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Opening: Program Officer

Publication date: 
November, 2021

Position: Program Officer
Organization: Funders for Housing and Opportunity 
Location: Remote
Deadline: December 6, 2021

Project Summary

Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO) brings the nation’s leading funders together from across sectors and perspectives to remove barriers to stable housing in thriving communities for those who have historically and contemporarily been denied access to these opportunities. FHO is a national funder collaborative focused on ensuring that renters have access to a safe, stable home they can afford in a community that supports better health, economic mobility, and educational achievement, free from the barriers and harms of systemic racism. This is accomplished primarily through grant making and learning exchanges in FHO’s three priority areas: policy, advocacy, and organizing; narrative change; and elevating what works. FHO prioritizes racial equity in its work, and seeks to change housing policies, practices, and institutions that have perpetuated a system of discrimination in housing and harm communities of color. More information can be found on our website, www.housingisopportunity.org.

FHO will be managing a three-year grant fund of up to $60 million for The Partnership for Equitable and Resilient Communities (PERC), a new public-private partnership between philanthropy and the federal government. PERC will provide financial, technical, and capacity resources to encourage and support up to 12 local sites to absorb and deploy federal resources in ways that remove the barriers of systemic racism in their institutions. The goal of PERC is to allocate government resources in new ways that ensure that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian/Pacific Islander communities are generationally better off as a result. In managing the PERC grant fund, FHO will be responsible for developing and overseeing a transparent grant selection and grant deployment process for the sites. A broader support package of capacity-building and technical assistance will be managed by third-party consultants.

Position Summary

FHO seeks a self-motivated, skilled project manager and strategic thought partner knowledgeable about housing justice, local government, and grantmaking to fill its Program Officer position. The Program Officer, in consultation with the FHO Project Director and external partners, is responsible for managing all grantmaking aspects of PERC - from process design and prospecting to grantee selection and grant deployment. The Program Officer will represent FHO with lead philanthropic partners and consultants who are providing overall project management for other aspects of PERC (e.g., capacity support to the sites, program evaluation, technical assistance, grantee learning community, communication hub, etc.). The ideal candidate will be a proactive, fast-moving, and entrepreneurial individual who can fully and efficiently own projects and workflows from start to finish. This program is in its initial design phases, and actual duties and responsibilities described below are subject to change based on a number of factors, including fund availability and decisions made by project partners regarding timing and substance of the overall program offering.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

External Engagement & Partnership (15%)

  • Represent FHO on the external leadership team for PERC which is led by a third-party consultant.
  • Maintain ongoing, open communication with consultants and provide feedback about what needs site grantee partners and donors have identified that could be met via the learning community, technical assistance, etc.
  • Represent FHO at meetings and convenings with potential site grantees and partners.
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson for FHO and PERC in the field, raising the visibility of both groups by presenting at meetings, writing thought pieces, etc.
  • Support FHO's identity and role as a thought leader and active participant in the work of housing justice.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other grant makers and philanthropic peers.

Donor Relationship Management (15%)

  • Work with PERC’s lead philanthropic partners to strategically identify new donors and support the lead philanthropic partners in their efforts to engage and secure funding from these donors.
  • Work with grantee partners and the consultants managing the site grantee partner learning community to gather necessary information, compose, gain approvals, and submit one common annual progress report to donors and to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Assess donors’ desired level of engagement with the PERC grantee partner learning community, determine appropriate cadence and engagement methods, and facilitate donor learning sessions as appropriate.
  • Maintain regular and open communication with donors about PERC’s progress.
  • Contribute to FHO’s internal system to track donor requirements and ensure timely and accurate donor reporting.

