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Program Assistant – Racial Equity Initiatives

Overview of Racial Equity Initiatives at Borealis Philanthropy

This position will support Borealis’ funding of intersectional racial equity in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. We currently have two funds supporting this work with the potential for expansion.

The first collaborative fund is the Racial Equity in Philanthropy (REP) Fund. This fund is currently comprised of two funders – the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Ford Foundation, both strong supporters of philanthropic and nonprofit infrastructure organizations and affinity groups for many years. The Collaborative is in the process of donor outreach and expects additional funders to be joining in the coming year.

This Collaborative is premised on the belief that philanthropy should reflect and be representative of the demographics in the U.S.  Beyond reflecting that diversity, our sector also needs to center racial equity and inclusion.  We believe the pursuit of racial equity and inclusion in all its forms is necessary to sector effectiveness.  The Collaborative donors are aware that, while there have been attempts over the years to address this challenge, the field continues to reproduce the structural racism that is inherent in our larger society.  Our vision is that our sector moves past the “transactional” nature of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to a unified movement that centers racial equity (in turn compounded by intersectional identities of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class and disability). We envision a future where the good intentions of many groups around intersectional racial equity are met with success and spawn a larger movement for collective progress. While the ultimate aim is to seek change in philanthropy writ large, this collaborative will focus on philanthropy serving organizations, the leading philanthropic and nonprofit infrastructure organizations and their spheres of influence.  These organizations play a key role, particularly by providing learning opportunities to foundations that do not have the resources to build learning in-house.

The second collaborative fund is the Racial Equity to Accelerate Change (REACH) Fund, which is focused on strengthening communities of practice around racial equity in the nonprofit sector.  REACH will invest in supporting and lifting up the work of capacity-building providers who are innovating and developing promising practices that help nonprofits meaningfully and effectively engage in racial equity work. In addition to the pooled fund, the collaborative will include a learning component focused on funders sharing strategies and approaches. The key benefits of the fund will come through the collective impact of the funders of the Collaborative pooling their resources to make innovative grants, helping to establish a community of practice for nonprofits and capacity-building providers around racial equity, and making the case to the broader philanthropic field about the need to invest and support nonprofits addressing racial equity.

Overview of the Program Assistant Position

As a philanthropic intermediary, Borealis Philanthropy is both a funder to grantee organizations and a grantee of other funders. This position will serve both roles.  The program assistant will provide program support for the collaborative funds under the racial equity initiatives.

Principal duties and responsibilities:

  • Grantmaking: Provide administrative support for the REP and REACH Fund and any new initiatives as follows:
    • Assist in design of Request for Proposals (RFP) sent to prospective applicants
      • Working with grants management to create application in our grants management system
      • Delivering RFP to grantees
    • Assist with inquiries from applicants
    • Provide support and feedback during the grantee selection process
      • Administering any follow up needs for any missing or incorrect application items
    • Assist with written summaries for recommendations docket to donors
      • Reviewing overall docket for line edits, omissions, and formatting
    • Assist with grantee notifications and ongoing communications
      • Generating grant agreement letters and payment processing
      • Sending reminders for reporting and renewal deadlines
    • Ensure grantee information in grants management database is accurate and up-to-date
  • Provide support in the development of grantee peer-learning (including grantee convenings) activities
  • Meeting coordination: Support the coordination of meetings for REACH and REP Funds:
    • Provide support for donor meetings, forums, community briefings, grantee gatherings, and webinars
      • Specific tasks include: meeting planning, preparation and distribution of minutes and meeting materials, creation and management of mailing lists, meeting follow-up work, etc.
    • Budgeting: assist with tracking of REACH and REP Fund expenses.
    • Operations: Support development and application of team operations.
      • Support conducting research, as necessary, on racial equity tools or background information, conferences and convenings, grantmaking strategies, funders, as needed for submission of proposals or reports.
      • Assist with the completion and implementation of the Racial Equity Initiatives operations manual
    • General administrative support: generate payment requests and invoice processing, compile reimbursement requests, provide travel and meeting logistical support, update the REACH and REP webpages as necessary, schedule internal and external meetings. and organize and maintain program files.

Other Duties:

  • Along with the Racial Equity Initiatives team, stay abreast of issues around racial equity in the nonprofit sector and in philanthropy, participating in relevant meetings and conferences and report back on findings to donors and Borealis staff.
  • Represent Borealis Philanthropy and the Racial Equity Initiatives in grantmaking networks – help disseminate information about the Collaboratives’ philosophy and activities.


  • Strong interest in social justice philanthropy or/or nonprofit advocacy work with an emphasis on intersectional racial equity.
  • Excellent administrative, planning, and time management skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities and provide administrative and programmatic support to multiple people and projects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with a range of groups, including donors, nonprofit organizations, consultants, and community leaders.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook) and familiarity with or comfortability learning how to use grants management software such as Foundant GLM or Salesforce.
  • Ability and desire to work collaboratively.
  • Capacity to work remotely with a staff team located in different parts of the country.
  • Experience working with diverse communities.
  • Sensitivity to confidentiality needs.
  • Strong communications skills, both written and oral.

Compensation and Benefits:

Status:                        Full-time, Regular, Hourly/non-exempt, benefits eligible

Compensation:          $20-25/hour

Borealis is committed to building a diverse team and ensuring nondiscrimination in all areas of employment including race, sex, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or any other category protected by local, state, or federal laws.

How to Apply 

Please email the following materials to  Please include “Program Assistant Racial Equity Initiatives – Your Name” in the subject line of your email. Position open until filled. The first review of applications and scheduling of interviews will begin on October 15th, 2018, so application submissions are encouraged by or before this date.

Application materials should include:

  • Cover letter detailing your experience and qualifications
  • Resume
  • Links to 2 – 3 articles, videos, and/or resources about racial equity that speak to your interests on this issue.