Program Officer

Armonk, NY


Gerstner Philanthropies was founded in 1989 by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. and has program areas in Biomedical Research, Education, Emergency Assistance (what we call Helping Hands), and Environment as well as selected other grants. Most grants are to organizations in New York, Boston, and Palm Beach County. To learn more, please see

Helping Hands

Helping Hands provides assistance for people experiencing a short-term, unforeseen emergency through one-time cash grants, with the goal that they will regain and retain stability following the resolution of the emergency. Our portfolio supports partners working in social and direct services, and we have recently added a new line of work within Helping Hands to support colleges focused on advancing social mobility.


Education grants are focused on providing access to an excellent K-12 education primarily in Catholic Schools. Grants support scholarships, capital projects, and new network development.

Role Overview

We are a small and growing family foundation in search of a strategic and collaborative Program Officer (PO) to help build out and implement our Helping Hands College line of work and support and build our Education grant work. Within Helping Hands, this role will be focused on expanding our student emergency aid work at higher education institutions. The PO will collaborate with the Executive Director and Program Director to source, cultivate and assess potential investment opportunities, track grantee progress and learnings and prepare updates to our Board. The PO holds a variety of responsibilities related to the coordination of grantmaking activities and is expected to bring and develop field knowledge and experience to the strategy discussions that shape our work.

Job responsibilities, including but not limited to:

In partnership with the Executive Director, Program Director and other Foundation staff:

· Build-out, manage and monitor a grants portfolio of higher education institutions providing emergency aid to students and K-12 grantees.

· Conduct long-term grant planning; research and identify new potential grantee organizations; identify and work with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations and conduct due diligence.

· Review and assess grant proposals and prepare written funding recommendations.

· Monitor grants through site visits, check-in calls to review progress with grantees, review narrative and financial reports, and manage financial and budget reports to track grantee and program spending.

· Contribute to the ongoing strategy development, refinement and implementation of programs to scale impact.

· Engage with grantees to review opportunities, challenges and advances, and encourage learning and sharing of best practices.

· Build trusted, collaborative relationships with peers at grantee organizations and other funders.

· Prepare and present written program updates and impact reports to the Board.

· Represent the foundation and its work at key venues.

· Collaborate with the Helping Hands Social Services PO and work closely with the Grants Manager to prepare grant agreements, maintain grant records, and set up payment and reporting schedules.


· Bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree preferred.

· 6+ years of combined work experience in higher education or philanthropy, other educational organization or consulting firm.

· Experience with post-secondary success and/or improving student outcomes, particularly for first-generation, low-income students.

· Familiarity with key issues facing K-12 schools in under-resourced areas.

· Ability to write and communicate clearly and concisely to summarize key points and recommendations regarding complex issues and decisions.

· Excellent analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, challenges, and institutions with which to engage.

· Excellent organizational and project management skills and attention to detail while managing multiple priorities.

· PC skills (with proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and Google Suite), as well as a thorough knowledge and comfort of basic web skills required. Experience with Foundant a plus.


Our offices are located in Armonk, NY. This position is in-person Monday – Friday.

Mid Level (4-6 years) Senior Level (7-9 years)
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