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1 Mar 2021

Full-Time Associate

Third Plateau – Posted by Third Plateau Sacramento, California, United States

Job Description

At Third Plateau, we know the power of diverse teams. To this end, we seek to reach a broad and diverse pool of applicants for each role to ensure our final candidates are not a homogenous group in terms of demographics or experience and have designed our application process (detailed at the bottom) in a way that recognizes and decreases our own implicit and explicit biases. You can read more about our commitment and ongoing work related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) here. We welcome, encourage, and recruit applicants of all backgrounds to apply.

Third Plateau is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to their race, color, age, religious creed, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.



Position Overview: Third Plateau, a growing multi-disciplinary social impact strategy firm, is looking for an intelligent, self-directed professional to serve as an Associate. Under the guidance of one of Third Plateau’s Directors and based out of either our Sacramento or Bay Area, California, offices, the Associate will provide targeted client management and coordination/administrative support. The Associate will work closely with our strategists and researchers to help our nonprofit, foundation, government, and private sector clients bring bold visions to reality and drive social change. Top candidates will be highly organized self-starters, able to work under tight deadlines, able to juggle multiple assignments simultaneously, and be hungry to learn.


Start Date: ASAP

Application Deadline: Rolling, first review in April, 2021

Location: California (Sacramento or Bay Area preferred)

Starting Annual Salary (Non-Exempt): $65,000, with additional compensation through bonuses

Benefits: In addition to collaborating with an incredible team of social impact professionals, benefits include:

  • Premium health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plan with employer matching
  • Generous time off
  • Wellness program ($500/year to invest in your personal wellness)
  • Professional development and curated team learning opportunities
  • Cell phone reimbursement ($60/month)
  • Please note that we are currently working from home until it is deemed safe to return to the office setting. During this time, Third Plateau is covering at-home internet expenses (up to $50/month).



Third Plateau is a multi-disciplinary social impact strategy firm with an aim to create a world with abundant and equitable opportunity for all. We partner with people and organizations with game-changing ideas to improve the world, and we help them maximize their impact. Our values are at the center of everything that we do:



We seek big challenges because we know those are the ones worth tackling. We bring our A-game and entrepreneurial mindset into everything we do, relentlessly pursuing excellence and refusing to accept the status quo. We take smart risks and push ourselves and those around us to think expansively.


We are intensely curious. We question everything. We experiment. We are voracious consumers of information from a variety of sources and disciplines because we understand that knowledge is absolutely essential for effective innovation. We are researchers, investigators, and explorers.


Relationships are at our core. Through empathy, we develop deep and authentic connections with those around us. We curate our networks with intention because when the right people are connected with the right ideas, great things are bound to happen.


It’s not enough for us to change the world; we’re going to have a blast while we do it. If we’re not loving life while driving impact, we’re doing it wrong.


We work in five main ways:

Social Impact Strategy

We partner with social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, public entities, and other mission-driven organizations around the world on program design, business planning, community engagement, strategic planning, and development strategy. We also partner with funders to provide capacity-building support to their grantees.

Philanthropic Advising

We advise individual donors, foundations, and companies on making their philanthropic giving more meaningful, strategic, and impactful; and we help funders think more expansively about their potential social impact.

Foundation Management

We help private, family, and independent foundations become more effective by providing back-office support, managing grants, and overseeing the financial administration and accounting of their operations.

Research & Evaluation

We support nonprofits to design meaningful metrics, conduct impact audits, and research and analyze market landscapes.

Leadership Development

We empower individual leaders and teams to unlock their potential through executive coaching, team coaching, culture setting, and board development.


Third Plateau was founded in 2011 and is a dynamic and growing firm. We currently have 22 team members and are currently hiring for multiple positions; we anticipate being a team of 27 by mid-year. We have offices in Sacramento and the Bay Area, and remote employees in Florida and New England.



The Associate will serve as an integral part of the Third Plateau team. Under the guidance of one of Third Plateau’s Directors, the Associate will support the day-to-day operations of Third Plateau’s efforts to drive social change by supporting social sector leaders and organizations to maximize their impact. The Associate will join client project teams alongside members of Third Plateau’s Strategy and Research, Evaluation, and Learning teams. Potential client projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategic plans, business plans, and fundraising strategies for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs;
  • Convenings and retreats for nonprofit and philanthropic partners;
  • Organizational crisis response plans and culture plans;
  • Grantmaking processes with foundations, grantees, and strategic partners; and
  • Board governance, including committees.


Potential duties include, but are not limited to:


  1. Client and Project Management
    1. Representing Third Plateau at external events and attending external meetings as part of client teams;
    2. Building a strong working relationship with clients and their networks;
    3. Supporting project management functions, including designing work plans, regularly monitoring progress, and setting up and managing organizational systems;
    4. Conducting research and keeping abreast of relevant knowledge and trends related to specific projects;
    5. Drafting, editing, and formatting internal and external presentations, collateral, and other client deliverables/materials;
    6. Drafting, assembling, and disseminating meeting agendas, notes, and action items;
    7. Supporting documentation related to client work, including creating templates for project deliverables and communications;
    8. Supporting client-related internal and external communications.



  1. Coordination and Administrative Support
    1. Leading event planning and execution of project logistics;
    2. Scheduling and coordinating internal and external meetings;
    3. Scheduling and coordinating client-related travel; and
    4. Maintaining electronic files and supporting data entry.



