Operations Associate

Brooklyn, NY but location is flexible

About DataKind

DataKind is a global nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of humanity. Named one of Fast Company's 2017 top 10 innovative nonprofits, DataKind teams talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary changemakers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. We help social organizations apply their data to predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and AI needs in a way that both increases impact and prioritizes ethics.

  • We are 20,000 strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social change makers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
  • We have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, our volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs around the world. Through this approach, illustrating what we call “the art of the possible,” these projects have resulted in more effective NGOs, more funding for social change organizations, and more awareness of the power (and pitfalls) of data science and AI in the social sector. 
  • People are at the center of our process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real people’s problems. DataKind celebrates human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before we ever get going on the “what.”
  • “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: We will continue our work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. We support not just the tech communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly, with an emphasis on including individuals from groups that are historically underrepresented in technology or will be impacted by the intervention. 

The Next Phase

DataKind has always known that we will not be able to combat all of the world’s looming challenges on the backs of individual, short-term projects alone. We are now focusing the DataKind network on issue areas, including improving health outcomes and increasing economic resilience for all. You can read more about the new strategy here.

About the Opportunity 

Reporting to the Director of Operations, the Operations Associate will bring a customer service orientation to ensure that our day-to-day activities run smoothly in pursuit of our mission. The Operations team is responsible for technology, human resources, administration, legal, and org-wide planning, all of which requires supporting and interacting with every team within DataKind. The Associate will help to drive interconnectedness across the company, building and maintaining strong systems and processes and removing barriers to success in the path of our staff, contractors, and volunteers. 

A successful candidate will be comfortable learning new systems and able to summarize information succinctly and accessibly, from research summaries to software guidebooks to standard operating procedures to new policies. This is a great role for a detail-oriented systems thinker who wants to learn about all aspects of nonprofit management and play a key role behind the scenes. 

What You’ll Do 

Systems & Knowledge Management

  • From Asana to Salesforce, Greenhouse to Zoom, we rely on a variety of software to share information and collaborate effectively. You’ll work with the Director of Technology to ensure that each system has a designated owner who manages licenses, user trainings, and improvements. 
  • You’ll also take ownership for some key systems yourself - likely Asana, Slack, GSuite (including Gmail and Drive), Nexonia, Microsoft Suite licenses, and Zoom. In addition to ensuring your users are trained in the system, you’ll capture knowledge in admin and user guides, research any cost-saving measures (e.g., reducing the number of licenses, applying a TechSoup discount), and make system adjustments as needed.
  • Help research and implement new systems to meet evolving needs.
  • Look for opportunities to streamline our knowledge management by improving our Google Drive folder organization or updating our key terms glossaries.

Administration & Logistics

  • Manage needs like purchasing (e.g., for employee home office needs) and shipping (e.g., swag being sent to staff and volunteers).
  • Maintain an inventory of the DataKind-owned items in our storage unit and in each employee’s possession. 
  • In accordance with safety protocols, pick up mail regularly from our Brooklyn P.O. box (or coordinate with others to do so) and retrieve any needed items from our Brooklyn storage unit. 
  • Conduct research to inform our decision around when to reopen an office (fall 2021 at the earliest). If this happens, manage the logistics of the move. 
  • Make recommendations for ways to make our all-remote workforce more effective and our COVID-19 policy statement more comprehensive. 

Finance & Accounting

  • Manage the Operations team email account where we receive invoices and the occasional inquiry. Compile the invoices and submit monthly Operations team expense reports. 
  • Research market rates for data scientists in our global volunteers’ locations and calculate the financial value of their contributed hours on a monthly basis, as part of our in-kind donation tracking.  
  • Support the Director of Operations with:
    • Reviewing and approving invoices from vendors and contractors before submitting to our accountant for payment. 
    • Ensuring staff submit all timesheets and expense reports on time so we can close our books promptly each month. 
    • Creating and managing our annual budget which involves updating budget instructions, helping teams plan expenses, and coordinating the rollout of a new process where team leads compare a monthly spending report to their approved budgets.
    • Drafting or updating budget projections or reports, as needed (e.g., grant proposals or reports). 
    • Collecting and updating documents for our annual audit and tax filings. 

Human Resources & Compliance 

  • Support the Senior Manager of Human Resources to: 
    • Ensure we meet legal requirements from registering for unemployment insurance in new U.S. states to drafting policies for new processes to updating contract templates.
    • Manage Lattice for performance reviews, staff engagement surveys, and goal tracking, and Greenhouse for hiring.
    • Identify opportunities to improve the staff and contractor experience. 
  • Support the Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer in drafting and reviewing vendor and consultant contracts. 

How You’ll be Measured

At the end of year 1, the Operations Associate will have accomplished the following:

  • Ensured our accounting books are closed by the 15th of each month, including in-kind donation tracking.
  • Supported team leaders in managing spending against our budget for fiscal year 2021, which runs through September 30th, to ensure we don’t overspend, and helped create a board-approved budget for fiscal year 2022, which begins October 1st. 
  • Managed the process of reopening a Brooklyn office, assuming it’s safe to do so, from locating a suitable space to coordinating the logistics of the move. 
  • Updated the roster of all systems in use at DataKind, ensuring each has an owner managing documentation, user training, and licenses/renewals. 
  • Received strong reviews from peers as well as from the Director of Operations as part of our 360° performance review process, especially on customer service orientation. 
  • Set and met at least three goals around professional learning and development.


  • Alignment with DataKind mission and values and comfort working across lines of difference (culture, identity, and time zone).
  • At least 1-3 years of professional experience, ideally in a nonprofit or startup operations role.
  • Experience working with Mac OSX, Microsoft Office suite (especially Excel), and cloud-based software (ideally Google Suite and Salesforce); comfort learning new software systems quickly.
  • Strong attention to detail, ensuring each spreadsheet formula is accurate, and reliable follow-through, ensuring no balls are dropped. 
  • Customer service orientation, including approaching problems with curiosity and providing clear, timely updates.  
  • Discretion with the ability to maintain confidential employee and organizational information.
  • The ability to work effectively from home, at least until we’re able to reopen an office safely.

Why Work with DataKind

At DataKind, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on their mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with us means that you will have:

  • Flexibility in your working schedule. This includes things like working from home, leaving early to care for kids, coming in late to walk your dog, etc. This also means that you have unlimited PTO.
  • Access to an outstanding health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse and dependent coverage.
  • Support to plan for your future. We offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
  • Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, we budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position here

DataKind is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Naturally, DataKind is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. DataKind does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected category. 

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.