Program Associate, Education (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 $1.9 billion and a 2019 grantmaking budget of $90 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:

Barr’s Education Program

Since its inception, the Barr Foundation has prioritized education as a principal area of funding. Since 2015, the program has worked across the New England region to support more students to achieve college and career readiness. While we work across the entire region, we prioritize areas with high concentrations of high needs students. Our program focuses on three strategic levers to transform the high school experience for students:

Catalyze New Models: Fuel fresh designs that fit local contexts and transform the high school experience, to put success within reach of all students

Build Public Will: Engage parents and students, educators and civic leaders, and all residents as informed advocates for high-quality schools.

Invest in Educators: Develop the pipeline of diverse, skilled, effective teachers and school leaders who bring new educational models to life for their students.


Program Associate Position

The Barr Foundation is seeking a program associate to provide programmatic and administrative support to members of the Education team. The Education team members manage the grantmaking, external relationships, research and convening required to advance the strategic goals of the program. In addition, the director manages the budget and operations of the team. This position reports to the senior program officer for the catalyze new models portfolio and collaborates closely with the portfolio’s program officer. 

The ideal candidate must be highly organized and self-motivated, with attention to detail and the ability to prioritize workload. Proven written, computer, and interpersonal skills to manage relationships with a broad range of people and organizations are essential. This is a full-time position with a generous benefits package.

Key Responsibilities

Grantmaking Support

  • Work with the senior program officer to review inquiries and proposals in the program area.
  • Under the direction of the senior program officer, support the senior program officer and program officer in reviewing new proposals and conducting the appropriate due diligence. Review proposal budgets, workplans and anticipated project outcomes as related to proposal goals and institutional capability.
  • Draft grant recommendations needed for the board book for team review.
  • Under the guidance of the senior program officer, monitor grant activities and follow up with grantees as needed, providing technical assistance as appropriate.
  • Assist program officers with reviewing grant reports and evaluations and track required grantee documentation.
  • Conduct research and analysis on grant proposals, potential funding initiatives, or special projects.
  • Work with the team to evaluate grants or grant clusters in support of program strategy reviews.
  • Track all Education program grant inquiries and manage responses.
  • Engage in special projects as directed by the senior program officer or program director.

Processes and Operations

  • Produce high quality, timely grant materials.
  • Maintain accurate records of grantees and prospective grantees across multiple platforms.
  • Support the senior program officer to plan and implement grantee convenings and meetings.
  • Under the director of the senior program officer, support the senior program officer and program officer to plan and implement site visits for due diligence and learning.
  • Develop and manage contracts as appropriate.
  • Contribute to program, direct charitable expense and operating budget tracking.
  • Support the timely submission of expense reports for the senior program officer.
  • Engage in other program administrative support tasks as needed.


Desired Skills and Experience

  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, including proven writing and editing ability;
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, collect, organize and synthesize information from various data sources;
  • Professional demeanor and attitude and strong interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to bring sound judgement and discretion to handling of confidential information;
  • Ability to work well individually, as part of a team, and with diverse communities;
  • Self-motivated, with strong problem-solving abilities and a strong attention to detail;
  • Exceptional organizational skills; demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; and ability to meet deadlines;
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite, social media, and other technology; experience with database systems;
  • Interest in developing public speaking and presentation skills for engagement with small and large groups;
  • Comfort working in a diverse team setting, with a commitment to issues of equity and inclusion;
  • 2-4 years of relevant work experience, experience in education, nonprofit or philanthropic organizations is a plus;
  • A bachelor’s degree is required.


To Apply

Please visit to apply for this position. Only applications submitted via this link will be considered. Applications for this position will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with preference given to applications received before February 28, 2020.

All inquiries may be directed in confidence to: Denise Gillespie, director of human resources, via email at [email protected]. This position offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits.

Barr Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, with a commitment to building and fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We welcome candidates who would both contribute to and learn from working in such an environment.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.