Research Director

New York
Full time
About Us

Founders Pledge is a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges. On joining, every member makes a legally binding pledge to donate a percentage of their personal proceeds to charity when they liquidate shares. We then help them understand and elevate their social impact, offering bespoke philanthropic strategies based on the latest evidence from the sector, end-to-end giving infrastructure and a global network of experts, all at zero cost.

Since launching in 2015, the Founders Pledge community has collectively raised over $1 billion for social causes. Spanning 30 countries and over 1100 members, it includes the people behind industry leading companies including Wework, Deepmind, Skype, Spotify, Uber, and Planet. Working across our offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Berlin, we are a growing and passionate team committed to empowering entrepreneurs to do immense good.

About the role

We're looking for a Research Director with a passion for effective giving and data-driven philanthropy to lead our world class team of Researchers and Research Advisors. The Founders Pledge Research Team helps our members find evidence-backed and cost effective opportunities for impact around the work enabling them to donate with confident (examples of this work here). The team’s main tasks include:

- Identifying the most impactful donation opportunities in different areas (e.g. global health and poverty, climate change, animal welfare). You can find examples of this work here.
- Developing robust methodologies to identify and vet those opportunities. Here is an example of this type of work.
- Communicating nuanced research in writing (e.g public reports, personalised briefs for members).
- Communicating research through in-person communication, including consultations and events.

This year, we are building our expertise and team in two distinct verticals:

Applied Research: direct research into diverse cause areas to identify high-impact charities.
Research Communications: development of our written and verbal communications strategy around research. We are building a custom approach that best connects our members to high-impact opportunities.

As Research Director, you will be responsible for the work of the research team of at least 8 researchers and research advisors, growing it to 12-15.


    • Building Founders Pledge profile and reputation amongst members, donors and the wider philanthropic and academic sectors
    • Line managing the Head of Applied Research and wider Research Advisory team
    • Establishing the most effective line management structures for researchers and research advisors
    • Identifying and meeting recruitment needs for the research team
    • Working with the Head of Applied Research to define the research agenda and ensure research reports meet high quality standards
    • Developing products, implementing best practices and growing team skills to best communicate research content
    • Developing products that influence donors to give to high-impact organisations, e.g. setting up an incubation fund
    • Coordinating with Directors of other teams within Founders Pledge and ensuring that Founders Pledge products are well integrated from the research perspectiveIdentifying and building strategic partnerships with universities, think-tanks, philanthropic organizations and individuals


    • Commitment to Founders Pledge’s mission, and to social impact generally
    • Ability to think strategically about the aims of the research team, its product and integration with other teams
    • Ability to oversee the work of the team and to manage relevant department heads
    • Excellent analytical skills, including thorough knowledge of working with systematic quantitative frameworks
    • Excellent interpersonal and presentational skills: a superb communicator, confident in explaining nuanced research in a compelling and authoritative way, and in giving outstanding presentations
    • Clear writing: The ability to express nuanced evidence and complex concepts in a clear and engaging way
    • Intellectual curiosity and openness: A willingness to consider alternative points of view, to follow good arguments wherever they lead, and openness to changing your mind
    • Interest in exploring how philanthropy can contribute in high risk/high reward areas, such as policy advocacy and research
    • Openness to working on a variety of philanthropic cause areas
    • Willingness to work in a high-growth, dynamic startup environment

About You:

    • 5+ years experience of producing research, ideally in social/natural science, maths, statistics, or high-impact philanthropy
    • 3+ years of experience in managing teams of more than 5 people
    • Experience in creating, implementing and overseeing communications programmes  
    • Experience in relationship management, ideally with high net worth individuals
    • Experience in building new processes and products
The Good Stuff

- Tiered holiday structure, starting at 20 days (plus company-wide vacation over Christmas and New Year)
- Comprehensive health, dental and vision plan  - 100% covered by Founders Pledge
- 401k plan with employer matching up to 3%
- Transit benefits
- FSA plans available
- Life insurance
- Gym and citibike reimbursements
- Monthly team outings and meals
- Puppy friendly office!

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.