Program Officer, Environment
Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Eden Prairie, MN
About Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) is the umbrella over the grantmaking foundations created by the late Margaret Cargill: Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation. MACP provides meaningful support through long-term relationships with strategic grantee partners across seven program domains: Environment, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Arts & Cultures, Teachers, Animal Welfare, Quality of Life, and Legacy & Opportunity. The collective assets of MACP place it among the 10 largest philanthropies in the United States.
The two foundations have separate boards and investment portfolios but share a common mission of providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts, and the environment.
• Margaret A. Cargill Foundation is a private foundation that came into existence upon Ms. Cargill’s death in August 2006. At year-end 2021, MACF’s assets are approximately $3.7 billion.
• Anne Ray Foundation is a supporting organization, which may make grants only to beneficiary organizations specifically named by Ms. Cargill. At year-end 2021, ARF’s assets are approximately $5.3 billion.
MACP’s Philosophy of Grantmaking underscores the values and guiding principles of Margaret A. Cargill by: using education and innovation as a means to achieve core purposes; empowering people to be self-sufficient; maintaining a low profile while meeting the needs of others; supporting programs that could have a broad impact, having socially redeeming values and standards, and that value life; and relieving suffering in times of disaster. As a core element of its philosophy, MACP invests in long-term relationships with key grantee organizations in order to find solutions that are consistent with the values of both parties.
In 2018, MACP began engaging in an in-depth learning and visioning process around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). We seek to foster a culture—both internally and externally with grantees, community members, and other strategic partners—where differences are seen and respected, voices are heard, and all individuals feel supported and valued for their authentic selves.
Additionally, MACP is engaging in a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice process that includes:
• Building intercultural competency and emotional intelligence work at an organizational level, to include deeper learning, dialogue, and action on racial and social equity.
• Increasing local racial equity and justice in grantmaking to fund local efforts to address systemic racism and social inequities; and
• Reviewing each programmatic domain to more formally examine the role justice, equity and inclusion currently play and can play in MACP’s grantmaking.
You can read more about our commitment here:
MACP is seeking an experienced Program Officer for the Environment Domain who brings deep expertise in global field conservation work, grantmaking, and personal alignment with MACP’s commitment to community-based capacity building and long-term partnerships with grantees. This is a unique opportunity to play a key role with a significant funder in the environment and conservation space and a team of caring, engaged, and thoughtful colleagues based in Eden Prairie, MN.
The Program Officer is responsible for the development, implementation, and management of one or more Ecosystem Programs of the MACP Environment Domain, likely to include an emphasis on programs in the Asia Pacific region. This position reports to the Environment Program Director and works in collaboration with the Managing Program Director, other Program Officers, and Program Associates. The Program Officer will work with Environment Domain team members and other Foundation staff in supporting and managing an effective grantmaking program to support the strategic content and desired impact of the Environment Domain.
Under its existing and well-honed strategy, the Environment Domain at MACP supports grantees in a set of defined focal geographies to deliver effective, sustainable community-based conservation solutions to address the problem of degradation of the Earth’s freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.
MACP’s mission of providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts, and the environment is more important than ever, and they need exceptionally talented leaders to help continue to advance this mission, especially in this critical moment. If you are such a leader, please review this job description and consider joining the MACP team.
The Program Officer, Environment’s core responsibilities are as follows:
• Serve as the lead in the implementation of a strategically aligned grantmaking portfolio for one or more Environment Ecosystem Programs, likely to include an emphasis on programs in the Asia Pacific region.
• Work with grantee applicants on all aspects of the MACP grantmaking process, including due diligence review of potential grantee organizations. Assist applicants in developing realistic proposals that are aligned with strategic funding priorities, within the scope of the budget of the Environment Domain, consistent with MACP grantmaking policies and practices, and within applicants’ capacity to deliver.
• Oversee active grants, track grantee progress, provide clear guidance and assistance to grantees, review and analyze grantee reports.
• In collaboration with the Program Director and Evaluation Team, and in consultation with the Managing Program Director, develop qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze program impact and effectiveness for the purposes of learning.
• Manage grantee relationships diplomatically in a manner consistent with MACP’s values and Philosophy of Grantmaking.
• Work collaboratively with MACP Legal, Finance, Grants Management, and Evaluation teams to conduct due diligence, assess institutional capacity, and monitor active grants.
• Promote partnership and a culture of learning within MACP, among grantees, and with peer funders.
• Organize and participate in site visits, at times with the Program Director and other MACP staff and leadership.
• Prepare written materials for board and management review. Assist with board meeting preparations and participate and present information in board meetings as necessary.
• Monitor the external environment; policy issues, market trends, broader funding landscape, and other factors impacting program objectives in assigned focus areas.
• Represent MACP and the Program at meetings, forums, and public presentations, including with government leaders, community leaders, community-based organizations, and colleagues in the field of philanthropy.
• Facilitate connections and partnerships across organizations and institutions working on shared issues, in coordination with the Program Director and Managing Program Director.
• Hire and supervise contractors as assigned.
• Research relevant topics as determined by the Program Director.
The ideal candidate is a seasoned professional with eight years+ experience in ecosystem conservation. A solid understanding of community-based natural resource management is essential including possessing a positive reputation as an effective collaborator with key stakeholder groups in this field. International experience and demonstrated ability to work effectively in a wide range of cultural settings is critical.
