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Program Officer: application period now closed

No longer accepting applications

The Northland Foundation is hiring a full-time Program Officer as we launch a new grantmaking initiative to better engage and support Indigenous communities and people. Our office is located in Duluth, but remote work is an option. The application deadline was October 23, 2020.

  • Status: Full Time, Salaried and Benefits (includes healthcare, dental, vacation and retirement)
  • Reports to: Director of Grantmaking
  • Supervises: N/A

Download a printable pdf of the Position Description and Recommendations of the process design group.

Background Information

Nearly three years ago, the foundation engaged in an effort to build and strengthen relationships with Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities in our region. This involved extensive conversations with Tribal elected officials and staff, Indigenous leaders in philanthropy, nonprofit, and other sectors; study of our own and philanthropy in general’s history of support to Tribal Nations and Indigenous-led nonprofits as well as best practices to improve support.

Led by a process design group of local Indigenous leaders, a set of recommendations of structure, strategies and guidance called Maada’ookiing, the Ojibwe word for distribution, were developed. For further background, please read the recommendations which are included below the position description.

This work is part of the foundation’s broader strategy to address systemic racism in Northeast Minnesota in our grantmaking and other program areas.The Northland Foundation is seeking a person to join our team as we launch Maada’ookiing to better engage and support the Indigenous communities and people in Northeast Minnesota.

Primary Duties

  • Works with the Director of Grantmaking and Grant Committee to implement foundation strategies to invest more resources in Indigenous communities in Northeast Minnesota.
  • Works with the Director of Grantmaking on the establishment of the Maada’ookiing board to develop a grassroots grantmaking program to support work to strengthen Indigenous communities across Northeast Minnesota.
  • Serves as the primary staff person for the Maada’ookiing board to assist them in grant reviews and strategy refinement.
  • Manages the portfolio of grants to support Indigenous communities including Tribal nations, Indigenous-led organizations, and Indigenous grassroots activists. Activities include (1) initiates outreach to potential grantees, (2) provides assistance in the application process, (3) monitors progress of grantees, and (4) organizes convenings to foster learning of grantees and Foundation.
  • Builds relationships with Indigenous leaders in the region to help connect them with Northland Foundation resources, and strengthen knowledge of needs, opportunities and successes.
  • Provides assistance in the application process, and monitors progress of grantees.
  • Assists in organizing convenings to (1) strengthen our work in Indigenous communities including in the areas of economic development and education, and (2) foster peer learning among grantees and the foundation.
  • Assists with grantmaking with our general priority areas including technical assistance to organizations before and after grant awards, grant review, and learning activities.

Other Possible Duties

The Northland Foundation is a dynamic organization that takes on special initiatives to meet the needs of communities and people in our region. We are looking to bring on a person who might also have abilities, experience and interest to help support our work in a variety of other areas that may include:

  • Meeting Facilitation/Convening (Virtual/In-Person)
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion/Anti-Racism Work
  • Early Childhood/Childcare Efforts of the Foundation
  • Development/Grant Writing
  • Research/Reporting

Key Relationships

Internal: Director of Grantmaking, Grants Manager, Grant Committee, Maada’ookiing Board, Director of Development and Special Projects, President, Vice President/Director of KIDS PLUS.

External: Nonprofits and public entities (i.e. schools, Tribal Nations) seeking and implementing grants; Nonprofits and public entities working in northeast Minnesota; Other foundations and grantmakers; Sector specific organizations (Minnesota Council on Foundations, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits).


Our office location is in downtown Duluth, but we offer the option to work remotely and have employees who live and work in communities across our entir e region. At this time, because of the pandemic, all employees are working remotely as recommended by public health officials. Our main requirements are that you have stable, reliable internet and cell services. Additionally, this position will require some travel within our region.

Desired Attributes

Experience working in and with Indigenous communities, including Tribal governments, in areas of individual and community wellbeing; youth and family programming; and/or community and economic development. Strong oral and written communications skills . Able to organize work on varied projects, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, and follow up on assignments wit h minimum direction. Comfort working with Microsoft Office software (specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and video conferencing (Zoom).

Poverty Reduction

Economy and Jobs

children and youth

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