Office Assistant/Receptionist (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 express beliefs about what constitutes effective philanthropy and guide 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 the Office Manager, the Office Assistant/Receptionist serves as the first point of contact and welcome for all visitors to the Foundation, fields all general inquiries, and supports the daily operational needs of the Foundation and its office. The Office Assistant/Receptionist will be generally responsible for: 1) maintaining a consistently positive and helpful presence at the receptionist desk; 2) managing the public  use of the Foundation’s meeting spaces; 3) supporting a well-functioning office space; and 4) providing operational support for the Foundation.



Key Responsibilities


Front Desk and Meeting Space Support

  • Serve as Receptionist
    • Set a tone and atmosphere of friendly professionalism and responsiveness -- for guests as they arrive for meetings and for those who contact the Foundation with general inquiries
    • Answer general questions and support visitor needs and requests
    • Greet guests and direct them to their meeting space
    • Monitor the Foundation’s main phone line
  • Manage Barr’s conference rooms and meeting spaces
    • Manage documents, communications, and reservation process for external use of Barr space by Foundation grantees and other partners, and respond to inquiries in a timely manner
  • Support program teams with program events/convenings in Barr’s space, serving as an “extra hand” to help when needed


Office Management and Support

  • Manage foundation-wide calendar and events
    • Work with the Grants Management Team and Foundation leadership to set and manage the master calendar of Foundation meetings, deadlines, and events
    • Manage and support scheduling and logistics for regular Barr meetings and events, such as quarterly board meetings, staff events, staff retreats, and staff meetings
  • Manage office space needs
    • Manage office and kitchen supplies
    • Serve as the point person for day-to-day issues that arise related to our office space, including general office vendors and contractors
    • Serve as a resource to the Foundation and organizational departments (property management, IT, human resources, accounting) on any operations-related issues/questions that arise
  • Serve as backup to Program Assistants on a selective basis when they are away from the office

Administrative Support for Grants Management and Accounting

  • Support contract and expense processes
  • Provide administrative support for operations staff
  • Continually identify opportunities to increase efficiency within Barr’s operational practices


Other Office Responsibilities

  • Support foundation-wide working groups or initiatives, as appropriate
  • Undertake special projects when necessary




  • Two or more years of full-time administrative work experience; experience in nonprofit or philanthropic organizations is preferred
  • Professional demeanor, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and superior telephone etiquette
  • Self-motivated, with strong problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement
  • Demonstrated exceptional organizational skills, with the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and the ability to meet deadlines
  • A collegial spirit in sharing ideas and seeking and receiving feedback
  • Demonstrated ability to work well individually, as part of a team, and within diverse communities
  • Reflection of Barr values, including a commitment to strive for excellence, act with humility, adopt a long-term perspective, and embrace risk
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite, databases, and other technology
  • Fluency in one or more languages in addition to English is a plus


To Apply

Please use this link ( to apply for this position. Only applications submitted via this link will be considered. The deadline to submit applications is October 31, 2018.


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


No phone calls, please.


Please note that the Barr Foundation will not cover relocation costs for this position.


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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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-10-10 10:28:15 -0400