Five or more years’ experience in grantmaking, preferably in the conservation arena, and a demonstrated track record of effective relationships with grantees and fellow funders will be important. An undergraduate degree is required with a graduate degree in a related field preferred or significant related experience working in the conservation sector.
Candidates should have an active curiosity and passion for MACP's program interests and values, including making a difference in communities, forming deep partnerships with grantees, providing support to low-attention needs, and working with humility. Successful candidates will be collaborative, positive, and able to deal well with ambiguity and change. They will be adept at building collegial relationships and able to respond to issues with clarity and diplomacy. They will inspire and foster trust and confidence in staff, management, and their colleagues.
They will be aligned with MACP’s grantmaking philosophy, which is grounded in the Foundation’s values and history.
Other desired skills and experience include:
• An understanding of the emerging trends, concepts, and technical and practical issues involved in philanthropy.
• Solid understanding of the technical and practical issues in one or more of the interest areas of the Environment Program (especially marine, terrestrial, or freshwater ecosystem conservation, and community-based natural resource management).
• Fluency in one or more languages commonly used in international conservation, in addition to English, preferred; overall cultural competence and the ability to be an effective communicator and partner in a wide range of settings is essential.
• Demonstrated, strong skills in strategy development, grant management, and evaluation.
• Strong project management skills including the ability to effectively manage time, meet multiple competing deadlines, quickly develop written materials, maintain a positive attitude under pressure, and manage budgets.
• Experience as a user of grant-management software and tracking systems (e.g., GIFTS, Fluxx) preferred.
• Strong interpersonal skills. Proven ability to build collaborative relationships. Self-motivated and able to work independently.
• Strong communication skills, including making verbal presentations and producing clear and concise written documents.
• Demonstrated ability to work in a highly collaborative organization with consultative relationships vertically and horizontally and a strong service orientation both internally and externally.
• Capability of reading balance sheets and organizational budgets associated with grant applications and can understand and manipulate complex internal program budgets.
• Demonstrated capacity to determine appropriateness of applying a relevant and successful intervention or model from one geographic area to another.
• Demonstrated record of success working with a diverse constituency of partners and stakeholders to achieve specific programmatic outcomes.
25%, including extended international travel once it is practical to do so. During field visits, the employee may occasionally be required to travel and live in wilderness or remote rural conditions for a few days at a time, or to travel by boat or small aircraft to access points or people of interest.
The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.
About the Twin Cities and MACP’s Office
Our community of more than 100 employees bring expertise from a variety of professional and personal experiences. We are inspired by a common mission, shared values, and the difference we can make by working together.
We are proud to offer a welcoming workplace that supports our employees’ careers, health, and overall wellbeing. We supplement that environment with activities throughout the year that promote collaboration, learning, and fun. Reflecting our investment in staff wellbeing, we have deepened our commitment to flexible work schedules and have implemented an innovative new approach to work arrangements in 2022. All MACP staff have a reduced workweek, with half-day Fridays, year-round, with the option of working remotely up to two days per week.
MACP’s home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota is a foundational aspect of our identity, reflecting an organizational commitment to sustainability, balance, and collaboration. In spring 2016, MACP completed a major building expansion, and our LEED Platinum certified building features include sustainable materials, outdoor meeting areas, a fitness room, and unique art and keepsakes from Ms. Cargill’s personal collection and others, that reflect our grantmaking and the communities where we work. Our space is a living reminder of our values.
Eden Prairie is part of the Twin Cities metro area including Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have over 3 million residents and together make up one of the metropolitan areas in the country. A unique blend of small town and major cosmopolitan hub, both urban cores boast a thriving business atmosphere. The Twin Cities offer something for everyone, from national sports teams to a robust theater and arts scene, to a thriving “foodie” culture. The area also has a diverse range of neighborhoods and homes, with an atmosphere of a small town feeling with the conveniences and cultural hallmarks of a big city.
For more information about MACP, please visit our website: www.macphilanthropies.org.
For candidates seeking a welcoming, highly livable community with a strong focus on access to arts, culture, and the outdoors, the Twin Cities offers all of this and more.
Compensation & Benefits
MACP has identified a salary range of $133,000 - $170,000 for this role. Actual starting salary of candidate will be commensurate with years, breadth, and depth of relevant experience, education, certifications, credentials, special skills, accomplishments, and other factors relevant to the position.
Additionally, MACP is invested in the health and well-being of their staff and offers a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to:
• Competitive compensation, including relocation support.
• Strong medical, dental, and vision benefits for staff and their dependents with competitive monthly premiums and flexible spending accounts.
• Reduced work week for all staff, with half-day closures on Fridays, year-round.
• Minimum of 20 days of paid time off, in addition to a week-long year-end office closure
• Retirement programs, including 401(k) matching at 5%, with access to employer-paid financial planning resources.
• In addition, the Organization may provide a discretionary contribution to employees’ 401(k) plan that vests over a five year period.
• Matching gift program for charitable donations.
• Additional benefits such as an employee assistance plan, an onsite fitness room, paid parental leave, and tuition reimbursement.
MACP policy currently requires staff to be fully vaccinated or to confirm a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous seven days. COVID-19 protocols continue to be reviewed.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Equal Opportunity, and Accessibility
We know that engaging, building trust, and making a difference relies on the collective wisdom and strength of a truly diverse organization. With this in mind, and as an equal opportunity employer, we encourage and strongly welcome candidates of all identities, lived experiences, orientations, and communities to apply.
Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Alicia Salerno are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit this link here:
All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part 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.
At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.
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. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.