The Ford Foundation (“Foundation”) BUILD program supports and develops robust, effective and sustainable organizations addressing inequality in the US and around the world. In the next six years, the Foundation will invest approximately $1Bn in a limited number of organizations, providing them with flexible operational and organizational strengthening support.
By strengthening organizations that are core to social justice, the Foundation aims to ensure BUILD organizations have the stability it takes to drive change over the long term and in turn achieve greater impact. The Foundation also aims to shift power in the philanthropic sector by forging relationships with grantee partners that are characterized by trust, mutual candor, and deep partnership. BUILD grants support groundbreaking organizations in seven thematic areas: Cities and States; Civic Engagement and Government; Creativity and Free Expression; Future of Workers; Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice; Natural Resources and Climate Change; and Technology and Society.
BUILD currently supports 350 visionary organizations and networks in the US and around the world. These organizations report that they are better able to plan and execute on their missions than before they received BUILD support. They can more easily innovate and respond to opportunities and threats. They are more financially stable, and more successful in leveraging support from other donors. Although it is too early to assess the long-term impact of these grants, an independent evaluation of the program reports that BUILD has contributed to numerous “wins,” including “successes in decarceration and police accountability, increases in local minimum wage levels, formal recognition of indigenous people’s land rights, and increases in public awareness about the impunity of governing elites.”
The BUILD team is actively planning for a second phase of the program, which will build upon current successes while striving for even more impact on inequality. At a time when the world is facing multiple intersecting crises—political, economic, social, and environmental—we are committed ensuring that our grantee partners have the financial and human resources they need to enact transformational systems change. The BUILD Program Officer will help shape the future of social justice organizations, networks and movements, as well as that of philanthropy itself, by developing new models and approaches to strengthening institutions that advance a more just and equitable vision for the world.
The BUILD team serves as a resource to Foundation program officers and grantee partners alike, and provides thought leadership on organizational and network development both within and outside the Foundation, with an emphasis on supporting and strengthening organizations led by women and people of color. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity, and the Program Officer will join a program at the frontier of knowledge, contributing to learning among Ford Foundation grantees while advancing the state of philanthropic practice. The Program Officer will have the opportunity to shape the next phase of a groundbreaking philanthropic model that is hugely influential in the field, including explorations about how to use BUILD to more effectively support networks and movements. Most importantly, they will have the opportunity to partner with and learn from visionary social justice leaders all over the world.
The Program Officer will act as a key leader on the BUILD team, working primarily with US programs, but also collaborating with other BUILD program officers to support BUILD in the Global South. The Program Officer will be working in partnership with teams and grantee organizations that center racial justice and apply an intersectional lens throughout their work.
The Program Officer will use problem-solving and coaching skills to support foundation staff as well as grantee partners on issues related to institutional strengthening. The Program Officer also will focus on building community, connection, and peer support among BUILD grantee partners. Finally, the Program Officer will contribute to developing tools, resources, and learning to advance institutional strengthening for BUILD grantees as well as the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors more generally.
The Program Officer will join a 10-person BUILD team, which is a group of highly collaborative professionals. The team supports Foundation staff, grantee partners, and each other with a commitment to excellence and equity. Members strive to create a team culture of inclusion, shared power, and mutual respect and caring, with a healthy dose of joy and fun. This position will report to the BUILD Director.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer. Additionally, domestic/international travel will be expected when it is safe to travel, approximately 25%; some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings. Given that we work across different time zones, some non-traditional hours for early or late calls are an expectation of this role.
The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact, email@example.com or call (212) 573-4627.
Alignment to Culture and Values
Salary: Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.
Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.
The Ford Foundation (“Foundation”) BUILD program supports and develops robust, effective and sustainable organizations addressing inequality in the US and around the world. In the next six years, the Foundation will invest…