Grants Management (70%)

  • Develop and manage inclusive processes for stakeholder input on PERC grant program parameters.
  • Incorporate stakeholder input into the design of the PERC grant program and create a written audit trail to document the process of stakeholder engagement and its impact on the program parameters.
  • Manage prospecting process reflective of PERC’s values and strategies and work with partners to engage a diverse pool of potential applicants to learn about the funding opportunity. This may include overseeing consultants to conduct local field scans and readiness assessments.
  • Conduct eligible applicant briefings to promote the funding opportunity and answer questions
  • Serve as primary contact for applicant organizations and represent FHO with potential grantees during the grantmaking process and as applicants have administrative and programmatic questions.
  • Work with FHO’s fiscal sponsor, New Venture Fund (NVF), to set up and monitor the grantee portal, which serves as the system of record and document repository for the application and required grant start-up documentation.
  • Screen applications for completeness and fulfillment of minimum requirements.
  • Design and oversee a transparent and time-bound grant review process to be as equitable and inclusive as possible, including the creation of a standard scoring rubric, reviewer recruitment and training, and the development of a process to come to grant recommendations.
  • Facilitate grant review meetings and consensus-building.
  • Compose a grant decision memo which outlines the grant recommendations, key considerations, and the process taken to arrive at the recommendations.
  • Present funding recommendations to leadership.
  • Communicate funding decisions to applicants and conduct debriefs with applicants that are not selected for funding.
  • Review grant agreements, which NVF will draft, to ensure grant terms, reporting and participation requirements, disbursement amounts, and timing are accurately reflected. Follow up with grantee partners and answer any questions they have to ensure timely execution of grant agreements.
  • Create written summaries of the funded projects for internal and external use.
  • Create content for website, social media, and lead philanthropic partners to use when grant decisions are announced publicly. Provide talking points to lead philanthropic partners and FHO Project Director.
  • Create an internal protocols document that outlines how grant decisions were made, key provisions of the Funding Announcement that must be met, a timeline for grant management going forward, recommended process improvements, etc.
  • Build productive, trusting, and supportive relationships with site grantee partners. Work with consultant team to identify best ways to support grantee partners and donors throughout the grant period.
  • Assist consultants who are leading the learning community, as requested and appropriate.
  • Ensure grant reports are completed on time and manage release of grant disbursements, ensuring all grant requirements are met.
  • Conduct site visits, as appropriate.

Required and Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of training or experience.
  • 5-7 years of experience in the affordable housing and/or homelessness field is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully starting up and implementing complex projects with multiple external stakeholders
  • Experience with grant-making and managing relationships with donors and grantee partners is strongly preferred. Experience with the principles and practice of restorative grantmaking is also preferred.
  • Understanding of the affordable housing and homelessness systems, infrastructure, organizations/key players, and related fields.
  • Deep knowledge of the principles of housing justice, the causes of inequitable and racially segregated housing in our country, understanding of the relationship between housing discrimination and access to opportunity, and a drive to find systemic solutions.
  • Knowledge of local government processes.
  • Strong commitment to and practice of racial justice and racial equity.
  • Excellent analytic skills and ability to analyze organizational capacity and health, including financial skills to evaluate program budgets.
  • Excellent project management skills. Proven ability to define program objectives and independently manage complex projects through a complete lifestyle with strong attention to detail.
  • Highly cooperative team-player with the ability to also take initiative, be effective independently and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Maintains professional demeanor in all situations and proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to work in a mission/results-driven environment
  • Creativity, flexibility, sound judgement.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with ability to summarize and present to various audiences.
  • Flexible and able to work well with all levels of internal and external leadership and management as well as outside constituents. 
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (including Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point), Ability to learn to use Slack, Box, Mural, and Zoom.

Additional Considerations

  • Candidate must have the ability to travel up to 25% of the time once pandemic travel restrictions are lifted
  • Candidate must be able to provide a home environment conducive to remote working, including a quiet and distraction-free working space, an internet connection that’s adequate for the job and capable of videoconferencing, and full attention to their job duties during working hours. FHO is a fully remote organization, and the position can be based anywhere in the United States.
  • We seek to recruit the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

Salary and Benefits

  • Annual salary range is between $85,000 - $100,000 and is fixed to a budget and firmly capped at $100,000 with full benefits (health, dental, vision, retirement, paid time off).

To Apply

  • Please email a pdf version of a resume and cover letter describing recent relevant experience to info@housingisopportunity.org on or before noon Eastern on December 6th. The subject line should read: PROGRAM OFFICER, INSERT YOUR NAME.
  • Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Funders for Housing and Opportunity is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

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