Program Officer - Children, Youth, and Families | Ford Family Foundation

Program Officer - Children, Youth, and Families
Roseburg, OR
Organization Name: 
Ford Family Foundation


A national leader in rural philanthropy, The Ford Family Foundation is a private foundation benefiting communities in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation targets all of its philanthropic tools – grants, scholarships, capacity building, convening, research, and strengthening stateside systems - to improving conditions in rural communities and increasing the wellbeing of children and families who live in those communities.

Job Summary

The Program Officer will manage the Foundation’s work to promote early childhood success and kindergarten readiness. The Foundation is increasingly focused on the interconnectedness between our public, private, nonprofit, and community systems, and identifying how they must work together more effectively for improved outcomes in rural communities. The Program Officer will manage and carry out a significant portion of the Foundation’s work aimed at improving outcomes for children prenatal to age 8, while contributing to the Foundation’s broader, cross-cutting efforts to strengthen supports for children, youth, and families in rural areas. Leading with a partnership orientation, the Program Officer will be charged with effectively building bridges and synergy with other key systems that impact the wellbeing of children prenatal to 8 years of age. Utilizing both responsive and directed grantmaking approaches, this portfolio includes strategies related to kindergarten readiness and early school success, including pre-school to third grade alignment, quality childcare, family supports and early literacy. This individual will work closely with other Foundation program officers and partners from overlapping issue areas to build and strengthen the systems that enable rural children, youth, and families to thrive.



  • Strategically deploy all the Foundation’s philanthropic resources – grants, convening, research, technical support, community capacity and more - to inspire, instigate, and leverage change on behalf of rural children, prenatal to age 8 in Oregon and Siskiyou County;
  • Serve as a thought partner on the Children, Youth and Families’ team to develop program strategies, work plans, and budgets for initiatives in early childhood and the early school years;
  • Work across Foundation practice areas to support cross-sector work in early childhood education, K-12 and, health and social services;
  • Build and maintain a high level of knowledge (current research and best practices) in early childhood development in rural communities; and,
  • Champion the importance of early childhood development in rural communities.

Relationship building and collaboration

  • Develop the Foundation’s strategy around improving kindergarten readiness for children in Douglas County, Oregon working in close partnership with diverse stakeholders including:
    • early childhood education and care providers, social service agencies, health partners, local schools with an interest in P-3 opportunities, and the Educational Service District;
    • regional, state and national partners such as Oregon’s Early Learning Hubs, the Early Learning Division, Oregon Health Authority;
  • Represent the Foundation in communities and forums statewide as a champion of early childhood development in rural communities;
  • Serve as a Foundation liaison to current strategic partnerships; and,
  • Engage with Foundation peers working on cross-cutting issues to develop collaborative approaches to improving outcomes for early learners, their parents and caregivers.

Grant development and management

  • Build and manage a portfolio of strategic ($7M) and responsive ($1M) grants;
  • Oversee and conduct due diligence for all portfolio grants;
  • Prepare grant recommendations for review at the appropriate staff, committee, or board level;
  • Coordinate complex projects and develop, execute, manage and evaluate strategic community programs; and,
  • Partner with evaluation experts to design a method for monitoring, checking and adjusting the effectiveness of the Foundation’s investments; create and maintain systems to track the progress and ensure that timelines and benchmarks are met.


We are seeking a well-rounded individual who is passionate about promoting children’s success and strengthening the well-being of children and families in rural communities. The ideal candidate will have a strong base of knowledge and experience in early childhood development, an understanding of systems for early learning, health, or child welfare, and, direct experience working in rural communities.

Candidates must have a minimum of 5 to 7 years of experience in the fields of early learning and/or child health/welfare.  A current understanding of rural contexts, issues, and challenges is essential.

A bachelor’s degree is required and a graduate degree in a relevant subject is preferred. Candidates will be considered from diverse backgrounds that might include foundations, nonprofits, or public sector programs or agencies.

The position is based in Roseburg, Oregon and residency in Douglas County is required without exception. Approximately 30% of time will involve travel within Oregon and Siskiyou County, California.

How to Apply

The Ford Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Cover letters expressing your connection to The Ford Family Foundation’s mission and your fit for the role should be addressed to Sarah Meyer. Please learn more about the position profile on Waldron's website and submit your application materials via Waldron’s Candidate Web Portal.