New York, NY

Senior Program Officer, Scherman Foundation

The Organization

The Scherman Foundation supports organizations working to create a more just, equitable, democratic, and sustainable society. The Foundation prioritizes long-term general operating funds in support of nonprofit organizations and leaders in the fields of community-building, environment, reproductive justice, human rights, the arts, and strengthening democracy. Across these programs, it increasingly recognizes groups led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism. It particularly values policy advocacy, organizing, and movement-building, believing that an engaged population creates multiple paths to structural social change. The Foundation has a special commitment to New York City, focusing its Arts and Strengthening New York Communities programs exclusively there, while also funding nationally in its other programs.

The Foundation is in a moment of transition, with a recent change in Board leadership and a deepening of our commitment to anti-racism and movement-building while expanding and engaging the Board to better reflect those commitments. We therefore seek a generalist who is excited to support our current programs and grantees, while helping to align those programs more closely with our commitment to racial, economic, and social justice, and environmental sustainability. This year the Foundation will make approximately 100 grants totaling $6 million, ranging in size from $10,000 to $150,000 and covering seven programs. Our four-person staff is highly collaborative and engaged. There is a strong likelihood that our dedicated program staff—now just the President and the Senior Program Officer position for which we are hiring—will be expanded in 2022 to include a more junior Program Officer.

Position Overview


Working closely with our President to fulfill the mission of the Foundation, the Senior Program Officer will:

  • Implement existing grantmaking strategies; process and apply the Foundation’s criteria and priorities; identify prospective grantees; solicit, review, and respond to grant proposals;
  • Support the engagement of the Trustees in the Foundation’s mission including preparing grant recommendations, providing opportunities to engage the Board on program policies and broader issues related to the Foundation’s grantmaking;
  • Share the resources and stature of the Foundation to generate dialogue on timely issues;
  • Represent the Foundation’s interests at philanthropic and nonprofit sponsored events, briefings, conferences, and other settings;
  • Take on leadership roles within appropriate local, regional, and national funder affinity groups and collaboratives; and
  • Promote the Foundation’s grantmaking approach and the work of its grantees within the philanthropic and nonprofit communities.


  • Bachelor’s degree with at least eight years of experience in movement-based social justice work in a combination of frontline and philanthropic support roles is strongly preferred.
  • Strong familiarity with organizations that fit the Foundation’s funding priorities.
  • Able to communicate and share ideas in a clear and compelling way.
  • Given the current breadth of the Foundation’s grantmaking programs, and the primary management of the Environmental and Arts programs by the President, a general knowledge in the areas of Reproductive Justice, Democracy Advocacy, Movement-Building, and New York City Community Organizing is preferred. A desire to learn more about these areas, and a willingness to lend a hand in other areas including the Arts and Human Rights, is required.
  • Collaboration, enthusiasm, and responsiveness are essential. Humor preferred.
  • This position is based in New York City with significant travel around the city to meet with grantees on site, and more limited national travel, primarily to conferences, expected. While office protocols are changing, as of September 20, 2021 a hybrid workplan, with full staff physical presence in the office three days a week, is anticipated. Full vaccination is required for all employees.


  • The salary range is expected to fall between $130,000 and $170,000 commensurate with experience.
  • Generous benefit package includes excellent health coverage, retirement plan with 15% employer contribution, flexible benefits, and four weeks of vacation.

Mid-October start date is anticipated.

How To Apply

Please send a cover letter (including how you became aware of this opportunity and salary requirements) and a resume to Subject line should include YOUR NAME and PO SEARCH 2021.

Deadline for applications is August 15th.

The Scherman Foundation is committed to equity and diversity and to the recruitment and retention of people with identities less represented in philanthropy, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities. We are committed to fostering a work environment that is embracing of and responsive to individual differences.

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