The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. As stewards, Barr nurtures and enhances vital community assets. As catalysts, the foundation cultivates and advances the breakthrough ideas that will shape our collective future. Barr focuses on achieving impact as a constructive partner, willing to exercise leadership. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with

nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts and creative expression, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr has grown to become one of the largest private foundations in New England with assets in

excess of $3 billion and a 2021 grantmaking budget of nearly $120 million. A set of core values, defined by Barr’s founding trustees, expresses our beliefs about what constitutes effective philanthropy and guides how Barr carries out its philanthropic mission. Barr is committed to strive for impact, invest in leaders, center racial equity, act with humility, take the long view, embrace risk, and demonstrate curiosity. These core values extend to our workplace culture, where we engage in learning opportunities on diversity, equity, and inclusion; reflect on our practices, policies, and grantmaking; and strive to create an environment where everyone is valued and included. Additionally, while each program is guided by distinct priorities and goals, Barr embraces a common set of approaches in all aspects of its work, namely flexibility and nimbleness, a broad range of tools, knowledge and learning, openness and transparency, and active collaboration. For more information on the Barr Foundation, please visit and @BarrFdn on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



Key Responsibilities


Planning and Strategy


Provide leadership for the Clean Energy strategy through the following responsibilities:


  • Work with the Director of Climate to create, guide, implement, and communicate grantmaking strategies

that will have a strong impact in areas important to the Clean Energy strategy and the Climate Program.


  • Serve as a thought partner on the team by continually assessing the environment and bringing new knowledge that will inform course adjustments of the strategy.


  • Maintain a wide breadth and depth of knowledge about the current trends, professional practices, and policies pertinent to the program.


  • Under guidance of the Director of Climate, develop an annual budget and work plan showing the activities and resources that will support the key initiatives under the Clean Energy strategy; track and manage budgets and relevant contracts.

Grantmaking Develop and manage a significant portfolio of grants through the following responsibilities:


  • Scout and identify potential grantees and field-building opportunities and conduct preliminary due diligence to ascertain fit and potential risks.


  • Work with potential grantees in proposal development to help design requests that are strategic and pivotal to an organization’s development; improve the quality of proposals; and evaluate and provide feedback on the feasibility and clarity of proposal budgets, staffing, workplans, and anticipated project outcomes as related to proposal goals and institutional capability.


  • Collaborate with the Communications team to identify targeted opportunities to complement and augment our grantmaking with strategic communications – strengthening grantee capacity to share learnings, contribute to public understanding and debates on clean energy issues, and generating positive attention

for their work, ideas, and voices of their staff and communities. 


  • Evaluate proposals, conduct site visits, monitor, and manage active grants, assess their progress (including financial and programmatic reports), and communicate actively with grantees. Work with Foundation’s grants management team to administer grants from start to finish.


  • Develop and present quality grant write-ups, written analyses, and reports for Foundation leadership, reflective of rigorous evaluations of grant recommendations, including context for proposed projects, organizational assessments, strategy alignment, how recommendations advance the Program’s agenda and risk assessments.


  • Manage learning and evaluation of grants, grant clusters and strategies, in collaboration with the Foundation staff who are leading the learning and evaluation activities.
  • Lead or support convenings, workshops, or other opportunities for learning and collaborative work among grantees and other partners.


  • Coordinate and collaborate with staff engaged on Climate Resilience and Mobility strategies and on other Barr program teams, as needed. Field Leadership


  • Cultivate strong working relationships with grantees, outside advisors, experts in the field, public sector partners, and colleagues in philanthropy.


  • Organize meetings and convenings of field experts to share best practices, encourage collaboration, and explore strategies for collective impact.


  • Provide leadership in the philanthropic field through public speaking engagements, writing, panel discussions, and use of social media, etc.


  • Commission papers and program-related reports that broadly contribute to the Foundation’s understanding of new approaches, best practices, and issues relevant to the program’s interests.


  • Collaborate with the communications team to disseminate information with the goal of advancing field knowledge.



$140,000 - $160,000



The Climate Program is partnering with DEI-centered and women- and BIPOC-owned national strategic management consulting and search firm Walker and Associates Consulting for this search. To apply, please email a cover letter, resume and list of three references (you will be contacted before any outreach to references) to [email protected] by Friday, September 17, 2021, at 5:00 pm ET. Use the subject “SPO, Clean Energy.” One combined Word or PDF file is preferred. Questions? Contact Jeannine N. Walker at [email protected]

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  • Michael Quan
    published this page in Job Board 2021-09-08 20:30:22 -0400