Program Associate, Sustainability (CGMF)

Job Title:                Program Associate, Sustainability

Location:               1300 Guadalupe, Ste 250, Austin, Texas 78701

Reports To:          Water Program Officer

FLSA Status:         Exempt


The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) is a mission-driven grantmaking foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems. The foundation funds high impact projects in Texas at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy. The Mitchell Foundation’s Sustainability Program focuses on initiatives related to water, clean energy, land conservation, and sustainability education with a strict focus on Texas. The foundation’s other programs focus on carrying out the legacy of Cynthia and George Mitchell, including a community revitalization effort in Galveston, Texas.


The Program Associate (PA) is responsible for program and grants-administration support  to the foundation’s sustainability program team. The team includes the Vice President of Sustainability Programs, Program Officers, additional Program Associates and administrative staff. Providing direct support primarily, but not exclusively, to the water program, the PA is also responsible for working across the organization, with grant administration, program, and executive staff to ensure that communication, operational, and program activities are carried out professionally and smoothly.

The PA role is both programmatic and administrative. The PA will actively engage in the water program grantmaking and strategy development through program-related research, grantee interaction, and support for numerous substantive convenings and workshops organized by program staff. While most tasks will focus on the water program, the PA is expected to be familiar with and support other programmatic initiatives in the sustainability program.

Administratively, the PA will review grant proposals and reports, administer the grants management database (Fluxx), monitor the budget and grant cycle, write program reports and updates, provide technical support and counseling to grantees related to proposal submission, and support communication activities that range from story generation to content editing using the Chicago Manual of Style.

As part of a small office, the PA is considered a representative of the Mitchell Foundation. This position requires the ability to work independently and exercise initiative, critical analysis, discretion, and judgment to ensure informed decision-making related to the core responsibility of executing and managing grants.

The ideal candidate is a systems thinker with a commitment to sustainability and Texas. The most fitting candidate will have a demonstrated interest in holding sustainability concepts as the framework to measure public policy debates and decisions. In addition, the successful candidate is able to manage several tasks and demands simultaneously, and has the ability to gather information, draw conclusions, and make recommendations regarding complex problems and issues. The candidate must be confident, flexible, comfortable with change, and have the ability to work independently and with colleagues.


  • Screen and manage unsolicited grant inquires to determine fit with CGMF priorities. Request additional information from organizations, if necessary, to complete review. Communicate declinations and the rationale for it to the grantseeker orally and/or in writing.
  • Maintain a thorough knowledge of the priorities and grantee selection criteria for the sustainability program. Respond to telephone or email requests for program information.
  • Conduct research and data analysis as requested by the VP or PO on program-related topics, with emphasis on water resource sustainability. Remain abreast of current research, activities, and trends in philanthropy and sustainability by reviewing professional publications, and attending related conferences and meetings.
  • Develop and maintain research on potential grantees and partner institutions. Assist colleagues gather background information, history, and organizational data on prospective grantees to inform the grant review process. Review grant proposals and reports and ensure content is appropriate and all necessary documents are included.
  • Coordinate and assist grantees with the Foundation’s grantmaking process by requesting additional information when needed, responding to questions, notifying them of the status of their grant, etc. Manage rejected proposals.
  • Process incoming grants and grant reports by entering all required information into the Fluxx grants management system
  • Monitor budget targets, reconcile program budgets, and keep VP/PO informed of budget status
  • Monitor spending and deadlines for consulting agreements and foundation initiated projects
  • Coordinate and manage cradle to grave logistics for a variety of foundation meetings and events
  • Represent the foundation by participating in meetings with grantees, collaborators, and consultants
  • In coordination with the VP, POs, and additional PAs, prepare a series of written products for the sustainability program in advance of numerous deadlines, including program updates for board committees, grants reports, newsletter and annual report for the Board of Directors.
  • Research specific topics and prepare reports and visual aids, including Powerpoint presentations, for program staff.

This job description reflects the assignment of essential functions; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. A preferred candidate will demonstrate a degree in a relevant field and interest in philanthropy, sustainability, water resources, and/or the nonprofit sector
  • 2+ years work experience. Work in a key program area of water, land conservation and/or previous experience in philanthropy or grantmaking is a plus
  • Excellent analytical thinking, writing, speaking and editing skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and experience with operational needs of a foundation are valued
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs, especially Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in a Mac environment
  • Experience using database software
  • Strong interpersonal skills that have been demonstrated in a professional setting
  • Demonstrated research and writing skills
  • Ability to prioritize and juggle diverse tasks while maintaining attention to details
  • Ability to travel as necessary for 2–3 business days at a time
  • Proven ability to work well under pressure, take initiative, and be a creative problem-solver
  • Capable of working in a quiet, small-office environment


  • Confident and self-directed
  • Interest in and dedication to the foundation’s mission
  • Takes initiative and willing to pitch in when necessary
  • Positive attitude and sense of humor
  • Adaptable, flexible nature, comfortable with emergent qualities of a growing organization
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team
  • Strong interpersonal skills


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel; reach with hands and arm; climb stairs, balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. This position requires the frequent use of computer office software and databases. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


The CGMF is located downtown in Austin, Texas. The office environment is a typical small office with low noise levels, shared kitchen facilities, and a collegial atmosphere. Paid parking is available and the office has access to public transportation. On occasion, there are activities or events after work hours. Occasional travel is required.

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


Please submit your resume, a compelling cover letter, and a list of three references to [email protected]. Due to the volume of expected applications, we will not accept phone calls regarding this position.


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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-07-02 16:54:37 -0400