Program Associate (AP)

Organization Background

Arbor Philanthropy provides high quality, collaborative staffing to the following network of family philanthropies:  Better Way Foundation, Enkel Foundation, GHR Foundation, Opus Foundation and Opus Prize Foundation.  We employ strategies to support and capitalize on synergies across the foundations and strive to create a work environment with a collaborative, supportive team focused on high quality, cost-effective client services and ‘best practice’ family philanthropy.

Position Summary

The program associate’s primary responsibility is to provide high-quality program, grants management, learning and operational support, to one or more program Initiatives and departments for the assigned foundation.

Reporting and Collaborative Relationships

The program associate has a direct reporting line to senior program staff or initiative lead and a dotted line into the Director of Grants Management and Learning (GML). The position is highly matrixed and is also expected to take direction from and collaborate with other team members. 

Primary Responsibilities

The program associate provides wide-ranging support across program, grants management, and learning to include compliance, proposal review, monitoring, evaluation, learning and conducting background research.  Responsibilities will generally include:

  • Performs cursory review of grant proposals for review including compliance and completeness, strengthening key questions to capture learnings, cross-initiative overlaps and potential areas for collaboration and/or knowledge sharing (internal or external)
  • Assists with drafting funding recommendations, and provides initial review and summary of grantee reports.
  • Develops solid understanding of the work of assigned initiatives, strategies, and portfolios, and supports alignment of learning strategies with foundation-wide standards.
  • Supports improvements and implementation of assessment frameworks, including technology, tools and processes to support data and knowledge management throughout the grant lifecycle
  • Supports program team in their reflection and learning processes, and fosters opportunities to share learning across initiative teams and the foundation.
  • In collaboration with program and GML teams, works directly with grantees as needed to ensure that questions or potential problems are resolved across the grant life cycle. These responsibilities may include:
    • Monitors and ensures that proposals and grants move expeditiously through the life cycle, focusing on timeliness, quality, and fidelity to process, and recommending improvements to process where needed.
    • Provides input to GML on the structure and documentation for grants, funding guidelines, and application and report templates.
    • Provides input to and/or effectively manages discrete projects associated with grants management processes, workflows, technology, improvements and changes.
    • Manages grant data for assigned program(s) to enhance data quality and to enable the program team’s ability to use data effectively to inform decision making and analysis.
    • Reconciles grants budget with grants database; interfaces with partners to ensure accurate and compliant submission of grants documents
    • Represents the Program and GML functions in the philanthropic sector by sharing lessons and experiences with the field through writing or presenting, participating in funder gatherings, and learning from colleagues at other foundations.

Administration and Operations 

  • Drafts and monitors initiative work plans and budgets, and proactively initiates activities to meet program team needs
  • Prepares and coordinates production of meeting materials, including drafting memos, spreadsheets, reports and presentations; liaises with other team members on assignments; produces high-quality materials with consistent formatting and editing; copies and distributes materials as appropriate
  • Plans, coordinates and manages initiative-related meetings and events, including calendaring, scheduling, logistics, travel, and associated communications; manages all pre- and post-event activities to ensure well-coordinated and seamless execution; uses technology effectively
  • Assists program team in utilizing new technology, technology upgrades and training.

The program associate works as part of a foundation team to ensure customer focus, achievement of high professional standards, and commitment to a productive work environment. Expectations include:

  • Provides assistance to others and requests assistance from others as workloads require
  • Serves as integral part of an administrative team providing support on Arbor-wide projects as needed during peak periods
  • Assumes other duties as assigned


The program associate has an active curiosity and passion for philanthropy, and a genuine commitment to support a team to ensure customer focus and the achievement of high-quality work.

  • Masters degree with 1-3 years experience or Bachelor’s degree with 3-5 in relevant field required;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook software required, with experience generating clear, concise reports and presentations using this software
  • Experience with Microsoft PowerBI and grant-tracking software (e.g., MicroEdge GIFTs or GivingData) preferred but not required
  • Program development or grant proposal review experience preferred
  • International experience preferred; cross cultural understanding and appreciation required.
  • organ
  • Strong organization and project management skills including the ability to anticipate work flow, handle multiple projects simultaneously, create/request clarity on multiple priorities, take initiative within a collegial work team and accomplish tasks under a deadline
  • Embodies the values of Arbor Philanthropy
  • Strong interpersonal skills to effectively work with, and relate to boards of directors, family members, grantees/ perspective grantees and community members at large
  • Skilled and knowledgeable with social media platforms
  • Experience handling highly confidential matters in an appropriate manner
  • Strong communications skills; ability to write clearly and concisely

Working Conditions

This is a typical office environment in which employees use office equipment like personal computers, fax machines, copiers, telephones; stand or sit at a desk for long periods of time (2-3) hours; may need to lift and move documents and supplies (not to exceed 25 lbs.); and bend to file or retrieve documents. Occasional domestic and international travel is required.                                                                                              

To Apply

Send cover letter and resume to [email protected].   Application review will begin the week of March 20.  Position will remain open until filled

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