Program Assistant Position Announcement

Posted: May 28, 2024

Title: Program Assistant
Supervised by: Vice President of Programs
Status: Salaried, full-time, exempt
Date: Posted May 28, 2024, to be filled end of June 2024, expected start date mid-July 2024

About The Foundation

Polk Bros. Foundation is a private independent foundation dedicated to building and strengthening Chicago’s families and communities, especially those most affected by poverty and inequity. The Foundation focuses its work at the intersection of Chicago’s most pressing issues to address the complex roots and devastating effects of poverty, challenge inequity, and ensure that all Chicagoans can reach their full potential. Polk Bros. Foundation is one of the largest funders of Chicago nonprofits, granting approximately $25 million to 400 nonprofit partners every year, and managing assets of $425 million. The Foundation actively partners with local nonprofit organizations, other foundations, corporations, and government agencies, working to reduce the impact of poverty and provide area residents with better access to quality education and vibrant arts organizations, preventive health care and basic human services.

Since its founding in 1988, the Foundation has partnered with more than 3,000 Chicago nonprofits to build strong communities and families, increase access to quality education and the arts, improve health, and strengthen organizations and the sectors in which they work. During 2020-22, the Foundation’s Board approved an additional $17 million in Equitable Recovery grants to help Chicago rebuild in a way that addressed longstanding racial inequities. Since then, Foundation staff and board have been doing a deep dive to identify how learnings from the Equitable Recovery grants and our focus on racial equity can be more fully and more intentionally infused into the Foundation’s overall grantmaking.

More information can be found at: https://www.polkbrosfdn.org

About You

You embrace the Foundation’s service orientation and culture of accessibility, transparency, humility, and fairness. You demonstrate an open, caring attitude in working with others, and possess a high level of written and oral communication skills. You enjoy collaborating with your colleagues with integrity, forthrightness, and genuineness and hold a deep appreciation and passion for Chicago and its residents, and a commitment to the Foundation’s mission.

About the Position

Polk Bros. Foundation is seeking to hire two Program Assistants (PAs). One PA will support two program teams at the foundation (3-4 people total), and one PA will support the two VPs and one program team (3-4 people total). Each will perform, for the staff they support, the following, essential administrative tasks: handling the logistics for team members’ in-person and virtual meetings and convenings; managing scheduling and travel arrangements; processing grant applications and ongoing grants through the Foundation’s grants management software system (Fluxx); clearly and timely communicating with prospective, current and former program grantees; and handling other administrative tasks.

Work Schedule

The Foundation is currently working a hybrid schedule, with at least two common days (Wednesdays and Thursdays) in its downtown office and occasional other days as needed. The hybrid schedule is potentially subject to change; any such change would be with ample notice.

Compensation/Benefits

Salary range: $51,000 to $56,000, commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers an excellent and very generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance (employee coverage is 100% employer-paid, and 60% of any spouse/dependents), life insurance; short and long-term disability coverage, a 401(k)-retirement plan (with a 12% employer contribution, beginning in the second year of employment), generous paid time off including holidays, and a substantial matching gift program.

Essential Responsibilities

Program Administrative Support (approximately 50% of the position):

  • Schedule meetings for, and manage calendars of, program team members
  • Assemble relevant information for correspondence, reports and meetings; and take notes and keep records of program team members’ meetings
  • Handle the logistics for team members’ in-person and virtual meetings and convenings
  • Schedule travel arrangements, including flight and hotel plans
  • Prepare and submit expenses for reimbursement
  • Other administrative support, as requested by program team members

Grants Management and Grantee Interaction/Vetting (approximately 50% of the position):

  • Work with program team to monitor the grant process, including keeping the grant approval process on track for timely review and approval
  • Promptly and clearly respond to routine written and phone inquiries about grants
  • Review grant proposals for completeness
  • Assist program team members in the preparation, editing and organization of grant-related documents
  • Work with program team to track and maintain up-to-date program budget records, and other grant-related data tracking and entry
  • Collaborate with program team members in the preparation of materials for the meetings of the Board of Directors
  • Consistently ensure grant and grantee information in Fluxx database system is current and accurate
  • Monitor timely submission of grant reports

Core Competencies

To carry out the responsibilities outlined above successful candidates will have the following core competencies:

Experience

  • At least two – three years of experience working in an administrative capacity in an office setting
  • Experience working in a foundation or nonprofit setting preferred but not required

Organization, Time Management, and Communication Skills

  • Strong organizational skills with unwavering attention to detail and the ability to produce highly detailed and accurate work products
  • Ability to plan, organize, and complete own work, as well as supporting others to plan and organize
  • Ability to anticipate resource and other needs and respond proactively to support others in their work
  • Ability to consistently follow directions and processes to completion
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to prioritize and manage multiple and varied tasks, while meeting deadlines
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in oral and written communications with diverse stakeholders
  • Ability to interact and correspond professionally, cordially, respectfully and with humility with stakeholders
  • Proofreading and/or copy-editing skills or experience are a plus

Collaboration and Interpersonal Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and with people who hold diverse perspectives
  • Personal and professional commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Strong emotional intelligence and demonstrated ability to develop effective working relationships across all levels of the organization
  • Flexibility, commitment to teamwork, curiosity, and a sense of humor. Capacity to work amicably in a small office with high volume of work, as well as a deep sense of responsibility and accountability
  • A willingness to learn and grow, including receptivity to feedback and coaching

Technical Skills

  • Expert level proficiency with all Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Proficiency and accuracy entering information into and retrieving information from one or more database applications. Prior experience in database applications a strong plus
  • Ability to research and compile information
  • Ability to learn new technology quickly and competently

The Foundation’s Work Environment

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk, see or hear and use hands to operate equipment such as computers, phones, and other typical office equipment. Reasonable accommodation will enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions
  • The office is fully accessible, but other sites to which the employee is required to travel may not be.
  • The Foundation is committed to and seeks to maintain a diverse, fair, and equitable workplace where everyone is a valued member of the team. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants and employees receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, pregnancy, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Application Process

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interested parties are encouraged to apply early. Please submit applications to careers@polkbrosfdn.org with YOUR NAME and “Program Assistant” in the subject line. Applications should include: 1) a resume, 2) a cover letter that speaks to how your experience meets the needs outlined above and 3) where you learned of the opportunity. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applicants may request accommodation for any stage of the hiring process, including the employment application or interviewing process. Individuals who need to request accommodation, please contact: krweinheimer@polkbrosfdn.org.