Minneapolis, IN

Program Officer - Mississippi River, The McKnight Foundation

The Organization
Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota based family foundation, The McKnight Foundation, has assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $88 million in 2014. McKnight concentrates resources in the arts; early literacy; the environment; the communities of greater Minneapolis-St. Paul and Minnesota; neuroscience and crop research; and select efforts in Southeast Asia and East Africa. McKnight subscribes to the Minnesota Council on Foundations’ “Principles for Minnesota Grantmakers.”

Position Overview
Following a Mississippi River program refresh in 2015, the program officer position is being filled following the promotion of the previous program officer to program director. This is an exciting opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the water quality and resiliency of the Mississippi River and to work in partnership with the Foundation’s other grantmaking and impact investment programs. Please see The McKnight Foundation website for information on the program.

Key to the position is the ability to link strategic program vision to effective grantmaking and to leverage opportunities outside of grantmaking in both the public and private sectors. Good communication and project management skills are essential. The position participates in the entire process of assessing grant proposals, from conversations with potential grantees about Initial Inquiries to reviewing, recommending, and evaluating the success of funded proposals. Keys to this work are strong analytical skills and the ability to manage and maintain effective working relationships with grantees, key stakeholders, and members of the Foundation staff.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Provide expertise internally and externally related to the Mississippi River programWork with the Program Director to implement the mission and program priorities established by The McKnight Foundation board.
  • Review letters of inquiry and grant requests within program area.
  • Prepare grant- and program-related documents for quarterly board meetings and other communications needs.
  • Develop and manage outcomes and evaluation plans for key investments and projects.
  • Collaborate with McKnight’s Impact Investment program to find and assess potential investments that advance the Foundation’s Mississippi River goals.
  • Through close collaboration with program director, coordinate use of data and information for learning and use in written reports, website, and presentations.
  • Stay current on information about local, national and international activities related to the Foundation’s grantmaking interests and areas of intersection with other program areas.
  • Foster and nurture relationships with community, business, and intermediary partners.
  • Foster working relationships with leaders in the public and private sectors working on issues related to Mississippi River water quality and resiliency.
  • Model behavior that ensures that grantmaking principles and program practices align with Foundation values and operating principles.
  • Present information about McKnight’s Mississippi River program at selected gatherings that will advance the goals and objectives of the program.
  • Manage and participate in program-related workshops and meetings.
  • Manage and participate in other program-related activities including: convenings, participation in grantee and funder networks, special events, and the commissioning of reports and publications.

Minimum Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, and a minimum of 7 years of related full-time professional work experience in the private sector, nonprofit, or government field with a focus on sustainability. The ideal candidate will have applicable experience in driving greater environmental sustainability in agricultural landscapes, particularly in the Midwest. Experience working with a family foundation is desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the policy landscape of Minnesota, Upper Mississippi River basin states, and pertinent national policies.
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across organizational functions.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with a variety of people and groups, particularly nonprofit organizations, public and private sector leaders, government agencies, and research institutions or universities.
  • Ability to analyze, question, and identify key issues and use data to support conclusions.
  • Ability to view issues and challenges from multiple dimensions and apply intellectual energy and creativity.
  • Ability to prepare clearly written summaries and analysis.
  • Ability to engage others and influence outcomes.
  • Knowledge of governance and operations of nonprofit organizations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively interpersonally and in group presentations.
  • Ability to use Microsoft products including SharePoint, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook with skill and proficiency.
  • Ability to handle heavy workload and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to skillfully juggle multiple projects simultaneously and manage unexpected events smoothly.
How To Apply
If you are interested in this opportunity please go the Job Openings http://www.mcknight.org/about-us/job-openings portal on The McKnight Foundation website and submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume.

Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

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