Non Profit Jobs With Private Foundations

Working on the service side isn’t the only kind of non profit job available. Private foundations make up a significant part of the public sector, and they are looking to hire passionate people for their nonprofit job opportunities in philanthropy.

What is a private foundation?

Private foundations are typically grant making institutions that provide funding to organizations, projects and programs in a particular area.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a high-profile example of a foundation that gives large grants to organizations and educational institutions. Foundations are also called “philanthropic organizations.”

In many cases, foundations are founded by an individual who provides that majority of the funding used for grant making. Families might also come together to create a foundation in a particular service area. The Board of Directors of a foundation will set guidelines for what types of organizations and programs are eligible for funding. And it is the responsibility of the staff of the organization to make sure that these guidelines are followed, and that needy non profit organizations can fund their work!

What is a foundation job?

Most foundation jobs are focused on grant making. Grant managers and administrators are the most popular types of nonprofit foundation jobs. They read funding proposal and make recommendations to the board directors of the foundation to decide who should get funding and who should not. Some foundations might only have one employee, who serves as liaison between the Board of Directors (who make direct funding decisions) and the organizations requesting funding.

Grants administration can be a great job because it gives you the opportunity to work within a specific cause, but on the donation side of grant writing. You are charged with allocating funds and shaping the direction or programs, while having the satisfaction of awarding organizations for their good work with funding.

Larger foundations have more staff members, and more opportunities for nonprofit jobs. These jobs include policy analysis, research, program management and evaluation. These types of jobs are typically more focused on math and other evaluation techniques to ensure the money that you grant nonprofit organizations is being put to its intended use. Many foundations also serve as advocates for their cause, and hire policy analysts and researchers to keep up with the latest trend, publish reports and help the foundation target its own policy areas and issues.

Program Officers are considered the upper management of foundations, and generally work with one specific group or “portfolio” of grant recipients, each of which has a similar organization type or goal. In many cases, program officers are truly the people making the funding decisions.

If you are interested in philanthropy, and the ways in which nonprofits make money to do their programming, a nonprofit job with a foundation might be for you.

Where can I find foundation jobs?

Searching for a nonprofit foundation job is much like looking for any other nonprofit job. The Internet is a great first line of attack. Idealist.org has a subcategory devoted to foundations and philanthropy, and most major foundations post their jobs there. Philanthropy News Digest is a great resource as well, as many of their nonprofit job postings are related to foundations and philanthropy.

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