Hybrid: Remote and Morristown, NJ

Program Officer/Senior Program Officer, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

The Organization

About Us

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is an organization in transformation. Six years ago, we set a course to achieve our vision of a more equitable New Jersey. Given the devastating events of the last three years, we have accelerated this commitment and further refined our vision and strategic direction to center racial equity and justice, where people of all races and communities have equitable access to opportunities and can thrive and achieve their full potential. We have a long history of resourcing efforts to promote the well-being of people across New Jersey. In our grantmaking, we prioritize networks, movements, organizations, and leaders closest to the harms of and solutions to inequity and injustice, focusing on those historically excluded from investment and opportunity. In doing so, we are moving critical resources to changemakers, communities, and movements in ways that enable them to accelerate, deepen, and advance their work on their own terms.

Our board and staff are energized by our new resourcing strategies that address the root causes–and repair–of structural racism and inequity in New Jersey and that center communities of color.

  • In 2021, we launched the first round of Imagine a New Way grants to organizations advocating for just systems and tackling barriers to equity in New Jersey.
  • In January 2022, we introduced our inaugural Momentum Fund cohort—ten organizations selected by a panel of community leaders employing diverse strategies to address root causes of structural racism across the state.
  • In January 2023, we launched new Program Priorities that will guide the majority of our funding decisions going forward.

This is a critical “build and implement” moment at the Foundation as we work to transform our grantmaking, partnerships, and internal operations to center racial equity and justice. As such, we seek entrepreneurial team members who are excited about opportunities to create and energized by working in deeply collaborative ways, actively learning, building new relationships, and leveraging and amplifying community expertise and solutions.

For more information on Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, please visit our website. The Strategic Direction and President’s Messages include additional details about our transformation.

Position Overview

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Vice President of Programs, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer (PO/SPO) shapes and oversees critical Foundation relationships, has a broad view of trends or patterns in the Foundation’s key focus areas, and ensures effective stewardship of Foundation resources. The PO/SPO is instrumental in highlighting and understanding key strategies being employed on the ground by grantees and strategic partners, serving as a catalyst and connector. A successful PO/SPO will have a keen ability to discern and hone in on critical partnerships, initiatives, and grants that advance the Foundation’s mission. The PO/SPO engages in issues exploration; and fosters relationships across grantees, funding, and community partners. The position also works collaboratively with Foundation team members and contributes to maintaining an efficient, smooth-running grants process.

The Program Officer/Senior Program Officer will join the Foundation at an exciting moment in our transformation as we reimagine what we fund and how we engage. The Program team works in a highly collaborative manner to identify and develop funding recommendations that advance racial equity and justice in New Jersey and to help ensure that these values and capabilities are central to all that we are and all we do.

Essential Responsibilities

The specific duties and responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Strategic Thinking and Knowledge Building:

These responsibilities will take up the majority of the PO/SPO’s time.

  • In collaboration with colleagues, design and execute multi-year grantmaking strategies and initiatives.
  • Develop thoughtful funding recommendations that align with emerging strategies and cultivate knowledge of trends in philanthropy.
  • Actively participate in learning and analysis within philanthropy, grantmaking, and social and racial justice spaces in New Jersey and nationally, to inform program recommendations and strategy.
  • In collaboration with other staff, contribute to the design, iteration, adaptation, and operationalization of new program frameworks and a new culture of grantmaking and grantee engagement.
  • Translate the foundation’s vision, mission, and goals into clear plans and actions.

Relationship Building:

Active relationship building will require roughly a third of the PO/SPO’s time.

  • Seek out, identify, and investigate new opportunities and relationships for the Foundation’s funding programs and initiatives that advance community-based efforts led and run by the people most impacted by racial inequity and injustice.
  • Proactively identify and create opportunities to share Foundation learnings and experiences in sector convenings and with peer networks.
  • Establish and maintain trust with grantees to allow for collaboration and thought partnership.

Grant Operations:

Grant operations will require roughly a third of the PO/SPO’s time.

  • Manage, administer, and monitor grants, including all grantee correspondence, according to Foundation policies, procedures, and timelines,
  • Capture, analyze, and track grantee work and learning and how Foundation resources support that work in collaboration with the Grants Manager.
  • Effectively and strategically manage Foundation resources through careful attention to detail and thoughtful analysis.
  • Ensure high levels of grantee data integrity, including notes on conversations with grantees, and accurately capture of grantee storytelling.
  • Prepare reports and analyses of issue areas for the Foundation’s management and Board of Trustees.
  • Synthesize and report processes, findings, and conclusions in a clear, timely, ongoing, and appropriate manner to stakeholders and partners.
  • Act as an advanced user of the Grants Management System (Salesforce)

Key Qualifications

  • A minimum of 7 to 10 years of related professional experience.  A Senior Program Officer would have a significantly greater depth/track record of related experience.
  • Advanced degree preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Mission Oriented: Demonstrates a passion for the Foundation’s mission and a commitment to advancing racial equity and justice in New Jersey.
  • Strong racial/social justice analysis with recent work experience in related fields.
  • Strategic and Entrepreneurial Mindset: Self-motivated and able to analyze, research, synthesize, take the initiative, and execute strategies.
  • Relationship Builder and Strategic Communicator: Experience building strong, collegial, and collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies and a demonstrated ability to ensure timely, professional, and empathic communication habits.
  • Continuous Learner: Routinely engages in professional learning, growth, and activities that demonstrate a dedication to commonly held values and behaviors (i.e., commitment beyond self, openness, honesty, etc.)
  • Technically Skilled: Able to manage an online grant application process via grants software (e.g. SalesForce or other CRMs) and demonstrate proficiency in common tools like Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Other: Available and willing to travel throughout the state of New Jersey as needed for meetings and convenings, including attending occasional/limited evening and weekend events/performances.

Compensation & Benefits

The starting salary range for the Program Officer/Sr. Program Officer position is $90,000 – $130,000. Salary and title are commensurate with experience.

The Foundation also offers a full and competitive benefits package that includes full medical and dental insurance, generous retirement contributions, paid medical and parental leave programs, professional development, cell phone reimbursement, and 20 days of vacation for full-time employees.

To Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume to jobs@grdodge.org.  Your cover letter should outline your interest in the role and how you feel your experience is a match.  We will accept applications on a rolling basis until filled.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We employ qualified people without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; pregnancy or breastfeeding; veteran or military status; marital status; civil union or domestic partnership status; arrest record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.

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