OPEN POSITION: Program Associate

Title: Program Associate

Supervised by: Director of Programs

Status: Full-time, exempt, salaried


The Healthy Communities Foundation (HCF) is a community-informed grantmaking foundation that seeks to measurably improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in our service region. We accomplish this by supporting practices and policies that promote health equity, quality, and access. As a health conversion foundation established in 2000 by the sale of MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois, we make grants to organizations working within 27 zip codes in Chicago and the surrounding western suburbs.


We believe that all residents of our service region, particularly those who live with the greatest health inequities, should have access to resources and opportunities that improve their well-being and create a sustainable quality of life. The foundation’s grantmaking framework is composed of four strategies: accessing quality health care; addressing the social determinants of health; advocating for policies and systems change that impact health; and augmenting knowledge and improved practice through capacity-building, learning, and aligned initiatives.


The Program Associate will support the grantmaking efforts of the Foundation in scaling effective community-centered philanthropic practices that advance health and racial equity in the HCF region. The position will assist data collection and reporting processes, summarize available research to inform program strategy, draft issue briefs that aggregate relevant information, and provide project management support. The position will also assist with team presentations, grantmaking due diligence, and managing external relationships with cross-sector collaborators and community stakeholders.


The Program Associate will interact regularly with team members and grant-making colleagues to collaborate and advance the Foundation’s priorities. In addition, under the direction of the Director of Programs, this position will also focus on developing a deep understanding of the health needs and ecosystem of partnerships in specific communities.


The successful candidate is self-directed, collaborative, analytical, and agile with a keen eye for detail and solutions. This candidate has the ability to handle multiple programmatic and administrative tasks simultaneously and demonstrates excellent analytic, writing, and project planning skills.

General Program Responsibilities

      • Provide project management support to the Program Team including project planning, meeting preparation, collaborating on internal and external communications, and tracking goals.
      • Assist in the Team’s review of grant requests, preparation of grant recommendations, and management of the grant portfolio.
      • Conduct research and analysis to support foundation strategies, including issue research, aggregating background context, and conducting scans of current nonprofit and philanthropic practices.
      • Collect, manage and analyze data regarding grant-making and evaluation efforts.
      • Develop and maintain reports to aggregate data, monitor progress, and communicate impact.
      • Support special projects that may emerge in partnership with the Program Team.

General Administrative Responsibilities

      • Prepare materials for, support, and participate in internal and external presentations and meetings.
      • Provide support in managing the workflow for the program and administrative team, including documentation of current or developing projects and/or ideas, taking and sharing notes, initiating planning meetings with other staff, and supporting timely completion of projects.
      • Work closely with grants manager in maintaining office systems such as digital filing, scheduling, and meeting preparation.
      • Learn, maintain, and offer feedback to improve systems to enable smooth functioning and collaboration.
      • Attend and actively participate in conferences, convenings, and site visits.
      • Support the team in embedding racial equity and justice in its grantmaking processes.
      • Support the Foundation in the fulfillment of its strategic priorities.


      • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
      • Nonprofit experience required, preference for experience working in or volunteering with community-based, advocacy and/or health-focused organizations.
      • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
      • Strong end-to-end project-management skills that include project initiation, planning, development, and execution.
      • Ability to synthesize large amounts of information.
      • Strong team orientation, including the ability to collaborate effectively within and across teams and departments to reach common goals.
      • A learning orientation and curious mindset evidenced by recognizing patterns, identifying key lessons, and developing creative solutions.
      • A commitment to equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion.
      • High level of competence with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
      • Ability to work collaboratively (in-person and virtually).


      • Strong commitment to and practice of addressing racial equity, racial justice, and systemic racism including dismantling white supremacy and anti-Blackness practices.
      • Ability to apply a broad knowledge of the concepts, practice, principles, and procedures of grantmaking.
      • Demonstrate trustworthiness in maintaining a high level of confidentiality with regards to Foundation, Board, Staff, and grantmaking processes.
      • Ability to learn the systems and agencies that impact health outcomes in the HCF service region and demonstrate the synthesis of that learning.
      • Maintain broad knowledge of health disparities and equity issues within the HCF service region.
      • Bring an empathetic mindset to the lived experiences and challenges that affect the well-being of those who reside in the HCF service area.


This role is currently 100% remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expenses related to remote work including equipment, software, and internet access are provided by HCF. Commuting by car to partner organizations will be expected when it is safe. A valid driver’s license is preferred – mileage is reimbursed for personal vehicles. The Healthy Communities Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please express those concerns in the cover letter.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all staff members are working remotely during normal business hours and operating on Central Standard Time. We expect to resume in-person gatherings in early 2022. When it is safe, HCF staff are expected to attend meetings and work collaboratively in our headquarters in Riverside, IL, shared space in Chicago, IL, and/or with community partners (aka grantee partners).


The salary range for this position is $55,000 – $65,000. A generous benefits package is also provided.  Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.


      • Medical and dental benefits for the employee and immediate family.
      • Retirement savings account with matching foundation contributions after 6 months of employment
      • Generous paid time off.
      • Professional development initiatives for growth.
      • Parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted).


The search is being conducted with assistance from Chears & Associates. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications should include:

        • A cover letter describing your interest, experience with and/or in the HCF region, an articulated understanding of the position, and a description of how your experience aligns with the position.
        • A resume that includes a chronological description of experience and education.


Submit the requested materials via email to In order to streamline the sorting and review process, please include your name (Last, First) and “Program Associate” in the subject line of your email.


Note: Please refrain from any phone calls, emails, or direct communication with the HCF Board and Staff.


Application Period: Interviews with qualified candidates will occur on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.