Country Director, South Africa

  • Foundation Team Global
  • Employee - FT
  • South Africa
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The Change.org Foundation is seeking a Country Director, South Africa to lead the expansion of our platform to millions of people taking action on the issues they care about.  The position is based in Johannesburg,  reporting to our Managing Director, and part of the global leadership team of the Foundation.

The Change.org Foundation empowers millions of people to use technology to build social movements and create transformational change. Our mandate is to deepen and expand positive social impact driven by regular citizens who are most impacted by issues. 

We currently operate in 10 countries across Asia, Latin America and Europe. Our local teams support citizen organisers by amplifying their campaigns and connecting them to decision makers. We have a proven model that strengthens local civic leadership, and accelerates movement potential and systems change.  We are expanding this systems change model to Africa with a plan to launch in several countries over the next three years. This is an exciting opportunity for an exceptional leader to launch and scale our first country office in Africa. 

Change.org has exploded to over 5 million users in South Africa. And we're just getting started. Our users have won remarkable victories -- keeping essential services open during the pandemic, the safe repatriation of South Africans stranded due to COVID-19 flight restrictions, fair pricing of national digital services, and many more.

Core Responsibilities

Country Directors oversee and ensure the success of the Change.org Foundation operations in a specific country. They are responsible for the overall strategic direction, impact and financial sustainability of the country they manage. They have a mandate to strengthen the work of the Foundation and to innovate, grow engaged user-bases, ensure sustainability, develop the brand and increase social impact.

The main responsibilities of a Country Director include:

Leadership

  • Develop a vision for the country in collaboration with Regional Directors, on how we can best support users on our platform to drive impact and sustainability and foster a culture of growth, collaboration and innovation in the country. 
  • Lead on the development of country strategy and participate in regional and global strategy across the Foundation network.
  • Provide executive leadership to the broader Foundation, by working collaboratively with other leaders around the world to ‘think big’ about the opportunities we have to increase our impact, address the obstacles we face, and foster a culture defined by the Foundation’s principles.
  • Foster collaboration with other country chapters to share learnings on impact, fundraising, brand, and other joint programs.

  • Brand
  • Grow and protect our brand as the world’s leading open hub for civic organising in the country.
  • Be our public face in the country, sought after as a speaker and inspiring leader. 
  • Maintain networks at senior levels across civil society, business, media and government, to help grow influence for change.org users. 

  • Sustainability
  • Ensure the design and delivery of ambitious and rigorous sustainability strategies that guarantee the healthy financial sustainability of your country's operation. This includes:
  • The development of creative and sustainable user revenue strategies linked to inspiring, high-impact campaigning, user/member engagement, and retention.
  • Ensure that any grants, projects, partnerships etc are brand and mission-aligned, and ensure strong delivery against agreed outcomes. Coordinate as needed with regional and global counterparts on funders with a presence beyond your own country.

  • Team Management 
  • Build a top-notch team, as our first hire in South Africa, contribute to the growth of the Foundation by assembling a successful founding team. 
  • Manage the country team, recruit and retain great talent, support staff to succeed, including setting ambitious goals with teams, supporting them to execute plans, and ensure team health and professional development.
  • Conduct annual reviews of team members to evaluate performance, and be responsible on follow up action, in consultation with local boards.
  • Foster the Foundation’s culture and working principles.
  • Ensure training, problem-solving, effective communication and sharing, learning and innovation in the country.

  • Country Operations
  • Draft and manage the country budget, ensure correct budget execution and contribute to regional and global solidarity mechanisms.
  • Enforce local entity compliance with local regulations and global policies. 
  • Define Product, Operational and Legal needs from countries in the region and liaise with Regional Directors to address these.
  • Build efficient systems, and enforce excellent operational standards (risk management, budgets, HR, etc) in collaboration with Regional Directors and the Global Operations team. This includes ensuring timely financial reporting as agreed with the Global Leadership team.Provide guidance on sensitive staff, legal and operational issues when appropriate, in consultation with the local Board.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • It’s rare that a candidate has a ‘perfect’ set of relevant experiences, we do not expect this, and all candidates are encouraged to apply, even if you are missing some of the items in the list below. Experiences we’ll be looking out for, and which we think will be helpful coming into a role like this are:
  • People Management. Experience building teams from the ground up. Exceptional people skills; passionate about achieving team success; able to inspire and motivate the team. The ability to recruit, coach and mentor a new team and guide next-level leaders. An aptitude for managing skip-levels (e.g. a manager of managers) and demonstrated success in developing internal talent.
  • Operational Management. Experience driving sustainable operations, adept with drafting and managing budgets. 
  • Strategic excellence. Demonstrated success with the development, communication and implementation of a clearly defined country vision.
  • Impact oriented. Experience at a mission-driven organization, an impact-focused company, or done extensive volunteer work in the social change or humanitarian space.
  • Breadth & depth of knowledge. Tactical expertise and the commensurate ability to be hands on and dive in. Strong knowledge and deep interest in the South African media and political landscape.
  • Excellent spokesperson with a strong personal profile. Ability to inspire others to want to follow or be involved with their projects. 
  • Fundraising Experience: Demonstrated success attracting and maintaining philanthropic support.

Values:

  • Mission first: You are low-ego and believe that the first priority should be advancing the social change mission of the organization. 
  • Focus: you value clear strategy and focused goals, and see high performance as a result of strong cultural values, not working 100 hour weeks. 
  • Direct communication: You are open to and create a culture of honest, direct, regular, compassionate feedback. These are not buzz words for you; you’re genuinely committed to building an environment of honest, supportive communication. 
  • Commitment to diversity: You have a deep commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive team, demonstrated through such things investing heavily in recruiting people from a wide range of backgrounds, removing unconscious bias in interviews, and ensuring staff can bring their full selves to work.  

Interested? Great! Here's what you should know:

This is a full-time role based in Johannesburg. 

We encourage applicants of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, experiences, abilities and perspectives to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, physical disability, or length of time spent unemployed. 

We’re working for a world where no one is powerless, and where creating change is a part of everyday life. We’re just getting started and hope you’ll join us.

We’re working for a world where no one is powerless, and where creating change is a part of everyday life. We’re just getting started and hope you’ll join us.

Change.org Careers

Outsized impact

Change.org is the fastest growing social change organization in the world, empowering more than 200 million people to create change in their communities.

Amazing people

We are building a world-class team of technologists and creatives along with the most accomplished team of social movement creators in the world.

Extraordinary benefits

Plenty of vacation

Personal growth