Program Officer Opening
Solidago Foundation/See Forward Fund
OVERALL JOB OBJECTIVES
The Foundations’ program team is responsible for the management and delivery of major projects requiring extensive cross-departmental participation. All program staff support the mission of the organizations by ensuring that initiatives have clearly defined objectives and measures of success, and are executed on time and within the budgeted scope. Under general direction, the Program Officer plans, organizes, and manages the development, implementation, and ongoing operation of moderate-sized projects or several small specialized projects. The Program Officer will also assist in the development of projects and ensure that timelines are met.
The Program Officer also has major responsibilities for Solidago’s grantmaking, primarily within the economic justice area. While the Program Officer should have expertise in the economic justice field – our intersectional approach demands that all program staff also become knowledgeable on issues impacting climate and electoral movements. S(he) is responsible for providing objective analyses and articulating clear rationales for recommendations and grant making decisions. Working in a collaborative manner with other staff, and reporting to Program Directors, the Program Officer has the following responsibilities:
Program Project Management (85%):
- Work closely with Program Directors to recommend program strategies based on extensive evaluation of field-based work and political and policy analysis;
- Research and recommend groups to receive a Request for Partnership; clearly demonstrating fit between the group and the Foundations’ program goals and funding strategies;
- Conduct on-site visits and corroborative source checking;
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of grantees in an objective manner, including reading all grantee reports;
- Manage the activities of staff teams in the execution of small- to medium-sized projects, or phases of larger projects;
- Plan efforts in support of assigned project(s). Submit project plans and budgets;
- Foster teamwork and maintain project esteem. Communicate priorities. Facilitate conflict resolution and manage issues;
- Identify project risks;
- Implement effective project quality controls; monitor project performance. Follow effective project reporting mechanisms;
- Meet project schedule and performance objectives.
Relationship Management: (5%)
- Maintain effective relationships with all project stakeholders and team members. Report effectively on project/ program progress and performance;
- Maintain relationships on behalf of the foundations with key individuals and organizations to inform grantmaking, including attending relevant grantee convenings;
- Maintain strategic partnerships within philanthropy and with social movement actors to advance movement building for social justice.
- Support the team as needed in organizing meetings, drafting agendas, preparing minutes, organizing and conference calls, and implementing aspects of work plans as needed;
- Assist with evaluation of proposals and conduct due diligence, including applicant interviews, site visits, and review of budgets and financial information. Prepare proposal summaries and make recommendations to senior program staff;
- Assist senior project staff with budget development process, working with staff to project expenses and revenue;
- Track project expenses, ensure compliance with policy and procedures, prepare reports as requested to help senior staff ensure on-time and on-budget deliverables;
- Perform other duties and participate in special projects as assigned.
Education and Experience
The successful candidate will have:
- A minimum of four years of relevant experience in advocacy, campaign strategy development, and implementation and public policy, including experience working with policy makers, researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders;
- Extensive experience in the field of economic justice, focusing on women and communities of color, with keen interest in following new trends, tracking developments, and seizing opportunities;
- Familiarity with the social justice, national nonprofit and/or philanthropic community;
- Excellent project management skills, including the ability to create and maintain files and recording systems accurately;
- An interest in engaging with allied funders and organizational leaders to advance social change through strategic partnerships;
- An interest in engaging knowledge of cross-programmatic work;
- Strong strategic and analytical skills;
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including proofreading and editing, and the ability to communicate complex ideas for a general audience;
- Keen attention to detail and a demonstrated track record of producing accurate, high-quality work;
- Sound judgment and discretion in handling confidential information, as well as the ability to conduct oneself in a highly professional manner;
- Experience in conference planning preferred;
- Comfortable with a high degree of autonomy and a small office environment;
- Demonstrated proficiency in computer technology including applications for project and data management and electronic calendars (Excel, Windows, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook preferred). Ability to quickly learn software specific to the institution. Experience working with CRM software a plus;
- Willingness to travel extensively;
- Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred but not required;
- Or equivalent combination of education and experience.
About the Foundation(s)
The Solidago Foundation is a national public foundation that, combining over 20 years of deep field and funder expertise, cultivates innovation to ensure robust funding of progressive social movements.
The Foundation was founded in 1995 with the intent to completely distribute endowed assets by 2020. However, because of the ongoing need to support progressive, empowering, community-based organizations and collaborations, the Foundation is now committed to ongoing operation, and in addition to its own grantmaking, will be leading large new efforts in line with its mission to promote justice, equity, sustainability, and enfranchisement for all. Current strategies include:
- Strategic leadership of signature projects
- Participating in funder collaboratives to accelerate impact
- Philanthropic consultation for aligned giving within our theory of change
- Hosting aligned donor-advised funds and select fiscal sponsorships
Strategic projects include creating a pipeline that allows for organizations to participate in new investments that allow them to scale quickly when needed and leverage that growth for ongoing sustainability. Working with state and national partners, the Foundation seeks to fuel the full spectrum of activity required to create lasting change (education, advocacy, lobbying, candidate selection, and support for electeds). Other projects include helping align grantmaking with impact investing to bring local businesses and community groups together to build economic power by and for the public good. The Foundation is also launching a groundbreaking workers’ rights and climate justice portfolio that will increase capacities in the field, improve alignment, and grow novel sources of revenue for issue campaigns.
Headquartered in Northampton, Massachusetts, the Foundation has nine staff. The Solidago Foundation is a 501c3 public charity. It shares its staff with the See Forward Fund, a 501c4 social welfare organization, via a common paymaster agreement. The two organizations are discretely managed with unique strategy plans.
Competitive salary commensurate with experience; generous benefits. This position will be based at Foundation headquarters. Extensive travel will be required. To apply, submit resume and cover letter, with “Program Officer” in the subject line, to HR@solidago.org. Application materials must be submitted by December 15, 2017.
It is the policy of the Solidago Foundation to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, age, military status, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression or gender. To learn more about the Foundations, visit solidago.org and seeforwardfund.org