The C. E. and S. Foundation, Inc. identifies, funds, and nurtures projects and organizations so that individuals in our community become resilient and are prepared for opportunities to engage and thrive. Acknowledging the transformative power of education as a path to prosperity, we invest the Foundation’s resources in strategies that remove barriers to education achievement, including caregiver engagement, social-emotional support, academic support, family and household stability, and postsecondary education support.


Your purpose as a Program Director
If you are our Program Director, you’ll wake up every morning thinking about how to most effectively deploy the Foundation’s resources to fulfill its grantmaking strategy. While all members of the Foundation’s team are engaged in grantmaking, you will be responsible for maintaining the broadest and most thorough understanding of the local and national education landscapes (birth through postsecondary completion) to recommend investments of the Foundation’s financial, influential, and intellectual resources. You will also be good at mentoring a team of colleagues, both providing informal leadership and helping them further develop their understanding of the education landscape – policy, funding, and practice – and their critical thinking, business case development, and other professional skills to build the Foundation’s bench strength and maintain our reputation as the leading education grant maker in Louisville.


What you’ll be responsible for delivering
As our Program Director, at the highest level you’ll be responsible for bringing to life the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy: (1) with a pipeline of proposals that reflect great insight into the community and the challenges C.E. and S. is working to address through our partners, and (2) with recommendations regarding the investment of our expertise and influence to support our grantmaking strategy. You’ll partner closely with the Executive Director who serves as the primary liaison with the board of directors.


Each quarter, you’ll cultivate and recommend a set of funding proposals to the Foundation’s board of directors, which is highly engaged in the community and brings to the table a great deal of expertise in education and related fields. These proposals reflect your deep understanding of the Foundation’s strategy and your sophisticated understanding of education grantmaking strategies that work in concert with public and private initiatives to have meaningful and discernable impact on individuals in our community. Because you are so good at what you do, when we reflect on the investments of the Foundation, we’ll feel a sense of accomplishment – whether that’s because they were innovative or especially nuanced, helped us learn something new, attracted funds from other donors, or leveraged public funding more effectively.


You’ll have an incredibly talented team to work with, and “with” is an important word. Because we’re a small team, we’re all do-ers who roll up our sleeves to make the Foundation successful. So, you’ll be a do-er, too. In that context, through indirect leadership, you’ll be responsible for setting direction and providing team members with guidance and mentoring.


You’ll also be responsible for providing strategic counsel to the board of directors, the Executive Director, and community leadership tables to help them all be more effective. That part of the job involves being a member of boards, committees, and working groups; doing ad hoc research; and maintaining a robust network of local experts and leaders.


How you’ll invest your time and energy
In the role of Program Director, you will wear a lot of hats, draw upon your ever-increasing knowledge base of both education expertise and philanthropic expertise, and contribute both strategically and operationally to the Foundation. In consultation with the Executive Director, you will:

• Develop a grantmaking plan to bring the Foundation’s strategy to life with investments that impact the lives of identifiable people.

• Do a lot of writing on a quarterly basis to present a strong business case for each proposal you have cultivated for the board of directors to review.

• Develop a program evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the Foundation’s investments and identify both successes and opportunities for improvement.

• Stay in close touch with the Foundation’s grant partners to build trusting relationships and understand how they are faring.

• Develop and maintain strong networks of experts and draw upon them to inform your work.

• Stay up to date on state and local legislation and funding related to the Foundation’s strategy.

• Use your role to increase collaboration within the community.

• Identify opportunities for proof-of-concept investments.

• Work closely with the Executive Director to develop and implement strategic and operating plans for the Foundation.

• Advise the Foundation’s trustees to help them be more effective in their own civic engagement in alignment with the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy.

• Participate with trustees in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the Foundation.

• Represent the Foundation in the community to enhance its profile and strengthen the voice of the philanthropic sector.

• Become recognized as a leading expert in education grantmaking in our community.

• Dig into ad hoc research projects as needed.


You’ll be good at this because
• You are kind and motivated by opportunities to help people do their best work.
• You feel a tremendously strong sense of responsibility for high caliber work.
• You have 10 or more years of increasing accountability in roles in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors that have helped you develop expertise in strategic grantmaking, public policy, public or related fields.
• You understand current community challenges, perspectives, data, and opportunities for improvement. You see where things work or are incongruent, and you ask questions to deeply understand.
• You are naturally curious and enjoy becoming a deep subject matter expert.
• You are plugged into local and national networks focused on education and family stability.
• You understand public policy as a lever for change.
• You think creatively about public and private funding.
• You are adept at identifying leaders and programs that operate at the intersection of passion and competence.
• You enjoy building relationships and having exploratory conversations with community leaders, experts in the field, and others who might help the Foundation identify ways to be even more effective in our work.
• You are a strong critical thinker and examine challenges from lots of angles. You see opportunities and solutions where others may not.
• You’re a good problem solver – you identify root causes, consider urgency, importance, and risks, and make clear recommendations or decisions in the best interest of the Foundation.
• You anticipate the needs of board members and the executive director to help them be more effective in their roles.
• You are generous with what you learn so that others might benefit from it, too.
• You enjoy being part of strong team who works really hard and has fun doing it.
• You have a leadership style that fosters teamwork and utilizes positivity to inspire those around you to succeed individually and as part of the Foundation.
• You care about your colleagues as people, too.
• You are an excellent writer. No, seriously – excellent. Clear, concise, compelling, and nuanced.
• You can make a well-organized verbal case – sometimes on the fly.
• You are good at navigating complex environments – often, in which you may have little to no direct control – and helping reach solutions. You’re politically savvy.
• You work effectively with people at all levels of organizations, from a diversity of backgrounds, and with a range of perspectives.
• You are really organized and manage lots of competing priorities.
• You are adaptable and effective even when things change up at the last minute.
• You know how important discretion is and are good at maintaining confidence.
• You build trust effectively through things like responding requests with appropriate urgency, demonstrating a high level of follow through. You engage others in an authentic, professional and emotionally intelligent manner.
• You’re highly ethical and understand that your behavior is a reflection of the Foundation and its board of directors – even when you’re not “on the job.”


The kind of environment you’ll work in
• You’ll have a dedicated office space with the equipment you need to be effective. We’re still trying to figure out what our post-pandemic working arrangements look like, but they’ll likely include some flexibility to work remotely.
• You’ll have a standard work week, but you may also need to work some evenings and weekends during crunch periods, if necessary to interact with the programs we fund, or if that’s part of achieving the flexibility you’d like in your schedule.
• You’ll be afforded reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act since we are an Equal Opportunity Employer. So, we encourage qualified prospective employees with disabilities to discuss potential accommodations.


If you’d like to explore this opportunity
If you read this description and feel like it could be a great fit for both you and the Foundation, we invite you to express your interest in exploring the opportunity further. Please email your resume to: tmcnair@cesfoundation.com by Friday, April 1, 2022.





Program Director
Role Profile

FLSA: Exempt Job                                                                                                                                                                                    Date: March 2022
Reports to: Executive Director                                                                                                                                                               Job Status: Full Time