Program Director (GRCF)

Organizational Overview

Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. Guided by our North Star, we believe for West Michigan to grow and prosper, we must ensure that everyone can apply their talents and creativity to fuel our future. By connecting across perspectives and overcoming inequities, we can build and sustain an inclusive economy and thriving community.

Position Overview

The Program Director reports to the Vice President of Program and is responsible for management of all aspects of the Foundation's grantmaking activities, including unrestricted, specialty, contract and component funds. This includes primary responsibility for the implementation of the Fund for Community Good and seeking out opportunities to partner with and resource community efforts.

The Program Director will oversee Program Officer(s) who focus on the implementation of existing specialty funds including the Nonprofit Technical Assistant Fund, geographic affiliates, Youth Grant Committee, African American Heritage Fund, Our LGBT Fund, Dream Fund and multiple designated funds for specific use.

The Program Director plays a critical role on the Foundation staff as relationship-builder, community liaison, and strategist. The person filling this role will be a purposeful grantmaker and active partner in the community. This key member of the Foundation's staff works with the Vice President of Program and program team to successfully allocate resources and implement initiatives that work toward the North Star of building an inclusive economy and thriving community.

The Program Director will have an extraordinary understanding and commitment to the Community Foundation’s North Star and deeply rooted relationships and networks within communities experiencing inequities in Kent County. They will have extensive experiences working effectively with persons from various cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. They will have a demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative setting, effectively communicate around sensitive issues, a highly developed cultural awareness and the ability to be an active listener.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Direct and manage all grantmaking processes for the Fund for Community Good. This includes:
    • Build and nurture relationships and partnerships with community stakeholders
    • Developing and distributing requests for proposals and soliciting proposals
    • Providing guidance and outreach to non-profit organizations, and arrange for technical assistance as needed
    • Reviewing proposals and preparing written analysis for committees or board of trustees
    • Managing and facilitating committees to help formulate recommendations to the Board of Trustees
    • Communicating results of decisions to grant partners, to the Board of Trustees and other appropriate individuals or groups regarding the initiatives.
    • Monitoring and reporting progress and impact of funded programs to the appropriate individuals or committees
    • Serve as the main contact for any questions and information for partnership and grant opportunities
    • Providing any other administrative support required.
  • Develop, coach and retain high-performing team-members empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility and performance, including supervision of two Program Officers. Create a work environment that stimulates excellence, innovation and teamwork.
  • Work with community organizations, coalitions, grassroots organizations, individuals and government agencies in efforts designed to change community systems or processes. Identify the Foundation’s role within those systems and implement change through active participation and presence on community committees and work groups. Also may involve proactive solicitation of funding proposals to support community initiatives or activities.
  • Develop and oversee plan for field of interest fund distribution and provide thought-leadership and supervision for the strategy of other component funds implemented by Program Officers including, but not limited to, youth and affiliate funds.
  • Develop and maintain a strong communications network with and among a diverse group of professionals, citizens, elected officials and community stakeholders. Facilitate the development and implementation of a method for obtaining and processing information from the community. This may include public speaking, presentations and networking with the appropriate individuals and organizations.
  • Work in partnership with the Challenge Scholars Director and Vice President of Program to ensure strategic alignment and mutual reinforcement of all department functions, lead learning across the department and inform organizational priorities.
  • Maintain contact with local, state, and national grant makers to ensure that partnership opportunities are maximized.
  • Participate in events, seminars and conferences in the local community and in the regional, state, and national nonprofit and philanthropic sectors that are designed to strengthen and promote the field and advance equity at the Foundation.
  • Working as a member of multidisciplinary and interdepartmental teams to ensure the effective and efficient operations of the Foundation.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in the areas of nonprofit management, administration, social science or other related field. Master’s degree preferred. In lieu of degree, equivalent experience in nonprofit management or social services acceptable.
  • Five to seven years experience and knowledge of the non-profit sector, the Grand Rapids community preferred. Knowledge of foundations and grantmaking practices a plus.
  • Broad network of relationships within communities experiencing inequities and comprehensive training in inclusion and equity practices. History of deep listening skills and the ability to accurately assess needs and build trusting relationships.
  • Knowledge of systems of power and oppression and how they impact the lived experience of marginalized communities.
  • Extensive written, verbal, analytical, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Comfortable relating to culturally diverse groups of people and professionals in a variety of fields and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Experience incorporating diverse perspectives into overall organizational goals.
  • Training and/or experience in leadership training, supervision, team-building, or similar skills are also desirable. Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Experience building partnerships, collaborations, or coalitions within community. Knowledge of current relevant theories and best practices in community building, outreach, community relations, capacity building, convening and meeting facilitation.
  • Experience and knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs, preferably the Microsoft Office Suite. Experience with databases and data entry desirable.

Special Work Requirements:

  • Safe & reliable, personal transportation required. Properly licensed and properly insured.
  • Travel within the State of Michigan
  • Occasional evenings and weekends

Organizational Competencies:

All Employees are required to uphold the values of Grand Rapids Community Foundation which are: Integrity, Excellence, Inclusion, Sustainability, and Bold Aspirations. All employees are required to comply with the policies, procedures, and safety programs of GRCF as well as follow all state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to those related to donor rights, confidentiality, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).


Percent of Work Time





Greater than 60%








Lifting or carrying up to 30 lbs.

Less than 10%

5.Pushing or pulling up to 30 lbs. Less than 10%



Less than 10%


Kneeling, stooping or bending

Less than 10%


Repetitive movement

Less than 10%




To Apply

Please apply online at

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