Program Director: Creative Communities

Posted June 6th, 2017 at 12:36 pm.

DescriptionThe William Penn Foundation is a leading private family foundation located in Philadelphia. With approximately $2.3 billion in assets and an annual grantmaking budget of approximately $110 million, the Foundation is a vital part of the civic life of one of the country’s most important and historically significant regions. All of the Foundation’s grantmaking is focused in the city of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Region. The Foundation has charted a vision consistent with its enduring focus on education, the environment and the cultural vitality of Greater Philadelphia.

The three core strategic priorities at this time are:

  • Increasing the number of low income children receiving a high quality education with a special focus on years 0-8 in an effort to create strong readers/strong learners
  • Ensuring a clean water supply by protecting the Delaware River watershed
  • Fostering a culturally vital city and region through support for arts and cultural organizations, educational experiences that increase students’ access to the arts, and the development of high quality public spaces as platforms for engagement, community building, and cultural expression.

The Foundation’s programmatic investments are led by a team of Program Directors. The Program Directors are responsible for developing effective grantmaking strategies for their respective funding areas in consultation with the Executive Director, while accounting for emerging trends, issues, and challenges and opportunities in their fields and across the city and region. Program Directors are also responsible for managing and supporting the professional development of their grantmaking teams; overseeing annual grant, consulting, and travel and meeting budgets; ensuring due diligence on grants and grantees and rigorous grant evaluations; and cooperating with other Foundation colleagues, to ensure effective communications and exploit appropriate opportunities for cross-programmatic collaboration.

Program Directors are responsible for initiating and leading work that may range across multiple sectors, topics, and fields and for leading and implementing a portfolio of work that contributes to broad institutional goals, builds on prior accomplishments of the Foundation, and breaks new ground. While the direct focus of the Foundation’s work is regional, it is assumed and desired that its influence upon thought leadership and policy will be both local and national. In partnership with the Foundation’s Director of Evaluation, Program Directors will also lead the assessment of the portfolio’s direction, strategy, results, and impacts. He/she will also represent the Foundation externally.

Creative Communities Program Director Responsibilities

Artists, arts and cultural organizations, and great public spaces and civic assets contribute significantly to the identity of the city and the region. Vital and creative communities promote development and investment, and help make the city more competitive by helping to attract and retain residents, businesses, and visitors. Access to high quality cultural opportunities and public spaces enhance the livability of the city and the entire region. The Creative Communities Program Director will lead a grantmaking team focused on the following areas of investment:

  • Arts & Culture Organization Core Support – unrestricted operating support for regional arts and cultural organizations
  • Arts Education – supporting professional arts and cultural organizations that provide high quality arts education for low and moderate income school students in Philadelphia
  • New Audiences/New Places – project support for arts organizations to provide cultural opportunities outside of their traditional venues and engage new audiences
  • Great Public Spaces – expand access to high quality public spaces in underserved and under-resourced communities as a way to promote greater engagement, community building, and connectivity

Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as a strategic leader, overseeing the development and presentation of annual strategic plans, portfolio reviews, evaluations, and new initiatives, and managing and monitoring an annual grant budget of over $30 million.
  • As a “hands on” working manager, directly participate in and provide leadership for team grantmaking, including maintaining a personal grantmaking portfolio.
  • Provide overall accountability for key deliverables to the organization as part of the Foundation’s leadership team.
  • Present and explain grant proposals at Board of Director meetings.
  • Collaborate with other Program Directors to identify and promote appropriate and meaningful cross-programmatic investment opportunities.
  • Convene stakeholders across a variety of sectors to gather and share knowledge, drive investments, and maximize results and impacts.
  • Represents the Foundation externally, including speaking engagements, media interviews, public presentations, attending conferences, and participating in other key internal and external meetings.
  • Work with the Director of Evaluation, and external consultants, when appropriate, to ensure rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the grantmaking portfolio and strategies.
  • Work with the Director of Communications to ensure that proactive and strategic communications plan is implemented to amplify and promote impact of investments.
  • Manage a team of Creative Communities Program Officers and Associates, and oversee the professional development of team members
  • Develop and monitor annual performance goals for individual team members.
RequirementsExpected Competencies:

Strategic Agility and Ability: Ability to see opportunities and translate strategy into action by designing innovative investment approaches based on strong analysis and planning.

Outcome-Focused: Results-driven with a focus on quality and strong team and project management skills, including strong prioritization skills.

Decision-Making and a Sense of Urgency: Ability to evaluate risks and opportunities, using analytical and strong problem-solving skills, deadline management, ability to multi-task and a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Initiative: High level of personal initiative and ability to supervise, proactively lead, coach, and motivate a professional staff.

Partnership and Relationship Building: Ability to effectively and professionally represent the Foundation, including strong presentation/communication skills, cultural competence, and strategic partnership building abilities.

Team Leadership and Management: Strong interpersonal and communications skills, exceptional listening, written and verbal capabilities; skills in team building, coaching, mentoring, delegating, inspiring and motivating colleagues internally and externally.

Marketing Orientation: Ability to share, promote, and market great ideas, great practices, and effective solutions developed by the Foundation locally and nationally.

Required Education, Training, and Experience: 

  • Advanced degree in relevant subject area preferred such as Fine or Performing Arts, Art History, Arts Administration, Architecture, Urban Planning and/or Design, Public Policy
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • A minimum of 12 years of relevant work experience
  • Significant practical experience in at least one Creative Communities program area (arts administration, arts programming, arts education, and/or public space)
  • Experience managing a professional team, including organizing and setting team-wide and individual priorities
  • Experience developing and leading multi-party projects with defined objectives, deliverables, monitoring and evaluating results
  • Experience developing and implementing grantmaking strategies
  • Experience with evaluation research methods
  • Prior Foundation experience a plus

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk, bend, sit, talk, lift, or hear. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk and use hands and arms to operate general office equipment (PC, telephone, file cabinets, copier, fax machine and printer). The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to ten (10) pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

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. Nominations and applications may be submitted to

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

Comments are closed.