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Strategic Initiative Officer - Economic Security

Company: Rhode Island Foundation
Date Posted: January 3, 2018

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Since 1916, the Foundation has aligned its fundraising, grant making, and civic leadership efforts to address Rhode Island’s most pressing issues and the needs of diverse communities. The Foundation is a dynamic, fast-paced workplace. Its dedicated employees are committed to creating positive change in Rhode Island.


The Foundation is currently seeking a Strategic Initiative Officer (SIO) to lead its Economic Security investments, one of the Foundation’s priority strategic sectors as identified in our strategic plan. The SIO works closely with and receives direction from the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Community Investments.


The SIO is responsible for developing and maintaining a portfolio of grant investments that reflects the goals and focus areas articulated in the strategic plan. This includes determining the allocation of funds among identified approaches and strategies within the portfolio most likely to produce intended results and suggesting modifications as appropriate. In coordination with senior leadership, the SIO is expected to provide substantive leadership in the community that contributes to advancing our ambitions for the assigned sector.


Primary responsibilities include:


  • Serve as relationship manager with grantees, applicants, and community partners. Identify and help match grant funding and technical assistance opportunities for community organizations, both through the Foundation and other sources. Assist nonprofit grant applicants as they prepare funding requests.
  • Review and evaluate grant applications as assigned, and formulate funding recommendations for senior leadership and board of directors.
  • Serve as liaison to assigned sector(s). Within the context of the strategic plan, identify key stakeholders and significant strengths, challenges, and opportunities that may be of interest to the Foundation. Surface new opportunities and help assess whether the Foundation can/should intervene.
  • Maintain a high level of visibility and leadership in assigned sector, and develop subject matter expertise to assess priorities, opportunities and threats. Collaborate with, connect, and convene key community stakeholders on key efforts relative to assigned sector.



The ideal candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree with an advanced degree preferred. Experience in managing a nonprofit organization or other related nonprofit experience may be substituted for advanced degree. Minimum of 10 years’ experience in nonprofit sector, preferably with relevant grant making experience.


Strong verbal and written communication skills, excellent customer service skills, attention to detail, adaptability, ability to manage multiple priorities, strong decision-making skills, and cooperative approach to working as a member of a team in a fast paced environment. Experience in business development and/or workforce development are preferred.


The Rhode Island Foundation encourages a diverse work environment and is an equal opportunity employer. We offer excellent benefits and a competitive salary.


To apply, please email your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Frank Cerilli, Director of Human Resources, at, by January 15, 2018.