The Chesapeake Bay Trust (the Trust) seeks a new Senior Program Officer to lead the Trust’s capacity building work, one of the Trust’s four core areas of focus.  The Trust’s capacity building efforts include work in three main areas: 1) improving the internal organizational capacity of our nonprofit and local government grantees so they can better accomplish their missions; 2) improving the capacity of groups of organizations working together (networks) so they can better accomplish shared goals; and 3) improving the capabilities of disadvantaged and/or new organizations to be able to apply for grants from the Trust (or other funders).  The Senior Program Officer for Capacity Building will manage two existing Capacity Building Grant Programs (approximately $3.5 million annually); shape and lead a new effort focused on local governments; manage external diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice capacity building work; and pursue other opportunities in the non-profit capacity building and organizational resilience space.

The position will require site visits to meet with regional network leaders, capacity building training events, and relevant meetings and conferences.  This person will be a key member of a 35+-person staff, will work closely with program staff who lead other initiatives at the Trust, and will report to the Program Manager of Stewardship and Capacity Building under the Outreach and Education Department.

About the Trust

The Chesapeake Bay Trust seeks to engage and empower a diversity of groups to take actions that enrich the natural resources and local communities of the Chesapeake Bay region. The Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland state government in 1985. The Trust currently makes 400+ grants and other awards per year ranging from $100 to ~$400,000 for projects in the K-12 environmental education, on-the-ground restoration, science, capacity building, and community engagement realms. In the past 15 years, the Trust has increased its grant-making four-fold through various revenues streams under the purview of four Trust departments, with annual awards of approximately $20-30 million.

Specific Responsibilities

Directly perform tasks such as:

    • Serving as lead program representative with funders and partners (Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Program Office (CBPO), relevant CBPO advisory committees, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and numerous private funders).
    • Managing the budget for the initiative
    • Providing technical assistance or connecting applicants with technical assistance on topics such as capacity needs assessment, budget development, applicant process, project management, and more
    • Crafting Requests for Proposals
    • Advertising grant programs
    • Reactively meeting with prospective applicants who seek out the Trust
    • Proactively identifying potential applicants
    • Providing technical assistance to applicants
    • Recruiting technical reviewers, reading grant proposals with external reviewers
    • Preparing awards summaries for the Trust’s Board of Trustees
    • Preparing award agreements
    • Managing individual grant awards and contracts including assisting awardees with project issues, reviewing status and final reports, approving payments, and reviewing revision requests.
    • Managing a majority of Capacity Building grant awards (based on size and complexity)
    • Adaptively manage the initiatives, including (as necessary) soliciting feedback from the community, developing additional capacity building strategies, offering group trainings or other exercises, and helping to identify and tackle issues of regional non-profits and local governments
    • Pursuing professional development activities, which could include participating in (and presenting at) conferences, at seminars, at symposia, and/or in publications
    • Advancing program-related recommendations received from the Trust’s external diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice advisory committee and the Trust’s internal action team
    • Other duties as assigned and that are associated with all Trust staff

Qualification, Skills, and Abilities

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience that demonstrate growth (required).
  • Specific experience and track record of success in organizational development, organizational capacity building, local government capacity building, and/or collaborative model development (preferred)
  • Specific experience and track record in engagement of communities in community health, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and/or natural resources issues, with preference for experience engaging disadvantaged communities (preferred)
  • Strategic thinking skills: ability to set priorities, balance short-term and long-term objectives (required)
  • Proficiency in managing budgets and contracts (required);
  • Proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite of programs, especially spreadsheet programs (required);
  • Ability to conduct site visits to project locations submitted by grant applicants (personal vehicle and valid driver’s license required to facilitate site visit travel) (required);
  • Exceptional project management and time-management skills, with the ability to manage and meet tight deadlines (required).

Salary and Benefits: $65,000-$80,000 with an excellent benefits package and opportunities for related professional development.

Position Location

The position may involve site visits to communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Within the first 6 months, the Senior Program Officer will be expected to be in the Trust offices in Annapolis, Maryland, at least 1 day per week on average when not in the field, with remote work possible for the remainder of the week. After the 6-month probation period, the position may be fully remote on non-site visit days.

Application Instructions and Deadline:                             

The position will remain open until filled. Please submit a resume and cover letter.  The cover letter must address how your skills and experience are specifically relevant to the job description and duties of this specific opportunity, rather than serving simply as description of your previous positions or experience.  Please explain why you are interested in this position specifically and what makes you a good fit.

Use this link to apply:

The Chesapeake Bay Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, or disability in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.  We encourage applications from people of color.  Applicants must have a residential address in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C and must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. The Trust does not participate in programs that require sponsorship for work visas.