Winston – Salem , NC

Program Officer, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

The Organization

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Program Officer, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

LOCATED IN: Winston-Salem, North Carolina


Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is a statewide, private, family foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians. The Foundation was established in 1936 as a memorial to Z. Smith Reynolds, the youngest son of R.J. Reynolds. For more than eighty years, the Foundation has been engaged in forward-thinking philanthropy with contributions of $608 million in North Carolina.

The Foundation’s current All For NC Grantmaking Framework for Grantmaking and Learning includes the following strategies:

  •  State-Level Systemic Change Strategy, to improve state-level systems and structures to remove barriers and create opportunities;
  •  Community-Based Strategy, to leverage the unique assets, knowledge, experience and connections in communities to create meaningful change; and
  •  An Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy, to invest in the bold ideas of North Carolinians.

Alongside these three main strategies, the Foundation has also expressed its commitment to:

  • Augment its participation in its hometown of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County,
  • Use a racial equity lens to underpin all of its work, and
  • Continue to be a learning organization.

The intent of the Foundation’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning is to provide different strategies that meet people and communities where they are, as well as to break down silos, allow more flexibility in our grantmaking, and provide multiple entry points for potential applicants. The Foundation recognizes that not all the work that is funded will fit neatly into these three strategies; rather, there is work that lives in between them. Therefore, the Foundation wants to remain flexible to foster those areas of intersection.

·         Engaging with communities across NC, nonprofit partners, philanthropic institutions, ZSR Trustees and staff to design, implement and strengthen this strategy on an ongoing basis.

Position Overview


The Foundation is hiring a Program Officer to support the strategies set forward in this grantmaking framework. This position will have primary responsibility for implementing the Foundation’s Community-Based Strategy, which has three components: a Community Progress Fund, a Collaborative Problem-Solving approach, and supporting capacity building in under-resourced communities across North Carolina.

Community Progress Fund

The Community Progress Fund is an annual grantmaking strategy designed to provide an infusion of short-term funding at the right moment and is intended to build on existing momentum to help move an issue, an idea or an organization forward. The Progress Fund allows communities to test ideas, expand promising efforts, or achieve greater impact. Our goal is to award a significant portion of grants to organizations that are run by and primarily serve people of color; therefore, ZSR strongly encourages applications from these organizations. This position will have primary responsibility for leading the Progress Fund grantmaking process, which includes:

  • Preparing and implementing a grant proposal review process by leading a team of ZSR staff and consultants
  • Leading the learning regarding the intent and impact of the grantmaking approach, and adjusting the implementation accordingly
  • Organizing and managing timelines and communications with ZSR’s Board of Trustees
  • Analyzing data on grantmaking trends and demographics
  • Managing the grant reporting process

Collaborative Problem-Solving

ZSR’s Collaborative Problem-Solving approach is intended to support a limited number of community proposals that use inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes to authentically engage a community in tackling challenges and creating solutions. These grants support communities to use collaborative problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. Program Officer responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the existing cohort of five Collaborative Problem-Solving sites in partnership with other program officers, including designing opportunities for learning across the sites, in partnership with grantees
  • Continuing to develop and embed professional development and learning among ZSR staff and Trustees
  • Leading discussions and potential processes regarding the design and launch of future rounds of Collaborative Problem-Solving grantmaking
  • Serving as primary liaison with Foundation consultants

Capacity Building in Under-Resourced Communities

The Foundation’s strategy for supporting capacity-building in under-resourced communities is a strength-based approach that invests in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color=led and serving organizations across NC. Program officer responsibilities include:

  • Partnering with community-based, grassroots organizations as co-designers and co-leaders of meaningful convenings, networks, learning and grantmaking approaches for community-embedded organizations and emerging nonprofits that already have – or promise to have – a significant impact on specific communities and constituencies.
  • Engaging with communities across NC, nonprofit partners, philanthropic institutions, ZSR Trustees and staff to design, implement and strengthen this strategy on an ongoing basis.


The successful candidate will be visionary, strategic, analytical, intellectually curious, resilient, detail-oriented and grounded in the different needs of communities. They must be adept at building relationships and understanding power dynamics and how they influence advancing change. An understanding of the NC nonprofit landscape, especially in under-resourced communities, is preferred. The individual selected will possess facilitation, collaboration, convening, and project management skills and be able to bring various stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, opinions and experiences together. This individual will share the Foundation’s core values and commitment to racial equity.

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required, and an advanced degree or equivalent experience is preferred. Five years of related work experience is desired. Exceptional writing and communication skills are required, along with the ability to assimilate information quickly, work under pressure and meet deadlines. A fundamental knowledge of the State of North Carolina, humility, self-confidence and a sense of humor are helpful and preferred.

The position is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and requires extensive statewide travel. The Program Officer is not required to live in Winston-Salem but should be available to be present in the Winston-Salem office one to two days per week.

How To Apply


Armstrong McGuire & Associates, based in Raleigh, NC, is conducting this search in partnership with ZSR’s leadership team.

To apply, click on the link to the Program Officer position profile at You will see instructions for uploading your cover letter, resume, and three professional references. Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact

The salary range for this position is $85,000 – $95,000, based upon the candidate’s level of knowledge, education, skill and experience. The Foundation provides an exemplary benefits package.

The deadline for applications is July 17, 2022, at 6:00 PM with a final decision made in September 2022.

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from people of all races, genders, religions, ethnicities, nationalities and sexual preferences.

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