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Sierra Club Foundation

Associate, Shifting Trillions

Position Description

February 2024

 

Mission and Goals: The Sierra Club Foundation promotes efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment. The Foundation Board of Directors established the following goals to guide the Foundation’s work:  

 

  • Solve the climate crisis primarily through a successful transition to a resource-efficient, clean energy economy that better serves people and nature;
  • Secure protections for public lands and waters, promote healthy ecosystems and communities, and fight for clean air and water;
  • Expand opportunities for more people to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet by supporting programs and policies that reach across economic, cultural, and community lines to get people outdoors; and
  • Build a diverse, inclusive environmental movement that reflects and represents today’s American public; and prioritizes important connections between environmental health and social justice.

 

The Sierra Club Foundation (SCF) actively collaborates with the Sierra Club, other organizations and networks to address the investment and finance practices of financial institutions and industries that contribute to climate change and environmental destruction. The Foundation leverages its brand and other assets to accelerate the deployment of trillions of dollars of investor and corporate funds towards creating a thriving climate-safe world as quickly as possible. The Sierra Club Foundation:  

 

  1. Serves as an effective 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of and grantor to the charitable programs of Sierra Club and grantor to partner organizations.
  2. Creates and deepens relationships of donors and influencers to raise additional funds that advance Sierra Club’s charitable activities at this crucial moment in environmental protection and social change.
  3. Leads the shift of trillions in capital toward climate solutions, social justice, and land/water/wildlife protection. 

Position Background and Summary: 

The Shifting Trillions Initiative (video) envisions a healthy planet, underpinned by healthy, integrated relationships between ecosystems, social systems, and people. It seeks to contribute to a social and economic shift worth trillions of dollars to support the right of everyone to live in healthy communities, on a thriving planet, with just and regenerative economic systems. 

The Shifting Trillions Initiative recognizes that all people have a right to clean air, land, water, and natural services. All individuals, communities, and economies are embedded in, and dependent upon, a larger web of ecological relationships. Today’s dominant model of industry extracts value from society and the natural world while burdening people and the planet with its harmful costs. This exploitation erodes ecological relationships, destabilizes our climate, and undermines the rights of all of us to a healthy, thriving planet. 

We believe this is fundamentally a problem of justice, and that addressing these threats to our health, climate, and rights requires a justice-first approach; that is, a holistic approach that includes and transcends data, seeks to change existing power structures, and ensures that climate contributions and conversations are led by and centered on those most impacted, who have long offered alternative, regenerative models of relating to each other and the world. 

Shifting Trillions uses capital to move as quickly as possible towards the world we need. It addresses how the Shifting Trillions Initiative–the Sierra Club Foundation and its partners in this work–leverages financial, relational, and idea assets to accelerate the shift of the world’s private and public assets away from an extractive, unjust economy, and towards a regenerative, more just one. 

The Foundation’s three primary roles related to Shifting Trillions are as an investor, active asset owner, and a thought leader in the field of philanthropy and for other asset owners and asset managers. The Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation’s collective assets of over $250M in investments, and the Sierra Club’s more than 1 million members and supporters, multi-faceted advocacy campaigns, and nationally recognized brand, uniquely position us to have a significant leadership role in shifting how asset owners, money managers, and community leaders deploy capital.

As a member of Sierra Club Foundation’s staff, the Associate, Shifting Trillions, will provide varied support to the Director, Shifting Trillions, to help steward the Foundation’s leadership role in shifting trillions of dollars away from the unhealthy systems of today, and towards a healthy planet for all.

Reports To:  Director, Shifting Trillions

Scope/Position Responsibility:

  1. Support the Director, Shifting Trillions, in advancing the foundation’s role as an investor and active asset owner: (~35%)
    1. Help execute and coordinate annual priorities for shareholder engagement and activism; including engagement with financial institutions and development of shareholder resolutions; tracking and coordinating uploading of resolutions shared databases like SecureX; and supporting UNPRI reporting
    2. Support asset manager advocacy efforts, as well as strategies to leverage SCF’s client role with fund managers and collaborate with Sierra Club’s programmatic teams to transform finance;
    3. Develop research and analysis in support of SCF’s investment portfolio impact assessment and management framework;
    4. Assist with internal and external coordination to deploy capital into climate justice initiatives, and to utilize SCF’s asset owner role to advance state and federal policies to address climate-related finance risks
  2. Support the Director, Shifting Trillions, in advancing the foundation’s role as a thought leader: (~35%)
    1. Develop research and analysis in support of senior staff and board members’ public engagement and thought leadership;
    2. Provide general support to the Director, Shifting Trillions’ to elevate public awareness of the role of capital in addressing  the climate crisis; and deepen public understanding of the role of environmental justice;
    3. Assist with internal and external communications, including: development and maintenance of the Shifting Trillions newsletter; supporting the development of effective and compelling messaging for different audiences; and generating earned media opportunities for the Director, Shifting Trillions; 
    4. Support work to develop and amplify investor and funder partnerships to advance climate justice

       
  3. General and executive support: (~30%)
    1. Meet regularly with the Director, Shifting Trillions;
    2. Provide proofreading, creative brainstorming, and editorial support to the Director, Shifting Trillions; 
    3. Email outreach, scheduling, note-keeping, tracking of important tasks, and coordination, including with external partners

Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in, and ability to develop a robust understanding of, the goals of Shifting Trillions
  • Strong research, collaboration, and project coordination skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Creative and open-minded, with good cultural competency
  • Responsible, self-motivated, and highly accountable
  • Organized and highly attentive to detail
  • Understand and model equity, inclusion, and justice in individual and team settings 
  • 0-2 years of experience with communications or media 
  • 0-2 years of experience with impact investing, finance, or philanthropy 

Compensation + Benefits:

The salary range is $75,000 -$85,000.

The Sierra Club Foundation offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, paid vacation time, and a retirement savings 403(b) plan. The Sierra Club Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity and is eligible for federal loan forgiveness programs. 

Location: Remote; may require limited travel.

To Apply:

Sierra Club Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that values workplace inclusiveness and diversity in our workforce. Achieving our mission to “promote efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment” requires our staff to have a breadth of background and experience. 

To apply online, please click here