Program Officer, C3 Grantmaking (NVF)

Position Summary

C3 Grantmaking is an integral part of the Catalytic Capital Consortium (“C3”), an investment, learning, and market development initiative conceived by the MacArthur Foundation. Its aim is to increase the use of catalytic capital[1] globally, thereby helping the impact investing field realize its full potential. The Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network join the MacArthur Foundation in this effort, acting as strategic partners who add their expertise and financial resources. 

To advance C3, the MacArthur Foundation is investing up to $150 million on a matching basis through “field partnerships” that demonstrate a powerful use of catalytic capital across sectors and geographies. These investments are complemented by an initial $10 million in grants to increase the knowledge, awareness, and use of catalytic capital among diverse investors.

An advisory board composed of staff from the MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Omidyar Network will set the C3 Grantmaking strategy. Members of the advisory board will contribute funds to the New Venture Fund (NVF), which fiscally sponsors the C3 Grantmaking project.

To implement the day-to-day grantmaking work for the approximately $10 million fund, NVF is seeking applications for a C3 Grantmaking program officer. The C3 Grantmaking program officer will originate and manage a portfolio of grants that will include support for research, data collection, case studies, communications and outreach projects, convenings, toolkits and other types of activity prioritized by the advisory board. The C3 grantmaking portfolio will be global in scope and will span diverse geographies, sectors, asset classes, and investor types. Through this work, the program officer will gain exposure to a wide range of impact investors, foundations, academics, and peer networks. Activities related to investments are not in scope for this position.  

Based in Chicago, the position will report to the NVF President, taking direction from the C3 Grantmaking advisory board. Day-to-day oversight will be provided by one designated member of the advisory board. The expected duration of this assignment is three years, with the possibility of an extension.

The ideal candidate for this position is a self-starter, a creative problem-solver, and someone who is energized by building a strong, effective grant-making program with visible results. The work demands someone who is excellent at delivering in a fast-moving, continuously evolving environment. Strong collaboration skills and a commitment to making a difference in the world of impact investing are essential.


Responsibilities and Tasks

 Governance, Grantmaking Approach, and Program Management

  • As needed, work with the advisory board and fiscal sponsor to implement and refine an effective governance process that aligns with NVF, including navigating the compliance considerations of a fiscally sponsored project with multiple institutional funders and high public visibility. This work also includes setting meeting agendas, preparing materials, and facilitating such meetings as appropriate.
  • Offer input and analysis as the advisory board refines the C3 Grantmaking approach (and, if appropriate, guidelines) based on experience and learning.
  • Develop and maintain an overall workplan for C3 Grantmaking (including elements such as key activities, timelines, deliverables, and responsibilities), reporting on status and progress for the advisory board.
  • With support from the advisory board, develop and maintain a pipeline of prospective grants.
  • Manage the development, tracking, and monitoring of the grants budget.

 Support for Scoping, Solicitation, Execution, and Ongoing Management of C3 Grants

  • Implement decisions on the go-to-market/solicitation approach for different grantmaking activity approved by the advisory board, including elements of procurement options (request for proposal, etc.).
  • Play a role in the grant solicitation process, including:
    • Undertaking programmatic work related to prospective grants and answering questions from prospective respondents, seeking input and guidance from the advisory board as appropriate.
    • Coordinating and staffing the process to evaluate proposals, undertake due diligence, and select grant recipients.
    • If needed, setting up a mechanism for interested parties to submit proposals/grant ideas for C3 Grantmaking-related work, coordinating closely with the advisory board.
  • Review and vet proposals/ideas against predefined criteria; conduct thorough grant due diligence; write a summary of each grant proposal recommended for funding.
  • Present grant recommendations to the advisory board, ensuring that the group follows agreed-upon processes and arrives at timely grant decisions.
  • Collect and ensure the completion of grant documentation, including necessary legal documents, coordinating with NVF as needed.
  • After grants are approved, manage and implement the documentation, disbursement, and reporting requirements for each grant, coordinating with NVF as needed, and the C3 Evaluation and Learning Partner retained by the MacArthur Foundation.
  • Support ongoing coordination among grantees and make connections to share learnings and avoid duplication.
  • Monitor grantee reporting progress/deliverables relative to documented award agreements.
  • Integrate a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens into all aspects of the grantmaking.

Learning, Influence, and Impact

  • Using a framework provided by the advisory board, gather information needed to assess how grants are performing against their direct output/outcome goals.
  • Identify and synthesize important learning and insights from across the portfolio of grants.
  • Support the dissemination of information about grants made and main research findings, working under the direction of the advisory board and others, as directed.
  • Help ensure that grant-funded projects, products and research findings are integrated into any C3 knowledge-sharing platform and/or training.
  • Monitor industry research and activities that are germane to C3 grantmaking areas of focus.
  • As directed by the advisory board, contribute to the development of strategic communications materials (e.g., blogs, website updates, press releases) as related to grantmaking activities.

Ongoing Coordination with the NVF Team

  • Undertake financial management activities, such as managing C3 Grantmaking financials and other relevant tasks.
  • Manage C3 Grantmaking compliance, including reviewing project activities to ensure they are consistent with NVF bylaws, policies, and any legal and other requirements to direct any needed changes.
  • Other pertinent tasks as required by NVF.


Skills, Experience, and Core Competencies

 Skills and Experience

  • 8+ years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong knowledge of the impact investing field, especially market segments that require catalytic capital and the asset owners poised to deploy it: foundations, family offices, donor-advised funds, development-finance institutions, and international aid agencies.
  • Experience building a high-impact grant portfolio: sourcing and conducting due diligence and post-grant management.
  • Experience with philanthropic strategies that focus on actionable research
  • Comfortable in start-up contexts and highly adaptable.
  • Proven track-record of top performance and value-added contribution to project teams.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree preferred.

Core Competencies

  • Communication: Excellent interpersonal abilities; good listening skills; excellent writing and verbal skills; assertiveness in presenting ideas; fluency in technical investment language and concepts.
  • Analytical Ability: Breaks down complex problems and concepts into manageable segments; understands and articulates key drivers thereof; demonstrated ability to deliver insights.
  • Decision-Making: Ability to thoughtfully evaluate risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; ability to prioritize.
  • Project Management: Strong project management skills; can clearly communicate team priorities and timelines to keep a group on task; meets deadlines; sense of urgency and responsibility; ability to multi-task and work under pressure; detail oriented.
  • Stakeholder Management: Ability to coordinate and work effectively with multiple, high-level stakeholders.
  • Integration: Accesses functional and substantive expertise; demonstrates inclusiveness and collaboration.
  • Flexibility: Thrives in a collaborative working culture, comfortable with uncertainty as well as quick acceleration of project development when needed.

All employees of NVF are required to complete weekly timesheets.


The salary range for this position is between $90,000–$110,000/year, depending on experience. The New Venture Fund, the fiscal sponsor of C3 Grantmaking, has a comprehensive benefits package. 

How to Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] to the attention of the Catalytic Capital Consortium Advisory Board by February 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Hiring Statement

C3 Grantmaking is a project of the New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grantmaking programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding, and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.


[1] As detailed in a 2019 report from the consulting firm Tideline, catalytic capital is defined as debt, equity, guarantees, and other investments that accept disproportionate risk and/or concessionary returns relative to a conventional investment to generate positive impact and enable third-party investment that otherwise would not be possible.

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