Grantmaking Effectiveness Officer

Hiring Organization: 
Ford Foundation
City and State: 
New York, NY


The Grantmaking Effectiveness Officer has primary responsibility for building out and delivering  ongoing learning on grantmaking for program staff at the Ford Foundation. The Grantmaking Effectiveness Officer will have familiarity with philanthropy and grantmaking, social justice issues in the US and Global South, adult learning, meeting facilitation, project management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. They will be committed to building effective relationships with grantees and helping ensure we have positive change on issues of inequality. 

The  Grantmaking Effectiveness Officer will build out Ford’s FunderMentals program to support program staff (Directors, Officers, Associates) in their grantmaking roles, from their onboarding to their exits.  This involves designing sessions (in collaboration with the OSL team as well as other experts throughout the foundation) that facilitate effective grantmaking across teams as well as for each specific role. This also means facilitating sessions for grantmakers to discuss challenges and learning in ways that are relevant and useful to staff. Finally, it means overseeing the exit process for program staff as they leave to ensure we are capturing and communicating about what we are learning. They will rely on multiple approaches of engaging staff (and the broader field of philanthropy) by communicating out what we are learning about effective grantmaking.  In both substance and facilitation, the Officer will embrace and incorporate the principles and goals of social justice in general and diversity, equity, and inclusion in specific.  

The Officer will also support the Senior Director of Strategy and Learning in the design of cross-programmatic learning across our issue areas.  They will work closely with team members focused on strategy, monitoring, and evaluation to ensure engagement with staff on grantmaking aligns with broader principles of OSL’s engagement and Ford’s understanding of social justice and social change. They will work closely with program leadership, grants management, IT, and the Office of the Executive Vice President to ensure that our curricula and priorities are aligned with broader institutional and operational priorities.


Further development of Fundermentals, Ford’s grantmaking and learning curriculum for program staff

  • Strengthen and implement an onboarding curriculum consistent with Ford principles and practice that has general and role-based tracks intended for Directors, Program Officers, Program Associates

  • Develop and implement an ongoing learning program around grantmaking for program staff at various stages in their tenure focused on problem solving, strengthening practice, and building cross-role collaboration

  • Strengthen the exit interview process so that it both captures programmatic reflections and is used to share learning from those leaving the foundations in order to inform future work 

Cross-programmatic meeting design and facilitation

  • Working with the Senior Director, establish annual priorities for cross-programmatic learning and support implementation

  • Support the design and facilitation of learning sessions 

Communication and field engagement

  • Produce internal and external communications that strengthen grant practice and highlight how social justice principles are embodied in the work we do

  • Present at conferences and engage with peer funders on grant practice 

Team and organization-wide collaboration 

  • Work closely with the Data Associate to develop trainings and support around grantmaking coding and data 

  • Work closely with Senior Strategy and Evaluation Officer and Evaluation and Learning Officer to develop curricula on strategic grantmaking and evidence-based analysis

  • Work closely with the Program Assistant on curriculum development, learning events, and ad hoc tasks

  • Work closely with the Program Leadership Team to realize their priorities around grantmaking

  • Serve and support ad hoc working groups and other institution-wide efforts


  • Strong background and experience in facilitating learning for adults

  • At least four (4) years in philanthropy/grantmaking

  • Strong background in social justice issues in the US and Global South

  • Deep understanding of the regional context and cultures, including geopolitical landscape, in which Ford works

  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally

  • Fluency in English and preference for additional language spoken in one or more of Ford’s regional offices

  • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally

  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills

  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals

  • Comfort with periods of ambiguity and constructive participation in ongoing organizational development 


  • This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams


  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years 
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

Salary:  Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous benefits package is provided. 

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law. 

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