Program Officer - AFF

The Andrus Family Fund (AFF) is seeking a Program Officer to join its team. AFF believes that every young person deserves more than one chance at a successful life. For over 30 million young people, their first chance was compromised by adults and systems that didn’t always serve their best interests. We partner with organizations across the country that connects young people to caring communities, proven services teach vital skills. Yet we know that for this work and to really have an impact it cannot happen just at the individual level – that’s why we also partner with local and national partners to make sure communities are equipped with the tools and knowledge that support eh well-being of our most vulnerable young people.

Our approach is straightforward and laser focused: We support organizations whose work directly connects youth to the people and services they need to become self-sustaining adults. We commission research that helps identify what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating sustainable change in young people’s lives. We work closely with our grantees to advance and advocate for programs and policies that are proven to put youth on a path to a successful and sustainable future and we support organizations that utilize community organizing as a tool to remove barriers and create social change.

AFF is a path-breaking signature program of the broader Andrus Family Philanthropy program. The AFPP is a group of programs all with the goal to engage the more than 400 extended family members in philanthropy by promoting meaningful public service and civic engagement through organized philanthropic activities. The first and most robust of the programs is AFF and was established in 2000 to give Andrus family members between the ages of 25 and 45 an opportunity to learn about and participate in organized philanthropy. Though legally a sub-fund of the Surdna Foundation and subject to its oversight, AFF has always operated largely autonomously with a highly engaged Board and has an independent reputation for its grantmaking programs. And while AFF operates as an independent grant making arm of the Surdna Foundation, it actively collaborates with the teams at the Surdna. The fund has an annual grantmaking budget of $4 million. Please visit the AFF and Surdna websites to learn more about their programs.

The Program Officer Role:

The Program Officer will be part of a three-person team led by the Executive Director. This position reports directly to the Executive Director and has joint supervisory responsibilities of the Senior Program Associate. The Program Officer works closely with the Executive Director on all aspects of the programs, including both day-to-day operations as well as broader program strategy development and thought partnership.

The Program Officer will contribute to programmatic ideas and participate actively in grantmaking by seeking, developing, and recommending grants and administering the Fund’s projects. In addition the Program Officer is expected to have expertise and knowledge in one or more of the substantive elements of AFF grantmaking program to help build networks among funders, as well as grantees, around issues that need attention, communicate and advocate for social change and develop partnership to multiply the impact of the Fund’s grantmaking investments. Though most of the Program Officer’s time will be dedicated the work of the Andrus Family Fund, there might be a small amount of time dedicated to the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program/s work in youth philanthropy.

First Year’s Priorities:

During the first year of employment, the Program Officer for the Andrus Family Fund will be expected to:

  • Become familiar with the Fund’s grantmaking strategies, grant guidelines and theories of change.
  • Immerse her/himself in the Andrus Family Fund and the Surdna Foundation – their respective missions, programs, staff, grantee partners, structure, operations, and organizational culture.
  • Participate and contribute to the planning, execution and operationalizing the Fund’s theory of change and approach to grantmaking and partnership.
  • Contribute and apply current subject matter and field expertise to an ongoing analysis of the Andrus Family Fund lines of work; develop the ability to communicate about the portfolio well.
  • Strengthen AFF’s ability to measure, assess, and learn from the results of its work and that of its grantees.
  • Begin to understand the present finances, leadership and challenges of the current grantees
  • Begin to develop and leverage relationship with key internal and external colleagues, individual and institutional in order to bring forth their best ideas and efforts to inform the work of the Andrus Family Fund’s program areas.

Further responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining a breadth of knowledge, including research, about current trends, emerging issues, policy interventions, and innovations in the program’s areas of focus to enhance the effectiveness of program strategy and understanding of staff and board.
  • Monitoring and tracking ongoing grants and initiatives, including evaluating and reporting to staff, Board, and external colleagues on performance.
  • Works with Program Associate in following up with grantees to return paperwork for payment and reporting. Tracking and reviewing grant proposals and progress reports for completeness and compliance with IRS regulations. Codes and updates grant records in the grants management system.
  • Reviewing, assessing, and proactively cultivating grantmaking opportunities, assisting grantees in improving proposal quality. Recommending grants for funding by soliciting peer reviews and providing critical analysis of project strengths, weaknesses and risks.
  • Conducting site visits of pending and active projects.
  • Helping to plan and implement learning opportunities for grantees, staff, and board, including a bi-annual grantee conference.
  • Helping to identify, work with and manage appropriate external consultants to help the Fund accomplish its work. Assisting in external communications: developing Web site content, newsletters, public presentations, and articles as appropriate.
  • Developing partnerships with other institutions to extend the impact of the Fund’s and the broader Foundation’s grantmaking.

Ideal Attributes and Experience:

  • Strong record of achievement and relevant experience in the non-profit, public, or private sector. A minimum of 7 years in the field and interdisciplinary experience are preferred. Excellent strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Substantive knowledge of the fields and issues related to at least one of AFF’s Program areas (youth, transitioning youth from foster care, juvenile justice, social justice programming and/or community organizing)
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills, with the presence and credibility to develop and sustain a broad range of relationships; highly developed listening skills. Experience with social media and communications technology is necessary.
  • Excellent, strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Willingness to work across programs to develop complementary strategies, grant making priorities and learning opportunities.
  • Energetic, flexible, self-starting team player with a direct, honest, and respectful approach to problem solving, and ability to foster collaboration and contribute to a strong sense of community among staff and board.
  • Must thrive when working under deadlines, have strong project, time, and budget management skills, and be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without sacrificing attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and a willingness to share in both “big picture” thinking and administrative tasks.
  • An appetite for and competence for work with diverse communities across race, class, ethnic, political and geographic boundaries.
  • Advanced degree in related field preferred. Willingness to travel up to 30% of the time.

To Apply: Please send a thoughtful cover letter, outlining your interest, experience and potential fit for the position along with a resume/CV to

No phone calls please.

Andrus Family Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer