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Program Associate

Carlson Family Foundation

Job Description

Program Associate

Full Job Description


The Carlson Family Foundation was founded by Curtis and Arleen Carlson in 1959. The Foundation’s mission is to work together with the community to create opportunity, hope, and a sense of belonging for every young person. As our Foundation continues to evolve, we aspire to achieve outsized impact and recognize that this requires us to be creative, deeply engaged, and committed to learning. In 2021, the Carlson Family Foundation launched our new funding strategies, which are rooted in youth and community voice, becoming an anti-racist organization, and employing effective grantmaking strategies. Our grantmaking focuses on three main areas: Constellation – surrounding young people with caring adults; Sex Trafficking Prevention- ending sex trafficking and exploitation of young people; and Vibrant Communities – supporting the vibrancy of our local communities.


The newly created full time Program Associate position will work collaboratively with the program and grants management staff to provide high-quality program administration, grants management, evaluation and learning support, relationship management, and annual organizational workplan support. This position will report to the Constellation Strategy Program Director but will work across all the Foundation’s funding priorities and collaborate with other team members. The program associate will manage multiple projects and deadlines across the funding strategy areas exhibiting critical thinking and effective communication. This individual will have a growth mindset, commitment to racial equity and anti-racism, and employ an entrepreneurial approach. Our office is based in Minnetonka and we offer a hybrid work environment.


Grantmaking Priority Areas

  • Work with program staff to respond to inquiries from prospective and current grantees and assist nonprofit organizations in their understanding of the Carlson Family Foundation’s strategy areas and grantmaking process.
  • Support program staff in reviewing and analyzing grantee submissions, including review of grant applications, financial documents, and participating in grantee site visits.
  • Support program staff in developing high-quality materials, including recommendation memos, presentations and reports for Trustees, and grantee communications.
  • Work with program staff to build and maintain working relationships with grantees and community partners.
  • Plan and manage grantee/stakeholder meetings and events, including logistics, scheduling, communication, and technology.
  • Undertake special projects and tasks as assigned or initiated.

Grants Administration

  • Work with the grants management team to review grantee funding applications and reports, ensuring completeness and accuracy of submissions.
  • Update grantee and grant information in the grants management database, including contact information, classifications, reporting, and payments.
  • Assist with management of grants throughout the grant lifecycle, from inquiry or application through grant closure.
  • Support grantees as needed for grant execution and to answer questions.
  • Complete reporting and data gathering projects to provide grant and program insights.

Evaluation and Learning

  • Support the Foundation’s learning agenda and commitment to an equity-focused evaluation.
  • Work with program staff to review, analyze, and report on evaluation and learnings from grantees and the broader community.
  • Support research and ongoing learning in funding focus areas.
  • Foster opportunities to gather grantee, community, and broader stakeholder feedback.


  • Bachelor’s Degree (preferred but not required) and 3-5 years of experience in a relevant field.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), including the ability to create queries, charts, reports, and graphs.
  • Experience with grant management software is preferred but not required, experience with Blackbaud Grantmaking a plus.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to analyze, question, and identify key issues.
  • Ability to work with different and diverse individuals, communities, and organizations.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects, work well under pressure, adapt to change quickly, and meet deadlines.
  • Skilled problem solver and self-starter.
  • Possess precision and accuracy with extremely high attention to detail.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, team spirit and a sense of humor.


Carlson Family Foundation offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package. The pay range for this position is $63K to $73K depending on experience and qualifications.

Please apply by October 7, 2022.

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