Eden Prairie, MN

Program Officer, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

The Organization
Margaret A. Cargill was a woman of warmth, modesty and generosity.  She was the granddaughter of William Cargill, co-founder of Cargill, Inc., one of the world’s largest agribusiness companies.  Ms. Cargill was a significant, but usually anonymous, philanthropist during her lifetime, making substantial donations over the years to organizations globally, nationally and in Southern California, where she lived most of her adult life. During her lifetime, Ms. Cargill created two grantmaking organizations, Anne Ray Charitable Trust (ARCT), which makes grants nationally and globally, and Akaloa Resource Foundation (Akaloa), which focuses grantmaking on Southern California.  Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF) was created upon Ms. Cargill’s death in 2006.  All are based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.


The three charitable grantmaking organizations formed by Margaret A. Cargill (Akaloa Resource Foundation, Anne Ray Charitable Trust and Margaret A. Cargill Foundation) are dedicated to providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts and the environment. The philanthropic vision of the organizations includes program areas such as animal welfare, environment, disaster relief and recovery, aging services, arts and cultures, children and families, and health.  There is also a history of support for all the Philanthropies’ interests in one region and a continued commitment to investing in and making a difference to the communities living there.


In addition to program areas, the Philanthropies are guided by cultural values of making a difference, respect, excellence, learning, integrity and humility.  In this light, we use education and innovation as a means to achieve our core purposes of empowering people to be self-sufficient; maintaining a low profile, while meeting the needs of others; supporting programs that could have a broad impact; and supporting programs that have socially redeeming values and standards that respect life and relieve suffering in times of disaster.

Position Overview
The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies seeks a Program Officer with broad intellectual interests, humility, integrity, and the strength of character and conviction not driven by ego, but by a passion for carrying out Ms. Cargill’s legacy and dynamic mission to make a difference in the world.  Reporting to the Program Director, he/she will manage, implement and steward a key portfolio of place-based grants primarily in Southern California, as well as opportunistic grants initiated by leadership in all of the Philanthropies’ programmatic areas.  Also, in conjunction with colleagues throughout the foundation, he/she will manage multi-tiered grantee relationships


As part of the initial priorities, the Program Officer will be expected to:

•    Gain comprehensive knowledge and insights into the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies’ history, mission, values, culture, programs, constituencies and infrastructure.

•    Understand and embrace the values of caring and humility embodied by Margaret A. Cargill, which provide the underpinning for all the work of the Philanthropies.  Work in partnership with colleagues to advance the overall philanthropic vision of Margaret A. Cargill.

•    Implement all grants aligned with foundation goals with a focus on greatest place-based impact within the Southern California region, as well as developing grants initiated by leadership to an expanded list of organizations working at regional, national and international levels.

•    Manage grantee relationships and the implementation of program concepts diplomatically and sensitively.

•    Oversee active grants, review grant reports, monitor and evaluate progress of grantees, and provide clear communications and guidance to grantees, applicants and other interested parties.

•    Develop methods and systems for analyzing grant impact and effectiveness in collaboration with the Managing Program Director, Program Director and the Director of Evaluation.

•    Work closely with the legal, finance and grant management teams to conduct due diligence and monitor budgets.

•    Assist with Board meeting preparations; participate and present information in Board meetings as necessary.

•    Promote partnership and a culture of learning within the foundation and among the variety of grantees.

•    Attend meetings and site visits related to understanding the foundation’s program interests in the designated region in general and to specific grants and programs.

•    Organize overview visits for Program Director and other foundation leaders.

•    Represent the foundation to the public, community leaders, social service and community-based organizations, and colleagues in the field of philanthropy.

•    Attend conferences, as appropriate, to further the goals of the place-based program.

•    Connect program goals and financial targets through the select portfolio of grantees, ensuring there is a strong capacity to deliver.

•    Strategically and responsibly recommend new program concepts with portfolio that will further regional impact, leveraging the resources and current investments of the organizations and their partners.


•    Caring with humility, modesty, honesty and integrity, driven by a passion to help others and represent the Philanthropies without being ego-driven – for whom the ownership and/or credit for ideas is less important than the collective results of the effort.

•    A general understanding, curiosity, appreciation for and commitment to the Philanthropies’ programmatic areas.

•    An unwavering work ethic and commitment to excellence.

•    Collaborative, positive, and able to deal well with ambiguity and change.

•    A naturally consultative and inclusive style with the maturity, confidence and collaborative skills necessary to garner the trust and confidence in staff, management and colleagues across the foundation and the external constituencies, including grantees.

•    Adept at building collegial relations with the emotional intelligence to navigate effectively a complex organization and a rewarding set of relationships internally and externally.  Able to respond to issues with clarity and diplomacy and able to promote effective collaborations and partnerships.

•    A reflective and pragmatic practitioner.  Ability to think conceptually, critically and strategically.  A commitment to and experience with learning, exploring and sharing for a common purpose.  An active listener able to learn from others.

•    The ability to serve and lead by example, bringing out the best in others.

•    High level of personal and professional integrity and ethics.


•    Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred in a related field.

•    Five to seven years of relevant philanthropy or related experience with a background in place-based grantmaking, grant implementation and knowledge of how best to leverage program interests.

•    Strong skills in program management, program development and evaluation.  Skilled in project management planning, including the ability to organize and prioritize tasks, effectively manage time, meet multiple competing deadlines, work independently and in a team environment, quickly develop written materials, maintain a positive attitude under pressure and manage budgets.

•    The individual will possess strong skills in program development, management and evaluation.  Significant experience as a grantmaker in a private foundation granting over $5 million annually is desired.

•    An understanding of the emerging trends, concepts, and technical and practical issues involved in philanthropy.

•    Experience with evaluation methodology.

•    Professional demeanor with proven ability to build collaborative relationships.

•    Strategic thinker with analytical and planning skills and experience.

•    Self-motivated and able to work independently.

•    Experience as a user of grant-management software and tracking systems.

How To Apply
Applications, nominations and contact information should be sent to Paul Spivey at MACP-PO@PhillipsOppenheim.com.For additional information on the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, please visit www.macphilanthropies.org.

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