Program Officer (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 Officer works closely with Program Department staff to advance the Community Foundation’s community engagement and resource activities.  The position will focus on implementation of existing specialty funds including the Nonprofit Technical Assistant Fund, geographic affiliates, African American Heritage Fund, and multiple designated funds for specific use.  The Program Officer will walk alongside nonprofits from inquiry, application, implementation and evaluation. The Program Officer will also work closely with the Program Director in support of the Youth Grant Committee.

The Program Officer will play a supportive role in informing strategic opportunities and connections between the Community Foundation and the community that balances systems-level work with support for catalytic opportunities at the grassroots level.  Part of a collaborative team, the Program Officer will work to identify opportunities for the Community Foundation to support emerging efforts that align with the North Star. The Program Officer will develop and maintain authentic relationships in community that ensure an understanding of the lived experience of people encountering inequities.

The ideal candidate 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

  1. Assist in the process to distribute the Community Foundation’s resources in the form of grants or initiatives focused primarily on special fund, contract and/or component fund grantmaking. (35%)  This includes:
      1. Providing guidance to nonprofit organizations as needed
      2. Reviewing proposals and preparing written analysis
      3. Working with the Board of Trustees and committees as needed to approve recommendations
      4. Communicating results of decisions
      5. Monitoring and reporting progress and impact of funded programs to the appropriate individuals or committees
      6. Being the main contact for any questions and information
      7. Providing any other administrative support required
  2. Work with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s component funds’ youth committees to distribute income.  This includes ongoing recruitment of students in a fashion that encourages diversity and inclusion, organizing meetings, assisting the members to prepare youth needs assessments for their communities, making grant recommendations and presentations to the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees (15%).
  3. Work with youth committees to organize educational experiences and social activities including committee orientation and training, volunteer opportunities or youth-related meetings and conference (5%).
  4. Share knowledge, skills and abilities in service of cross sector organizations, initiatives and emerging opportunities that align with GRCF’s North Star and cultivate and connect resources and relationships in support of their efforts (15%).
  5. Develop and maintain strong relationships and partnerships with formal and informal leaders, grassroots organizations, governmental entities, individuals, professional groups, neighborhood groups, houses of worship, corporations and other groups to advance solutions to issues that impact people experiencing inequities (10%).
  6. Work as a member of multidisciplinary and interdepartmental teams to ensure the effective and efficient operations and to develop innovative ways to resource community (10%).
  7. Facilitate the exchange of information between program staff and donors to support donor engagement activities (5%).
  8. Attend nonprofit related trainings, meetings and events.  Responsible for reviewing information relevant to the nonprofit sector (5%).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  1. Bachelor’s degree in the area of nonprofit management, administration, social sciences or other related field along with minimum five years of related experience. In lieu of degree, equivalent experience in non-profit management or social services acceptable.
  2. Broad network of relationships within communities experiencing inequities and comprehensive training in inclusion and equity practices.
  3. Knowledge of systems of power and oppression and how they impact the lived experience of marginalized communities.
  4. Experience and/or knowledge of the nonprofit sector and the Grand Rapids community, foundation and grantmaking knowledge a plus.
  5. History of deep listening skills and the ability to accurately assess needs and build trusting relationships.
  6. Driven to operate in alignment with the culture, core values, purpose and vision of the Community Foundation.
  7. Considerable knowledge of community engagement techniques and proven track record of effective community engagement.
  8. Excellent written, verbal, analytical, and interpersonal skills.  
  9. Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  10. Training and/or experience in youth development principles, group facilitation, leadership training, team-building, or similar skills are desirable.   
  11. Experience and knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs, preferably the Microsoft Office Suite.  Experience with databases and data entry preferred.


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 and procedures 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).


Special Work Requirements

  1. Safe & reliable, personal transportation required.  Properly licensed and properly insured.
  2. Travel within the State of Michigan.
  3. Evenings and weekends


Physical Requirements

Percent of Work Time

  1. Sitting Greater than 60%
  2. Standing 25-60%
  3. Walking 25-60%
  4. Lifting or carrying up to 30 lbs. Less than 10%
  5. Pushing or pulling up to 30 lbs. Less than 10%
  6. Climbing Less than 10%
  7. Kneeling, stooping or bending Less than 10%
  8. Repetitive movement Less than 10%
  9. Keyboarding 25-60%

To Apply

Click here. Applications due August 31st.

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