Investment Director- Youth Success

Investment Director- Youth Success
Full time
Organization Name: 
Gary Community Investments
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Job Description: 

About Gary Community Investments

Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation, invests in for-profit and philanthropic solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families. We believe that business and philanthropy can—and should—work together to create opportunities for those who need it most. Gary Community Investments (GCI) is committed to investing in quality early childhood and youth development systems, expanding sustainable economic opportunities, and developing and supporting programs that create healthy family and community environments.

Click here to watch a brief message from Mike Johnston, GCI’s President & CEO, about GCI’s unique role at this important juncture in our country’s history.


What This Role Is

As a sunsetting organization, Gary Community Investments has pledged to invest all assets by 2035 in service of its mission to ensure opportunity for low-income children and families in the Denver Metro Area. To that end the Investment Director-Youth Success is responsible for accomplishing the following goals by 2035 in our geographic footprint of Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Denver counties:

Youth Success Goals

  • Increase the percentage of children proficient in 3rd grade reading and 8th grade math by 100%
  • Reduce student-reported depression by 50% and increase student-reported hopefulness by Y% (our “student hopefulness metric is still under development, and the Investment Director-Youth Success will be charged with finalizing it)
  • Ensure that 96% of 18-year-olds have a credential that sets them on a path to self-sufficiency

How? We deeply believe that creating a thriving community for families and children in the Metro Area will eventually require a combination of systemic, public-sector change and new ways of driving for-profit solutions. The word that best describes the Investment Director role is “conduit.” Situated at the nexus of community, policy, and capital, they will work intimately with the Director of Community Leadership to understand the problem as the community is living it; to deploy new ways of aggregating solutions across systems and actors; and to guide a decision-making process to fund, scale, or build the structural change our community needs.

Grantmaking will be a sliver of the work. But so, too, will deep community engagement, policy and advocacy work, engaging with for-profit, market-driven solutions, and building solutions where others can’t or won’t. In this way, the ideal Investment Director is comfortable (and excited about) serving as a community organizer, a political agent, a savvy investor in people and organizations, and an entrepreneur building their own solutions - sometimes, all in the same day.

Click here to watch a brief message from Damion LeeNatali, GCI’s VP-Strategic Philanthropy & Policy, about why this role is critical to our mission - and how the unique blend of skills it will require.


What You Might Do in a Day

  • Meet with students and families to discuss what’s happening on the ground with literacy rates for English Language Learners.
  • Lead a coalition meeting with faith groups, family organizers, and state legislators to finalize legislative language.
  • Participate in a startup’s board meeting that is making a social impact in innovative educational technology as a response to the COVID crisis.
  • Check in with your fellow Investment Directors to assess what’s happening across the Metro Area and how we need to adapt our strategy.
  • Present at a national conference to facilitate new partnerships.
  • Meet with an investee to understand their progress and troubleshoot how to support their success.


This Job Might be For You If…

  • You love people. Maybe you’re an extrovert who’s never stood in a line without making a friend. Maybe you’re an introvert who loves deep, one-on-one conversations. Either way, “philanthropy” means “love of people,” and at GCI, we mean it. You’ll need to work with all kinds of people - community members and Democrats and Republicans and people you’re friends with and people you deeply disagree with - and, in this age of polarization, you’ll need to be able to bridge across their worldviews to drive positive change.
  • You can’t resist taking things apart. Whether it’s public systems or private markets, you want to understand how they work - and how to put them back together again in ways that leave them better than you found them.
  • You’re a builder by nature. You’re good at finding solutions, and you’re as comfortable delegating to the right team to tackle them as you are building the solution yourself, whether it’s in the form of a political coalition tackling systemic change or founding and operating a startup that will deliver different results for children and families. 
  • You’re humble enough to fly at different altitudes. You’re as comfortable planning a major stakeholder event as you are taking out the trash when it’s over.
  • You play the role needed to make change. You know that sometimes you have to lead from in front, from behind, or from the side - and you’re equally comfortable playing the part of radical, diplomat, or pragmatist, depending on what the moment requires.


Things We Really Want

  • Insatiable curiosity (you’re always asking questions and refining your worldview)
  • A desire to build (you don’t end at curiosity; you build new ways to develop hypotheses and take smart risks to test them)
  • Team players (you go out of your way to coach, support, seek feedback, and collaborate with your teammates)
  • Fun (you know how to “bring the joy,” even - and especially - when the work feels hard)


Things We Really Don’t Want

  • Ladder climbers (we’re looking to scale our impact, not our org; we need those who seek to grow their impact and influence, not get the next title)
  • Backbiting (we’re a small team, and we have zero tolerance for gossip or drama)
  • Credential hawks (we care about what you can do - and how well you work with others to do it - not your credentials)
  • Incrementalists (we have promised to deliver structural, systemic change for our community, and we only have 15 years to do it; we must think about the world as it could be rather than marginally improving the world as it is)



  • See above. Really. We don’t care whether you have a degree or where you got it. Your last job title won’t matter much - we probably won’t really understand it anyway. We care about what you’re capable of doing and how you treat the people around you while you do it. If you are reading this job description and getting excited, but don’t think you’re qualified - apply anyway. If you are tired of waiting for the change you know needs to happen, so are we. Check out this short video from Chryise Harris, our Vice President of Communications. 


Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • This is a regular, full-time exempt position
  • Competitive health benefits package including medical and dental
  • Vacation, Sick Leave and Paid Holidays
  • 401(k) plan; with generous employer matching


Application Instructions

To apply for this position please submit your resume as well as answers to the following questions;

  1. Why are you compelled by GCI’s mission? Why, specifically would you work in this job to do that?
  2. What is the impact you’re most proud of? 
  3. Describe your ideal team. What environments do you thrive in? What environments don’t you thrive in?
  4. What would people say it’s like to work with you?
  5. What's a problem you are currently trying to solve and what have you learned in the process?

Responses to questions can be submitted in writing, presentation, or audio/video file. Responses to questions replace a formal cover letter. Please see length guidance below.

  • Written response should be no longer than two pages
  • Audio/video recording should be no longer than 10 minutes
  • Presentations should be no longer than 10 slides

*Our hiring website only allows .doc or .pdf attachments. If you have other attachments, please download them to google drive, and link them via tinyurl or bitly in a word document. You can then upload that document directly into our application site.

Click here for more information on our hiring process.