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Program Officer, Vanguard Community Stewardship

Organization: Vanguard
Date Posted: 6/14/2017
Date Needed: 6/14/2017
City: Malvern
Location: Pennsylvania
Country: United States
Primary Category: Program Development
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's
Experience Requirement: > 10 years

Description & Details

The Vanguard Community Stewardship team leads a number of philanthropic and volunteer programs that support healthy and resilient communities and families around the world. One of our strategic philanthropic pillars, The Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program™, seeks to give children the opportunity to grow, thrive, and learn, with a focus on improving kindergarten readiness for children growing up in poverty in Greater Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Charlotte (the locations of our largest U.S. offices).


 The Vanguard Strong Start for Kids team proactively identifies evidence-based, high-impact programs that operate with a child-centered approach.  The program currently utilizes comprehensive strategies that provide family support to mothers and caregivers; support high-quality early learning opportunities in child care; and promote early literacy.  Areas of support include direct services; infrastructure support; research and innovation; and public policy analysis and advocacy.


This is an opportunity to join a small, entrepreneurial team focused on community impact. The Program Officer is responsible for working with the Executive Director, other staff and partners to further develop and refine the Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program.  S/he will proactively identify aligned, high-impact grant partners; draft and present to the board grant recommendations; and monitor, evaluate and maintain a portfolio. In addition, the Program Officer is responsible for working with the Executive Director on the oversight, planning, and implementation of other Community Stewardship initiatives, strategic collaborations, and responsive efforts as assigned.


Duties & Responsibilities:


The successful candidate will have experience in philanthropy as a program officer or through a related position - and ideally, will bring knowledge of and prior experience with early childhood initiatives. The PO will be a strategic thinker and flexible collaborator with both an entrepreneurial and analytical mindset.  She or he must have excellent listening skills, and can communicate in written and spoken messages that are succinct and compelling. Specific responsibilities include:


  • Develops comprehensive strategies for the Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program. Represents Vanguard effectively with external and internal stakeholders.  
  • Lead short- and long-term planning, in areas of support including direct services; infrastructure support; research and innovation; and public policy analysis and advocacy.
  • Develops, communicates and presents recommended proposals for funding to the Board of Directors, monitoring and assessing grantee performance against established grant terms and agreements.
  • Oversees project development from inception to implementation. Identifies potential grantees and projects. Analyzes and evaluates grant proposals.
  • Refines indicators of success and measuring progress relative to the Strong Start program’s annual goals.
  • Leads presentations with Senior Staff to develop, refine and maintain a pipeline of grantees and partners.  Continually stays abreast of current research, policy, activities, and trends related to early childhood and philanthropy. 
  • Participates in special duties as needed. 




  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent combination of training and experience required. Master's degree preferred.
  • Minimum 8-10 years of related experience, including background in philanthropy.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word and Excel; comfort with use of tools and platforms that facilitate grant making (e.g., GIFTS Online, Your Cause, Tableau)
  • Strategic thinker and flexible collaborator with both an entrepreneurial and analytical mindset.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate with senior management in strategic planning discussions and to formulate institutional level policy and practice.
  • Impeccable judgment, and an ability to invest grant funds strategically with a high degree of accountability.
  • Demonstrates an engaging personal presence and the communication skills necessary to interact with diverse audiences
  • Demonstrates the highest expectations for personal and organizational standards and achievement. 


How to Apply / Contact

If you are interested in this potential role, or feel like you have a strong referral please reach out to Aaron Walker ( You may also apply on the Vanguard Career Site at the link below.