Manager, Program Operations (BF)


About the Barr Foundation

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, the Foundation 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 expand educational opportunity. Barr is one of the largest private foundations in New England with assets of more than $1.7 billion and a 2018 grantmaking budget of $85 million.

A set of core values defined by the Barr Foundation’s founding trustees expresses beliefs about what constitutes effective philanthropy and guides how the Foundation carries out its philanthropic mission. The Foundation is committed to strive for excellence, act with humility, adopt a long-term perspective, and embrace risk. 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:


About the Position

Reporting to, and in close partnership with Barr’s vice president, the individual in this role will interface across all levels of Barr Foundation leadership and staff, and with functional teams (HR, IT, finance/ accounting), to drive organizational processes and process improvement initiatives, with a focus on efficiency, grantee impact, and staff effectiveness. This person will play a key role in developing and refining processes and tools to enable staff and trustees to make more strategic decisions and increase impact, particularly with the foundation on a growth trajectory. This position will supervise at least one staff member.


Key Responsibilities

Organizational Effectiveness and Process Improvement

  • Build strong relationships with staff across Barr’s program, learning and evaluation, communications, and operations teams; deeply understand staff and grantee workflow and context
  • In an ongoing way, assess, and where necessary, streamline, integrate, simplify, and improve Barr’s current processes and systems for grantmaking and internal operations
  • Identify, initiate and collaboratively design approaches that increase and sustain productivity, effectiveness and responsiveness
  • Coordinate roles, responsibilities, timelines and deliverables for process-improvement initiatives; track and communicate on progress
  • Act as a partner on joint project teams with Information Technology and Barr Grants Management teams/colleagues to ensure staff needs are well-articulated and resources are aligned to deliver; problem-solve for competing priorities


Organizational Processes, Policies and Systems

  • Oversee and coordinate cross-organizational processes, such as annual workplanning, trustee meeting planning, and annual master calendar
  • Develop reports, dashboards, and data aligned to organizational priorities and decision-making, with attention to integration across systems and integrity/consistency of data
  • Review operating policies; research and implement approaches that both streamline and evolve with Barr’s continued growth
  • Manage and support organizational systems and platforms for processes such as document retention and shared cloud organization/codification (e.g., Box, DocuSign)


Staff Learning and Development

  • Support and implement staff learning and development efforts, in partnership with the vice president, director of learning and evaluation and director of HR (workshops, retreats, staff meetings, onboarding, etc.)
  • Support team cohesion across grants management, IT, and other functions



  • Professional experience in a mission-driven, cross-functional environment, which could include consulting experience  
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Project Management Certification and/or MBA highly desirable
  • Track record working closely with senior leaders/clients in high-performing environments, and specifically:
    • Scoping high quality, customer-focused, sustainable solutions (design thinking experience helpful)
    • Driving projects that have demonstrably increased organizational effectiveness
    • Identifying and implementing process improvements, efficiencies, and simplification
    • Working across multiple functions and departments and overseeing multiple projects simultaneously
    • Prioritizing and adjusting based on internal- or external-client needs
    • Aligning and navigating detail/accuracy and big picture context
  • High level of competence with technology systems in an environment with multiple, coexisting technology/software platforms; ideally brings experience with SalesForce
  • Experience building strong, positive, collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies, by listening to new ideas, encouraging open dialogue, and inspiring people to work towards common goals
  • Flexibility and ability to work well individually, as part of a team, and with diverse communities
  • Self-motivated, with strong problem-solving abilities, “can do” style, a strong attention to detail, and a willingness to pitch in as needed and where needed
  • Exceptional organizational skills; demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines
  • Reflection of Barr values, including commitment to strive for excellence, act with humility, adopt a long-term perspective, and embrace risk
  • A collegial spirit in sharing ideas and receiving feedback  
  • Excellent presentation skills and strong writing skills, particularly in communicating with diverse audiences in a variety of settings


How to Apply

Please visit to apply for this position. Only applications submitted via this link will be considered. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with applications encouraged by September 4, 2018.

All inquiries may be directed in confidence to: Denise Gillespie, director of Human Resources, via email at: [email protected].

No phone calls, please.

The Barr Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and seeks a diverse pool of candidates in this search. This position offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits.

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