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Program Officer

The Foundation is hiring a Program Officer to support the strategies set forward in the Foundation’s All for NC Framework for Grantmaking and Learning. In particular, this position will play an active role in both the Community-Based Strategy and the State-Level Systemic Change Strategy. The Foundation seeks a “generalist” who shares the Foundation’s core values, is knowledgeable about a variety of policy issues impacting North Carolinians, and also has experience working with/alongside community-based organizations.

Unlike several of the other Program Officer positions at ZSR that require particular issue expertise, this position will work across the priority areas of the Foundation’s State-Level Systemic Change Strategy, while also staffing portions of the Community-Based Strategy. In essence, this position will be a true utility player on the program team.

Job description:

All staff work together to live out the Foundation's mission and core values. We are on a continuous journey to enhance our individual and institutional understandings of how to operationalize our shared commitments to racial equity, to engaging in the Foundation’s home community of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, and to being a learning organization.

The Program Officer role includes developing effective relationships, partnerships and strategies that help the Foundation facilitate positive change in communities across the state and at the state level. Program Officers are the key liaisons between grant applicants and the Foundation’s Trustees. They review grant applications, meet with applicants, and provide critical analysis of applications for Trustees. They also build relationships with and among grantee partners, as well as with other funders. In addition, Program Officers strengthen the Foundation’s organizational capacity and evaluate the effectiveness of its programs and strategies.

The position requires the development of a thorough understanding of the Foundation and its priorities, operations, structure and culture. Experience with project management and meeting facilitation, as well as expertise in using a racial equity lens, are vital to this role. An understanding of philanthropy, of North Carolina, and of its communities, is preferred. The position is full-time and is based in Winston-Salem, NC.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is a statewide, private, family foundation, based in Winston-Salem, NC. For more than 85 years, ZSR has strived to support the efforts of North Carolinians to make our state a better place for everyone through investments totaling more than $667 million. Our All for NC Framework for Grantmaking and Learning includes three strategies: a State-Level Systemic Change Strategy; a Community-Based Strategy; and an Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy. It also includes commitments to using a racial equity lens, to being a learning organization, and to participating in the life of the Foundation’s home community of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

Our mission: 
To improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians.

 Our core values: 
  • Stewardship
  • Integrity
  • Fairness and Justice
  • Dignity and Equity
  • Civic Participation
  • Excellence
  • Sustainability
  • Collaboration

Successful candidates will be visionary, values-driven, strategic, analytical, intellectually curious, and detail- and team-oriented. They will have a robust understanding of systems-change strategies and knowledge of a variety of issues impacting the well-being of North Carolinians. They must be adept at building relationships and understanding power dynamics and how they influence and advance change. Individuals selected will possess facilitation, collaboration, convening and project management skills and be able to bring together various stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, opinions and experiences. Individuals will share the Foundation’s core values and commitment to racial equity. Experience working with/alongside community-based organizations is preferred. Experience working in philanthropy is not required but beneficial.

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required, and an advanced degree or equivalent experience is preferred. Ten years of related work experience is desired.
Exceptional writing and communication skills are required, along with the ability to assimilate information quickly, think strategically, work under pressure and meet deadlines. Flexibility and adaptability in dealing with a variety of assignments, people and resources are essential. Comfort with technology, especially the Microsoft Office suite, is desired. Humility, self-confidence, a sense of humor, and a fundamental knowledge of the State of North Carolina are helpful and preferred.

Candidates must be willing to reside in Forsyth County. The position is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and requires extensive statewide travel.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the person assigned to this job. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of personnel as classified. Other duties may be assigned as needed.

The Foundation is in the process of updating its hybrid work policy. The exact requirements will be determined prior to hiring for this position. While there will be some flexibility for hybrid work, this is not a remote position and candidates should expect to regularly work from the office. Our office is in downtown Winston-Salem. Extensive statewide travel, primarily around North Carolina, is an essential part of the job.

Following are physical and mental requirements of the position as typically performed. Inability to meet one or more of these physical and mental requirements will not automatically disqualify a candidate or employee from the position. Upon request for a reasonable accommodation, the Foundation may be able to adjust or excuse one or more of these requirements, depending on the requirement, the essential functions to which it relates, and the proposed accommodation.
  • Operates in a professional office environment and performs primarily sedentary work.
  • Routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, and phones.
  • Sits for prolonged periods at a desk. Frequent standing and walking. Occasional stooping, reaching, bending, climbing, pushing, pulling.
  • Repetitive use of fingers and hands for typing and other tasks.
  • Frequent listening, speaking, and use of visual acuity.
  • Reading and writing at an intermediate to complex level.
  • Occasional lifting up to 35 lbs.
  • Ability to use all senses to safely drive a vehicle, and ability to drive a vehicle.

Salary range is $90,000 - $135,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include generous paid time off (PTO) and holidays, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, long-term disability insurance, sick leave and short-term disability, parental leave and a 403(b) retirement plan. There is no waiting period for participation in the 403(b) retirement plan. Other optional benefits include a flexible benefit plan, matching gifts program, professional development, and tuition reimbursement.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is committed to equality and diversity. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply regardless of socio-economic status, gender expression, gender and sexual identity, or cultural background. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and will not discriminate against applicants or employees based on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected class.

Armstrong McGuire & Associates, based in Raleigh, NC, is conducting this search in partnership with ZSR’s leadership team. To apply, click on the link to the Program Officer position profile at You will see instructions for uploading your cover letter, resume, and three professional references. Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact
The deadline for applications is October 2, 2023.
Winston-Salem, NC
$90,000 - $135,000

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