Dec 16, 2022

Program Officer, Early Childhood

$105,000 - $110,000 yearly
  • Irving Harris Foundation
  • Hybrid (Chicago, IL, USA)
Full-Time Programs Research and Development Strategic Planning

Job Description

WHO WE ARE 

The Irving Harris Foundation (Foundation) enhances the quality of life for pregnant and birthing people, infants, young children, families, and communities by advancing human potential, social justice and equity, and creative experience and expression. The Foundation is a strategic grantmaker, investing approximately $13 million annually in the fields of infant and early childhood mental health, early childhood development, reproductive health and justice, arts and culture, and Jewish values in the U.S. and Israel. The Foundation’s grants aim to address root causes, leverage public and private resources, provide technical assistance, and foster collaboration through public-private and funder partnerships. Rooted in the Jewish tradition of giving back to communities, and our deep and historic commitment to Tikkun Olam (repair the world), the Irving Harris Foundation envisions a world where all people are treated with dignity and are not discriminated against based on their religion, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender identities, sexual orientations, education levels, and abilities.  

The Foundation has embraced and worked to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in our philanthropic efforts. For the Foundation, DEI is not a goal to be accomplished, but a reflective, intentional journey in which we are consistently striving toward more equitable policies, systems and communities. We continue to lean into the commitments we made as a Foundation in solidarity with Black Lives and the Foundation’s decision in 2021 to center intersectional racial equity. This includes internal work to deepen our efforts to be an antiracist organization including racial equity and culture change training, strengthening our policies and procedures, and new grantmaking practices. External we are centering racial equity in our grantmaking, field leadership, and special initiatives which includes increasing the amount we invest in Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) led organizations, exploring how to lift-up parent voice, focusing on community driven solutions and using our grants and field leadership to support efforts designed to dismantle systems of oppression that have and continue to cause harm.  

 

POSITION SUMMARY 

The Program Officer (PO), Early Childhood (EC), is part of our diverse team dedicated to supporting equitable care and outcomes for pregnant and birthing people, infants, young children, and families; and working with our partners to advance community-driven solutions, build movements and power for systemic change, address racial, gender, and economic disparities, and cultivate and support BIPOC leadership in the fields in which we work. Reporting to the Program Director (PD), Early Childhood, the PO works to advance the vision, goals, and objectives of the Early Childhood Program area. The PO will work closely with the PD Early Childhood and the PO, Early Childhood and Reproductive Health and Justice to implement an array of grantmaking, capacity building, grants management, technical assistance, evaluation, communications, and funder and stakeholder organizing efforts, while supporting and fostering key relationships within the Foundation and our external field and foundation partners. In particular, the PO will manage a group of Early Childhood grants and relationships; provide strategic guidance and support to the overall EC Program; and ensure that the EC work is integrated across program areas at the Foundation. Finally, the Program Officer, Early Childhood, works collaboratively with the full program team, staff, and Board to advance an intersectional approach across our work and deliver on the goals and objectives of the Foundation. 

 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES 

Strategic Grantmaking and Support 

  • Lead and actively advance a portfolio of grants in the EC Program Area through a trust-based approach focused on relationship building, oral grant review and reporting meetings and other due diligence. 

  • Collaborate and establish trusting relationships with grant partners to respond appropriately to grant partners’ needs and challenges, provide technical assistance when requested, and facilitate thought partnership and learning that can inform our strategy and ensure that we are responsive to our field partners in our grantmaking approach.  

  • Stay abreast of developments, challenges, and opportunities in the field to identify new grant opportunities and, advance the foundation’s grantmaking based on listening to and learnings from the field to ensure our approach is aligned with what communities and leaders on the ground are prioritizing and identifying  

  • Conduct landscape and/or field analyses to develop strategies to inform and advance new and ongoing grantmaking as appropriate  

  • Advance diversity, equity, inclusion and racial equity across the program and field facing work 

 

Field Leadership and Strategic Initiatives  

  • Advance field leadership efforts through thought partnership and collaboration with funder and field partners, as well as active engagement and leadership at policy tables, funder affinity groups and collaboratives, committee/workgroups, and key conferences in the field  

  • Help lead and convene the Illinois Early Childhood Funders table 

  • Engage and participate in committees and/or workgroups of the Illinois Early Learning Council 

  • Provide support and contribute to development of strategic initiatives and projects  

 

Research, Evaluation and Learning 

  • Track developments in the field – including policies, best practices, model programs, advocacy and organizing campaigns, trends in funding, and movement needs.  

  • Work with Program Directors to research, analyze and synthesize trends and opportunities in the EC field to translate into potential opportunities for action and investment 

  • Lead the tracking of learnings and outcomes for the EC program area 

  • Conduct research, literature reviews and prepare summaries and analyses when needed 

  • Engage in professional development and continuous learning including participating in conferences and meetings, involvement in fellowships, funder networks and other field building/professional development opportunities that will enhance leadership development   

 

Board and Committee Management 

  • Support planning and preparation for board meetings, including material development, identification of speakers, agenda setting, etc., that supports reflection, learning, and strategic planning conversations that help advance the foundation’s programmatic work 

 

Program Administration, Reporting and Communications  

  • Collaborate with the Grants Manager to ensure the EC grantmaking and reporting are managed effectively 

  • Contribute to the Foundation’s ability to track and communicate the Foundation’s work, investments, and impact across different strategies in EC internally and externally 

  • Help create and develop narrative and visual materials that highlight the Foundation’s initiatives, field leadership, and grantees for internal use for Board meetings and for conferences, meetings, events or other external use (including website) as needed 

  • Support scheduling and calendar maintenance for the EC program area 

 

Overall Foundation Effectiveness 

  • Work across all four program areas and the Foundation overall to help advance the vision, mission, internal and external goals, and overall effectiveness of the Foundation 

  • Support updates and revisions to grantmaking processes as we continue to advance our commitments to Trust Based Philanthropic practices 

 

Foundation Organizational Culture 

  • Support Foundation-wide efforts to build a thriving and supportive organizational culture that is joyful, inclusive, equitable and trusting  

  • Support the Foundation’s commitment to live into its values of becoming an anti-racist organization  

  • Engage and participate in workshops and consultation on racial equity including activities of the Equity Belonging and Transformation Committee 

  • Assumes internal leadership roles and participates in committee work as appropriate opportunities arise  

  • Participate in Foundation wide strategy development 

Hiring Organization

Irving Harris Foundation

Qualifications

  • Commitment to Irving Harris Foundation’s mission 

  • Team member who values diversity, equity and inclusion and takes pride in working with and collaborating on a team that brings together diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and expression 

  • A minimum of five to seven years of work experience in a related field 

  • Bachelor’s degree required and master’s degree preferred in a related field such as public policy, early childhood, child development, education, social justice, public health, maternal child health, psychology, community development, social work, journalism, and humanities, and  

  • Knowledge of issues related to early childhood, maternal and child health, organizing and movement building, policy, advocacy and systems-building, and racial, gender and economic justice 

  • Demonstrated passion for advancing social justice and equity through community driven approaches and solutions. 

  • Independent and highly motivated  

  • Strong project and time management skills 

  • Strong interpersonal skills, and leadership experience including communicating and working with internal and external stakeholders to build successful partnerships/collaborations and motivating groups around shared interests 

  • Ability to meet deadlines, independently conceptualize and manage project plans, and work on several projects simultaneously 

  • Ability to be flexible, adaptable, and to think conceptually, strategically, and learn quickly 

  • Demonstrated problem-solving and strong analytical, written, and verbal communication skills 

  • Experience with reviewing and understanding organizational budgets and financial statements 

  • Tech savviness - able to creatively navigate multiple platforms from Microsoft Office to survey tools, basic web-design/updating, databases, social media platforms, video conferencing software (Zoom), etc. 

  • Showing high levels of integrity, thoughtfulness, curiosity around creating equitable and just internal processes

  • Show strong growth mindset, receptivity to feedback, and the ability to learn from successes and challenges and be adaptable  

The position is based in Chicago, Illinois. The Program Officer may be expected to travel between 10%- 20% of the time annually. 

COVID VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS 

All staff are required to be fully vaccinated upon hire with the Foundation as of their first day of employment with the Foundation. Upon hire, all are expected to provide a photocopy of their vaccination card during the onboarding process.

Industry/Service Area

Other

Level

Mid-Senior level

Benefits

WHY THE FOUNDATION? 

The Foundation offers a competitive salary/benefits package and the opportunity to work with a small, collaborative, and dedicated team. 

  • Competitive Fulltime Salary – salary range $105,000 - $110,000 commensurate with experience 
  • Annual performance-based bonus, 3-7% 

  • Professional Development Opportunities 

  • Tuition Reimbursement 

  • 401(K) contributions of 15% after 1 year (no match required) 

  • Generous employer paid Health, Dental and Vision package 

  • Vacation accrual of 3 week in year one increasing in year 2  

  • 13 PTO days (up front) upon hire 

  • Bank Holidays plus 3 floating holidays 

  • Closed the week between Christmas and New Year 

  • Work week 4 ½ days per week 

  • One in-person collaboration day a week and access to an office at any time 

Equal Employment Opportunity: The Irving Harris Foundation is committed to an inclusive, fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team. The Foundation values and actively seeks diversity in its workplace. The Foundation’s inclusive and equitable practice is embedded in recruitment, hiring, training, and promoting persons in all job classifications. The Foundation does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment based on that individual’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital status, military service or veteran status, sexuality or status in any other group protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Foundation administers all personnel decisions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, returns from layoffs, etc. in accordance with the principles of equal employment opportunity.  

Application Instructions

For consideration, interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume to the following link: https://smrtr.io/cvrWr


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