Program Officer, Jewish Life

William Davidson Foundation

William Davidson Foundation

Troy, MI, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Program Officer - Jewish Life, is responsible for contributing to the development, refinement, and stewardship of grants across the Jewish Life portfolio in the broad field of Jewish community, with a focus on identity formation. Reporting to the Director - Jewish Life, this role is expected to perform strongly across a variety of tasks, including: independently creating and managing a varied portfolio of active grants, disciplined stewardship of funds, cultivating and sustaining strong relationships with grantees and partners, developing progress reports and materials for review and discussion by the grants committee and board, and assessing and acting on ethical duties and Foundation obligations to maintain the integrity of organization and oneself.

This role serves as a member of a program team and works collaboratively with other members of the program staff, board, and executive leadership to execute on the strategic objectives of the Foundation. The Program Officer thrives in a team environment and positively contributes to the organizational culture.

This is a full-time position located in Troy, Michigan, with the expectation that the incumbent resides in Southeast Michigan.


Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategy Development & Learning

  • Actively participates in developing program strategy; shares learnings; continuously improves effectiveness through assessment of strategies, tactics, program design and implementation; develops local and/or focused strategies that reflect and accelerate strategy for the overall program portfolio.
  • Contributes to the development and refinement of programmatic strategies and plans by preparing or commissioning briefs, presentations, and other syntheses on key topics related to the portfolios as needed.
  • Obtains, maintains, and shares knowledge of the current thinking in field - what works, the most effective and /or innovative ways to support the work.
  • Actively engages in continuous learning opportunities to further develop knowledge and expertise; maintains an awareness of needs and opportunities for investment; applies and improves a body of knowledge; keeps abreast of major developments in the field; acts as knowledgeable spokesperson for the Foundation’s strategy.


  • Identifies and acts on opportunities to establish relationships with new partners, develop common goals, and materialize those relationships into rigorous projects that expand the impact of our mission.
  • Analyzes potential investment and reinvestment opportunities from a variety of sources. Evaluates those opportunities within the framework of entire portfolio.
  • Conducts on-site visits with grantees, preliminary screening, and in-depth due diligence of organizations and projects with assistance.
  • Writes clear, concise, and insightful summaries of inquiries, proposals, and progress reports, and provides further analyses and funding recommendations for program team review and discussion.
  • Works closely with grantees to affect positive change as defined by mutual agreement, potentially offering technical experience as appropriate, and/or identifying outside assistance as necessary, while monitoring progress, and building a personal model of relational and strategy aligned philanthropy.

Foundation & Field Contributions

  • Represents the Foundation’s interests with grantees and external partners, provides guidance and assistance, and manages partners’ expectations.
  • Assists in developing, implementing, managing, and collaborating on emerging and existing projects, events, partnerships, convenings, and/or initiatives.
  • Provides leadership in the professional field as appropriate through public speaking engagements, writing, panel discussions, associations, and activities that contribute and further the Foundation’s mission.
  • Actively contributes to other internal Foundation projects and duties, as needed, and assigned.


The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree prferred.
  • Minimum of three to five years professional experience in relevant field and familiarity with the nonprofit sector, with a preference for individuals who hold a deep passion for the Jewish communal space.
  • Experience as a grantmaker or grantseeker desired, but not required.
  • Ability to make complex, multidimensional decisions in a mission-driven, strategic organizational environment.
  • Excellent project management skills to include goal setting, planning, development, and execution; and the ability to balance multiple priorities effectively while meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to prioritize work effectively and independently, “managing up” proactively to align on expectations and deliver consistently.
  • Expresses ideas and information clearly and concisely in various contexts and employs strategies to ensure timely, professional, and empathetic communication habits.
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills and experienced in synthesizing large amounts of information.
  • Organizational savvy and the ability to use interpersonal and constructive communications in cooperative, collaborative, and diplomatic ways to work with Foundation colleagues, grantees, and other external stakeholders.
  • Maintains and demonstrates good judgment, discretion, and confidentiality and can remain objective – operating in service to the mission, not a particular project, grants, or individual.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, adaptable, versatile, and open to change.
  • Technologically savvy; abliity to understand technology solutions, proficient with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, project management softwares, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Ability to travel - including grantee site visits and representation of the Foundation at outside meetings.

Personal Attributes

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission to honor William Davidson’s memory and to continue his philosophy of giving by: supporting projects that will have a significant, long-term impact on the lives of the participants; collaborating with organizations and individuals that are creative, visionary and transformational; leveraging its resources to work with other organizations and grantors; and encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship.
  • Commitment to uphold the Foundation’s core values - People Matter, Leadership Makes a Difference, See the Impossible as Possible, and Just Start - in daily actions, behaviors, words, and attitudes; positively contributes to the organizational culture; and thrives in an evolving and entrepreneurial environment.


Because we value your time and want you to invest your time only if the role feels like it could be right for you, we’ve written these FAQs. Our intention is that you will have as much information upfront as possible about the role and William Davidson Foundation.

William Davidson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

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