Grounded Space Team from PosAbilities

Apply by August 26

Join our team as a Community Builder

We’re looking for a Community Builder to reach out to organizations and groups not well served by philanthropic institutions, host conversations and co-design sessions, and contribute to experiments to reshape grantmaking practice. 


Over 2020, InWithForward is partnering with the Vancouver Foundation to strengthen equity and deepen systems change. Since 2015, Vancouver Foundation has presciently invested millions of dollars in organizations addressing the root causes of social challenges. Still, big gaps and big needs remain.

If ever there was a time to tackle systemic inequities, it’s now. COVID-19 and anti-racism protests have made visible profound structural chasms and everyday realities of poverty, isolation, and oppression.


About the responsibilities

  • Develop and coordinate creative outreach strategies to identify and meet with community leaders and groups tackling systems issues from their world views and perspectives.
  • Build relationships with groups, movements, and organizations with lived experience of marginalization and under-represented in philanthropic circles.
  • Collaborate with the project team to develop research & co-design strategies and feedback loops that are meaningful and insightful.
  • Set-up and facilitate participatory processes, shaping the design of prompts and provocations to support generative thinking.
  • Plan and support prototyping and experimentation, framing ways to test grant application processes, decision-making tools, and organizational supports.
  • Document the emergent design process and lessons learned, and openly share as blogs, photo stories, and videos.
  • Build audience for The BetaPhil project website and social media channels, set-up online engagement strategies

About you

You’re a natural bridge builder and networker, adept at reaching out across divides and holding space for conversation and co-creation, acting as a facilitator and translator across communities, discourses and approaches. You appreciate the difference between consultation and co-creation.

You’ve got a robust understanding of complexity and systems, seek out multiple perspectives, avoid simple binaries and dogmas, and can live with tensions.

You’re adaptable and flexible, just as able to make a plan as break a plan, able to iterate as things evolve, and develop work processes and systems that can give the right amount of structure to emergence.

You’re a team player and honest broker, who values dialogue, sees healthy conflict as creative and constructive, and can translate discomfort into curiosity.

You’re a confident communicator, who can pick up the phone (yes the phone!), craft emails, invitations, web copy, social media posts, etc. with a good dose of authenticity and delight. Bonus: you have some experience with visual communication.

You’re organized and strategic, able to take big ideas and break them down into their constituent parts, using a good deal of ingenuity (especially in these socially distant times) to create meaningful human moments.

You recognize your own social location, power and privileges, and the ways in which you are part of the systems you are shining a light on. This reflexivity shapes how you approach building and maintaining relationships.

Core competencies

  • Self-awareness: understands own social location, sees strengths and limitations, authentically relates and interacts with others across lines of difference
  • Open communication: active listener who embraces honest dialogue and doesn’t shy away from tough conversations
  • Curiosity: asks questions rather than knows answers, seeks out learning from diverse sources
  • Social courage & persistence: reaches out, puts self into unknown environments, overcomes fear of rejection, opens-up spaces
  • Bias towards grounded action: takes initiative, makes things happen on-the-ground, continually adjusts approach, responsive to feedback
  • Creative facilitation: creates conditions for meaningful participation and group learning

Desired experience

  • An understanding of anti-oppression, anti-racism, feminist theory and practice that you can translate into our work.
  • At least 5 years experience with community organizing, coordinating and facilitating diverse groups and helping steward participatory processes.
  • Experience with designing and implementing outreach and engagement strategies, especially with marginalized and rural communities.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, across different channels and mediums, with a passion for sharing & soliciting stories.
  • Comfort with technology, updating websites, and finding off-the-shelf solutions to test new engagement approaches.
  • Training and/or self-study in systems thinking, with an understanding of different social change approaches and methods.

A few nuts and bolts

Start date: We’re looking for someone to begin with us in early September.

Salary: This is a contract role, with an initial term of 16 weeks, approximately 3 days/week, $350-450 a day, depending on experience.

Reporting Relationship: The Community Builder works closely with our Lead Partner (Sarah) and Lead of Storytelling & Research (Natalie) alongside our Senior Designer, Valentina.

Place of work: While we are currently doing much of our work remotely, we are looking for someone who is based in British Columbia.

About InWithForward

InWithForward is a social design organization with a big mission: transforming our social safety nets into trampolines. How? By spending time in communities, listening to people on the margins, and learning how to work together for change. Our methods come from a hodgepodge of disciplines: design (service, graphic, industrial, user experience, strategic), the social sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology), humanities (history, philosophy), and community development. Our epistemology is constructivist, embracing multiple ways of knowing about our world. Our philosophy is humanistic, nurturing human potential for dignity, respect, equity, belonging, development, meaning, purpose and wholeness with our environment. We’re working towards social systems that foster wellness for the most marginalized — enabling connection to self, body, community, friends, family, culture, nature, and the sacred.

More about us

Equity. We are committed to the principles of equal and inclusive employment opportunities without regard to race, colour, class, religion, nationality, social or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression or any other status that is representative of the communities we work in. We actively encourage applicants from underrepresented communities.

Imperfection. InWithForward is a work in progress. We’re on a learning journey, unraveling how dominator culture shows up in our systems and in ourselves.

Pacing. InWithForward does work at a swift pace, cycling between periods of research, engagement, and reflection. We acknowledge the tension between quick work and slow relationship building, and are continually trying to find a balance between the urgency of change, open policy windows, and community needs.

Loving Accountability. As a team of passionate and creative folk, we try to create space for discomfort and healthy conflict, and see courage and vulnerability as a collective responsibility.

Ready to apply?

  1. Tell us: why you for this role, now? What will you bring to the role? This might be in the form of a letter, a short video, an audio recording, a photo, a drawing, up to you!
  2. Please include a resume with any links, photos and examples of relevant projects you’ve contributed to. We love seeing what work has looked like, where possible!

Send your files (in one email, preferably as a single PDF) to [email protected] by August 26th.