About [YOUR ORGANIZATION’S NAME]
Give a quick elevator pitch on your organization. You may want to include:
- How long your organization has been in operation
- A brief description of your mission, as well as the services, programs, or products you offer
First, a note: this is a template for a program role, but this is also meant to be general, for any role in a department that conducts the mission’s work (education, for example). Program team job titles tend to be more uniform than those in other departments in the nonprofit sector. For example, program coordinator, program manager, director of programs, etc. are all fairly standard titles.
A quick rule of thumb tells us that titles are generally (but not always) categorized as follows:
- Associate / Coordinator - 0-2 years of experience
- Specialist - 2-5 years of experience
- Manager - 5-7 years of experience
- Associate / Assistant Director - 7-10 years of experience
- Director - 10-15 years of experience
- Senior Director / Vice President - 15-20 years of experience
- Chief Officer - 20+ years of experience
Next, draft a one sentence summary of the role so that job seekers can easily get a preview of what’s to come. This is also a good place to note to whom the role will report. Here’s an example from Idealist for a Program Coordinator role:
Based in New York City and reporting to the Grad Program Manager, the Program Coordinator will be responsible for helping to coordinate the 2018 Idealist Grad Fair season and assisting with the expansion of the program.
This section should list the essential job functions that describe the nature of the role in plain language. No need to include everything; the details can come later.
Typically, program roles include duties such as:
- Focusing on program deliverables, whether in a support or leadership capacity
- Building partnerships with community partners
- Tracking evaluation data
- Management responsibilities, for director- and vice president-level roles
The exact wording of responsibilities will vary by organization, but responsibilities usually scale based on role. For example, a coordinator may support a piece of the work, a manager may be tasked with carrying it out, and a director may oversee it.
Who we’re looking for
It’s important to edit this section with an eye to what you truly need in a candidate, both in terms of skills/traits and experience.
For program roles, employers usually ask for candidates who are organized and culturally competent with experience in project management, problem solving, and multi-tasking. Additionally, successful candidates also possess some level of expertise in issue areas, either gained on-the-job or through academic studies. Consider what your organization uniquely needs for this position to be successful.
One more thing to consider: only list your must-haves (i.e. skip the nice-to-haves). Nice-to-haves may cause some candidates to opt out of the process, often with implications for race/ethnicity, gender, and more. Take a look at your list of desired skills and experiences, and edit meticulously!
Salary and benefits
Even if your state or city doesn’t require a salary range on job postings, we strongly recommend that you include one. This helps communicate what your organization can offer, and gives candidates a better understanding as to whether it’s a fit for them.
You should also document benefits, both the standard stuff (medical, time off) and anything fun (bring your parakeet to work!) about your organization. Including your benefits as a list or bullet points rather than in a paragraph allow candidates to see this important information more clearly.
Internal Idealist job postings include a brief snapshot of benefits, things like:
- Specific paid time off, like vacation, sabbatical leave, time off to volunteer, sick leave, and parental leave
- Specific health insurances offered, like medical, dental, and vision
- Home office set-up allowance
- Reimbursement for learning and wellness
Other important aspects of the role
Here are a few suggestions for what to include in this catch-all section:
- Work environment. Normally, we’d advise this to be a space where you talk about your organization’s office environment and what candidates can expect in terms of equipment and facilities. However, as of this writing in 2022, many organizations are still working remotely. Be specific about what you require of the candidate, whether remote, in-person, or a hybrid work arrangement, and any specific days or times they might need to be at the office or other site.
It’s also worth noting typical work hours, for transparency’s sake.
- Encouraging diverse applicants. It’s common to see employers encouraging diverse candidates to apply. Sometimes this is for legal compliance for federal contractors, and in that case you should refer to those guidelines.
For all organizations aiming to build more equitable teams, we suggest that you post something authentic to your organization culture. In past surveys, some members of our community of job seekers have expressed frustration when this kind of statement seems like “lip service.”
Here’s a sample from our friends at The Partnership for Public Service:
“The Partnership is an inclusive organization that fosters learning, collaboration and respect. We actively recruit for diversity in our workplace, believing that a range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences contributes to our mission of revitalizing government. The Partnership for Public Service is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability; or on any other basis prohibited by law.”
- How to apply. All parts of a listing should use clear and economic language, but this section should be especially clear and concise. Be specific about the materials you require––resume, cover letter, application exercise, work samples, etc.
Remember to check the listing to ensure that the application email address or link is typo-free. We recommend doing a test click to confirm.
If there’s a date by which the application period will close, include that here as well.
Check out our other job posting templates for all of your organization's open roles!