United Way of Massachusetts Bay
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • 85000-95000 per year
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Competitive benefits package including: medical, dental, vision, vacation, and 401(k) plan with match


We are the Uniters. We bring people together to solve problems. We listen to communities to identify the most pressing issues and we bring together the people who could solve them. United Way partners with nonprofits and public agencies that, working together, can address the nuances of complex problems like homelessness or the racial wealth gap. We pilot programs and initiatives to fill unmet needs. We deploy volunteers and socially responsible companies as the engines of change and the feet on the street, increasing our capacity to respond to crises and get necessary resources out into the community. We raise funding through generous donors who understand that social change can't happen without it.

We are in the midst of a strategic planning process that will shift our intended impact from "positive change for people in need" to "an economically just region where financial wellbeing is universal and prosperity is shared across race and ethnicity." A core element of this organizational change is the development of a more robust, equitable learning culture that supports continuous improvement and community-driven innovation. This shift will also require building the organization's capacity to test the efficacy of various approaches and interventions, then scale them as needed in order to realize impact at a population level. The person in this new position will play a lead role in advancing this organizational shift.


The creation of this position comes at an exciting time in United Way's transformation and growth. The Sr. Director, Research and Learning will be onboarded as we finalize a new theory of action, develop a monitoring and evaluation plan to support its implementation, expand existing research-practice partnerships and identify new opportunities to build them, and launch new ways of engaging with our community and advancing systems-level change. We seek a candidate who will take the big picture strategic planning that the organization has completed to date and carry it forward as they refine it and work out the details of implementation with their colleagues.

Reporting to the VP, Business Analytics & Insights, the Sr. Director, Research and Learning is responsible for building shared knowledge about the fields in which United Way works, both internally among staff and externally among stakeholders, as well as for promoting alignment throughout United Way's activities, expected outcomes, and impact. They will be an experienced champion of data-informed continuous improvement and of centering participants in research, evaluation, and measurement activities. They will also be an organizational leader and resource through a critical period of change.


  • Build shared knowledge about the fields and communities in which we work among staff and our stakeholders
    • Develop new systems for collecting and gaining insight from stakeholder feedback
    • Develop new systems for collecting information from United Way staff and gaining insights about our stakeholders and the fields in which they work
    • Develop and manage an organizational research agenda that will advance our advocacy and field building goals
    • Advise program staff in identifying appropriate research partners and contract evaluators to engage in conducting evaluations and research
    • Develop and manage relationships with key institutional partners (e.g. Boston College School of Social Work) in pursuit of shared learning and systems change agendas
    • Facilitate the development and review of data sharing agreements with third parties that increase United Way's access to relevant information about key populations in our region, as well as to analytical support in gaining insight from data that we collect and produce
    • Support staff who convene external stakeholders and lead networked learning efforts (e.g. communities of practice) in setting participant learning goals and designing evidence-based content to attain them
    • Analyze data that is available from public sources, that is shared with United Way by third parties such as nonprofit partners and state agencies, and that is collected and managed by United Way to provide insight as to the scale of certain problems and efforts, the makeup of networks, opportunities to act, and other information that is relevant to organizational and programmatic planning
  • Promote alignment throughout United Way activities, expected outcomes, and impact
    • Collaborate with United Way staff, community partners, and independent researchers to develop strategic tools such as logic models, evaluation plans, and other frameworks
    • Take the lead in implementing a new monitoring and evaluation plan for United Way's work
    • Take the lead in measuring and reporting on the fidelity of implementation of United Way's new theory of action
    • Support colleagues in building opportunities for collecting data that is essential to assessing performance into their administrative processes
    • Contribute to grant proposals, reports, and other fundraising efforts related to research and evaluation through writing content, preparing analysis of program performance, and providing context in terms of relevant population-level statistics
    • Support colleagues in building in periods of reflection and evidence-based action planning into their workflows and management practices
  • Other duties as assigned


  • At least 8 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and/or the social sciences, preferably with a focus on human services or economic justice
  • Experience designing and/or conducting evaluations of programs and interventions at different stages of development in the field of childcare, economic development, asset building, housing, or education and career pathways
  • Experience obtaining and using public data to conduct landscape analysis and support impact evaluations related to financial wellbeing and economic justice
  • Experience facilitating data-informed continuous improvement
  • Experience developing research-practice partnerships informed by community or practitioner needs
  • Knowledge of best and emerging practices in equitable and culturally responsive research, evaluation, and measurement
  • Knowledge of best practices in privacy protection and responsible data sharing
  • Strong written, oral, and visual communication skills
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative analytical skills
  • Ability to provide top notch customer service to colleagues internally as well as to external partners in our research and learning efforts
  • Ability to quickly learn to use new technology and software
  • Ability to manage and support time-sensitive and complex projects and to problem solve
  • Ability to prioritize, manage and hold oneself accountable for completing multiple tasks both independently as well as part of a diverse team
  • Advanced level of proficiency in using Microsoft Office tools, particularly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Proficiency in PowerBI is a plus.
  • Experience teaching, coaching or training is a plus
  • Experience leading change management efforts is a plus
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • All UWMB employees are required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.

We offer excellent benefits including a BCBS PPO plan, dental, a 401k retirement savings with company match and an employer base contribution, a generous PTO policy which includes extended holiday time and summer hours. We also are offering staff a hybrid work schedule in a brand new office environment.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay is committed to hiring individuals who reflect the diversity of our communities.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay
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