HISTORY AND MISSION
In 1930, breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg donated $66 million in Kellogg Company stock and other investments “to help people help themselves,” launching the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The foundation began its work in Michigan, but by the 1940s had expanded its work internationally and was breaking ground in areas such as rural children’s health, “mainstreaming” children with disabilities, and the development of the healthcare profession. By its 50th anniversary, the foundation was among the world’s largest private philanthropic organizations. Its mission reflects the foundation’s core priorities of thriving children, working families, and equitable communities, and the dynamic connection between the three.
“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.
To advance this mission, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation created a framework supported by an innovative matrixed organizational design to prioritize investment decisions and maximize effectiveness toward achieving the desired ends and improvements for children and their families. This new framework supports disciplined choices toward targeted outcomes and stronger alignment across programs. It is a focused and networked approach to strategic programming that relies on close cross-foundation collaboration and agile teams to leverage human capital and knowledge resources to positively impact vulnerable children, families, and communities. Across bodies of work, the foundation implements an array of change-making tools – grantmaking, impact investing, contracting, networking, and convenings – to ensure progress. A commitment to racial equity, community engagement, and leadership development are woven into each endeavor as essential to the creation of a social context in which all children can thrive, particularly the most vulnerable.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution helping communities create the conditions children need to thrive, is seeking nominations and applications for Program Manager for its Michigan Programs. In recent years, the foundation has sharpened its focus on improving conditions for vulnerable children, concentrating on three key factors of success and their intersections: education and learning; food, health, and well-being; and family economic security. The foundation has made a generational commitment to grantmaking in the region that advances the vision of a future in which every child thrives. WKKF partners closely with community stakeholders and policy makers to co-create a network of organizations working together to advance economic stability, racial equity, and community and civic engagement, while increasing access to quality education, healthy food, and medical care for children and families in need.
Reporting to the Director of Michigan Programs, Faye Nelson, the new Program Manager will be based in Grand Rapids andwill support the place-based grantmaking portfolio by working to enhance the grantee experience throughout the lifecycle of the grant. She/He/They will build relationships with colleagues and grantees that enrich and support the portfolio’s work, taking a proactive, service-oriented stance toward grantee engagement and adopting management practices that are reflective of the foundation’s mission and desired community impact.
The ideal candidate will have experience organizing and directing grant administration processes that enhance and support the foundation’s efforts to bring about positive change among and with Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families. She/He/They will bring specific knowledge in defining, developing, and implementing various project-based work and initiatives. The new Program Manager will have a demonstrated ability to analyze information and develop strategies to solve problems, specifically creating mechanisms to solicit input from and respond to internal and external stakeholders. The ideal candidate will have a strong customer service orientation and the capacity to adapt processes to maximize the impact of the grantmaking portfolio. She/He/They will possess a strong team orientation, a high tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to adapt quickly to change, and a record of success in working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field as well as professional experience in philanthropic or nonprofit administration is preferred.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is being assisted in this search by Katherine Jacobs, Courtney Thomas, and Javier Garcia of the national search firm NPAG.
As the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s home state, Michigan has always held a special place in its mission. The foundation has a focused team whose work in the region is committed to the health, happiness, and well-being of all children in the community. Critical to that effort is having the community fully engaged in its own outcome. The foundation believes that its work must focus on community and civic engagement as well as racial equity in order to create real, systemic, and lasting change for Michigan’s children.
Michigan League for Public Policy
The Michigan League for Public Policy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing economic security. With WKKF support, it established the Prosperity Coalition – a bipartisan, cross-sector, statewide partnership – to improve the lives of Michigan’s vulnerable families and children through policy change.
Center for Michigan
The Center for Michigan is a “think-and-do” tank focused on healing an unhealthy, hyper-partisan political culture to reinvigorate the public policy process. WKKF funding helps further the Center’s overall five-year business plan to improve Michigan’s quality of life by fostering a more engaged and informed public.
Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
The mission of the Michigan Roundtable is to build sustainable, inclusive communities. WKKF supports the Roundtable’s Michigan Racial Equity Network, which promotes collaboration across healthcare, business, higher education, K-12 education, foundations, faith-based groups, and the arts and humanities, linking and coordinating efforts at the local and state levels to pursue collective action on behalf of racial equity.
