Program Officer (SCE)


SCE is a Chicago-based foundation with a national purview. The focus of our work is on cultivating 21st century skills for the rising generation, with an emphasis on digital learning and social and emotional skills. Foundations traditionally work in proven areas where results can be predicted. SCE is more likely to make calculated and thoughtful risks, moving beyond traditional grantmaking to explore new areas of impact, forge unlikely partnerships, and find points of leverage.

We are currently seeking a Program Officer to work with a small team to advance the Digital Learning and Social and Emotional Learning Programs. The Program Officer will be responsible for leading the development of a new major initiative for the foundation. The Program Officer will also support the Executive Director in managing SCE’s grantmaking operations and communications, and aid the continued development of SCE’s overall strategy. The Program Officer reports to the Executive Director.


• Project development and management. Responsible for developing the concept for the next social investment project in digital learning and 21st century skill development and managing the project to fruition. Research trends, interview experts and identify opportunities to extend the reach of high-quality digital learning tools and social and emotional learning practices to underserved youth through informal learning environments. Identify and develop project ideas, prioritize, plan and coordinate activities.Lead meetings that relate to program development, growth and impact.

• Knowledge Management. Contribute to SCE’s efforts to develop deep knowledge of digital learning and social and emotional learning and of the philanthropic landscape. Establish and maintain relationships with individuals and organizations that can provide information and insight to enhance the organization’s effectiveness.

• Brand and Communications. Aid in the development of communications (including social media, web and print content) that provide a concise message about SCE’s point of view and program areas, and represent SCE to the public, media, and philanthropic community. Responsible for blogging,social media strategy and activity (Twitter and Facebook), and website content updates.

• Grantmaking. Assist the Executive Director in managing the grants process: research and identification of promising projects and grantees, requests for proposal,screening and review, grant agreements, payment, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. Provide technical assistance to grantees, and contribute information towards the Trustee’s knowledge-building and budgetary and grant review process.

• Organizational Strategy and Operations. Contribute to the collaborative process of developing goals, objectives, and operational plans for the organization. Provide support in managing SCE’s day-to-day administration. Maintain written and electronic records of all SCE meetings, correspondence, grant requests, forms, and financial transactions.

The ideal candidate possesses the following qualities and technical skills:

• 3-5 years of relevant work experience

• Track record of building successful initiatives that begin with vague concepts

• Knowledge of broad national trends in education

• Experience using design tools and applications such as Adobe Creative Suite

• Proficient in using communications platforms such as MailChimp, Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook

• Respectful and ethical; motivated to be a positive force for social change

• An energetic self-starter able to work independently as well as within a team

• Intellectually curious, willing to research topics and interview expertsin a variety of fields

• Solid research and analytic skills; an ability to cull insights from large bodies of knowledge and complex concepts and develop readable briefs and recommendations

• Strong interpersonal communication and collaboration skills

• A strong interest in innovation; a tendency to think unconventionally while maintaining an understanding and respect for traditional methods and approaches

• Sense of humor and passion for the mission is required

• Foundation experience not required

This position is based in the City of Chicago, but our trustees, grantees, and partners span the country. Must be willing to travel 30% of time. Salary commensurate with experience. For more information on SCE, visit

How to apply: Please submit resume, cover letter and two-page writing sample via attachment to with the subject heading "SCE Program Officer" or via mail to: SCE 4 East Ohio St. #30 Chicago, IL 60611