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Program Officer, Community Stewardship

Program Officer, Community Stewardship
Organization Name: 
Job Type: 
Position Description/Overview: 

Vanguard’s signature charitable initiative, Strong Start for Kids, gives young children, particularly those growing up in historically underserved communities the opportunity to grow, thrive, and learn with a focus on improving school readiness. The initiative focuses on equitable opportunities for all children in Greater Philadelphia, Charlotte, Phoenix, and London and provides funding, employee volunteer time and talent. Strong Start for Kids is governed by an appointed investment committee comprised of Vanguard executive officers.

The Strong Start for Kids portfolio casts a broad net, working with the best partners that reach children and families where they are – at home, in classrooms and in communities. We partner with organizations that align with our mission to boost kindergarten readiness and share our belief in evidence-based/evidence-informed practices. We fund in a variety of ways to support organizations including general operating, direct services, research and learning, capacity building, and advocacy. The portfolio is in its sixth year of grantmaking and has funded 130 projects totaling $58 million to date.

Key Responsibilities: 

Grantmaking and Sector Development

  • Execute early learning and philanthropic expertise to lead, guide and evolve assigned portfolio strategy areas – Resilient Families and Effective Programs.
  • Analyze, interpret, implement and monitor grantmaking projects with up to $20 million invested at any given time.
  • Foster, sustain and amplify grantee relationships to drive transformation in the early childhood sector toward systemic change.
  • Demonstrate philanthropic practices that promote knowledge of and a framework for increased diversity, equity and inclusion within the early learning field.
  • Participate in meetings, conduct site visits, review grantee partner submissions, and communicate regularly to manage existing portfolio.
  • Provide high-quality written and verbal summaries and recommendations for project and organization partnership and funding.
  • Collaborates and represents Vanguard externally in target cities and states through participation in funder collaboratives, policy councils, advisory committees, etc. and field building activities.
  • Maintains and continues to build content expertise and participates as a thought leader in early care and education/philanthropic circles.

Team Contribution and Development

  • Partner closely with broader Community Stewardship team and work across program areas to engage employees in volunteer projects, fundraising activities and enterprise communications. 
  • Participate in activities that promote and improve broader team functioning, including compliance with team norms and providing support and back-up for team members.
  • Work with Lead and managers to prepare and deliver materials, including annual strategy, Board Books, reports, memos etc.
  • Share learnings across the broader team, Vanguard, and the sector.
  • Provide input on team programmatic strategies, grantmaking and grant management.
  • Other duties as assigned
  • A minimum of five to seven years related experience.
  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent combination of training and experience required. Graduate degree preferred.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the early childhood landscape.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including strong facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Proven research, analytical, and problem-solving skills with an ability to synthesize meaningful insights from analysis.