Program Officer, Participatory Grantmaking

June 10, 2022


Department: Program

Reports To:  Senior Associate Vice President, Program

FLSA Classification: Exempt      FTE: 1

Supervises: None

Position Budgeted: $75,000.00 to $80,000.00

Position Summary:

Manage and support the Program Department’s work to build and strengthen our participatory grantmaking practice, the goal of which is to share our positional power by centering the wisdom and knowledge of community members outside of the Boston Foundation’s staff and board to inform our work.  Building on success and lessons learned from TBF’s Open Door (ODG), Live Arts Boston (LAB), and other participatory grantmaking programs, and informed by best practices from the field, this person will play a key role in focusing, developing and managing this work.

Essential Functions:

  • Work in close partnership with colleagues from Grants Management, ODG, LAB and Chelsea 2021 to revise ODG participatory processes to ensure both an equity focus and a sustainable workload for all involved.  This will include updating our thinking on ODG
    • Application process, grant structure, data collection and learning;
    • Reviewer recruitment, compensation, training, support and feedback processes; and
    • Messaging and communication (website, info sessions, inquiry response, denial communication).
  • Oversee and support implementation of revised ODG processes, including:
    • Process, budget, and calendar creation for participatory programs;
    • Communication with applicants and reviewers around criteria, process, timeline; and 
    • Support for applicants and reviewers with new grants management software (Smart Simple).
  • Manage ongoing process improvements for ODG:
    • Work closely with Associate Director, Learning and Engagement on data collection, analysis and reporting: collect, analyze and use feedback from applicants and reviewers to continually improve participatory processes; and
    • Stay abreast of field best practices to inform ongoing improvement and share lessons with the field as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency.
  • Work with Donor Services colleagues to identify and facilitate aligned donor opportunities;
  • Prepare timely updates and communication related to participatory practices for management, Public Relations, board meetings and other stakeholders as needed;
  • Liaise with both LAB and participatory TBF Equity Funds (Equality Fund, Latino Equity Fund, Asian Community Fund) to identify and leverage opportunities for collaboration and shared learning;
  • Support the Senior AVP with special projects which may include:
    • Meeting and event logistics;
    • Internal and external presentations and writing; and 
    • Participation in a range of internal and external conversations and events. 

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support and lead special projects as assigned by the Senior AVP for Program; and
  • Individuals assigned to this position may perform other duties as assigned.



Preparation, Knowledge, Previous Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience;
  • 5-7 years of relevant professional experience;
  • Strong project management experience involving multiple stakeholders;
  • General familiarity with and knowledge of nonprofit sector organizations and trends; and
  • Understanding of and commitment to racial equity and inclusion practices and values and ways in which these intersect with issues facing philanthropy.

Skills, Abilities, Competencies:

  • Proven ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple simultaneous complex projects or processes involving diverse groups of individuals to meet articulated objectives within established timelines; 
  • Demonstrated ability to seamlessly and effectively move between strategy and detail; 
  • Strong learning orientation: ability to make decisions based on information available and pivot as the context changes;
  • Proactive and resourceful: self-starter and skilled problem-solver; 
  • Works well in fast-paced, evolving environment;
  • Proficiency with both cloud and app-based technology platforms and tools (especially Excel and other Microsoft tools, Salesforce, etc.); 
  • Excellent communication skills: oral, written and interpersonal including ability to interact well with a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders;
  • Ability to receive and act on feedback in a constructive manner; 
  • Commitment to TBF’s goals and objectives; and
  • Good sense of humor and ability to be flexible.


Working Conditions & Physical Demands:

  • Ability to work for long periods of time at a workstation;
  • Ability to use a computer monitor and keyboard for long periods of time; and
  • Ability to work onsite and remotely, as required.

The content is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by persons assigned to this job.  It is not intended to constitute an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents, who are or become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act or applicable state law, must be able to perform the essential functions of the job (including those listed above) either with or without reasonable accommodation.  Reasonable accommodation, if any, will be determined by management in consultation with the employee on a case-by-case basis.

This job description is intended to be general and may be revised from time to time.  At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different or additional duties from time to time.