Senior Program Officer (BCF)


The Ben B. Cheney Foundation is seeking a Senior Program Officer (SPO) to work with our team as we support philanthropic efforts across our community.  You will be joining an organization that has a 44 year legacy of deep commitment to service from the time of its founding by Ben Cheney who was dedicated to giving back to the communities in which he was fortunate to live, work and build a family and business.

Over that time, our foundation has given upwards of $100 million to 1400 organizations which are addressing community needs, supporting vulnerable populations and helping our community thrive.  You will be joining us to continue this legacy and be a leader on our staff team who brings a dynamic perspective on how our foundation can evolve to serve our communities even more effectively in the years ahead.


Founded with a mission to support youth sports endeavors, we now fund organizations across the communities in which Ben Cheney grew his business in the areas of education, health and social services, community development and cultural programs.  To get a better sense of why and how our mission evolved, we encourage you to watch:

Our team is small but mighty, as we do much with our numbers.  We value and actively model the importance of collaboration, respect, humbleness, integrity, empathy and responsive and active listening.

We bring those same values as well as a dedication to supporting our vibrant and diverse community to our work with the organizations we fund.  We listen and work in true partnership, meeting these community organizations where they are and supporting their missions as we know they understand best how to address needs on the ground and what works and what doesn’t.

The SPO role is based in Tacoma, Pierce County where Ben Cheney built his business and began the Cheney foundation.  If you live here, you know this already, and if you are considering this position and moving here you will find it to be an amazing place to live and work full of natural beauty, friendly people, diverse neighborhoods and renowned cultural, academic, civic and business organizations.    


As the SPO, you will be responsible for all aspects of developing and overseeing our grants including:

  • Reviewing and evaluating letters of intent and proposals
  • Developing recommendations for our foundation’s Executive Director (ED) and Board of Directors (board)
  • Presenting proposal recommendations internally
  • Researching, learning and thinking strategically, in thought-partnership with the ED and board, about new opportunities for funding or emerging community needs
  • Monitoring and overseeing grants and reviewing grant reports
  • Overseeing the internal infrastructure that manages our grantmaking process

You will also be one of the faces of the foundation and will:

  • Represent the foundation across a broad and diverse group of community partners and stakeholders
  • Attend and speak at, where appropriate, community forums and events
  • Travel to sites to discuss, support and creatively problem-solve with community organizations
  • Serve as a primary point of contact with grantees and potential grantees, including
    • Interacting with existing or potential grantees to learn about ongoing work and future opportunities
    • Engaging with and assisting community organizations seeking information about the foundation, its work and its grantmaking processes

Internally, you will work as a close and valued colleague with the rest of our team - staff and board - to advance the foundation’s mission consistent with our culture and values.

You will report to the ED and, when called on, to the foundation board.  Please note that this role is set to begin in the mid-late August 2019 timeframe.


To join our team, you will be a highly motivated and proactive professional who possesses the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes:

You will be:

  • Dedicated to supporting a thriving community
  • Someone who possesses a service and volunteer spirit both professionally and personally
  • An adaptive leader and manager, particularly adept at exercising soft authority
  • Entrepreneurial
  • A strategic forward-thinker
  • An active listener and someone who respects, elevates and incorporates in our work voices across the community, particularly those who are sometimes or often voiceless
  • A continuous, curious and self-reflective learner
  • A collaborator and connector
  • A facilitator
  • Empathetic and relational – able to build relationships across all types of stakeholders

You will have demonstrated over your career:

  • The heart of a teacher
  • Humility
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • The highest level of integrity and ethics
  • Excellent verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills
  • Superior management and organizational skills
  • A friendly, gracious and approachable manner
  • The ability to balance short and long-term work
  • A high tolerance for ambiguity
  • Familiarity with grantmaking
  • Familiarity with the communities in which we fund OR the ability to learn and build relationships and networks quickly
  • Proficiency with standard technologies used in the grantmaking field and facility in adapting to new technology
  • A sense of humor and joy in the work

Also required:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or above
  • A minimum level of 10 years in a leadership and/or managerial role, preferably with philanthropy, program or non-profit management
  • Enthusiasm for and ability to travel around our regions – Washington, Oregon and northern California – and potentially other areas of the country as the work requires.


The Ben B. Cheney Foundation offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package. The salary for the SPO will be commensurate with the individual’s qualifications, experience and work history. Benefits include a generous vacation, health insurance and retirement package among other benefits.


We have retained The Giving Practice to support our search for this position. If you believe you are the right match for this opportunity, please apply by uploading your cover letter and resume to our online application portal.  In your cover letter, please tell us why you are the right person for this job. If you have any issues with submitting your application, please contact Dawn Chirwa of The Giving Practice at TGPsearch at

You may also recommend individuals for this position by submitting names and any supporting materials to Dawn Chirwa at the email address above.

Materials will be reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted by Friday, June 14, 2019 for priority consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

The Ben B. Cheney Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and we strive to reflect the wide-ranging diversity of our community. We recognize, respect and work to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage those who share these values, particularly candidates of color and those from other underrepresented groups, to apply.



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