Denver, CO

Program Director, Chinook Fund

The Organization

Chinook Fund seeds community-led, systemic change by mobilizing resources for and trusting in grassroots social justice organizations across Colorado. Since our founding in 1987, Chinook Fund has awarded over $3.6 million in grants to more than 380 grassroots groups in Colorado.

Chinook Fund is both a fundraising and grantmaking organization. Funds for grants are primarily raised through the Giving Project, an innovative model for funding social change and fostering leadership. The Giving Project brings together a diverse group of people of all income levels who are passionate about social change and committed to building their skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and community building. It gives participants the opportunity to have transformational conversations about race and class, to experience the impact of collective giving, and the tensions and joys of grantmaking. We use a “donor organizing” approach to fundraising, rooted in the belief that everyone has the ability to give and the ability to ask for money.

Donor organizing is a key strategy of the Giving Project and includes organizing people around their giving through values-based conversations, political education, and supporting donors to see their giving as a vehicle for systemic change. By developing the fundraising leadership of Giving Project members, Chinook Fund reaches many donors new to social justice. Chinook Fund hosts two Giving Projects a year.

This Fall, we will run an alumni grantmaking committee to provide time for onboarding new staff. Since 2016, we have completed 8 Giving Projects and one alumni Grantmaking Committee supporting 144 members to collectively raise $826,620 from 2,494 donors.

To learn about our Giving Project model, please read the following:

Growing Donor Organizers Through Giving Projects 

Position Overview

The Program Director is a full-time, exempt position responsible for leading and developing all aspects of The Giving Project and community-led grantmaking, supervising program staff, and reports to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate is highly skilled with curriculum design, project management, facilitation, grassroots fundraising, and community organizing, with an excellent social justice analysis, and the ability to motivate and engage volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. We envision our staff as a fully collaborative team in service to our mission which includes fundraising, planning, administration, and other support as necessary.

Chinook Fund has a broad vision for the type of person that would excel in the Program Director position. Therefore, we pose the following questions to guide prospective candidates in assessing whether they might be Chinook’s next Program Director. As Program Director, you will have a direct impact for social change—developing new leaders to resource social justice movements and moving hundreds of thousands of dollars to some of the most important community organizing in Colorado.

• Are you a passionate advocate for social justice, amplifying community voices, and building intentionally diverse, multiracial, and cross-class community?

• Do you have experience with program management, curriculum development, facilitation, and/or adult learning with groups of up to 25?

• Do you embrace complexity and conflict with compassion, curiosity, and humility? • Have you been a grantmaker or facilitated community-led social justice programs?

• Are you a creative problem solver with the ability to strategically delegate complex collaborations from a strength’s-based approach?

• Do you embody courage and fearlessness about asking – for money, time, etc.?

• Do you have the ability to maximize volunteers’ strengths and connect with people from a wide array of backgrounds, identities, and political beliefs?

• Are you passionate about developing new leaders and organizing donors to support social justice movements?

• Do you have experience managing staff, recruiting, managing and training volunteers, raising money from individuals, and community organizing?

• Do you want to join a learning community and dynamic team that values authenticity, innovation, community, and promotes social justice while maintaining a healthy work/life balance?

• Do the following qualities sound like your strengths? Passionate, Innovative, Collaborative, Compassionate, Principled Communicator, Accountable, Enthusiastic, Mindful, Optimistic, Fun, and Skilled at Conflict Resilience.

Requirements/ Qualifications: If you’ve answered yes to 4 or more of the above questions, we invite you to apply for Chinook Fund’s Program Director role.


The questions above provide a broad idea about the types of responsibilities that will be held by the Program Director. While specific duties may be assigned based on strengths and skill set, the primary areas of responsibility for the Program Director will include the following:

Program Management – 50%

• Direct, facilitate, and evaluate Giving Project (GP) sessions, outreach, fundraising, and coaching; innovate and design curriculum and materials

• Direct recruitment initiatives to build a robust applicant pool for The Giving Project and Community-led Grantmaking cycles

• Oversee program and grants administration, donation tracking, member communications, Program Committee, and ad-hoc convenings to support outreach

• Support the growing GP alumni community’s leadership • Support the design and facilitation of grantee convenings, capacity building, technical assistance, and peer-learning opportunities with the Grants Manager

• Participate in National Giving Project Network calls, committees, and convenings to support best practices and replication of the model

Program Team Supervision – 30%

• Direct reports include Program Manager, Grants Manager (to be hired 2021), contract facilitators, and graduate student fellows/interns

• Manage non-program staff support for GP facilitation and fundraising coaching Development & Individual Giving (10%)

• Ensure each Giving Project participant makes a meaningful financial contribution

• Participate in GP & organizational fundraising campaigns— phone calls and donor visits as needed- and supporting Executive Director with major donor cultivation and solicitation

• Create and manage GP donor communications, including gift acknowledgment templates, program reports, and annual summaries of grantee final reports

• Support Grassroots Fundraising Manager with developing and implementing donor engagement strategies to convert GP participants and donors to general fund donors Outreach & Communications (10%)

• Participate in grantmaking events, philanthropic networks, and community events to build connections in the progressive grassroots organizing community in Colorado

• Support staff in the development and dissemination of communications, including promotion of the Giving Project via social media, media ad buys

*Note: Grantmaking responsibilities will primarily be held by the incoming Grants Manager, a new position previously held by an Operations & Grants Manager. The Program Director will participate in that hiring process scheduled for Fall 2021.

**A NOTE ABOUT LOCATION: This position is based at Chinook Fund’s office at the Posner Center in Denver, CO. Candidates based outside of the Denver metro will be considered. The current healthcare plan is Denver/Boulder specific, but statewide options are available. Because we fund and center Colorado organizations, staff need to be based in the state. The safety of our staff is a priority and currently, all employees work remotely. We have tentative plans to resume in-person programming in April 2022. Staff may begin working from our Denver office, on a part-time basis, when it is deemed safe to do so.

Compensation and Benefits

$60,000 to $70,000 depending on experience, with the possibility of relocation support for a top out-of-state candidate. Chinook Fund offers a competitive benefits package including 100% employer-paid health, dental, vision, and long-term disability insurance; paid parental leave; SEP IRA tax-deferred individual retirement account with a 5% employer contribution after 3 months; professional development and wellness funds; work from home reimbursement; and annual paid vacation (3 weeks), sick leave, and personal days. Additionally, employees are eligible for a 2-month paid sabbatical leave after 5 years. Chinook Fund encourages a healthy work-life balance. The 32-hour workweek enacted at the start of the pandemic has been made permanent.

How To Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume in PDF format to In your cover letter, please respond to one of the following:

• Share a social justice issue you are passionate about and why; or

• What motivated you to apply for this position? Priority will be given to applications received by July 11, 2021. The target start date is early September. Flexibility will be given for the top candidate. References and writing samples will be requested from finalists.

Chinook Fund is an equal opportunity employer that centers racial justice in its work internally and externally. We are committed to equity and diversity and to the recruitment and retention of people from backgrounds traditionally excluded from philanthropy, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities

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