Program Specialist, Early Childhood Development

The Mary Black Foundation is an independent grantmaking organization. Its mission is to improve the health and wellness of the people and communities of Spartanburg County, SC. For more information, visit

Position Description: The Program Specialist, Early Childhood Development, is a full-time position that will serve as an integral part of the Foundation’s program team that includes the Vice President of Programs, Program Specialists, and the Grants Manager (“Program Team”). 

The Program Specialist, Early Childhood Development, will be responsible for implementing the Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (“ECD”) grantmaking, including: responding to grant-related inquiries; providing technical assistance to applicants and grantees; conducting site visits; reviewing grant applications; evaluating impact; managing internal grantmaking processes, procedures, and systems; and developing relationships with local nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and other funders. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop a deep understanding of ECD, evidence-based approaches, and the organizations and individuals working to address the issue in Spartanburg County, as well as developing and managing the majority of ECD grants.
  • Through proactive professional development, maintain knowledge of the philanthropic, nonprofit, and public health sectors (nationally, regionally, and locally), including attending professional meetings and conferences, learning about and observing the practices of other grantmaking organizations, and keeping abreast of relevant research, trends, emerging issues, and innovations.
  • Assist the Vice President of Programs in setting programmatic priorities, designing effective grantmaking strategies, developing and implementing meaningful ways to evaluate impact, and communicating results with the Foundation’s stakeholders.
  • Proactively identify and cultivate promising grantmaking opportunities, create a grant pipeline, and develop ways to scout new opportunities.
  • Collaborate with the Program Team to take advantage of grant-making across priority areas.
  • Conduct grant consultations with potential applicants, review grant applications, conduct site visits, and prepare clear and concise written funding recommendations to the Foundation’s Program Committee and Board of Trustees 
  • Monitor active ECD grants. Read evaluation reports and conduct site visits of all active ECD grants.
  • Maintain helpful and supportive relationships with grantees. Where appropriate, provide support for programmatic and management issues, including but not limited to, convening meetings, advocating for issues that will lead to greater impact, attending grantee board meetings, and providing technical assistance.
  • Represent MBF at ECD related meetings, including grantee and partner meetings and meetings in the state or southeast region where MBF’s interests should be represented.
  • Work with the Program Team to coordinate media relations and opportunities to ensure proper media attention for the Foundation’s efforts. This includes maintaining and fostering relationships with local media outlets and articulating in an effective manner the work of the Foundation through a variety of traditional media and social media outlets.
  • Develop partnerships with other organizations and individuals, as necessary, to extend the impact of the Foundation’s investments.
  • Research opportunities to leverage other local, state, and national funding to support existing or new ECD efforts.
  • Be actively engaged in community life in Spartanburg County


  • Bachelor degree required. Experience in philanthropy or fields related to ECD preferred.
  • Strong relationship management skills and highly developed listening skills.
  • Comfortable working with a diverse group of people, with the presence and credibility to develop and sustain a broad range of relationships.
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills.
  • Experience with social media and new communications technology.
  • Flexible team player with a direct, honest, and respectful approach to problem solving.
  • Ability to collaborate and contribute to a sense of community among staff and Trustees.
  • Must thrive when working under deadlines, have strong project, time, and budget management skills, and be able to handle multiple tasks without sacrificing attention to detail.
  • Willingness to share in both “big picture” thinking and administrative tasks. 

Resumes will be accepted until October 5, 2015. Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to:

Mary Black Foundation

Attn: Human Resources

349 East Main Street, Suite 100

Spartanburg, SC 29302

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