Program Officer, Poverty (Civic Engagement & Safety Net Protection)

JPB Foundation | New York, New York


The JPB Foundation is a national philanthropy based in New York whose mission is to advance opportunity in the United States through transformational initiatives that empower those living in poverty, enrich and sustain our environment, and enable pioneering medical research. JPB's three program areas are Poverty, Environment, and Medical Research

Job Summary

JPB's Poverty Program focuses on promoting health equity, democracy, and economic justice. Cutting across these program areas are two key approaches: 1) empowering people at the grassroots level to identify problems and formulate solutions; and 2) protecting and advancing a system of social programs and reforms that lift people out of poverty. The Program Officer, Poverty (Civic Engagement and Safety Net Protection) is a newly created position that will help shape strategies related to civic participation and movement building as well as foster opportunities that protect the framework of safety net programs in the U.S. The Program Officer will: 

  • Support the management and oversight of the Poverty Program grantees active in community organizing and civic engagement, and those focused on protecting and strengthening our country’s safety net programs.
  • Build partnerships with grantees, including by monitoring and evaluating grantees through site visits, reports, and other communications.
  • Assess the field, identify key systems, and work with leaders and other funders to analyze challenges and opportunities, seek evidence about program effectiveness, and identify possible strategies for change.
  • Stay informed of developments and emerging trends in relevant fields and review and synthesize research to inform grantmaking.
  • Obtain, maintain, and share knowledge of the most effective thinking and practices about supporting capacity building and otherwise implementing strategies with partners.
  • Evaluate and respond appropriately to new grant opportunities.
  • Represent the Foundation in meetings with grantees and other funders.

Reports To

As part of the Poverty Program team, the Program Officer will report to the Vice President, Poverty.


Manage, support, and monitor grantees within the Poverty Program’s portfolio:

  • Identify possible grants that would advance the Program’s strategy and work collaboratively with other team members to develop, define, and implement strategies.
  • Ensure completion and accuracy of funding applications, progress reports, and other relevant materials.
  • Evaluate and summarize proposals and progress report narratives and financial reporting, and follow-up with grantees as needed.
  • Coordinate and participate in meetings with grantees, including site visits, partnership meetings, and check-ins.
  • Engage with grantees to assess opportunities and challenges, and to encourage collaboration and learning.
  • Maintain ongoing contact with grantees to receive informal grant updates, answer questions about grant-related matters, and keep abreast of the fields in which grantees are working.
  • Document emails, visits, meetings, and calls with grantees.
  • Ensure the Vice President is kept informed about grantees’ progress, especially highlighting any areas of concern.

Source new grantees:

  • Research potential grantees.
  • Summarize and evaluate potential grantee concept papers, proposals, and financial statements.
  • Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants.
  • Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals.
  • Prepare write-ups for board meetings. 


  • Prepare materials for meetings and convenings.
  • Work closely with the Grants Administration team to ensure maintenance of accurate records, track status of support and grant funding flows, including proposal, progress reports, correspondence, and financial statements.
  • Communicate tie-offs to organizations no longer being considered for funding.
  • Special projects as assigned by the Vice President.


  • Stay up to date on trends and opportunities in the Foundation’s funding areas, particularly in the area of U.S. civic engagement and safety net protection and advancement. 
  • Work with Foundation staff and outside experts to explore new areas of interest.
  • Prepare background research material for conversations with field experts.


  • Minimum of 7 years' relevant experience in the social justice, nonprofit, philanthropic, or public sector in fields related to the focus areas of the Poverty Program.
  • Deep understanding of the civic engagement field and familiarity with safety net programs at the federal and state levels. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required, master's degree and relevant credentialing preferred.
  • Previous grantmaking experience preferred. Experience assessing nonprofits' health through analyzing financial statements, evaluating the feasibility and strategic value of proposed programs, theories of change, and assessing organizational capacity.
  • Proven ability to define program objectives, evaluate progress, and independently manage projects through a complete lifecycle with strong attention to detail. Exceptional analytical skills to identify opportunities, design initiatives, and evaluate grant proposals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to summarize and present information to various audiences, including Foundation leadership.
  • Ability to analyze novel situations objectively based on available information, formulate and evaluate possible courses of action, and respond or offer recommendations in an appropriate manner.
  • Sound judgment and integrity, enjoys work in both a collaborative environment and independently.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and able to learn other programs to support the work. Experience working with FLUXX a plus.
  • Passion for and commitment to JPB’s mission and values.


Additional Considerations:

We seek to recruit the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool in the belief that employees from diverse backgrounds are critical to achieving our goals.

How to Apply

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements to: Please include [Program Officer, Poverty, YOUR NAME] in the subject line.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with JPB. JPB offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.

Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

JPB Foundation


Organization: Foundations