Democracy Program Officer

Date Posted: 
Mon, May 15, 2017
Job Type: 
Job Category: 
Chicago, IL
Company Name: 
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Company Information: 

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1.5 billion in assets. The Foundation awards about $55 million a year across five grantmaking program areas.

Job Description: 


• In collaboration with the Democracy Program team, develops grantmaking priorities and strategic approaches, proactively researching grantmaking opportunities and challenges
• Monitors developments in the field to identify emerging trends, needs, gaps, and opportunities
• Serves as a thought partner on the Democracy Program team and brings additional knowledge and insights that inform adjustments to the Program’s strategy


• Builds and maintains current knowledge of issues and trends.
• Identifies potential grantees and conducts preliminary due diligence to ascertain fit and potential risks
• Responds to, investigates, evaluates, and recommends action on Letters of Inquiry and grant proposals. Prepares materials for recommendation to leadership including grant write-ups, financial reports, logic models, and strategy documents

• Participates in meetings, conducts site visits, and reviews grantee submissions as part of overall responsibility for developing and managing existing grants and programs
• Communicates with grantees and prospective grantees in a timely and effective manner, seeking and providing information necessary to the proper functioning of the grantmaking process. Assists in the assessment of performance achieved by each grantee
• Leads or supports convenings, workshops, or other opportunities for learning and collaborative work among grantees and other thought leaders to share best practices, encourage collaboration, and explore opportunities for partnership
• Manages, plans and coordinates evaluation of grantee performance and impact, including determining reporting requirements, the year-end reporting process and data analysis as assigned

Field Leadership and Foundation Support

• Cultivates strong working relationships with grantees, outside advisors, experts in the field, public sector partners, and colleagues in philanthropy
• Provides leadership in the professional field through public speaking engagements, writing, panel discussions, and use of social media, etc.
• Works cooperatively with other members of the Democracy Program staff and with other areas of the Foundation
• Represents McCormick Foundation as requested, traveling and participating in conferences, associations and activities that contribute to the Democracy Program
• Works to increase effectiveness in all areas of job description, identifying and participating in activities to develop skills and knowledge, including technical capability of the program
• Other duties as assigned



• Bachelor's Degree, Master’s Degree preferred
• Strong content knowledge in subject matters related to Democracy Program strategic focus areas
• Knowledge of the culture, neighborhoods, institutions, and leadership of Chicago and Illinois
• Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with commitment to deliver results measured against the Foundation’s mission
• Strong interpersonal skills and experience building positive, collaborative relationships with colleagues, grantees, and other partners by listening to new ideas, encouraging open dialogue, and inspiring people to work towards common goals
• Excellent writing and presentation skills, particularly in communicating with diverse constituencies in a variety of settings
• A minimum of five years of grantmaking or nonprofit experience or work in designated strategic focus areas of the Democracy Program

How to apply: 

Interested applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements by June 12, 2017 to: