Senior Program Officer (FF)

ABOUT FIDELITY FOUNDATIONS:

The Fidelity Foundations are a group of private, non-operating foundations that fund a diverse set of programs on a national and international scale. Areas of investment include education, arts and culture, health care, science, conservation and community services. In addition, the Foundations fund nonprofit organizations that strengthen the communities in which Fidelity Investments employees live and work.

Foundation grants are designed to encourage the highest standards of management and to create long- term self-reliance in nonprofit organizations. Taking an investment approach to grantmaking, the Foundations fund organizations with a goal of adding lasting, measurable value. The Foundations seek to support major initiatives that nonprofits undertake to reach new levels of achievement.

The Foundations were established with several operating principles in mind. These principles guide its decisions and grantmaking 50 years later:

Strengthening Nonprofit Organizations

The Fidelity Foundations’ grant program was designed to strengthen the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit institutions. The types of projects the Fidelity Foundations fund, and the way in which they fund them, are specifically intended to help nonprofits build the organizational capabilities they need to better fulfill their missions and serve their constituencies.

Approaching Grants as Investments

The Fidelity Foundations view their philanthropy as an investment — not just of financial resources, but also of their business skills and experience. In considering each proposal, the Fidelity Foundations apply the fundamentals of investing: they carefully examine each aspect of an organization's project idea, management team and financial situation before committing resources to ensure a grant can achieve tangible results.

Leveraging Resources

The Fidelity Foundations seek to leverage resources wherever possible. Often this is accomplished by offering challenge and matching grants that encourage nonprofits to seek and secure other funding partners. The Fidelity Foundations draw on their own business experience by working with grantees to develop performance measures that help determine whether a grant accomplishes its intended purpose. As the Foundations gain information from funded projects, it informs work on future projects in similar fields. The Foundations also utilize their contacts to put present grantees in touch with former grantees that have faced similar issues.

Commitment to Excellence and Innovation

The Fidelity Foundations’ grant program seeks to reflect Fidelity Investments' commitment to quality and continuous improvement. The Foundations look for projects representing creative and innovative means of advancing an organization or focus area and strive to remain flexible and opportunistic through a competitive selection process.

Fidelity Investments' Chairman Emeritus, Edward C. Johnson 3d, and his father, the founder of the company, established the Fidelity Foundation in 1965, launching decades of charitable investing and laying the groundwork for many future philanthropic endeavors.

The grantmaking program is conducted by professional staff under the leadership of the President. The approach has been through quiet giving, in which publicity is not sought, confidentiality is critical, and most grants are awarded anonymously.

For more information on the Fidelity Foundations, please visit www.fidelityfoundation.org.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Foundations are at an important and exciting inflection point. A new team of experts is being sought to support the evolution and development of a long-term portfolio in multiple areas including conservation. The Conservation Senior Program Officer is a newly created position that will be responsible to develop and oversee the Foundations conservation grant-making portfolio. The incumbent will be a senior member of the program staff, which develops, manages, and evaluates philanthropic investments. The individual will provide deep content expertise and leadership in the area of conservation, representing the Foundations and their Trustees to prospective and existing grantees as well as partnering organizations.

In relation to conservation, the Foundations are particularly interested in:

  • Protection and restoration of urban land that have the potential to provide enhanced access to and improved quality of natural habitats for the benefit of local communities.
  • The protection of ecological integrity of open lands and natural waters for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
  • Effective management of land and water resources that support both resource protection and sustainable use.
  • Projects ranging from large-scale land conservation to community-specific efforts that leverage natural land as a local resource for recreation, cultural enrichment or other public use.
  • A geographic focus on New England, with interest in national projects and the possibility of international projects.

The Conservation Senior Program Officer will be responsible for supporting program research, development, strategy, budgeting, and pipeline planning in the area of conservation and will manage his/her own diverse portfolio of related grants. S/he will work closely with external consultants and Foundation staff to accomplish program objectives. They will conduct sector analysis, work closely with grantees and potential grantees on proposal development and review, and develop and present detailed grant recommendations to senior management and Trustees.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Identify, develop and refine proposal requests and make grant recommendations to senior management and Trustees.
  • Lead on conservation program strategy development.
  • Manage a diverse portfolio of various sized grants with varied levels of complexity from inception and proposal review to close-out and evaluation.
  • Independently interact with and manage long-term relationships with multiple grantees, and cultivate new relationships with prospective grantees.
  • Regularly review ongoing grantee’s activities, budgets and progress, and evaluate each grant’s effectiveness against originally stated objectives and overall portfolio effectiveness.
  • Provide conservation content expertise in support of other program areas as required.

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will possess the following professional and personal skills, attributes and competencies:

  • Significant ability to build and sustain excellent relationships with colleagues, senior management, Trustees, and external stakeholders.
  • Be a natural collaborator and demonstrated team player with exceptionally strong interpersonal skills who can be viewed as a trusted advisor to grantees and partner organizations.
  • Have the ability to think creatively and collaboratively about the Foundations broader goals and how they intersect with the specifics of the conservation portfolio.
  • Be a flexible, self-directed, problem solver who thrives in a complex environment.
  • Possess excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly and succinctly under time pressure and to make well-organized, strong verbal presentations.
  • Able to demonstrate a commitment to the values of the Foundations and a high-level of integrity, ethical rigor and the ability to maintain confidentiality.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree required; an advanced degree in a related field preferred.
  • 10+ years of related work experience.
  • Technical expertise in land or water conservation, city parks and greenways, large-scale land-use planning, ecosystem-based management or other related field.
  • Understanding of urban planning, landscape design, real estate, and finance.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • High-level interpersonal skills, team player, diplomacy, ability to negotiate and build consensus.
  • Sound judgment, integrity, and respect for confidentiality are absolute requirements.

COMPENSATION AND LOCATION

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. This position is based in Boston, MA.

TO APPLY

To apply, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to recruiting@fidelityfoundation.org.


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