St Paul, MN

Program Officer, Northwest Area Foundation

The Organization

The Northwest Area Foundation was founded in 1934 by Louis W. Hill.  Our region includes the eight states from Minnesota to Washington once served by the Great Northern Railway.  Today the Foundation makes grants to support nonprofit organizations working to reduce poverty and achieve lasting prosperity.  NWAF supports organizations seeking to help people build assets by accessing good jobs and increasing their financial capability. Our funding is organized into four interlocking portfolios: Access to Capital, Financial Inclusion, Enterprise Development, and Work Opportunity. The Foundation is active in rural and urban areas across the region; devotes significant attention and resources to communities of color, because of the close relationship between race and poverty; and commits 40% of each year’s new grant dollars to Native American-led organizations.

Position Overview

The Foundation is seeking an experienced professional to fill the role of Program Officer. Each of the Foundation’s Program Officers contributes to programmatic ideas and actively participates in grantmaking by seeking, recommending and managing grants and administering projects.

Duties and Responsibilities
• Assists the Program Director and other Program staff in developing and implementing grantmaking approach. Assists in fleshing out details of proposed funding strategy, including articulation of the opportunity, clear program goals, and a coherent strategy and theory of change to address the issue, in alignment with the Foundation’s goals, values and grantmaking principles.
• Keeps current on community needs and opportunities, as well as current research and development in his/her fields by maintaining contact with key researchers, policymakers and practitioners, reviewing professional publications, and attending and presenting at related conferences, meetings, and other events.
• Identifies new prospective grantees where appropriate and solicits and reviews proposals.
• Facilitates the development of a working partnership between the Foundation, grantseekers, grant recipients, peer funders and other stakeholders through the sharing of information, connecting organizations and continuous communication.
• Reviews grant proposals and analyzes financial statements; conducts meetings with grantees, including site visits negotiates grant agreement terms and completes other due diligence activities.
• Confers with grant applicants to request clarification, request additional information, offer technical assistance to strengthen proposal, offer feedback, and assist grantees in improving proposal quality.
• Monitors grant progress against the grant objectives, assists grantees with problem solving, reviews reports and provides feedback to grantees and internally.
• Monitors evaluations of program initiatives and grantee performance by documenting outcomes, best practices, and lessons learned.
• Reviews and engages in learning from evaluations and assessing implications for strategy refinement.
• Advances grantee work by creating opportunities for learning, shared dialog and networking such as convenings, or cohort development.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Familiarity with asset and wealth building approaches such as access to capital, financial inclusion, work opportunity or enterprise development required.
• 5 to 7 years of experience working with communities of color, or immigrant/refugee communities required. Native American communities strongly preferred.
• Experience in organized philanthropy and/or elsewhere in the nonprofit sector preferred.
• Bachelor’s degree in relevant field required. Advanced degree preferred.
• Excellent leadership, management, team building, strategic, analytical and planning skills.
• Effectiveness as a member of a team.
• Strong writing ability.
• Excellent communication, interpersonal, organizational, and computer skills.
• Strong ability to organize and prioritize tasks, manage time efficiently, meet deadlines, work independently and as part of a team.
• A high energy level, outstanding interpersonal skills, sound judgment and tolerance for pressured work.
• Ability to work some evenings and weekends and to travel up to 25% of the time under typical circumstances, and more heavily from time to time when required for program development or monitoring.

How To Apply

Send cover letter, resume, & salary requirements to:
Northwest Area Foundation
Attn: HR, Suite 400
60 Plato Blvd. East
St. Paul, MN 55107
NWAF is an equal opportunity employer

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