OPEN POSITION: Program Manager of Policy & Advocacy

Title: Program Manager of Policy & Advocacy

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.


For well over a year, the Healthy Communities Foundation has leveraged deep partnerships and relationships to build a long-term strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was exacerbated by the underlying crisis of racism and white supremacy practices. We believe that achieving health equity in our region requires us to examine our own philanthropic practices, their systemic impact on BILPOC communities in our region, and pivot to better align with effective racial/health justice practices. As such, we have discontinued using the “officer” title as an intentional way of recognizing potential triggers of harm in order to provide transformational support of our grantee partners towards health equity and justice.


Reporting to the Director of Programs, the Program Manager of Policy and Advocacy assists in developing, engaging and evaluating a portfolio of grants and initiatives aligned with our strategic vision of promoting health equity, quality and access. This role will lead health equity policy activities for the foundation, including but not limited to monitoring, researching and developing recommendations for strategic support of advocacy efforts aligned to the Foundation’s mission and values.


The Program Manager of Policy and Advocacy is a primary liaison of the Healthy Communities Foundation and as such, is responsive to and visible in the community. This role supports the individual, organizational and community leadership of grantee partners in ways that build movement and power towards greater health equity in the HCF region. The Program Manager interacts regularly with team members, peer funders, existing and potential grantees, and community and health stakeholders to further the priorities of the foundation. This role is expected to develop and maintain a variety of relationships in the community, and an up-to-date knowledge base of current health equity policies, legislation and advocacy activities that are relevant to the strategic goals of the Foundation.


Issue and Content Expertise

      • Maintain and share current knowledge of state and federal agencies engaged in health and health disparity-related issues, policy and advocacy.
      • Build strategic alliances with key public officials, foundation stakeholders and community partners to advance the Foundation’s goals and initiatives.
      • Lead foundation-wide health equity policy/advocacy programs and activities. This includes preparing partner and board briefings as well as designing informational events and materials to share resources and leverage efforts of grantee partners.
      • Monitor, research, analyze and synthesize relevant health equity legislation, issues, policies and data relevant to the HCF region. This includes an intersectional understanding of the social determinants of health as well as updates to health equity policies and a nuanced understanding of the demographics of the 27 zip codes in which HCF funds.
      • Maintain a working knowledge of racial equity and racial justice dynamics related to the work.

Organizational Advocacy and Capacity

      • Work closely with grantee partners to identify collaborative and policy opportunities to advance health equity.
      • Organize stakeholder convenings with philanthropy, government and nonprofit ecosystems in support of grantee partners and leaders.
      • Identify, leverage and provide resources to build capacity of grantee partners. This includes sourcing and sharing opportunities for leadership training and organizational infrastructure investment.

Hyper-Local Approach

      • Ability to identify, understand and articulate how sophisticated nonprofit and community ecosystems are essential to the goals of the foundation.
      • Convene, participate and lead innovative partnerships relevant to HCF values and grantmaking strategies.
      • Produce and participate in communications that share the work of HCF partners, its alignment to HCF values and overall contributions to the field. This may include writing blog posts and/or op-eds, preparing external reports and representing the foundation on local and national conferences and panels.
      • Support initiatives led by other team members by acting in an advisory or co-leadership capacity.

Deep Relationship-Building

      • Meet regularly with multi-year partners towards identified goals.
      • Develop and communicate nuanced understanding of each grantee partners’ overall work e.g., mission, structure, services, community collaborations, improvement needs, and desired impacts.
      • Develop transparent process for identifying and considering new organizations and leaders that align with HCF values and strategies.
      • Develop, build and cultivate relationships with cross-section of nonprofit organizations, stakeholders and other foundations both locally and nationally.

Grantmaking and Evaluation

      • Regularly assess organizational plans and outcomes to embed into the HCF evaluation framework.
      • As a Program Team member – assist with due diligence, site visits and recommendations.
      • Prepare proposal analysis including written summaries and recommendations for review and action by the Board’s Program Committee.
      • Support the Foundation in the fulfillment of its strategic priorities.


      • Ability to work collaboratively (in-person and virtually), contribute productively to collective decisions, and execute in alignment with them.
      • Able to set priorities and work in a self-directed fashion. Must approach the work from an asset and solution-focused perspective.
      • Demonstrated experience as a connector and convener across relevant sectors and parties, including grantees, practitioners, government officials, scholars, and civil society players.
      • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.
      • Solid research and analytical skills, and the ability to cull and synthesize information from large bodies of knowledge and complex concepts, and draft brief summaries, analyses, and recommendations.
      • Proficient in MS Office including Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint; cloud-based project management and communication platforms (i.e.Dropbox, Asana); and grant management systems (i.e., Zengine).


      • Master’s degree in Health Administration, Public Health, Social Work or related health field preferred, and/or comparable work and lived experience.
      • Minimum five years of relevant experience and/or extensive nonprofit sector experience required.
      • Grantmaking experience strongly preferred.
      • Experience in supporting leaders of organizations meet their strategic goals. Preference for those who have had leadership roles with power-building organizations focusing on policy/advocacy, strategy, organizing and/or fundraising.
      • Knowledge of systems and agencies that impact health outcomes in the HCF service region.
      • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion.
      • Clear track record of delivering results.


      • Strong commitment to and practice of addressing racial equity, racial justice, and systemic racism including white supremacy and anti-Blackness.
      • 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 are necessary to the role.
      • Broad knowledge of health disparities and equity issues within the HCF service region.


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. Some travel to attend conferences, retreats and meetings sometimes during non-regular business hours. 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.


Location: 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 the Fall of 2021. 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).


A competitive salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal parity and equity.  A generous benefits package is 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 Manager” 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.