Program Officer, Creative Communities

Program Officer, Creative Communities

The William Penn Foundation is a leading American philanthropy located in Philadelphia with over $2 billion in assets and a $100+ million annual grant budget. The Foundation has charted a vision consistent with its enduring focus on education, the environment and the cultural vitality of Greater Philadelphia.

The overarching aim of the Creative Communities program is to foster a vibrant and creative Philadelphia by supporting a diverse arts and cultural sector, creating arts education experiences that increase student access to the arts, and supporting the development of high-quality public spaces as platforms for community building, civic engagement, and cultural expression.

Our team is inspired by the projects and organizations we support through our grants.  We seek candidates who are equally passionate about Philadelphia and believe change can occur through collaboration, hard work, tenacity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

The William Penn Foundation is now hiring a Program Officer for the Creative Communities program.


Position Summary:

The Program Officer will support grantmaking strategies focused on the arts and culture sector. In addition, the Program Officer will engage in research projects, evaluation programs, convenings, and conferences that position and reinforce WPF as a center of innovative thinking and thought leadership in the arts and culture sector.


Position Responsibilities:

  • Grantmaking to advance arts and culture strategies, including research, outreach, due diligence, and preparing written recommendations to the Board.
  • Grantmaking work involves: collaborating internally to improve grant guidelines; publicizing grant opportunities; soliciting proposals; guiding organizations during application process; making award recommendations; preparing materials for internal review; monitoring grant progress; assisting grantees with grant project planning, coordination, communications and troubleshooting as necessary; learning from and evaluating grant activities; and applying this learning to future grantmaking.
  • Effectively communicating with and guiding applicants and grantees throughout grant development and monitoring periods.
  • Develop and lead strategy-focused evaluation activities.
  • Develop and organize grantee and partner convenings, support research and conduct other activities that support field building in the arts sector.
  • Employ communications tools such as Twitter and Foundation blog to enhance public understanding of Foundation’s strategic goals.
  • Provide oversight and management for Program Associate-level staff assigned to support the work.
  • Participate in team meetings, planning, and goal setting.
  • Promote and model excellent external relations with grantees and partners.
  • Travel to and participate in external meetings and conferences to support learning and dissemination of program work
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.

Expected Competencies & Qualities:

  • Effective and tactful written and verbal communication skills; ability to deliver concise oral and written presentations to internal and external audiences with clear messaging.
  • Ability to quickly understand and analyze information, be an active listener, synthesize findings, and make recommendations.
  • Excellent organization with attention to detail, demonstrated ability to manage time effectively with multiple projects on different timeframes and priorities, ensuring all deadlines are met while retaining quality and maintaining composure. Ability to handle complex situations and multiple responsibilities, simultaneously balancing long term projects with the more immediate demands of daily operations.
  • Strong mission and goal orientation and strong work ethic, supporting project initiative and ownership.
  • Adapt and be flexible with quickly changing environments. Able to identify new approaches to support a dynamic organization. 
  • Capable and willing to do work at all levels, including thinking strategically and performing day to day activities.
  • Team-oriented with strong interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to collaborate with and achieve actionable results through others with the ability to build strong and sustainable relationships and wield influence within all levels of the organization.
  • Experience implementing arts and culture work in Philadelphia or similar contexts, understanding and experience in working to address systemic racial, economic, and social inequities.  
  • Experience managing the work of junior staff.
  • Complex problem-solving skills and comprehension of challenging materials and scenarios, allowing for intelligent risk taking.


Education, Training, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Master’s Degree desirable but not required.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience in one or more of the following areas required: arts and culture or related grantmaking, arts administration, arts evaluation.
  • Experience in administration and/or public policy work related to the arts and culture sector that includes two or more of the following arts related and/or grantmaking activities: strategy design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation and budget management.
  • Understanding of trends and policies, advocacy, and developing partnerships in field.
  • Proficiency with MS Office including PowerPoint, Excel, and graphic representation skills.


The William Penn Foundation values diversity, inclusion, and equity as matters of fairness and effectiveness. We are committed to hiring and retaining a staff that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, fostering an inclusive working environment where staff of all backgrounds feel welcomed and engaged in the Foundation’s mission, and to promoting racial equity in our work.

The William Penn Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and encourages applications from individuals underrepresented in the philanthropic sector, including people of color, and persons with non-traditional work and educational experience.  All who believe they meet the stated qualifications are invited to apply. Applications may be submitted to