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10 Sep 2020

Research and Policy Program Manager

Council of Michigan Foundations

Job Description

Program Manager

Reports to: Director, Government Relations and Public Policy

The Council of Michigan Foundations is seeking a two-year, full-time grant-funded Program Manager for the Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (SEM-ECFC). This position will work remotely.

The Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC) is a network for grantmakers that come together to: (1) learn the latest research; (2) strategically coordinate and align philanthropic, public and private funding and resources; and (3) facilitate equity-focused approaches and timely responses to opportunities and needs so that we ensure quality early childhood development and education in Southeast Michigan, including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, as well as the city of Detroit and support stronger outcomes for their children and families.

The Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative has existed as an informal networking group since 2007. Funders involved with ECFC currently include the: Ballmer Group, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, McGregor Fund, PNC Foundation, Skillman Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. As a whole, the foundations involved in the collaborative invested more than $60 million in early childhood in metro Detroit between 2012-2015 and also created the Head Start Innovation Fund, which is now an $11 million effort specifically designed for Head Start agencies in the area.

Position Summary

The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader with knowledge of both the philanthropy and early childhood fields, with strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to support and facilitate a strong and sustainable funder network.

Job responsibilities include leading and managing key aspects of the collaborative’s work, including: planning and organization development; field building and collaboration with partners; development and implementation of a learning community; communication and education on early childhood priorities; and fundraising and fiscal management.

Essential Job Functions

  • Planning and organization development. The Program Manager will lead formalization of the collaborative structure and processes and help members achieve their expanded vision. The Program Manager will also be responsible for working with early childhood funders to identify a set of outcomes and associated metrics for the funders collaborative and will use those metrics to measure progress for the collaborative.
  • Field building and collaboration. This position will be responsible for building a network of early childhood funders that invest both in Detroit and across the four main Southeast Michigan counties, and who are dedicated to aligning and leveraging philanthropic, public and private resources to promote federal, state and local policies and practices, as well as systemic, equity-focused approaches that support young children, their families and the early childhood community. As part of this effort, the Program Manager will engage in periodic, directed conversations with early childhood nonprofit leaders, intermediary organizations, and grantee partners. Research of, and building connections to, other funding collaboratives from around the country will also be required periodically.

    Specifically, the Program Manager will work closely with the Hope Starts Here Implementation Director and the City of Detroit Director of Youth and Children Services to coordinate systems-level collaborative efforts. Through this work, the Program Manager will represent the interests and priorities of the collaborative as a whole in city, state and federal public funding and policy conversations to ensure alignment between philanthropic priorities and public policy. Policy priorities may include, but are not limited to, increased public funding for early childhood, alignment of public and philanthropic funding programs and the adaptation of federal, state, or local government funding models to support early childhood.

    The Program Manager will participate as a Hope Starts Here imperative lead responsible for supporting a coordinated approach to public, private, and philanthropic funding to serve children and families. In this role, the Program Manager will:

    • Share with collaborative members the policy and funding priorities emerging from engagement efforts led by the City of Detroit, Hope Starts Here and other partners in order to facilitate data-informed grantmaking strategies.
    • Work with the Hope Starts Here policy team to identify ways to leverage public and philanthropic funding and share insights with collaborative members to inform collective grantmaking strategies.
    • Participate in monthly meetings with other Hope Starts Here imperative leads, the development of an annual work plan connecting its work with the collaborative and that of the Hope Starts Here collaborative.
    • Share progress updates with the Hope Starts Here Stewardship Board.
  • Development and implementation of a vibrant learning community. The SE Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative offers a learning community providing meetings, webinars, conference calls and other events to engage members, partner funders and field experts in deep discussions of issues critical to early childhood. In addition to overseeing the development and implementation of learning community activities, this position will facilitate networking opportunities to provide peer support, share resources and lessons learned, and create opportunities for funders to participate in collaborative and cross-field grantmaking. The Program Manager will also seek to leverage investments and key opportunities for the community, elevate joint data and evaluation strategies to better assess the impact of collective investments and utilize technology tools that can be used for shared learning.
  • Communication and education. The Program Manager will facilitate periodic learning sessions for a broader audience about key early childhood topics to bring other leaders/community members into the discussion and strategy building. This position will also provide joint communication and storytelling activities aimed at highlighting work being accomplished through key grantees/collaborative funding and promoting the impact of the collaborative as an incentive for other funders to participate.
  • Financial management. This position will work with the collaborative’s fiscal sponsor, the Council of Michigan Foundations, to raise funds annually for this role from ECFC’s members. This position will also oversee financial tracking and management in support of the ECFC’s work
  • Supervisory Responsibilities. Working from their home office, the Collaborative Manager will lead the process to identify and select any consultants who may be contracted to support the work of the collaborative (i.e. communications firm, evaluation firm) and will serve as the primary liaison between consultants and the collaborative.

Special Requirements

  • This is a virtual position; a home office is required.
  • Occasional overnight travel is required. This is a full-time position, with flexibility around working hours


  • A. degree with a minimum of five years of experience in early childhood and/or related fields, or equivalent experience. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Passion for early childhood issues and knowledge of and experience in early childhood and/or related fields.
  • Demonstrated leadership in the field of philanthropy.
  • Exceptional project management and leadership skills.
  • Creative, innovative, and high-energy. Ability to work independently and multi-task in a fast-paced work situation.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement learning community activities.
  • The ability to interact with a wide range of constituents, ranging from policymakers to practitioners, community members and funders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to Detroit and across Southeast Michigan, and examples of place-based, community-rooted leadership.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to problem solve and resolve conflicts quickly and effectively.
  • Good research and analytical skills.

Who we are:

The Council of Michigan Foundations is a community of philanthropists committed to improving outcomes for Michigan and beyond. We are the nation’s foremost philanthropy serving organization, highly respected for our leadership role in advancing the sector’s public policy engagement. We maintain a reputation for excellence because our staff and the organizations we partner with are invested in growing the impact of Michigan philanthropy. We do this by investing in the state’s charitable organizations, convening business government and nonprofit leaders, collaborating on critical issues, seeking innovative solutions, sharing knowledge, and advocating. Collectively, CMF members comprise nearly 85 percent of the state’s organized philanthropic assets. CMF trustees and members have developed endowment funds to support the organization’s advocacy efforts.

Read more about us at:

Follow us at: @michfoundations

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to Tammie TenBroeke at Items must be received no later than September 25, 2020.

The Council of Michigan Foundations is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


How to Apply

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to Tammie TenBroeke at Items must be received no later than September 25, 2020.

Bureaus: Detroit. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.