Vice President, Legal





Policy / Advocacy / Legal


NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Since 2000, more than 5 million people and partners have contributed $1 billion to support 2 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. Projects range from art supplies to build the set for a school musical, to books and puzzles that affirm students' identities, to bird seed for an at-home science project. We proudly serve all US public schools, public charter schools, and Head Start centers, and we combat systemic inequity by driving a majority of donations to schools that have been historically underfunded due to economic and racial inequity (Equity Focus Schools).

DonorsChoose has been recognized as a best place to work by GOOD Magazine and the Nonprofit Times, while Fast Company named DonorsChoose one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World—the first time a charity has made this list. Our dedicated team works from across the United States to bring classroom dreams to life.

About the Finance, Procurement, IT, and Legal Team: The Vice President, Legal (VPL) will join a team of specialists providing critical support and expertise to the DonorsChoose team, Board, and partners. Reporting to the CFO and working alongside the finance, procurement, and IT teams, the VPL will provide legal counsel and advice to key stakeholders throughout DonorsChoose and develop legal systems and processes to ensure efficient and effective service and support.

About the Position

DonorsChoose is seeking its first in-house Vice President, Legal (VPL) to serve as a legal resource to stakeholders throughout the organization, providing expertise and guidance related to compliance, grants, contracts, procurement, human resources, trust and safety, and other key operational questions. Reporting to the CFO, the VPL will establish and manage processes for key legal functions such as contract review, grants review and management, and key safety measures, ensuring that DonorsChoose continues to operate both nimbly and effectively. In partnership with the CFO, the VPL will also be responsible for managing firm-wide risk and compliance, working within the senior leaders throughout the organization to identify, analyze, and assess a variety of business risks. This is an ideal role for a collaborative, creative, and people-oriented leader who is excited to leverage their legal expertise to support teachers and students across the country with a focus on educational equity.

In this role, you'll:

  • Provide legal counsel and expertise
    • Serve as resource for staff on general legal concerns and questions including human resources related matters, trust and safety issues, contract negotiations, grant agreements, board governance and more
    • Manage the organization's outside counsel, consulting them as needed on complex legal issues Identify, assess, and communicate legal and business risks, including reputational risks, to the organization's decision makers
    • Assist in developing and presenting training on legal issues to the internal team, as needed
  • Support and improve grant and general contract review processes
    • Work closely with the Controller and the Partnerships team to review grant agreements, with a focus on areas such as due diligence, compliance with relevant laws, risk reduction, and negotiations
    • Work closely with teams across the organization to provide support reviewing, negotiating, and approving general vendor contracts
    • Lead development and implementation of vendor contract templates, where appropriate
    • Identify and implement a solution for storing, maintaining, and renewing general vendor contracts, along with ensuring ongoing compliance with all key terms
    • Establish efficient workflows for vendor contract review
  • Collaborate across the organization to develop sound practices and policies
    • Partner with the People Operations team as they develop a range of HR policies and programs to support multi state expansion
    • Partner with the Trust and Safety team as they develop policies to ensure safety and accuracy across the DonorsChoose site and in supported classrooms, with a particular emphasis on data privacy
    • Partner with the Finance team as they manage overall risk for the organization
    • Partner with the Advocacy and Public Partnerships team to respond to local educational policy changes
    • As needed, partner with teams across the organization to support the creation of new policies and practices that fuel growth, impact, and equity

Candidate Requirements:

  • Law degree from an accredited school with knowledge of New York law
  • Mid to senior level experience (approximately 5-10 years) working as an attorney with a strong generalist perspective; experience in HR law, contracts and grants management, privacy and safety, and/or education all a plus
  • A passion for the education sector and a commitment to educational equity
  • A track record of working effectively across all levels of an organization with diverse stakeholders; a desire to work in a highly collaborative environment
  • Exceptional analytical skills with an ability to use data to drive decision making
  • Strong critical thinking skills with a track record of problem solving in the context of ambiguity
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to present legal concerns to a non-legal audience
  • Exceptional relationship and trust-building skills, both internally and externally, with the ability to build positive relationships at all organizational levels and with a diverse group of stakeholders
  • Autonomous self-starter with the ability to exercise independent judgment and focus on effective resolution of legal issues

In this role, you'll have the option to work a flexible hybrid schedule in our NYC office, or to work fully remotely from CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, ME, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, VA, WA, or WI.

Candidates who are not in the NYC area should expect to travel to our NYC office on an as-needed basis, or about 4-6 times per year. All work-related travel expenses will be covered by the organization, and proper safety precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

DonorsChoose is a fully vaccinated workplace, and all new employees, regardless of their work location, will be asked to share proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 within two weeks of their hire date or request an exemption from this policy due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice. This policy does not apply to employees in states with state restrictions on vaccine mandates.

DonorsChoose participates in E-Verify. We will provide the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

Compensation and benefits:

Our compensation philosophy ensures that we are both externally competitive with tech-forward nonprofits of a similar size and internally fair in our pay practices. The following ranges represent the target offer range, given the scope and experience expectations for this role.

  • The hiring salary range for this role is $131,000- $160,000 and will be commensurate with experience
  • We have a hiring salary range of $145,000- $175,000 for specific higher cost of labor locations, which include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Once an employee is hired, the salary range for their role increases to ensure they are able to receive performance-based raises and grow in their role. We are open to a variety of experiences and recognize that the person we hire may be less experienced or more senior than this job description, as posted. If that's the case, an updated salary range will be shared with candidates if they move forward in our hiring process.

In addition, we offer full-time staff 25 paid vacation days per year and 11 paid holidays, a rich employer-paid individual and family health plan, a matching 401(k) plan (up to 5% of base salary), annual professional development stipend, and casual and flexible work environment. To learn more about what it is like to work for DonorsChoose, visit our careers page.

Qualified Individuals, please apply:

DonorsChoose is an organization increasingly representative of the varied races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, and abilities that comprise our nation. focuses on attracting, retaining, and advancing diverse talent because it makes us more effective, high-performing, creative, and resilient.

If you are passionate about our mission, highly skilled in your field, and looking for a place where you can bring all of yourself to work, we want you.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're working with DonorsChoose to build a diverse team that represents the communities it partners with. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact