Program Officer

New London, CT
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Employment Type: 

Program Officer

Job Description



The vision of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for all. Our mission is to collaborate with partners to put philanthropy into action to address the needs, rights and interests of our community in Eastern Connecticut. We embrace integrity, equity, respect, courage and empathy as our values and our work is to convene and serve as a thought partner and strategic advocate with community leaders, donors, nonprofits and other partners to ensure collective impact around our focus areas and to advance wellbeing in our region.

CFECT has over 580 funds established by generous caring individuals and families in our region. The Foundation was established in 1983 and currently stewards approximately $110 million in assets. We serve 42 municipalities in Eastern Connecticut and have awarded over $80 million in grants and scholarships since its founding.

The Position Overview

Reports to:  Program Director

The Program Officer is a key member of the Program Department responsible for our community impact work.  The three-person team oversees $6M in grant-making and scholarships, public policy work and involvement in numerous community initiatives to advance equity in eastern Connecticut. 

We are seeking a team member who will contribute to our work in racial equity, social mobility, economic opportunity within the diverse communities of eastern Connecticut.  The ideal candidate will have a track record of working with cross‐sector collaborations, prior grantmaking experience, excellent project management experience, strong relationship management and interpersonal skills, and the ability to thrive in a dynamic workplace environment. 

Personal Leadership Qualities

The Program Officer should demonstrate:

  • Understands the work of a Foundation and has a clear commitment to the Foundation’ mission and values.
  • The highest levels of personal and professional integrity and confidentiality.
  • The ability to build trusting relationships and balance diverging and competing points of view.
  • A strong sense of motivation and creativity.
  • Willingness to ask difficult questions and challenge assumptions.
  • Awareness of trends and information in the external environment that may impact the Foundation.
  • Strong organizational communications, internally and externally.

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of integrity, equity, respect, courage, and empathy.
  • Collaborate with other staff –– to coordinate with and contribute to projects and relationships that may connect to other Foundation efforts.
    • Communications: Support the Foundation’s Communications Officer in implementing our strategic communications plan
    • Participate in team learning activities. Attend staff meetings and retreat.
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues.
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection and a sense of humor.

Duties and responsibilities

The Program Officer will take primarily responsibility within the team for several initiatives, including:


  • Oversight of the day-to-day execution of grantmaking: The Program Officer will review grant proposals, performing essential due diligence and evaluation on assigned grant cycles.
  • The Program Officer will work with Program and Administrative team members to ensure that all proposed grantees meet appropriate legal standards and provide appropriate documentation.
  • Conduct research relevant to program areas and present findings to the Program Director.
  • Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy.
  • Lead on grant applications in system:  update and revise as needed with program team input.
  • Coordinate with the database manager on application processing and award notification.

Grantee Partnerships and Support

  • The Program Officer will communicate with grant-seekers regularly through virtual and in-person meetings and will conduct site visits as part of the review process as appropriate.
  • As appropriate, convene Foundation grantees, nonprofits and/or other funders around shared interests and funding priorities, encourage strategic partnerships and advance collective action, and provide networking and learning opportunities.
  • Provide technical assistance to grant applicants and awardees as needed.

Public Policy

  • Contribute to collaboration and integration of policy, program, and communications, including helping to build coalitions to advance policy work.
  • Provide support and guidance to the Nonprofit Advocacy Council.
  • Identify emerging issues that are pertinent to the Foundation’s objectives.
  • Work closely with statewide policy organizations to understand advocacy opportunities.
  • Work with lobbyists to monitor state and federal policy activities related to areas of high priority (early childhood, housing, and mental health).
  • Cultivate relationships with select branches of government (legislators & aides, committee staff), the nonprofit community, advocates, grantees, and other funders.
  • Collaborate in the development and execution of all public policy-related educational briefing events to our community (webinars, etc.).
  • Organize, facilitate, and attend convenings with internal colleagues, experts, stakeholders, municipalities, grantees, and other partners.
  • Remain abreast of current research, activities, and trends in the field.

Community Meetings

Participate in relevant community meetings, forums, workshops, and networks related to the Foundation’s funding priorities, interests, and greater philanthropic role in the community. Represent the Foundation at community functions as related to the following Foundation’s interests, including (but not limited to):

  • CT Council for Philanthropy and other funders roundtables.
    • Engaging with allied funders and organization leaders to advance social change through strategic partnerships.
  • Racial justice, equity & anti-racism work.
  • Engage in opportunities for advocacy related to the Foundation’s four priorities (empower youth, promote basic needs & rights, preserve the environment, and advance animal welfare) including public speaking and writing and submitting testimony.
  • Participate in professional development activities to enhance and grow skills and competencies appropriate to work responsibilities and advance the work of the Foundation.

Other duties include:

  • Assist in identifying community leaders for involvement on Foundation committees.
  • Assist Program Director in identifying emerging areas of community need for investment and leadership.


Education and Experience

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience (minimum 3-5 years progressive work experience).
  • Minimum of three years of relevant experience in advocacy, campaign strategy development, and implementation and public policy, including experience working with policy makers, researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders.
  • Proven track record of working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized in systems that affect their lives.
  • Direct experience engaging in systemic change initiatives or campaigns, from the purview of a Non-Profit advocacy, government, health, and/or philanthropic organization.
  • Excellent project management skills, including the ability to create and maintain files and recording systems accurately, with minimal supervision.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including proofreading and editing, and the ability to communicate complex ideas for general and specific audience.
    • Effective communication skills, including active listening skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in computer technology including applications for project and data management and electronic calendars (Excel, Windows, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Foundant preferred). Experience working with Foundant software (CSuite, GLM, SLM) a plus. 

Working conditions

Works in a typical office setting.

Physical requirements

  • The ability to spend a majority of each day sitting at a desk in front of a computer. May be required to lift up to 30lbs.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is an equal opportunity employer. We embrace diversity of views, backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives to better achieve our mission. 


To Apply: Send a letter of interest with your CV to Janet Grant at