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Program Associate

Program Associate
Organization Name: 
The Barra Foundation
Position Description/Overview: 

The Opportunity
The Barra Foundation is hiring a Program Associate.  This person will play a key role in a small dynamic team as the Foundation improves and refines its strategy.  We seek a Program Associate with a passion for the social sector and an excitement to work across the foundation to advance its goals.  They should be a strong project manager with an ability to execute projects and tasks with a high level of accuracy.  They should be collaborative; flexible and open to change; and have a familiarity with the Greater Philadelphia region/social sector.  They should be excited about an opportunity to work with and learn from multiple team members to coordinate certain activities across the organization as well as manage initiatives that improve the efficiency of the organization.  An understanding of grants management or CRM tools is a plus.  They should have a positive approach to collaboration, a high degree of personal initiative, and enjoy paying attention to details.

The Organization                                                                            
The Barra Foundation is an independent private foundation that invests in innovation to inspire change that strengthens communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. Barra’s investments are designed to address the needs of under-resourced populations in the region and promote a continued vibrant cultural community. The Foundation provides more than $4 million in annual grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that are focused on supporting innovation in and across the fields of Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services. Using both general operating support and risk-capital, Barra supports the efforts of creative thinkers and bold organizations that are tackling problems and seizing opportunities in new and different ways.

Our Evolving Strategy
With our roots in the scientific method, we believe that the practice of innovation is a process that requires certain elements. It involves creating opportunities for idea generation, selecting ideas that have the potential to influence others, supporting risk-taking and sharing learning. Building on learning from these past few years and feedback gathered since our Strategic Plan launched in 2014, we have determined it is time to re-fresh our strategy.  We plan to maintain our mission and our overall approach to philanthropy while making the following modifications:   build out our mission-aligned investing, which we have been experimenting with since 2016; sharpen our equity lens to more intentionally integrate equity, in particular racial equity, across our grant making and mission-aligned investing; refine the Catalyst Fund to better support early-stage, novel, potentially transformative ideas; phase out the Barra Awards but integrate important components from it, such as flexible funding and opportunities for cross-sector idea generation.  The team will be working on the details associated with these adjustments over the next several months, including the development of a new website.

Key Responsibilities: 
  • Work closely with all members of the organization to assist in the execution of the Foundation’s strategy and goals.
  • Utilize the foundation’s systems and processes to drive the grant making workflow. Manage administrative tasks throughout a grant’s lifecycle.
  • Conduct research (e.g., grants/grantee data and insights) and analysis (e.g., budget, financial, data) to provide significant content and administration support to the team.
  • Help to research and assess potential options for grants management or CRM tools that can better meet the comprehensive and evolving needs of the foundation. Play a key role in the transition to new tool.
  • Work with program team to maintain transparent, standardized and easily accessible systems to capture lessons learned from past grants.
  • Manage certain elements of internal of external communications including newsletters, website and social media. Experience working in WordPress is a plus. Work with team to develop grantee impact stories intended for learning and distribution.
  • Provide support for foundation grantee convenings both online and in person.
  • Participate in regular staff meetings, retreats and events. Participate in conferences and site visits as necessary.
  • Collaborate with team to ensure consistent implementation of strategy and values. Practice participatory philanthropy, engaging grantees, staff and colleagues in the design and improvement of programs.

We are open to a range of professional experiences that candidates provide. The successful candidate will be adaptive, energetic, personable, self-motivated, confident and humble. They enjoy working in a small, fast-paced, multi-task environment that has a learning culture. They will have the ability to work both independently and as a team member in a collegial workplace where dialogue and discourse are expected and encouraged.  A sense of humor and a constructive outlook are a plus.  The individual should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Excellent project management skills; detail-oriented.
  • Effective communications in-person, over the phone, via email and through social media.  Ability to write clearly and succinctly.
  • Collaborative nature, especially when approaching work and planning with colleagues and grantees.
  • Ability to think creatively while remaining focused on the details and follow through required.
  • Solid interpersonal skills; ability to work effectively as a member of a small team.
  • Desire to drive greater community connectivity.
  • Flexibility: Ability to quickly pivot and thrive in a fluid environment.
  • Understands the importance of equity in the social sector and in philanthropy—both in strategy and in practice.
  • Commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
  • Familiarity with the Greater Philadelphia region and its social sector.
  • An interest in, and an understanding of, how nonprofits and foundations work.
  • A willingness to learn about innovation and mission-aligned investing.
  • Good judgment and integrity. Ability to handle confidential information with maturity and discretion.
  • Savvy about applying the use of technology to capture, manage and disseminate information; proficient computer skills with knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Three or more years of experience. Relevant experience in a nonprofit/social impact organization or a related field is preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred but not required.

Office in COVID-19
Staff is currently working on a hybrid schedule.  The office is located in Center City at The Bond Collective 1617 JFK Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19103.


Competitive compensation package, including base salary and benefits package will correspond to the experience level and credentials of the candidate. Salary is approximately: $56,000 – $62,000 based on experience and skills.

The Barra Foundation supports the principle, philosophy and practice of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, ability, veteran status or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcome and encourage all qualified candidates to apply.

How to Apply: 

If you wish to apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter to with the Subject Line: 2022 Barra Program Associate.   You must send your materials to this email address to be considered.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Open until filled; applications reviewed on a rolling basis.