Meyer Memorial Trust Program Officer

The Opportunity

The Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) – originally called the Fred G. Meyer Charitable Trust – was founded in 1982 by Fred Meyer, who started the chain of Pacific Northwest-based retail stores that bears his name. Having left instructions in his will to establish the charitable trust, he bequeathed it nearly two million shares of stock in Fred Meyer Inc., and gave the Trust no prescriptive constraints. Instead, he allowed the Trustees to establish broad frameworks that would be responsive to the region he so loved. Today, his values – to innovate, take risks, embrace diversity, adapt to changing circumstances, contribute to economic development/parity and to develop the power of the mind – continue to create and inform the culture of the Trust, influencing its activities and the role that it plays in the region. Currently, with assets of approximately $785 million, it is still among the largest private foundations in the nation. The Trust’s mission is to work with and invest in organizations, communities, ideas and efforts that contribute to a flourishing and equitable Oregon. 

With a staff of 29 and a board of five Trustees, the work of the Trust is focused on strengthening the region, using a mix of strategic, proactive and responsive investments, including grantmaking, loans and initiatives, commissioning research, supporting policy advocacy and championing a range of community and nonprofit engagement strategies. Since 1982, the Trust has awarded funds to more than 3,100 separate organizations that address a wide variety of needs in many different focus areas: arts and culture, conservation and environment, education, health care, human services, public affairs, and social benefit. In fiscal year 2014, the Trust awarded the largest number and total amount of awards in its history: 515 new grants and program related investments to local nonprofit organizations totaling $46.3 million. 

It is an exciting time at the Trust. After an intensive self-discovery process that has served to reinforce its commitment to equity and diversity, staff and Trustees have refined the role of the Trust and its future in the region. The Trust is shifting its programmatic approach and seeks to add new members to the team who can help shape its future work. These new people will add richness to this evolving, forwardthinking organization that plays such a critical role in the social improvement sphere in Oregon and beyond.

Learn more about Meyer Memorial Trust at http://www.mmt.org!

Position Responsibilities

The Program Officer, Resilient Social Sector will be a dynamic, engaged contributor to the new Resilient Social Sector portfolio team, working to develop and implement new approaches to build the capacity of the social sector and individual organizations as important contributors to a vibrant and equitable life in Oregon and agents of social change. The Program Officer will contribute strong community relationships, creativity, enthusiasm, and organizational development savvy to support the success of the Trust’s Resilient Social Sector portfolio.

The Program Officer will report to the Portfolio Director, Resilient Social Sector. This position’s core responsibilities include developing relationships with nonprofits, funders, and other community partners; developing and implementing programmatic strategies to strengthen nonprofit organizational effectiveness, support innovation and collaboration, and build capacity for change; conducting grantmaking activities; and supporting the evaluation of the portfolio’s impact. 

In all facets of responsibility, the Program Officer ensures that the Trust’s key values of equity, collaboration, innovation, responsiveness, humbleness, and transparency are upheld. 

Specifically, the Program Officer, Resilient Social Sector will:

• Work with the Portfolio Director and other Trust leaders to continue to develop, evaluate, and refine an organizational effectiveness program strategy that leverages the realities and possibilities of organizations and the social sector and applies an equity lens

• Engage and develop relationships with a broad range of nonprofit, intermediaries and other social sector stakeholders across Oregon’s diverse communities; proactively identify and cultivate relationships and investment opportunities, becoming a trusted presence in the sector and region

• Continually survey the local, regional, and national landscape to identify current innovations, policy opportunities, trends, and emerging issues; furthering equity and potential partnerships in the portfolio’s areas of focus and philanthropy

• Work with Trust applicants and grantees on all aspects of outreach and the grantmaking process in conjunction with communications and grants administration teams

• Develop methods and systems to assess the impact of grants and programs, review and respond to grantee reports

• Provide thoughtful and relevant support and assistance to prospective and current grantees and partners. Assess needs, directly provide technical assistance and leverage external technical assistance providers as appropriate to the Portfolio strategy

• Identify ways to develop and support shared learning and field building among grantees and other stakeholders; convene grantees and partners around priority issues and develop infrastructure for peer support activities

• Identify and support opportunities for the Trust to use tools beyond grantmaking, such as communications, relationships, research, and convening, to further the Trust’s goals for strengthening the sector

• Share findings about the impact of partner and Trust approaches with social sector peers, and working with the Communications team, share stories broadly

• Support other portfolio teams at the Trust in leading, staffing, and participating in Trust-wide strategies, particularly as that work pertains to the building of the social sector and the capacities of individual organizations

• Prepare written materials for senior Trust leadership and trustee review

• Participate in relevant affinity groups, as appropriate and value-added to the Trust, grantee organizations, and Oregon’s social sector

Profile of the Successful

Candidate MMT seeks a professional who is curious in nature, analytical in approach, and committed to and knowledgeable about what makes for a vibrant social sector. The successful candidate will be creative and entrepreneurial, combining a collaborative sensibility and work style with the ability to deliver and execute on innovative ideas and solutions that serve the goals of the portfolio and the entire organization. 

The successful Program Officer, Resilient Social Sector will demonstrate a broad interest in and knowledge of the many fields and types of organizations that comprise the social sector, and will be compelled by the nexus of organizational effectiveness, capacity building, technology, the power of networks, and the evolving strengths, needs, and opportunities of Oregon’s increasingly diverse communities. Additionally, the Program Officer will have a strong work ethic with high personal and professional standards of transparency and accountability.

The successful candidate will offer a personal interest in and commitment to working in an inclusive environment that places a high value on equity. MMT promotes a positive workplace culture of collaboration, innovation and respect in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment. By virtue of its commitment to equity and inclusion, MMT knows well that professional strength can be derived from many experiences, and accordingly encourages candidates from a variety of backgrounds. 

More specifically, MMT seeks a professional who reflects the following:

• Significant and distinguished work experience in the social sector, including significant experience specifically working in or with nonprofits

• Knowledge of, and experience with, implementing effective strategies for building organizational and sector capacities (e.g. strategic and programmatic planning, fund development, leadership development, policy engagement, network development, and systems navigation)

• Understanding of and/or applied experience in organizational development, organizational life cycles, business cycles, and nonprofit financial management; experience assessing needs of, and providing technical assistance to, a broad range of organizations is encouraged

• Understanding of the roles of nonprofits in social change, and of the relationship of equity and resilient organizations and communities; experience with developing and applying strategies to operationalize equity and inclusion is desired

• A genuine desire to partner with and support others, and a diplomatic style that is constructive, especially in providing feedback

• Demonstrated experience working effectively with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, including marginalized/under-represented communities – especially those related to equity, community change, and vibrant, inclusive communities

• A combination of creative and analytical skills in equal measure, combined with a passion for finding new ways to further and support the Trust’s program work

• Outstanding relational, interpersonal, and collaboration skills, both internally and externally; a communication style that reflects clarity, authenticity, transparency, and approachability

• Excellent written and oral communication skills; effective, engaging facilitation and presentation skills

• Excellent organizational and project management skills

• A strong work ethic, with high standards of accountability and a bias toward getting things done

• Working knowledge of best, promising, and emerging practices and innovations in the philanthropic field regionally and nationally; experience with grantmaking would be beneficial

• Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive information effectively and confidentially

• A demonstrated willingness to reiterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to course correct as necessary

• A willingness to challenge conventional thinking coupled with the ability to collaborate effectively and encourage dialogue

• Ability to travel on an as-needed basis; an appreciation of and enthusiasm for community presence as an integral part of this role

Additionally, the successful candidate will likely have:

• Fluency in a language other than English

Start Timeframe

We seek to have the successful candidate in place by late summer 2015.

Compensation

This position offers competitive compensation and excellent benefits.

To Apply

All applications are held in strict confidence. Please submit your credentials and a letter of interest via email to The 360 Group at:

MMTPORSS@the360group.us

Applications should be directed to the attention of Vincent Robinson, Managing Partner. No calls, please. To be considered, The 360 Group must receive applications no later than 5:00pm Pacific time on Thursday, August 20th, 2015.

At The 360 Group, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective. As such, we make demographic and experiential diversity a hallmark of all our work, including search engagements.