Program Officer
December 12, 2018

Organization Overview
Founded in 1962, the Buell Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to supporting the positive development of children across the state of Colorado through grants and partnerships with nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded in the areas of early childhood development and teen pregnancy prevention. Since inception, the Buell Foundation has awarded more than $130 million in grants.

Position Summary

The Buell Foundation has an immediate opening for a Program Officer. The Program Officer has the primary relationships with assigned nonprofit organizations applying to the Foundation for grants. All aspects of the grant review process are completed by the Program Officer, including reviewing written applications and financial statements, conducting site visits, writing funding recommendations, and managing active grants. The Program Officer will contribute to programmatic ideas and actively participate in all aspects of the Foundation’s work.

It will be important that this individual quickly learns and understands the unique culture and process of the Foundation. The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of professional grantmaking in a foundation environment, understanding of the work of the nonprofit sector, and a strong desire to work with and support the Buell Foundation and its grantees. The ideal candidate will demonstrate humility, integrity, and flexibility to represent the Foundation in diverse forums and organizational relationships. In addition, she/he will have a commitment to personal learning and development as well as openness to feedback. The individual should also demonstrate excellent listening and communication skills. The ideal candidate will have a can-do attitude and the ability to see multiple possibilities and solutions. A sense of humor is also welcome.

The individual filling this position will report to the Director of Programs and work in close partnership with a small team of program staff. In addition, this individual will work closely with peers in other foundations supporting progress in the areas of early childhood development and teen pregnancy prevention. This position is based in Denver.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Reviews and analyzes assigned grant applications, conducts site visits, and composes evaluations, including recommendations
  • Works with individual grantees to identify, implement, and prioritize appropriate quality improvement efforts and evaluation
  • Builds and maintains active, positive relationships with grantseekers and grant recipients
  • Represents the Buell Foundation in its interaction with philanthropic colleagues, nonprofit organizations, public officials, and the general public at various activities and meetings
  • Acquires and maintains a breadth of knowledge relative to the primary focus area of the Foundation (currently early childhood development)
  • Undertakes special projects as assigned or initiated

Ideal Competencies and Skills

  • Willingness to take on new challenges and learn new skills as needed to perform duties in an efficient manner
  • Commitment to being a positive, enthusiastic and collaborative member of a small, cross-functional team
  • Ability to accurately assess nonprofit leadership, operational, and financial capacity and perform other due diligence required
  • Excellent organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners, and grantees
  • Ability to meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, and adjust to changing priorities; effective time management skills with demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload
  • Strong analytic and communication skills; ability to write clearly and succinctly under time pressure
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically about the broad goals of the Foundation while remaining focused on the detail-oriented work and follow-through required by this position
  • Ability to demonstrate appropriate patience and humility in the grantee/grantor relationship
  • Comfort with ambiguity and willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changes in the Foundation’s grantmaking
  • Sensitivity to local community and nonprofit issues/needs while fulfilling day-to-day Foundation and grantmaking duties
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of all work products and discussions related to the Foundation
  • Proficiency in common office software, including Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.
  • Willingness to pitch in wherever needed

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum five years of experience in the nonprofit or public sector required; strong understanding of nonprofit operations
  • Previous grantmaking experience a plus
  • Knowledge in the field of early childhood or teen pregnancy prevention strongly preferred
  • Familiarity with the state of Colorado, and rural counties in particular, preferred
  • Experience and comfort working in a small office that is team-oriented, mission-driven, and strives for excellence

Working Conditions

  • Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Denver office.
  • Professional office environment
  • Workload will fluctuate due to deadlines and changing priorities.
  • Extensive keyboard and computer monitor use
  • Exposure to sensitive and confidential information
  • Physical demands may involve lifting materials and equipment up to 25 pounds.
  • Travel in personal vehicle or rental vehicle procured by the Foundation is required as needed to appropriately review grant applications and attend meetings throughout the state. Generally, this travel is limited to three to five weeks annually.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.


  • This is an exempt, full-time position.
  • Pay is commensurate with experience. The Buell Foundation provides a generous benefits package, including paid vacation and sick leave, medical insurance, dental insurance, and retirement plan.

Application Details

  • Deadline Date: January 7, 2019 or until filled.
  • All applications should be emailed to Kelly Costello at Please include “Buell Program Officer Application” in the subject line of emails. Applications should include the following:
  • A cover letter detailing the applicant’s match with the position requirements
    • Resume
    • Preferred salary range
    • Contact information for three business references, one of whom is/was an immediate supervisor with firsthand knowledge of applicant’s professional abilities
  • No phone calls, please.
  • The Buell Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from individuals from a variety of backgrounds. We are committed to building and retaining a diverse team with attention to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran or disability status.