WKKF works with industry partners and technical education programs to ensure there are clear pathways to employment for diverse populations. The foundation also supports families in developing a base of financial security that will enable them to support and engage in the education of their children and to save for the future. Additionally, WKKF is committed to helping develop diverse local leaders with influence and who can help leverage other local and national philanthropic dollars.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE PROGRAM MANAGER
The new Program Manager for Michigan Programs will join an extraordinary team of individuals who are passionate about eradicating social disparities and improving well-being for all children. She/He/They will also be part of a closely connected cross-disciplinary team executing the place-based work that spans across Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans, Haiti, and Mexico. The place-based teams strive to improve conditions across these diverse places by sharing best practices and aligning resources, approaches, and assessment of grantmaking to drive solutions for systemic social change.
The new Program Manager for Michigan Programs will expect to engage in the following challenges and opportunities:
- Provide leadership around grantee engagement and support, partnering with other units across the foundation to enhance relationships among the foundation, grantees, and partners. Together with the program officers, the Program Manager will design and ensure adherence to specific standards for grant management and processing, reflecting a proactive approach to responding to and engaging with grantees. She/He/They will monitor overall grant status for the portfolio and initiate appropriate action(s) to ensure timely, accurate, and thorough follow through.
- Support program officers in research activities associated with administration of the Michigan grant portfolio. The Program Manager will collect and analyze data from a variety of sources including literature reviews and environmental scans, identifying key trends and patterns that inform and advance the foundation’s work in Michigan. She/He/They will identify data to inform grantmaking decisions that will leverage WKKF investments for maximum impact in creating systemic change.
- Collaborate with and support grantees and colleagues by providing comprehensive technical and issue resolution support. The Program Manager will provide appropriate technical support to grantees and senior programming staff in the development, implementation, and learning associated with all aspects of programming efforts. She/He/They will act as liaison between program officers and other programming teams to assist with program alignment, integration, and aggregated learning opportunities.
- Support overall administration of grants in the Michigan portfolio. The Program Manager will monitor, receive, and respond to programming proposals, requests, and contracts. She/He/They will also provide first-level review of funding requests and assist with preparation and editing of funding documents as appropriate. Acting as a key resource in contract due diligence and management, she/he/they will partner with internal units to administer vendor contracts, as appropriate, including communicating expectations, monitoring progress, and ensuring accountability for value-added outcomes. In addition, she/he/they will carry out special and administrative projects and duties as assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
- Minimum three years of experience in a professional environment with significant project management, workflow assessment, and data analysis and presentation experience; prior experience working in an organization promoting health equity, economic security, or early education is preferred; bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the work is preferred;
- Professional networks and work experience based in Grand Rapids is preferred;
- Ability to conduct research and access networks and key information using internal and external sources of data, information, and analysis, and the corresponding technical knowledge of relevant research resources, methods, and tools to execute required research;
- Expertise in understanding how to effectively communicate and present data, utilizing appropriate technology to illustrate key findings;
- Demonstrated flexible, multidisciplinary thinking required to address the broad social and economic forces that affect communities and families and the desire to focus that broad thinking into research, analysis, and assistance for the benefit of the programming team, grantees, and the foundation’s work as a whole;
- The knowledge and sensitivity to effectively work with and support vulnerable communities including appreciation for historical context, discernment of relationship nuances and power dynamics, and understanding of social, racial, and ethnic realities;
- Successful experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds; willingness to set aside a personal agenda in favor of organizational and/or community goals and objectives;
- Strong customer service and communication skills that seek to enhance the foundation’s mission and connect grantees, program staff, and partners with each other at key moments that inform, shape, and advance the work;
- Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills including the ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings;
- Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes, as well as demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities; strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail with the ability to work both independently, take initiative, and contribute ideas for enhancing performance;
- An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, and patience necessary to work within a transformative environment; and
- The ability to travel to support job duties
APPLICATIONS AND NOMINATIONS
The search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Javier Garcia of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: WKKF-PMGR@nonprofitprofessionals.com. Please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.