Richmond, VA

Program Officer - Education Policy, Robins Foundation

The Organization


Robins Foundation (The Foundation), a local private family foundation, is committed to harnessing the catalytic power of its resources to spur collaboration and systemic change. The Foundation hopes to inspire innovation and advance equity related to the most important issues facing the Greater Richmond region.  We seek a passionate, creative and forward-thinking colleague to join our team.

The Robins Foundation is moving toward its sixth decade of community support by honing its focus on regional priorities that demand collaborative and innovative solutions.

Position Overview

Job Summary

The successful candidate will demonstrate strong integrity, humility and discretion to complement the Foundation’s mission and vision. A proven ability to work in a lean, intense, results-oriented environment using keen interpersonal and cultural competence is preferred. Relationship building skills as well as a sense of humor, teamwork and community are required. Read that line again. It is important.

The Program Officer will possess a strong background in education policy and advocacy, particularly related to early childhood and K-12 education. The Program Officer will create and nurture strong community relationships and foster collaboration between community stakeholders such as peer funders, community groups/residents, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The Program Officer will report to the Director of Programs and will provide ongoing support for and collaboration with the Foundation’s nonprofit partners.

Responsibilities in Three Areas

Grant Making

  • Investigate, research and connect opportunities in education policy, research, and advocacy to grant programs.
  • Align education focused grant making with community needs using an equity lens.
  • Cultivate, review and evaluate funding proposals from nonprofit organizations, working closely with those organizations to develop funding opportunities for greatest impact in the city and region. Present to board of directors for approval or declination quarterly.
  • Manage selected grants and grant programs, oversight of grant contracts, budgets, proposals and analysis of program reports.
  • Conduct site visits with grantees and potential grantees and connect Foundation leadership to same.

Community Building

  • Cultivate relationships in a wide variety of community groups that will foster collaboration and growth.
  • Identify and advocate for strategic funding opportunities while collaborating with community leaders and teammates.

Philanthropic Leadership

  • Develop and/or lead innovative, collaborative projects that effectively leverage resources to address policy barriers and opportunities at the local, state and national levels.
  • Facilitate community collaboration meetings in Foundation’s focus areas.
  • Cultivate relationships with key local, state and national experts and thought leaders in relevant topics and fields.


The successful candidate will be an experienced leader with demonstrated success in community activism/organization/engagement, deep academic or program work in the areas of poverty and education policy/advocacy. A proven and demonstrated success in developing, accelerating, measuring and influencing community change, collaboration and impact is preferred.

An understanding of the nonprofit business model with an ability to assess strengths and opportunities of key non-profit business areas such as finance, management, program evaluation, fundraising and development and governance is imperative.

The Program Officer must be a flexible, team player with clear judgment and integrity.  An expressed interest in, and strong commitment to the Foundation’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.

Experience and Education

Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees preferred with 5+ years of relevant work experience and expertise in education policy, advocacy, and research.  Private foundation experience a plus, strategic corporate, philanthropy or nonprofit experience also a plus.

Experience managing several, competing demands and priorities simultaneously, and the capacity to understand multiple, inter-connected facets of the Greater Richmond region.

Superb written and oral communication skills, ability to connect with and develop relationships with diverse populations and personalities are required.

Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a collaborative, diverse work environment that emphasizes inclusive values and practices. Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and diplomatically.

Available to attend community events on evenings and weekends, as needed, to develop relationships and community engagement.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation includes a competitive base salary and an excellent package of health, retirement savings and other benefits. Relocation benefits available.

How To Apply

Qualified candidates should email resume and cover letter, including compensation expectations, to

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