Program Associate-Great Learning: William Penn Foundation

Posted April 4th, 2017 at 2:55 pm.

The William Penn Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. In 2016, the Foundation made grants totaling over $113 million and held assets of over $2.3 billion.

The Foundation’s three core priorities are to:

  • Increase the number of children in low-income families in Philadelphia receiving a high-quality education.
  • Ensuring a clean water supply by protecting the Delaware River watershed
  • Foster a vital and diverse cultural region by investing in the health and sustainability of arts and cultural organizations and in great public spaces.

Position Summary

The Program Associate will spend approximately 70% of her/his time as a member of the Great Learning program team, focusing on increasing the number of children from low-income families in Philadelphia who experience academic success from early childhood through high school. A large portion of the Associate’s time will be spent addressing issues related to early childhood education.

The Program Associate will spend approximately 30% of his/her time supporting work in Communications, Grants Management, and/or Research and Evaluation. These projects will be assigned to meet the needs of the Foundation.


The duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide support on strategic projects and grantmaking across the Foundation, with a particular emphasis on the education program.
  • Refine and implement multi-year grantmaking plans, including managing a portfolio of Great Learning grants aligned with one or more content areas.
  • Facilitate project planning, coordination, reporting, analysis, monitoring, and communications, including administrative tasks necessary to ensure successful completion of the work.
  • Participate in education team meetings, planning, and goal setting.
  • Manage planning, logistics, and preparations for critical meetings, including meetings with individual organizations and multi-stakeholder convenings. This may include scheduling, event logistics, agenda preparation, document review, and coordination with various parties. Attend key meetings, document key results, distribute meeting summaries, and coordinate follow-up and next steps.

 Expected Competencies

  • Communication: Strong interpersonal skills, as well as writing, speaking, and presentation skills including the ability to communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences. Demonstrated ability to deal with highly confidential information and act as a liaison between senior management and other constituencies, both internal and external. High degree of integrity, poise, humility, diplomacy, and tact.
  • Analytical Thinking: Ability to quickly understand information, research, analyze data, synthesize findings, and make recommendations. Able to make decisions wisely based upon limited data. Good judgment.
  • Project Management: Ability to define project scope, roles, responsibilities and deliverables. Excellent organization, prioritization, and judgment. Demonstrated ability to manage time effectively with multiple projects on different timeframes, ensuring all deadlines are met while maintaining composure.
  • Leadership: Track record of strong ownership of work, active self-management, taking initiative, identifying opportunities for enhancements, and implementing process improvements. Works with sense of urgency, results, and strong work ethic.
  • Adaptable and Flexible: – Ability to quickly adapt to changing environments and identify new approaches to support a dynamic organization. Capable and willing to do work at all levels, including thinking strategically and performing administrative tasks.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration. Demonstrated ability to collaborate with and achieve actionable results through others, the ability to build strong and sustainable relationships and the capability to interact within all levels of the organization and external constituents.
  • Organization and Attention to detail: Acumen to handle complex situations and multiple responsibilities while maintaining attention to detail and simultaneously balancing long term projects with the urgency of immediate demands on the operations.

Education, Training and Experience

  • Relevant advanced degree preferred; Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience related to child development, early childhood, or K-12 public education, including teaching, research, consulting, advocacy, and/or policy.
  • Experience in setting priorities, long-term project management, and working under tight deadlines.
  • Familiarity with issues related to urban education.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); experience with Tableau and Salesforce a plus.
  • Prior foundation experience is not required. Familiarity with nonprofit organizations is desirable.

Interested candidates should email a letter of interest, current resume, and 3-5 page writing sample to:

The William Penn Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and considers applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, marital status or sexual orientation. All who believe they meet the stated qualifications are invited to apply.

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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