Program Officer, Lenfest Foundation

Posted by Lenfest Foundation on April 4, 2016

H. F. (Gerry) and Marguerite Lenfest founded the Lenfest Foundation in 2000. Since its inception, the Lenfest Foundation has awarded over $250 million in grants to organizations in the areas of art and culture, environment, education, and youth development. The current mission of the Lenfest Foundation is to advance the educational and career outcomes of underserved youth in the Philadelphia area. The Foundation supports initiatives and institutions with a focus on the following three focus areas:
• Early Learning: With the goal of increasing the percentage of children achieving reading proficiency by third grade, the Foundation seeks to make investments that reinforce existing efforts to build a network of high-quality early-learning options throughout Philadelphia.
• Out-of-School Time Programming for Middle-School Students: We aim to make investments that will increase the number of middle-school youth (grades 5–8) engaged in high-quality learning experiences that provide career exposure, allow students to explore areas of interest, and strengthen social and emotional health.
• Career and Technical Education: To build a world-class, career and technicaleducation system in Philadelphia, we seek to make investments in educational opportunities that help youth and young adults prepare for the workforce, connect to career pathways and develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to thrive in the local and regional economy.

About the Position
The Program Officer position (PO) will serve as a critical member of the Lenfest Foundation’s team charged with driving the operational success and fulfilling our mission. Working in collaboration with the Executive Director, the Program Officer will share the responsibility of designing, managing, and evaluating the effectiveness of the Foundation’s portfolio in the three target areas. The PO will play an essential role in designing an innovative, grant-solicitation process that will demonstrate the true assets of organizations working directly with children or indirectly on their behalf. Our grant process should reflect the entrepreneurial nature of our founder. The team should proactively seek to create long-term solutions that will advance the educational and workforce outcomes for children served by our network of funded organizations.

The Program Officer is expected to perform the following key functions:
• Develop and execute work in all stages of grant making to include grant development, execution, monitoring, and evaluation.
• Ensure grant making advances the mission of the Foundation.
• Promote and model excellent external relations with grantees, potential grantees, and Foundation partners.
• Initiate, develop and manage relationships with strategic partners to help the Lenfest Foundation advance its mission.
• Serve as a key contributor in portfolio reviews and evaluations.
• Play a key role in researching, establishing and refining new initiatives.
• Participate in planning and alignment of organizational objectives as well as the execution of key deliverables.
• Convene stakeholders and participate in external committees to drive investments and results.
• Lead assigned initiatives to develop and execute outstanding work within, and guided by, the strategic framework of the Foundation.
• Support and staff the Foundation’s governance committees.
• Represent the Foundation in diverse communities, including participating in speaking engagements, attending conferences, and engaging in other key internal and external meetings.

Expected Competencies
Innovative, Creative, Curious: Ability to take initiative to identify opportunities, design innovative approaches backed by strong analysis and planning, as well as demonstrate that excellent ideas come from many sources.

Evidence-Focused: Capacity to use evidence-informed approaches, including a strong focus on performance indicators and metrics, implementation milestones, and demonstrable results.

Skilled Communicator: Excellent written and verbal communication skills with exceptional attention to detail. Engaged listener with ability communicate with multiple audiences and facilitate conversations under a broad array of circumstances.

Decision-Maker with a Sense of Urgency: Ability to effectively evaluate risks and opportunities, using analytical and strong problem-solving skills, often within short time frames.

Partnership and Relationship-Building Capacity: Commitment to building and maintaining strategic partnerships. Ability to represent the Foundation in professional manner, effectively builds relationships with various stakeholders, and exhibit cultural sensitivity.

Consensus Builder and Collaborator: Possess personal qualities of integrity, social-intelligence, and credibility. Insistence on strength-based approach to team building, coaching, mentoring, inspiring, and motivating people both internally and externally.

Strong Project Manager: Tenacity and commitment to see projects through from beginning to end. Ability to manage and influence individuals at all levels to complete tasks in a quality manner and within expected timelines. Demonstrate project-management skills, time management, sense of responsibility and accountability, and the ability to multi-task effectively.

Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with at least 7+ years of relevant work experience in the areas of early learning, out-of-school time programming, workforce development, and/or public education systems required; graduate-level degree preferred.

The ideal candidate has existing knowledge of the philanthropic community, awareness of current trends in grant making, and understanding of nonprofit management. Experience with fundraising and institutional advancement a plus. Strong technology skills absolutely required.

The Lenfest Foundation is committed to hiring a diverse team and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Qualified applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Please indicate the position title in the subject line. No phone calls please.

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