Join Our Team: Coleman Foundation Program Officer Opportunity!




Title: Program Officer

Reports to: CEO/President  

Direct Reports: None

Status: Salaried, fulltime, exempt 

Date Revised: March 18, 2022 



The Coleman Foundation, Inc. is a private grantmaking foundation established in 1951. The Foundation supports organizations that work in three areas of focus: health and rehabilitation services, intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and entrepreneurship organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area. The current endowment is $200 million and in 2021, the Foundation made 161 grant payments totaling $7.1 million. The Foundation is currently working under a two-year strategic plan and expects learning during that time to influence its program direction and practices. To learn more about the Foundation, visit the website at www.coleman



The Program Officer works in strategic and creative partnership with the Foundation’s leadership and program team on grantmaking and program initiatives across all funding priorities to advance the Foundation’s goals. The Program Officer is responsible for making funding recommendations for health and rehabilitation, and for co-implementing and co-managing all aspects of the I/DD grants portfolio. The Program Officer represents the Foundation in funder collaboratives, and by attending relevant conferences and other meetings with grantees, issue experts, and the philanthropic community. 



You have a strong history of work experience in the public health field.  You are familiar with the field of I/DD, either through a personal connection or work experience. You are a strategic thinker with an equity mindset who is committed to reducing health disparities, addressing community needs, and building on assets among people and neighborhoods that are underserved and under-resourced. You approach new situations with curiosity and flexibility. You find enjoyment and fulfillment in a job that requires both the analytic ability to sift through information for what is relevant and important, as well as interpersonal skills to build relationships among a wide array of people throughout the community. You understand the privilege that work in philanthropy confers, prioritize listening and learning, enjoy putting the spotlight on others, and will serve as a champion for the good work happening in the sector. 



$90,000-100,000* depending on competencies and experience.

*salary is based on national benchmarking data for foundations



The Foundation offers generous benefits including pension, medical, dental, vision, life and matching gifts.



Strategic Leadership & Learning (approx 30%)

  • Lead learning and grantmaking in the health and rehabilitation program 
  • Serve as co-program officer partner on the intellectual and developmental disabilities learning agenda and grantmaking
  • Develop and implement evaluation plans to track the impact of the work and to allow for continuous learning
  • Provide regular “snapshot” reports to leadership with updates on program work, proposal review, and grantee progress
  • Stay current on issues, opportunities, activities, and developments in the Foundation’s funding areas and potential future funding areas. Keep staff and directors updated on trends and evolving practices
  • Partner with leadership to ensure that the grantmaking programs are relevant and aligned with organizational priorities and to identify and develop emerging areas of interest 


Grantmaking (approx 70%)

  • Review proposals for potential support, read written materials, meet applicants, manage expectations
  • Conduct site visits of grantees and applicants
  • Conduct due diligence, prepare written evaluations, present recommendations to staff and board
  • Communicate Foundation priorities, procedures, proposal feedback, and decisions to applicants, verbally and in writing
  • Monitor progress of grantees, review their reports, maintain regular communication, and attend their meetings, functions, or events 
  • Serve as a resource and support for board-directed giving
  • Identify organizations with strong potential for partnership and recommend new grantee partners
  • Contribute to overall efficient operations of the grantmaking department; identify procedures and processes to streamline with the grantmaking team
  • Participate in promoting the Coleman Foundation’s mission and the work of our grantees, including writing blog posts and grantee spotlight articles
  • Connect applicants, grant recipients, and community partners to training, technical assistance, marketing and capacity building opportunities and providers
  • Work on and support special projects or other duties as assigned



Requirements (must have)

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience; graduate degree or equivalent work experience preferred
  • Experience working in the public health field
  • Exposure to the trends and needs of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities a plus
  • Demonstrated capacity to take initiative and execute strategies, including the ability to define program objectives, evaluate progress, and manage projects through a complete lifecycle 
  • Clear and concise writing, verbal, and presentation skills with the flexibility to adapt to a range of audiences
  • Ability to maintain the highest levels of integrity, ethics, sound judgment, and confidentiality
  • Working knowledge in Microsoft Office 365 environment 
  • Ability to analyze complex organizational and community conditions to identify grant opportunities, emerging issues and new needs and challenges 



  • Direct experience in the field of public health
  • Deep curiosity about and/or exposure to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • A collegial spirit with experience in building strong, positive, collaborative relationships among diverse constituencies by listening to new ideas, encouraging open dialogue, sharing feedback, and inspiring people to work toward common goals 


  • This position is based in Chicago, in-office work is informed by CDC guidance and internal COVID-19 protocols; staff are currently working on site 2 days per week; it is anticipated that staff will move to 3 days per week on site in June
  • All Coleman employees are expected to be fully vaccinated (primer and boosters) against COVID-19 or submit weekly tests to the CEO 
  • The in-office work environment is accessible; primarily business casual; some work at off-site locations may be required, and those sites may not be fully accessible
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and read a computer monitor.
  • This is a full-time position normally requiring attendance from 9am to 5pm, M-F 
  • Attendance at meetings and events in the evening and on weekends is periodically required
  • This workplace is a smoke- and drug-free environment 


The Coleman Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Decisions and criteria governing the employment relationship with all employees are made in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship status, military service and/or marital status, order of protection status, handicap, disability, or any other factor determined to be unlawful by  federal, state, or local statutes. We encourage people from these communities to apply.



  • Deadline: April 15, 2022
  • Apply Here: 
  • Interested applicants should include a cover letter, specifically addressing why they are interested in the Foundation and this position, how their experience directly relates to this position noted above, along with salary requirements. 
  • No phone calls please
  • The Foundation seeks to fill this position as soon as possible and will work actively to build a highly diverse pool of candidates

Spring 2022 Newsletter


The Coleman Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Nathan Stevens to our team as Program Officer. Nathan will be working in the program areas of entrepreneurship and developmental disabilities. Recently, CEO Shelley Davis sat down with Nathan and asked him a few questions...

The Coleman Foundation has been dedicated to Chicagoland communities since 1951. I am very proud of this legacy and the lasting and continuing impact the Coleman Foundation has had in Chicago.  I also recognize that our work requires consistent reflection and am committed to listening...

The Coleman Foundation awarded 117 grants for a total of $3.3 million in First Quarter 2022

Are you a strategic thinker with an equity mindset? Are you committed to reducing health disparities among underserved people and in under-resourced communities? Are you a champion of the good work being done in Chicago by nonprofits, community organizations and funders? We're hiring a Program...

Clark McCain, Senior Program Officer reflects on The Coleman Foundation’s pivot to support entrepreneurship education in Chicago’s low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and its strategy to grow a support network for them. Decades of support for entrepreneurship education and lessons learned from the UrbanMain pilot program shape...