Program Officer

Program Officer

The Klarman Family Foundation

Boston, MA   |   April 20, 2020

About the Klarman Family Foundation

The Klarman Family Foundation seeks to identify areas of unmet need and to advance solutions to addressing them. We believe passionately in the promise and importance of creative thinking, strategic leadership and strong organizations to help bring about change. Our intention as a Foundation is to help make measurable progress in improving the lives of others. Founded in 1991 and based in Boston with a staff of fifteen, The Klarman Family Foundation granted approximately $65 million in 2019 to advance our philanthropic interests.

We have a record of being responsive to emerging needs and are committed to modeling philanthropy’s best practices during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The Klarman Family Foundation is actively engaged in rapid response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts across all of our programs and grantmaking portfolios, both in the US and abroad, through direct grants, capacity-building support, and strategic funding partnerships.

Our work is guided by the following principles and values:

  • We approach our work with a seriousness of purpose and evaluative rigor, and also with an openness to tackle issues in new ways.
  • We approach our work with a sense of urgency and willingness to invest based on the opportunities to make a difference, rather than the limits of an annual grantmaking budget.
  • We believe that the preservation of democratic norms lies at the core of all of our work and that a healthy democracy is crucial to all we seek to achieve.
  • We value acting in partnership with other funders. We view these relationships as opportunities to learn and leverage greater impact.
  • We apply what we learn to improve our philanthropic practices and outcomes.

The Foundation’s grantmaking spans several areas of interest:

  • Expanding access to vital services and enrichment opportunities in Greater Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
  • Advancing understanding of the biological basis of health and illness.
  • Ensuring a healthy democracy.
  • Supporting the global Jewish community and Israel.

Specifically, through its Greater Boston grantmaking, the Foundation works to expand access to the critical services and enrichment opportunities that help make communities stronger, healthier, and more vibrant. The majority of grants in this category focus on supporting vulnerable populations in Greater Boston, Massachusetts and the Jewish community, with grantmaking clustered around the Foundation’s longstanding philanthropic interests in ensuring access to high-quality children’s mental health services and strengthening and increasing access to music pathways for youth. In this work, we value partnerships with other funders who strategically address critical social challenges. For example, through the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative, we work to strengthen a diverse cohort of arts organizations. Through a partnership with the Richard and Susan Smith Foundation, we support Phase II of the TEAM UP for Children initiative, to promote positive child health and well-being through the delivery of evidence-based integrated behavioral health care in pediatric primary care clinics.

The issues we are addressing are complicated, requiring new and creative thinking and persistence over time. With our commitment to learning and assessing our impact, these categories and our strategies may evolve, but our dedication to applying best practices in philanthropy will remain unchanged.

For more information about our Foundation, please visit The Klarman Family Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics.

About the Program Officer Opportunity

As the Foundation continues to grow and focus its philanthropic resources, we are seeking a strategic and results-oriented Program Officer to join a small team working to advance our impact locally. Reporting to the Director of Greater Boston Grantmaking, the Program Officer will manage a portfolio of grants, conduct research and prepare analytic reports to inform current and future grantmaking, and collaborate as a thought partner on a broad range of issues across all of the Foundation’s funding areas.

In their role, the Program Officer will lead and support activities in the following areas:


  • Conduct due diligence, including financial analysis of existing and new investments.
  • Lead site visits, meetings with grantees and organizations, and serve as grantees’ primary point of contact within the Foundation.
  • Review, track and evaluate the Foundation’s local grantmaking portfolio.
  • Assess and report on the overall effectiveness of grants as they relate to the portfolio as a whole.
  • Ensure knowledge, interactions, and data related to portfolios are captured in the grantmaking system and communicated when appropriate to Foundation staff and trustees.
  • Serve as point person for other responsive grantmaking at the local level.

Research & Learning

  • Contribute to the Foundation’s knowledge of current trends, emerging issues, best practices, and key players.
  • Conduct research, prepare analytical reports, and write briefing papers on topics of interest.
  • Work with program team to problem-solve, including using data and learning to strengthen work across the Foundation.
  • Collaborate with Director of Greater Boston Grantmaking to prepare written materials and presentations for staff, program team, and trustee meetings.

Communication & Partnership

  • Steward and identify positive relationships with potential partners, including funding colleagues and field experts in line with the Foundation’s interests and priorities.
  • Represent the Foundation within the nonprofit and philanthropic community, including at regional and national conferences and meetings.
Candidate Profile & Qualifications

As the incoming Program Officer, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • Professional experience assessing organizational performance, including leadership, strategy, and financial position; this could come from experience within nonprofit organizations, management consulting, and/or philanthropy. Grantmaking experience specifically is not a requirement for this position.
  • Demonstrated experience distilling and presenting complex information to form opinions and recommendations.
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analysis skills combined with curiosity and commitment to continuous learning.
  • Highly developed organizational and project management skills, including a proven ability to prioritize, manage time, handle pressure, and meet deadlines.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to develop relationships with nonprofit, philanthropic and field leaders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Humility, flexibility, creativity, and the ability to adapt to shifting priorities in a rapidly changing landscape and in a growing organization.
  • Interest in and demonstrated commitment to the Foundation’s interest areas.
  • Discretion and sensitivity for working in the context of a family foundation.
  • Willingness to travel for site visits and other meetings regionally and nationally.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required; Master’s degree preferred.

Compensation & Benefits

The Klarman Family Foundation offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.


The Klarman Family Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume, addressed to Laura Sherman, Director, Greater Boston Grantmaking, here. All inquiries should be directed to Koya Leadership Partners.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit