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May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

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Program Officer - Adults & Transitioning Youth with Disabilities


About the Trust

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation that stewards the charitable intentions of Mr. and Mrs. Smith beyond their lifetimes, and aims to focus, deepen, and enhance efforts to achieve significant, lasting, positive changes that promote well-being for individuals and communities. The Smiths practiced a quiet, modest generosity with interests ranging from education to horticulture. Mr. Smith passed away in 1968 and Mrs. Smith in 2006. The Trust was founded in 1989 and gives the Trustees broad powers to develop strategies and funding interests. Over the years, the Trustees have used the Smiths’ own examples of individual achievement given the opportunity and effort, along with Mrs. Smith’s own suggestions for grants when the Trust was established, as guidance in defining the scope of the Trust’s activities.

Under the Trust’s current strategic plan, grantmaking supports organizations that offer opportunities to Adults & Transitioning Youth with Disabilities, Elders, Foster Youth, and Veterans & Military Families, primarily in the 14 Western United States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) and in British Columbia, Canada. Most Trust grants fund direct services intended to develop the capacity of individuals to realize their full potential, promote self-sufficiency, and improve their quality of life. A large percentage of these grants are for general operating support. In addition, the Trust also supports organizations working to bring about changes in systems, policies, and/or behaviors that contribute to improved well-being and opportunity for its focus populations.

The Trustees, CEO, and staff work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment and are guided in all activities and grantmaking by the values and beliefs of Respect, Humility, Interdependence, Stewardship and the Dignity and Potential of every individual. The financial assets of the Trust are valued at approximately $500 million. Trust grantmaking in 2020 totaled nearly $25 million including $4,000,000 in additional funding to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Trust grantees, a commitment that continues in 2021.

About this Opportunity

The Trust seeks a collaborative, inquisitive, inclusive, and equity-centered professional to lead strategic development, grantmaking, evaluation, and engagement for the Adults & Transitioning Youth with Disabilities program. The program officer is the content expert and thought leader of the program area, reporting to and working in partnership with the Director of Programs (DOP). Typically, annual grant payments for the program area total $4.5 million. This is a full-time, exempt position.

The Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities program aims to strengthen supportive services for adults and youth transitioning to adulthood with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities, enabling them to maximize their ability to live independently, gain economic security through a rewarding job, and engage in an inclusive community through social and recreational opportunities. Its grantmaking addresses four strategies – independent living, employment, community inclusion, and support for caregivers. The Trust prioritizes organizations that use a person-centered approach, involving the individual in decision-making, to support each person to reach their full potential.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assists the Trust in developing, implementing, and communicating the priorities, goals, and strategies of the Trust’s Disabilities program area
  • Assures that grantmaking in the Disabilities program area aligns with the grantmaking goals and strategies set forth in the strategic plan
  • Serves as a liaison between the Trust and grant seekers; participates in internal team review of letters of intent
  • Oversees the program area grantmaking budget in collaboration with the DOP
  • Builds trusting relationships with applicants, grantees, communities, field leaders, and philanthropic partners
  • Works with applicants; reviews, develops, and analyzes solicited and unsolicited grant applications; and prepares written summaries and funding recommendations for presentation to the Board of Trustees
  • Monitors and evaluates grants, maintains communication with grantees, and periodically reviews and reports on the overall effectiveness of the Disabilities grantmaking program
  • Remains current in issues and trends in the Disabilities field, the nonprofit sector, and in philanthropy in general
  • Represents the Trust at local, regional, and national conferences; develops and maintains collaborative relationships with grantmaking colleagues, professional associations, philanthropic service organizations, and other community members
  • Establishes and maintains collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with and among team members
  • Collaborates in development of Trust communication materials
  • Identifies and undertakes professional development opportunities and training
  • Undertakes other duties or projects as assigned or initiated

Core Competencies

  • Committed to continuous learning and growth
  • Listens with an open mind and deep commitment to respecting diverse viewpoints,
  • Facilitates authentic conversations with anyone, no matter the level or circumstances, works with and gains grantees’ trust to neutralize any power imbalance
  • Writes well, able to translate complex information into concise, descriptive, and comprehensible documents
  • Communicates well verbally able to deliver verbal presentations in multiple settings with a variety of audiences and diverse stakeholders
  • Collects, analyzes, and shares implications of large amounts of information, including research, data, stakeholder input, and grantee reports to inform actionable insights and develop recommendations for strategic shifts
  • Collaborates well with team members
  • Manages multiple priorities effectively and delivers timely results with clear team communication
  • Demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

Key Qualifications

  • At least five years of relevant experience working to maximize support and inclusion of people with disabilities either in safety net institutions, community-based organizations, government agencies, the philanthropic sector, or advocacy organizations (experience working with a private or community foundation desirable)
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s degree a plus), or more than seven years’ experience as outlined above
  • Significant experience as a practitioner, policy expert, or funder on issues related to people with disabilities
  • Knowledge of best practices for grantmakers
  • Proficiency in basic financial analysis, budgeting, and related business skills
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook, and with database/information management systems

Physical Demands / Work Environment / Travel

The Trust is based in the San Francisco Bay Area but utilizes a hybrid remote work model. The successful candidate will be located in one of the 14 Western United States detailed above. Employees based in the Bay Area may work in the Trust’s office as often as they wish, but all staff are required to be in the office six times per year for groups of consecutive Core Days, including staff and Trustee meetings. Employees based outside of the Bay Area will be required to travel for these Core Days. Additional travel for conferences, meetings, and site visits may be required, as necessary, to carry out the responsibilities and duties of this job. Anticipated travel requirements are 10-20%. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to spend extended periods of time at a computer and to communicate via phone, video conference, and email.

Salary and Benefits

$125,000 - $137,000 per year depending on experience and qualifications.

Generous benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance; 401K retirement plan; FSA; and paid holidays, time off and wellness time.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to with “Program Officer” in the subject line. No phone calls please. The initial review of applications will begin on August 6, 2021; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All applications submitted will be considered, but only those candidates demonstrating a suitable combination of the competencies and qualifications described above will be contacted for next steps. Interviews, if invited, will be conducted online. Final candidates will be asked to provide three relevant employment references, and to verify authorization to work in the United States.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive team with a wide range of life experiences, perspectives and capabilities. The Trust does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, status as a veteran, or status as an individual with a disability, or any statuses protected by law. Qualified applicants with lived experience in any of the Trust’s focus populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

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