Grants for Change Program Lead

We're hiring for a new position, the Grants for Change Program Lead!

Grants for Change Program Lead

Maine Initiatives is a community-based foundation located in Portland, ME that advances social, economic, and environmental justice through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy. We seek a creative, dynamic, and justice-oriented person to join our growing team in the newly created role of Grants for Change Program Lead. This role is full time with benefits. At this time, our entire staff is working remotely, but we expect to return to in-person work in our Portland co-working space when it is safe to do so. At that point, some statewide travel will be expected. 

The Grants for Change Program

 Grants for Change (G4C), Maine Initiatives’ central program, supports, celebrates, broadens  and strengthens the ecosystem of racial justice organizing and activism in Maine. Through this program, Maine Initiatives provides financial and other support to Black- and Indigenous-led and -serving organizations in Maine that are doing critical work to address institutional, structural and systemic expressions of racial injustice in Maine. In all aspects of Grants for Change, we seek to center the voices, visions, lived experience and leadership of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in Maine.

 Grants for Change is rooted in a radically participatory, community-based grantmaking process. Through this process, G4C invites the Maine Initiatives community into a process of individual and collective learning and conversation that highlights critical racial injustices that persist in our communities and state and the individuals and organizations that are on the front lines of addressing these issues. Since 2016, over 625 individuals have participated in our collective decision-making process, through which we have made $1.25 million in grants to 45 grassroots and community-based organizations in Maine.

Job Description

Building on its five years of operation, the Grants for Change Program Lead (G4CPL) will be responsible for leadership of all aspects of the G4C program, including:

 Participatory Grantmaking: Grants for Change will make $1.5 million in new grants through a radically participatory, community-based grantmaking process over the next three years. The G4CPL will be responsible to review and refresh the program design of this participatory grantmaking process, centering the voices and leadership of BIPOC Mainers, to ensure that it creates opportunity for:

  • broad community engagement, 
  • individual and collective learning about the history,  present status and means of addressing racial injustice in Maine, and
  • participatory decision-making.

 Grantee Convening and Capacity Building: A key goal of Grants for Change is to strengthen the ecosystem of grassroots Black- and Indigenous-led and -serving organizations in Maine. In close partnership with the Grants for Changes grantees, the G4CPL will design and implement a program of convening and capacity building that reflects the priorities, perspectives and visions of the grantee community.

 Community Outreach and Engagement: Another key goal of this program is to deepen the broader community’s understanding of racial justice issues in Maine and of the organizations that are on the frontlines of the work to address those issues. The G4CPL will design and implement community outreach and programming to advance these goals.

 Partner Relationships: The Grants for Change Program Lead will maintain and foster Maine Initiatives’ relationships with individuals and organizations working to advance racial justice in Maine. This includes close and consistent contact with grantee organizations, community leaders, peer foundations and other funders, and other close partners.

 Other Grantmaking: Maine Initiatives’ COVID-19 Community Care Fund was created in March, 2020 to provide unrestricted, rapid-response funds to organizations impacted by the pandemic. The Grants for Change Program Lead oversees all aspects of the COVID-19 Community Care Fund program, including grantmaking, reporting, and grantee support. While this particular fund will close after the pandemic, the Grants for Change Program Lead may be expected to take on other emergency rapid-response funds as needed.

Communications: The G4CPL will work closely with Maine Initiatives’ communications team to highlight the work of Grants for Change grantee organizations.  

Other Program Support: Provides program support for other programs as assigned.

Qualifications and Skills

We seek candidates who have: 

  • Three (3) or more years of experience working on issues of racial justice and racial equity, either as a paid staff or volunteer
  • Five (5) or more years working or volunteering with nonprofits and/or community organizations 
  • Experience with organizing and/or movement building
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build trusting relationships across lines of difference
  • Ability to balance and prioritize a complex portfolio, collaborate to achieve group goals, and meet deadlines.
  • Proven experience managing complex processes, including designing and implementing long-term, time-sensitive projects step-by-step 
  • Excitement about creative thinking, brainstorming, and exploring new ideas
  • An openness to feedback and community input, a high risk tolerance, and willingness to try new things
  • Some familiarity with the nonprofit fundraising process, including applying for foundation grants
  • Note: prior experience at a foundation or grantmaker is NOT expected or required

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $60,000 – $75,000. [Salary based on lived and learned experience.] Benefits include generous paid time off (30 days), 10 paid holidays, individual employer-provided health insurance, long-term disability insurance, and a defined contribution retirement plan with employer match.

How to Apply

Maine Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce at all job levels, and we are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We encourage Black folks, immigrants, people of color, indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, women, formerly incarcerated people, and members of any other group that may experience adversity in hiring to apply. To apply, send your resume and a cover letter sharing with us why you are a good match for this position to by March 31, 2021.  Include “G4C Program Lead Job Application” in the subject line. If you need assistance you may contact us at 207-317-1331 or

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