good by improving education, helping people achieve financial stability, and promoting healthy living. Every year, millions of individuals give, advocate, and volunteer with the UWW to improve the conditions of the communities in which they live, and to ignite community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones for a good quality of life. In addition to garnering the support of caring and devoted community residents who are committed to carrying out acts of service, UWW has cultivated over 10 million donors globally, and has raised roughly $5 billion in revenue annually to fund its work in three areas of investment:



United Way adopts a comprehensive approach to education that spans all the way from cradle to career. The path to success begins early, and the UWW is committed to providing a strong foundation through initiatives such as Born Learning, which has helped more than 15 million parents, grandparents, and caregivers turn everyday moments into fun, educational opportunities for young kids.



United Way empowers people to get on stable financial ground with proven methods like job training, financial wellness classes and more. United Way's volunteer experts, working with partners from all sectors of society, connect people to the resources they need to get on more solid financial ground. From financial wellness classes in the workplace and in community centers to career training and job-search assistance, credit counseling and free tax preparation assistance, UWW helps people to earn more and save more.



United Way is building healthier, more resilient communities by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, expanding access to quality health care and integrating health into early childhood development. To do this, UWW is partnering with local schools, governments, health agencies and other community-based nonprofits, as well as with national partners like the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program and NFL Play 60



Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will serve as an integral member of the senior team and will be responsible for organization-wide strategic planning and operationalizing of business plans.  The COO will have oversight of key areas and strong leaders across: operations, legal, marketing, investor relations, information technology and digital. S/he will be charged with developing and implementing more sophisticated policies and procedures that integrate performance across all organizational functions and produce collaboration and value-added synergy. The COO will be a driver for the integration of UWW’s digital transformation and operational infrastructure to support a highly efficient, service-oriented and results-driven organization.


Specific responsibilities include:


  • Lead enterprise-wide strategic planning
  • Establish a vision and goals for operational performance—develop and execute strategies and tactics that achieve tangible results.
  • Serve as a champion for the digital services transformation
  • Promote a culture of high performance, collaboration, innovation and commitment to community impact
  • Advise the CEO and other key members of leadership team on operational performance
  • Promote UWW’s culture of service by modeling the core values, setting clear expectations for all employees, and ensuring accountability
  • Set the example of leading people inclusively through daily communications, interactions and behavior; authentically connect with employees at all levels
  • Serve as a management liaison for relevant board committees, effectively communicating and presenting critical operational matters and performance indicators at select board and committee meetings
  • Encourage next level leadership through the mentoring of staff; assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results
  • Align data analytics as an integral function of UWW, providing key metrics to inform and support fund development
  • Drive innovation and automation to efficiently deliver operational and administrative services  
  • Ensure UWW is compliant with current laws, regulations and policies that affect the organization
  • Behave ethically and honestly in all activities done on behalf of UWW and the movement
  • Demonstrate a commitment to UWW’s values, including diversity and inclusiveness



The COO must be passionate about UWW’s mission, and be committed to improving education, helping people achieve financial stability, and promoting healthy lives. The organization is seeking a highly credible, proven, and proactive professional with 15 years of executive leadership experience in a complex organization. Experience with a distributed model would be a plus. Additionally, experience in an organization that has undergone a digital transformation is highly desired.


Specific experience/qualifications sought include:


  • Ability to serve as a true business partner to the Chief Executive Officer and senior leadership
  • Creative and flexible strategic planning abilities; able to build and implement a strategic plan and quickly adapt that plan as new opportunities and challenges emerge using advanced problem solving and process improvement skills
  • Demonstrated success ensuring budgeting, financial management, and development supports near- and long-term needs and objectives
  • Skilled in examining, developing, reengineering, and executing operations
  • Demonstrated track record in change management; experience developing and implementing strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth
  • Technologically savvy
  • Ability to serve as a leader of leaders and create strong collaboration and integration across teams
  • Strong communications skills; able to communicate in an ethical and politically sensitive manner; clearly expresses business goals and objectives; establishes mechanisms and encourages the constant exchange of ideas and information up, down, and across the organization 
  • Promotes a climate that values and rewards innovation and creativity; champion efforts of others to "think outside the box"
  • The highest of personal integrity

United Way Worldwide is an equal opportunity employer.  Qualified applicants are evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, and other legally protected characteristics. The EEO is the Law poster is available here: If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please send an e-mail to or call 703-836-7100 ext. 428 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information.  ** We are a charter member of Employers of National Service and encourage AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni to apply.



A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.



Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience.                                                                                                                       


Divina Gamble

Senior Client Partner

Co-Leader, Nonprofit Practice

1700 K Street, NW, Suite #700

Washington, DC 20006


Charlotte Kirks

Associate, Nonprofit Practice

1700 K Street, NW, Suite #700

Washington, DC 20006

(202) 955-0944