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Director, Driving the Dream

Memphis, TN

Relocation expenses: Not paid

Full time
11-15 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree
$91,000 to $100,000 per year

Published on 30 Jun 2021

Expires on 30 Jun 2021

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Director, Driving the Dream

Organizational Overview

United Way of the Mid-South is a multi-million-dollar non-profit, public charitable foundation that mobilizes financial and human resources, across 8-counties, to meet critical needs and to help ensure that hundreds of thousands of Mid-Southerners can achieve their highest potential. We support high-performing nonprofit agencies which are on the front lines fighting to decrease poverty in our community by addressing the essential building blocks for success – education, financial stability, and health – while maintaining vital safety net services in food, shelter, and safety for individuals facing crisis situations. By joining United Way of the Mid-South, you are uniting with a team that is moving the needle on poverty and making our community a place where everyone can thrive.


Position Overview

United Way of the Mid-South (UWMS), through our Driving the Dream (DTD) initiative, is committed to fostering the development of a more connected and integrated network of agencies to address poverty in the Mid-South. To do this, UWMS supports an innovative, curated network of social service providers connected through shared customers, shared client-centered tools, shared data and a shared referral platform. This framework is a collaboration across multiple domains and a wide array of programs and services, with the goal of improving the effectiveness of service delivery by seamlessly, intentionally, and efficiently moving individuals and their families toward economic self-sufficiency and other life goals which they, the clients, identify.

The DTD Director will lead this important effort with primary responsibility for identifying and engaging potential customers, providing day-to-day operational oversight, and identifying potential operational enhancements. This role is a unique, entrepreneurial opportunity to further evolve a collaborative system delivery paradigm that leads to a healthier and more prosperous community.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop strategic, long-term program expansion goals with executive leadership.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to expand existing customer base and supporting strategies.
  • Provide day-to-day data management and oversight that ensures the quality and success of the DTD model.
  • Identify, explore and secure funding sources for DTD sustainability.
  • Monitor program budgets and oversee grant and contract compliance.
  • Hire, train and evaluate program staff.
  • Provide ongoing research regarding best practices in the field and a commitment to promoting continuous learning and skill-building among the UWMS DTD team.
  • Continuously review and interpret data and analytics to identify opportunities for improvement, address partner support needs and ongoing infrastructure enhancements.
  • Translate data and shared learning into policy recommendations for policymakers, service providers, and delivery systems of health and human services.
  • Identify and promote opportunities for shared learning and field building.
  • Collaborate closely, engage, and continuously co-develop program enhancements with contracted consultants.
  • Establish effective working relationships regarding DTD with stakeholders; including leaders and practitioners in human services, corporate and private funders, and civic influencers.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for DTD; and a point of information and resources for the general public, the media, and UWMS partners.
  • Represent DTD on relevant community-level committees, task forces or planning bodies pertinent to the impact, development or sustainability of the program.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Services, Human Services, Public Administration or other directly-related field.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field, preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive, professional leadership experience in non-governmental, governmental, private or nonprofit social services, human services, client-focused healthcare systems or services, workforce development or related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of demonstrated experience and ability to effectively lead, manage and direct a multi-disciplinary team toward identified goals and visions, and to achieve successful implementation of accountability measures.
  • Professional experience with multi-sector collaborative initiatives, involving the delivery of health and/or human services.    
  • Functional knowledge of, or experience with initiatives addressing social determinants of health.
  • Demonstrated ability to use data to inform quality improvement and demonstrate impact.
  • Experience with crafting or advocating for public policy or intra-institutional policies related to health and human services.
  • Sector-specific intellectual/conceptual fluency in human services philosophy, policy and practice.
  • Demonstrated track record building and expanding customer relationships.
  • Commitment to best practices in leadership and management.
  • Ability to take initiative to develop and execute plans with limited oversight while also possessing sound judgment to ask for help when needed and to “manage up” as required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally, including making speeches and presentations.
  • Strong emotional intelligence that is brought to bear within the organization and in working with grantees, donors, and other community partners. Strong cultural competency.
  • Solutions-focused orientation with a strong sense of diplomacy.
  • Ability to communicate across all levels of the operation with a great degree of respect and collegiality.


Supervisory Responsibility

Direct supervisory responsibility includes the authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline subordinate employees or effectively recommend such actions.


Physical Requirements

This position requires the employee to be able to lift 25 pounds.  The employee is regularly required to stand for long periods of time.  The employee is frequently required to use finger and hand motion, and to reach using arms and hands.  The position may also require significant walking and capability to climb stairs.  The employee will need to have the ability to talk to and hear customers during events.  Specific visual abilities required include close vision, distance vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.  There may be additional physical requirements associated with off-site corporate or volunteer events.

Working Conditions

United Way of the Mid-South is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law. This nondiscrimination policy extends to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment as well as the use of all company facilities, participation in all company-sponsored activities, and all employment actions.  United Way of the Mid-South will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship.

Flexible hours are required as job duties demand with some local travel to meet with partners.  Must have a valid Driver’s License, car insurance, and reliable transportation.  Must have a personal cell phone to communicate outside of the office. 

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position.  Other duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.


Leadership Competencies


  • Builds and leads a diverse team that enables the organization to succeed; Hires the right people; Demands high performance and results; Ensures people’s work is aligned with mission and strategy. 
  • Is open to new ideas; Invests time and resources in training, development, and succession for the department; Identifies and grooms high-potentials; Delegates effectively. 
  • Coaches and mentors employees and teams.
  • Receives and provides feedback in a constructive way that builds confidence among staff; Addresses performance problems.



  • Demonstrates understanding and knowledge of the United Way network; Understands the business of the organization and effectively creates strategy.  
  • Understands the community and its business environment.   
  • Understands general business and financial principles required to effectively lead, manage and align resources for performance; Is able to read financial statements and create budgets. 
  • Contributes to the bottom line by helping the organization grow its resources and capacity.



  • Establishes effective and efficient processes that align their department priorities with organization goals, strategy and mission. 
  • Collaborates effectively within the organization.
  • Inspires and motivates people to build the culture of the United Way as the Mission of Choice.
  • Engages volunteers in a way that helps execute the strategy. 



  • Develops strategic relationships to benefit United Way and the community; Knows key players in the community and is diligent in maintaining and expanding the network of partners. 
  • Seeks to learn from inside and outside the network to build skills, knowledge, and abilities to challenge the organization in reaching its potential.
  • Is an effective spokesperson for United Way and its work.
  • Is present and visible in the community and with partners (donors, volunteers…); Engages, listens and understands community aspirations. 
  • Establishes credibility as a leader on critical issues and solutions affecting the community.

Technical/Functional Competencies (For Community Impact Division)

  • Effective Communications
  • Adaptability and Change Management
  • Strategic Community Collaboration
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Advocacy and Public Policy

UWMS Competencies for All Staff

  • Mission-Focused: Catalyze others’ commitment to the mission to create real social change that leads to better lives and healthier communities.  This drives their performance and professional motivations.
  • Relationship-Oriented: Understands that people come before the process and is astute in cultivating and managing relationships toward a common goal.
  • Collaborator: understands the roles and contributions of all sectors of the community and can mobilize resources (financial and human) through meaningful engagement.
  • Results-Driven: Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good; creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact.
  • Brand Steward: Steward of the brand and understands his/her role in growing and protecting the reputation and results of the greater network.

Application Process

Qualified applicants should send cover letter, resume, and three references (with phone numbers) to the attention of Please be sure to reference the position for which you are applying in the subject line of your correspondence. For more information about United Way of the Mid-South, please visit us online at