Counsel, Philanthropy & Impact Investments
Builders Initiative/Builders Vision
About Builders Vision
Builders Vision is an impact platform that aims to shift markets and minds for good in pursuit of our vision for a humane and healthy planet. We work to help address some of the most difficult environmental and sustainability challenges across three focus areas: oceans, food & agriculture, and energy.
Builders Vision has deployed billions across our focus areas and worked alongside nearly 450 partners to drive societal and environmental change. To date, we have helped mitigate, sequester, or avoid over 4 million metric tons of CO2e, generated more than 42,000 jobs, and supported the development of more than 170 sustainable products, technologies, or solutions. While we are seeing progress, we know that we can’t do this alone. The truth is these are trillion-dollar sectors that need a number of markets to scale and multiply significantly if we are to ensure a sustainable and secure future.
Our Builders Vision team includes more than 100 impassioned individuals who activate our platform using three primary approaches to influence stakeholders and drive impact across our focus areas:
- Deploying Capital: We use a versatile set of tools, including grants, direct investments, and fund investments to support non-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, and fund managers. Given Builders Vision’s different capital tools and investment vehicles, we have the flexibility to operate across the capital spectrum. We deploy capital into programs and solutions with a focus on how our efforts will catalyze additional investments into the sectors.
- Supporting Partners: We are committed to helping our partners by providing critical resources including technical assistance, networking, learning opportunities, support with impact measurement and management (IMM), and strategic advice to help enhance their success and outcomes.
- Advocating for Change: We leverage communications and engage with influential audiences to accelerate the solutions we pursue. This includes strategic communications, thought leadership, hosting and attending convenings, and industry-wide initiatives and coalitions.
Our commitment to people and the planet extends to our workplace policies and benefits. In 2023, Builders Vision was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and voted one of Chicago’s Best Places to Work by Crain’s Chicago Business. We are headquartered in the West Loop, one of Chicago’s most thriving and dynamic neighborhoods, and our offices have achieved Gold-level certifications from both the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the International WELL Building Institute. We also offer fun social team events and offsite retreats to help our people feel refreshed and connected to nature, each other, and our mission.
You can read more about our team, programs, and impact here: https://www.buildersvision.com.
About Builders Initiative
As Builders Vision’s philanthropic team, Builders Initiative deploys grants and mission-driven investments to confront today’s most pressing issues. Through different types of grant support, including project-specific grants and general operating grants, our grantmakers partner with organizations of all sizes that are addressing societal and environmental challenges. In concert with our grantmakers, the Builders Initiative Investment Team engages with impact-driven organizations, companies, and fund managers at many stages of their development. Builders Initiative also includes the Builders Initiative Foundation, which has a $1.7B endowment that reached 90% mission-aligned investments in 2022.
Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) are at the core of our mission to shift markets and minds for good. We know that a humane and healthy planet starts with us. We commit ourselves to learning from others and doing the work to become a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization, and we will seek to promote those same values in the world around us. We actively seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool and create an inclusive culture that centers equitable practices and policies. We are an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.
We are seeking a skilled, motivated, entrepreneurial, and collaborative attorney to join our in-house legal team. This position will report directly to the Senior Counsel, Philanthropy & Impact Investments and will primarily support Builders Initiative, the philanthropic arm of the impact platform. Builders Initiative employs an “impact first, tool second” approach to philanthropy and works through a variety of entities, including private foundations, donor advised funds, and limited liability companies, to drive maximum impact within each of its program areas. You will also collaborate with your teammates to handle a wide variety of other legal matters, including labor & employment, compliance, real estate, and other tax issues. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be a part of a growing organization that seeks to have a lasting positive impact on the world.
The ideal candidate brings at least 5 years of professional experience as a philanthropic/tax exempt organizations attorney, preferably including experience at both a law firm and either a private foundation or family office. Exposure to a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment is preferred. How you engage is just as important as what you have done: we are looking for someone who is authentic, empathic, humble and curious.
- Advise the Builders Initiative team on laws applicable to private foundations, public charities, and social welfare organizations, including IRS lobbying, self-dealing, and campaign intervention rules
- Advise on, and review and negotiate agreements and other documents related to, philanthropic activities including grants, gifts, program-related investments, mission-related investments, impact investments, and endowment management
- Advise principals, philanthropic teams, and board members regarding the appropriate funding source for various philanthropic activities
- Prepare, review, and negotiate contracts, licenses, leases, and other legal documents
- Develop and conduct legal and regulatory training for philanthropic teams and board and committee members
- Provide support for corporate governance activities, including participating in board and committee meetings, drafting board and committee resolutions, and preparing board and committee minutes and reports
- Engage and manage external counsel, as needed, to address substantive legal, regulatory, and business issues as they arise.
- Handle a wide variety of other day-to-day demands and workflow from a sophisticated team of investment and philanthropic professionals
Experience and Qualifications
- J.D. from an accredited law school
- Current license to practice law in at least one state
- At least 5 years of experience as a philanthropic/tax exempt organizations attorney, preferably including experience at both a law firm and either a private foundation or family office
- Proficiency with grantmaking, program-related investments, mission-related investments, and other impact investments
- Detailed knowledge of the rules and regulations governing private foundations and public charities
Personal Attributes that Support your Success
- Having the ability to act as a trusted advisor while demonstrating expertise and integrity
- You exercise exceptionally sound judgment in your decision-making, engage with discretion, and understand the critical need for confidentiality given the sometimes sensitive nature of your role
- Possessing the confidence to admit when you do not know the answer and the resourcefulness to then find the answer
- You display flexibility and openness in daily work and encourage others to stay open to change and improvement; You accept and readily adapt to changing priorities, new ideas, strategies and methods.
- Possessing exceptional organizational skills with the ability to simultaneously lead or participate in multiple projects
- Having the flexibility required to lead sophisticated philanthropic projects and then pivot to less glamorous tasks like vendor contracts
- Being a good listener and an effective and clear communicator
- Being humble, yet confident
- Demonstrating passion for philanthropy and improving our community
- You are a caring and conscientious team player who develops strong relationships and loves to collaborate
- You adapt your behaviors to work effectively with a range of people and situations
- You bring positive energy to your work and workplace; you care to show up as your authentic self and measure your personal success as the success of those around you
- You are results and detail oriented and take pride in striving for excellence; you design and execute with the “why” and what success looks like in mind; you also understand when “perfect” can be the enemy of “good enough”
- A lifelong learner, you are inquisitive and like to solve problems with bold thinking and innovation; you view “feedback” as an opportunity for growth
Builders Vision is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.