To be successful in this job, you will excel in the following key areas:


You stay on top of your work, can handle many moving parts with ease, and have a habit of building sound processes where there were none before.

Attention to detail

You strive for perfection and have a mind that can simultaneously see the big picture and the smallest aspect of a project.


You are an exceptionally strong communicator who can write clearly and succinctly.

Learning quickly

We don’t expect you to know everything, but we do expect you to be a quick and perceptive learner.


You have a knack for figuring things out and require minimal oversight to see a project through to the end and deliver on high expectations for performance.

Calmness under pressure

You thrive in a fast-paced work environment and can stay relaxed and focused when juggling many projects and deadlines, especially when they arise at the last minute (which is common).

Interpersonal ability

You must be able to build trust and goodwill with team members and our clients across political, religious, economic, and racial divides. You’re the kind of person who knows how to get along well with others and anticipate their needs.

Entrepreneurial spirit

You are ambitious and creative, and you are excited about the idea of building something meaningful.


Other important things to note:


  • We are a boutique company that embraces a start-up attitude. Third Plateau is going to continue its significant growth over the coming years and we are looking for someone who wants to grow with us.


  • You will need to bring an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a willingness to speak up when you see us fall short. This is a major focus of ours and expect it to be of yours, too. Top candidates will firmly believe that diversity of experiences and voices leads to better outcomes, and they will have demonstrated a consistent commitment to this belief both personally and professionally.


  • Top candidates will have a relentless pursuit of excellence, an ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and an intense interest in having fun.


  • We are a decentralized team, with offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Berkeley. You should be comfortable working with a remote team.


  • Basic fluency in Microsoft Office, Social Media platforms, Mailchimp, Canva, WordPress, and/or Squarespace (or a willingness and ability to learn).


  • Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience.


  • Past experience with nonprofits, foundations, public sector, and/or mission-driven companies is a plus.


  • Other qualities we are looking for include self-awareness, willingness and ability to travel, passion, leadership, attention to detail, and curiosity.




Please submit your application using the following form:



The form will require the following information:


  • Your full name
  • Your phone number (including area code)
  • Your email address
  • Where you heard about this position (optional)


You will also be required to upload two SEPARATE documents:


  1. A one-page PDF that answers two questions (and one optional question):


  • Why do this position and firm make sense for the next step in your career?
  • How are you uniquely qualified to enhance the Third Plateau team and our work?
  • OPTIONAL: How will the different pieces of your identity contribute to this team and work? Please share as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing to help us create a team that represents a diverse set of identities.


Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, here’s the big catch: you cannot use proper nouns in your response. Yep, you read that right. You are not allowed to mention by name what schools you’ve gone to, the names of organizations you’ve worked at, or who your paternal great grandmother was. Instead, focus on the substance of what you’ve learned, how you’ve developed, and how you can contribute to Third Plateau. (“Third Plateau,” by the way, is the only proper noun you are allowed to use in your 1-pager.)


Please save this proper noun-free PDF with the following title structure: Associate –Cover Letter [seven-digit phone number with no dashes]. Your seven-digit phone number (i.e., your phone number WITHOUT the area code) will be used as an internal identification number to help keep your application anonymous during the review process.


  1. Your resume with the following modifications:


  • Your seven-digit phone number (i.e., your phone number WITHOUT the area code), with no dashes, in the place of your name.
  • Remove any reference to your home address and email.


Please save this name-free PDF with the following title structure: Associate – Resume [seven-digit phone number with no dashes]. Your seven-digit phone number (i.e., your phone number WITHOUT the area code) will be used as an internal identification number to help keep your application anonymous during the review process.


We are working hard to build a blind review process that minimizes implicit and explicit biases from the hiring process, so welcome to the latest iteration of our experiment to do just that! Please note that if your application does not follow the specific directions outlined above, it is possible that it will not be considered. We hope you can get creative and have fun with it!


Once applications are submitted, on a rolling basis, a Third Plateau team member will notify top candidates of next steps.



Interested in applying? Want to know more? Not sure if Third Plateau is the place for you? We’re here to help! We will be hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday March 3rd from 4pm – 5pm PT with members of our current team to help you get a sense of how we think about our work and engage together. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions about the firm or position to help you decide if Third Plateau could be a great place for you to work. The Q&A will be anonymous and not directly impact hiring decisions.


You can register for the webinar via this link.


Can’t make the webinar? We will post the recording on our website, and you can submit questions to jo**@th**********.com.



As part of our efforts to broaden and diversify our applicant pool, a third party is collecting optional, anonymous data from applicants. This data will be shared in the aggregate with Third Plateau leadership and will be used to help us learn about the ways in which our applicant pool is diverse and whether our efforts of recruiting diverse talent are paying off.


To participate in this optional survey, please go to the following link:



Important notes:

  • This survey is anonymous – it will not ask for your name, email, or phone number at any point
  • This survey is optional – you are not required to share your information, and not doing so will have no impact on your candidacy for the position moving forward
  • This survey is run by a third party – HR to Go, a third-party HR consulting firm will be administering this survey on a platform outside of Third Plateau. HR to Go will only share aggregated results with members of the Third Plateau team. At no time will individual-level data be shared.


Thank you for helping us become more data-informed as a firm!


Third Plateau is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to their race, color, age, religious creed, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics as may be protected by applicable law.



To view additional openings, please visit our job board at https://www.thirdplateau.com/jobs.



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Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Associate, DEI, and social impact. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

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