Program Officer

Position Summary

As a member of the Program Team, the Program Officer will:

  • Co-facilitate and manage two community-led grantmaking programs: Fund of the Sacred Circle and the Giving Project
  • Lead strategies to strengthen and expand grantmaking and programs within urban, rural, and tribal Native American communities
  • Leverage and integrate Native leadership and wisdom across the Foundation

About Giving Projects

The Giving Project is a model that funds social change, builds community, and develops leaders. We bring multiracial, cross-class groups of people together to participate in Headwaters community-centered grantmaking process. Participants raise and give out money to organizations that support significant, long-term solutions for justice and equity across the state. A majority of Giving Project grants support community organizing groups led by and for BIPOC communities.

About Fund of the Sacred Circle + Native Strategies 

The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports Native-led organizations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin that advance equity, justice, healing, and self-determination in their communities. The Fund is focused on, but not limited to: language and cultural revitalization; land and environmental restoration; sovereignty and treaty rights; and self-determination and civil rights. Funding decisions are made by a committee of Native community members. 

In addition to leading the Fund of the Sacred Circle, the Program Officer will cultivate, leverage, and integrate Indigenous leadership and wisdom to strengthen the Foundation’s Native Strategies.

Primary Responsibilities

Giving Project

  • Co-facilitate Giving Project cohorts: provide trainings on anti-oppression, race, and class analysis; grassroots fundraising; and grantmaking.
  • Support cohorts to create group trust that will help them achieve ambitious fundraising and grantmaking goals.
  • Inform cohorts about local community organizing and movement building.
  • Coach individual participants about their giving, fundraising, grantmaking, and leadership development.
  • Collaborate with program staff to adapt and improve curriculum and trainings as needed.
  • Help recruit and retain Giving Project participants.
  • Grant seeker support: answer their questions, review their applications, and participate in finalist site visits.
  • Attend and help coordinate events, including grantee panels and cohort final celebrations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Fund of the Sacred Circle

  • Lead outreach and promotion within Native communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Ensure a strong pool of grant applications are received from a diverse network of Native-led organizations.
  • In collaboration with program staff, evaluate criteria and focus areas, re-align as needed.
  • Work with the executive director to increase the amount of grant funding.
  • Help grant seekers through application process, including hosting information sessions.
  • Coordinate with grants and program associate to make sure grant seekers are in compliance and that grantees submit their reports on time.
  • Recruit, train, and support a committee of Native community members to review grant applications; lead site visits; and make final funding decisions.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Program Team & Special Initiatives - Native Strategies

  • Build on our existing relationships throughout Native communities; expand and deepen a network of grantees and community leaders.
  • Stay current on trends, needs, and opportunities that surface in local social justice movements—with a focus on work led by and for Native communities.
  • Conduct research, develop recommendations, and create effective strategies that increase our grantmaking, relationship building, and programmatic work within Native communities.
  • Identify stakeholders and leaders in community organizing and movement- building within Native communities and develop and foster partnerships.
  • Work with the executive director to identify and cultivate relationships with current and prospective funders.
  • Leverage and integrate Indigenous leadership and wisdom across the Foundation.
  • Coordinate with Program Team and with other Foundation staff on projects and initiatives.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Experience developing, leading, and facilitating workshops and trainings with people from diverse backgrounds, with an anti-oppression focus.
  • Community organizing skills with demonstrated experience in connecting with BIPOC communities and other under-represented groups and identities.
  • Demonstrated experience moving groups and individuals to act towards common goals.

Project Management

  • Experience moving projects, initiatives, and agendas forward in fast-paced and complex work environment.
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to manage multiple, time-sensitive priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and execute a project that meets high standards.
  • Highly collaborative colleague with the ability to work effectively with supervision, independently, and in a team environment.
  • Creative problem solver who makes suggestions for improvement.  
  • Close attention to detail and accuracy.


  • Has relationships with Native social change leaders, organizations, and communities throughout Minnesota.
  • Understands and appreciates Native cultural knowledge, ways of knowing, and world view.
  • Demonstrates ability to foster trusting relationships across various Native communities, and to bring people together across differences.
  • Understands opportunities, challenges, and key issues facing Native people throughout Minnesota, including urban, rural, and tribal communities.
  • Has experience working on issues related to: language and cultural revitalization; land and environmental restoration; sovereignty and treaty rights; healing and ceremony; and/or self-determination and civil rights.

Mission Alignment

  • Belief in the mission, vision, and values of the Foundation.
  •  Willingness to be a productive member of a community of colleagues, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity and change, and constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends and travel occasionally.

Salary and Benefits

Salary range $44,000 - $54,500. Excellent benefits package, including health insurance, retirement, and vacation days.


Headwaters Foundation for Justice is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, BIPOC, LGBTQ persons and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Regular work hours are weekdays 9am-5pm. Some evenings and weekends required. 

To Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume in an email with Program Officer in the subject line to Program Officer to Julie Remmelts, Application will close on Friday, August 30th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until closed.

Link to PDF.