Program Officer

FUNCTION: Works directly with a Vice President and cross-departmental teams on program, program related implementation, including grantmaking, relationship management, writing, analysis, communications, and learning.
REPORTS TO: Vice President
SALARY RANGE: $90,000 – $115,000


Strategic and entrepreneurial Program Officer opportunity to manage multi-million-dollar portfolio for a dynamic $1.2 billion time-limited, spend-down foundation. Reporting directly to one Vice President, the Program Officer is responsible for supporting the development and implementation of grantmaking strategies, learning, and communications support around these strategies (both for the Foundation and for Foundation initiatives with grantees and partners). Work includes writing; managing grantees, key vendors and special projects; implementing grantmaking strategies; proposal analysis and evaluation; and partnership development. 

Responsibilities fall into the following categories:

  1. Grantmaking and monitoring, partner engagement and initiative development
  2. Communications, community relations, and learning
  3. Talent supervision/coordination


  • Identify and build programs, projects and partnerships that will leverage Foundation resources in alignment with programmatic strategies.
  • Meet with representatives of not-for-profit organizations to discuss specific grant proposals.
  • Review and analyze grant proposals. As appropriate, conduct site visits, basic research and utilize Foundation staff and professional networks to contextualize the proposal. 
  • Coordinate and participate in completion of grant recommendations and associated grant materials, including the ongoing refinement of grant related documentation (e.g., grant, agreement, grant reminders).
  • Prepare materials for Program Committee and Board of Trustee meetings.
  • Present information on grant recommendations and updates on grantee activities when requested.
  • In conjunction with Program VP’s and grants management team, ensure grant and financial compliance.  
  • Plan and conduct site visits with grantees to discuss progress, challenges and to identify any need for program modification that requires Executive attention.
  • Review grant reports for monitoring contingencies, payments and summarizing learning opportunities.
  • Work closely with VP of Programs and Learning and Learning Officer to support evaluation and reporting of grants, grantmaking activities and communication of evaluation results.


  • Work with Executive Team to prepare regular Trustee updates and other information briefings for Foundation Trustees and strategic partners.
  • Assist Executive Team with coordination of special events for Trustees to enhance their understanding of the Foundation’s programmatic work.
  • Attend and participate in grantee and community functions.
  • Make public presentations on behalf of the Foundation when necessary.
  • Promote and facilitate cooperation and collaboration among other funders, not-for-profit organizations, and community members.
  • Facilitate stakeholder meetings when necessary.
  • Attend regional/national network meetings, providing updates and obtain information.
  • Support Executive Team in communications with grant recipients and the media.
  • Represent Foundation at grantee meetings and functions.
  • Under the direction of the Vice President of Communications and Programs, support all Foundation communications channels.


  • Provide clear direction and/or supervise, follow-up and feedback to Program Associates and Fellows on work projects and other duties as assigned.
  • Work with Program Directors and Sr. Program Officers to coordinate activities of Program Associates and Fellows.


  • Master’s degree preferred; Bachelor’s required.
  • The equivalent of a minimum of five years of relevant full time work experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Creative, self-starter with the ability to multi-task and meet deadlines.  Must be flexible and demonstrate adaptability to new situations.
  • Detail-oriented, as well as capable of developing a “big picture” perspective in the assessment of grant requests and communication activities.
  • Ability to collaborate in a team environment, and work with people and organizations of diverse backgrounds, experiences and cultures.
  • Plan, facilitate and management of meetings.
  • A personal style that fosters strong team participation and productivity, emphasizing the values of respect and mutual accountability.
  • An overall commitment to excellence in quality of work and outcomes in self and others.
  • Research and analysis skills necessary to prepare own work and ability to accept and incorporate feedback and constructive criticism from others.
  • Desire and passion to develop a broad knowledge of the core funding areas the Foundation supports and a personal commitment to improving southeast Michigan and western New York.
  • Proficiency in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Outlook and other reporting programs.


Regular car travel necessary throughout the Foundation’s service areas.  Valid driver’s license and reliable auto with necessary insurance required.  Regular day and/or overnight travel within the Foundation’s service areas, statewide and national also required. 


The compensation range for this position is $90,000 – $115,000 per year, based on experience and qualifications. The foundation offers a comprehensive benefits package with a generous retirement plan. 


Qualified individuals who express an interest in applying for the Program Officer position should submit an electronic version of their cover letter and resume to the Apparatus Solutions career portal

Hiring deadline: July 31, 2021

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.