Program Officer, Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives (BP)

About Borealis Philanthropy

Borealis Philanthropy works as a partner to philanthropy, helping grantmakers expand their reach and impact. As a philanthropic intermediary, Borealis helps connect grantmakers to organizations that meet their mission. We provide a high level of service to our funders and grantees by conducting our work in a manner that is collaborative, transparent, and accountable. We respond promptly to the needs and interests of our partners by staying abreast of changing policy and social landscapes. We educate grantmakers and non-profits organizations on the important role intermediaries play in the philanthropic sector, and endeavor to share our knowledge with the broader field. In carrying out this vision, we ultimately hope to change the way philanthropy works.

Overview of the Position

The Program Officer works to lead the programmatic work of the Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives team at Borealis Philanthropy. This includes our Spark Justice Fund, Communities Transforming Policing Fund, and other related grantmaking initiatives. The Spark Justice Fund is focused on supporting grassroots organizing efforts to end cash bail, advance pretrial justice transformation, and build power in the communities most impacted by incarceration. The Communities Transforming Policing Fund supports promising advocacy in local jurisdictions across the country to ensure law enforcement practices do not disproportionality target communities of color, LGBTQ people, people who are homeless, people with mental illnesses, and other vulnerable community members.

Major Responsibilities


  • Work closely with CJRI funds donors and CJRI team in the overall design and implementation of grantmaking and related
  • Lead the design and implementation of CJRI funds grantmaking program including:
    • Design the Request for Proposals (RFP) sent to prospective applicants
    • Identify new applicants for future grantmaking rounds
    • Review proposals submitted by grant applicants; make site visits, as appropriate.
    • Prepare written summaries and analysis documents of grant applications for recommendations docket to donors.
    • Develop and implement organizational and leadership development component of grantmaking.
  • Communicate with the advocacy community – grant applicants and others and serve as a principal contact with grantees.
  • Ensure all grantee documentation is in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Lead and oversee the development of grantee technical assistance, capacity- building, and peer-learning activities.

Donor Committee Management:

  • Work with the Borealis staff team to plan and execute donor meetings - draft meeting agendas, facilitate meetings, report back, etc.
  • Manage donor relations and ongoing communications with CJRI fund donors.
  • Help identify other potential funding opportunities where applicable.
  • Prepare information for submission of proposals and grant reports to funders

Staff Oversight:

  • Help oversee the work of the Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives Program Associate.
  • Provide regular, ongoing feedback and check ins with Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives Program Associate


  • Provide staff support as necessary around funder research, assistance with proposal and report writing, preparation and distribution.

Community Relations:

  • Conduct the necessary due diligence on the issues the funds address – report back on findings to donors and Borealis staff
  • Represent Borealis Philanthropy and CJRI funds in grantmaking networks– help disseminate information about Fund’s philosophy and activities.
  • Keep current on issues of importance to CJRI funds’ mission by participating in relevant meetings and conferences.


  • At least 5 years’ experience in nonprofit sector/community work or philanthropy.
  • Significant knowledge and experience with police and bail reform and other criminal justice reform work.
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a range of groups, including donors, consultants and community leaders.
  • Experience working with diverse communities. Strong communications skills, both written and oral.
  • Strong ability and desire to work in a team environment.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Ability to work independently and virtually, with a staff team located in different parts of the country.

Compensation and Benefits

Status: Full-time, Regular, Exempt, benefits eligible

Salary Range: $90-115k

Benefits include: Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Medical and Dependent Care Flex Spending Account, Trans Health Benefit program, 401k plan, Short and Long Term Disability Insurance, Life and AD&D Insurance, 12 paid holidays plus the days between Christmas and New Year’s, paid parental leave, and a generous PTO program.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Borealis is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or any other category protected by local, state, or federal laws. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff team. We strongly encourage applicants who are people of color, LGBTQ, women, people with disabilities; and/or formerly incarcerated people.

How To Apply

Position open until filled. We encourage applications on or before May 15, 2019.

Please email the following materials to [email protected] and indicate: “CJRI Program Officer – Name” in subject line of email and attach:

  • Cover letter detailing your experience and qualifications
  • Resume
  • Links to 2 – 3 articles, videos, and/or resources about bail reform activism that you have written. Writing sample on bail, policing or other criminal justice issues

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