Program Director, Local Initiatives & Opportunities

4 days left

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Minnesota, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jul 08, 2021
Aug 06, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) is seeking applications and nominations for the role of Program Director, Local Initiatives & Opportunities program. Founded by the late Margaret A. Cargill, MACP supports efforts to enhance quality of life for children, families, and seniors; preserve and promote the environment and the arts; assist in the response to, and recovery from natural disasters and encourage the humane treatment of animals. MACP actively partners with capable organizations to make a lasting difference for individuals and communities, with particular attention overlooked causes. With $8 billion in assets, MACP is among the top ten grantmakers in the United States. In 2019, MACP’s national and international grantmaking efforts consisted of 498 grants, totaling more than $240 million.

The Program Director will oversee the MACF Opportunity Fund, a flexible responsive fund that provides one-time support primarily to local/regional groups aligned with MACP program priorities. This position also administers the Program Area Fund, a flexible fund that is utilized by our various program domains to support one-time innovative, urgent, or learning opportunities that are aligned with our strategic grantmaking programs. The Program Director supervises a small team that currently includes a Program Officer and a Program Associate; will serve as a member of the MACP Program Leadership Team in support of organization-wide goals; and provide effective leadership for program staff including mentorship and talent development opportunities and contribute to positive organizational culture that is reflective of MACP values.


The Program Director will be a key leader on the Program Leadership Team and will provide high-level management to the MACF Opportunity Fund and Program Area Fund. The Program Director will work in close partnership with the Managing Program Director on the development of strategy, process, implementation, and evaluation of the portfolios. The Program Director can expect to engage in the following opportunities and challenges:

Provide leadership to the MACF Opportunity Fund.

The Program Director will manage the MACF Opportunity Fund which includes average distribution of $10 million per year, by partnering with the VP Programs and CEO to source, evaluate, and develop local proposals. Through this work, the Program Director will work to elevate MACP’s visibility and positive impact within the community in both its giving and participation by maintaining a network of local and state philanthropic connections to more fully understand the role of philanthropy in solving local problems. The Program Director will build and nurture relationships and partnerships with community stakeholders and provide an active presence at community events and with local initiatives on matters of relevance to MACP. The Program Director will act as a connector by participating in ways that support MACP leadership and demonstrates MACP’s interest and desire to engage and build trust with funders, community, and nonprofit leaders throughout Minnesota. Lastly, the Program Director will create connectivity between local opportunities and issues and MACP leadership and Board.

Provide leadership to Program Area Fund.

The Program Director will administer the Program Area Fund, a flexible fund that is utilized by MACP’s various program domains to support one-time innovative, urgent, or learning opportunities that are aligned with its strategic grantmaking programs. Through this Fund, MACP invites program directors and teams across the foundation to submit nominations for projects that are aligned with MACP’s interests without directly fitting into an existing programmatic domain, with the goal of enhancing learning, building competency, and growing the sector. The Program Director has a unique opportunity to cultivate deeper engagement across the MACP team in contributing to the Program Area Fund.

Serve as a member of the MACP Program Leadership Team in support of organization-wide goals.

As a member of the Program Leadership Team, the Director will participate in strategy discussions and decision making that impact programs and grantmaking. As in all activities, the Program Director will embody effective and respectful teamwork in keeping with MACP values.

Provide effective leadership for program staff including mentorship and development opportunities.

The Program Director will oversee and support a Program Officer and Program Associate and will provide effective leadership for program staff, including meaningful inclusion; appreciation of non-dominant culture perspectives; empowerment and accountability; training and individual development; and learning-based approaches to assigning, supporting, and reviewing performance. The Program Director will work closely with staff, coaching, mentoring and supporting MACP approaches to grant development, oversight, and evaluation. The Program Director will set the stage for a practice of teamwork and modeling MACP values to staff and grantees.


While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

Leadership Experience

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in a nonprofit, philanthropic, or other mission-driven organizational setting that leverages relationships across the philanthropic, private, and public sectors with local and community stakeholders.
  • Deep understanding of and experience in advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity in the practice of local philanthropic grantmaking, with experience in the Twin Cities strongly preferred.
  • Strong relationship building experience and skills paired with a knowledge of best practices for philanthropy to build relationships with less known, diverse communities amid the dominant structures of power and influence in the community.
  • Experience and skills in place-based program delivery and/or philanthropy and how one-time, opportunistic grants can lead to a long-term impact on an organization’s capacity and impact.
  • Experience in managing a defined program portfolio with measurable strategic objectives and accountability to a client, board, committee, or senior leader.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate the goals and strategies of the organization into actionable plans that align to the operational policies and procedures of the organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in identifying, reviewing and selecting non-profit organizations to deliver shared impact or partner on shared goals. Understanding how to invest in program partnerships of donors, implementing partners, and/or communities for collective impact across a wide range of interests or disciplines and in ways that leverage this work with larger societal, governmental, or community objectives.

Organizational and Team Management

  • Supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to develop strengths of individual team members and to build effective, values-based teams. Strong interpersonal and communications skills with proven ability to build collaborative relationships, trust, and operate in a team environment.
  • Ability to generate innovation, engagement, and ownership by listening to staff and communities and reflecting their thinking in solutions and practices.
  • Understanding or experience in streamlining processes, oversight, and evaluation processes to allow more attention to be spent on impact and relationships, while continuing to provide strong stewardship of resources.
  • Proven ability to think strategically; demonstrated record of success working with a diverse constituency of partners and stakeholders to achieve specific programmatic outcomes.
  • Demonstrated pragmatism in moving large issues into specific program delivery mechanisms.

Values Alignment and Interpersonal Qualities

  • Deep awareness of systemic racism and knowledge of methods for incorporating equity, inclusion and diversity into grantmaking and relationships with staff and community. Knowledge of how philanthropy works in local communities and states and how to reach less known, diverse communities amid the dominant structures of power and influence in the community.
  • Collaborative, positive, and able to navigate well with ambiguity and change; adept at building collegial relationships and able to respond to issues with clarity and diplomacy; demonstrated ability to inspire and foster trust and confidence in staff, management, and their colleagues.
  • Highly relational partnership builder who is a compelling “gate opener” for new partners.

The Basics

  • Graduate level academic degree in social services, public policy, non-profit management, philanthropy or a related field or equivalent level of experience preferred. Minimum requirement is an undergraduate degree with at least 10 years of relevant experience in areas which could include non- profit management, human services, organizational development, community development in rural and urban settings, collective impact, or philanthropy,
  • Willingness to travel up to 15% time.

For the full position description and to apply, please visit:


For more about Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, please visit:

This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Britni Russell Bianchi of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations and communities to apply.