Senior Associate Program Officer, Climate Equity

Builders Initiative/Builders Vision

Builders Initiative/Builders Vision

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, February 9, 2024

About Builders Vision

Builders Vision is an impact platform that aims to shift markets and minds for good in pursuit of our vision for a humane and healthy planet. We work to help address some of the most difficult environmental and sustainability challenges across three focus areas: oceans, food & agriculture, and energy.

Builders Vision has deployed more than $3 billion across our focus areas and worked alongside nearly 450 partners to drive societal and environmental change. To date, we have helped mitigate, sequester, or avoid over 4 million metric tons of CO2e, generated more than 42,000 jobs, and supported the development of more than 170 sustainable products, technologies, or solutions. While we are seeing progress, we know that we can’t do this alone. The truth is these are trillion-dollar sectors that need a number of markets to scale and multiply significantly if we are to ensure a sustainable and secure future.

Our Builders Vision team includes more than 100 impassioned individuals who activate our platform using three primary approaches to influence stakeholders and drive impact across our focus areas:

  • Deploying Capital: We use a versatile set of tools, including grants, direct investments, and fund investments to support non-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, and fund managers. Given Builders Vision’s different capital tools and investment vehicles, we have the flexibility to operate across the capital spectrum. We deploy capital into programs and solutions with a focus on how our efforts will lead to the catalyzation of additional investments into the sectors.
  • Supporting Partners: We are committed to helping our partners by providing critical resources including technical assistance, networking, learning opportunities, support with impact measurement and management (IMM), and strategic advice to help enhance their success and outcomes.
  • Advocating for Change: We leverage communications and engage with influential audiences to accelerate the solutions we pursue. This includes strategic communications, thought leadership, hosting and attending convenings, and industry-wide initiatives and coalitions.

Our commitment to people and the planet extends to our workplace policies and benefits. In 2023, Builders Vision was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and voted one of Chicago’s Best Places to Work by Crain’s Chicago Business. We are headquartered in the West Loop, one of Chicago’s most thriving and dynamic neighborhoods, and our offices have achieved Gold-level certifications from both the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the International WELL Building Institute. We also offer fun social team events and offsite retreats to help our people feel refreshed and connected to nature, each other, and our mission.

You can read more about our team, programs, and impact here:

About Builders Initiative

As Builders Vision’s philanthropic team, Builders Initiative deploys grants and mission-driven investments to confront today’s most pressing issues. Through different types of grant support, including project-specific grants and general operating grants, our grantmakers partner with organizations of all sizes that are addressing societal and environmental challenges. In concert with our grantmakers, the Builders Initiative Investment Team engages with impact-driven organizations, companies, and fund managers at many stages of their development. Builders Initiative also includes the Builders Initiative Foundation, which has a $1.7B endowment that reached 90% mission-aligned investments in 2022.

Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) are at the core of our mission to shift markets and minds for good. We know that a humane and healthy planet starts with us. We commit ourselves to learning from others and doing the work to become a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization, and we will seek to promote those same values in the world around us. We actively seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool and create an inclusive culture that centers equitable practices and policies. We are an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.

Position Summary

At the Builders Initiative our Climate Equity program works to ensure that environmental justice communities in the Midwest are resilient, healthy, and vibrant. We do this by making grants and investments to 1) build the power of frontline communities to address environmental injustices, 2) grow an equitable clean energy economy, and 3) support a just transition for EJ communities. We are looking for an Associate Program Officer to support all aspects of our grant making and administration.

The position will primarily focus on grant making and will encompass other responsibilities as well.

  • Develop, execute and manage grants, program related investments, recoverable grants and other innovative instruments
  • Solicit and review proposals
  • Conduct due diligence on organizations
  • Review budgets
  • Conduct site visits
  • Help facilitate decision making processes
  • Help execute grant agreements
  • Manage grantee and stakeholder relationships with integrity and authenticity
  • Support partners beyond providing funds, including connecting with other grantees, technical assistance and helping raise additional funds
  • Coordinate with peer grant officers to support development of collaborative projects
  • Support management of the Climate Equity Advisory Committee
  • Partner with Learning and Evaluation team to support our grant monitoring and program-level learning efforts
  • Partner with Communications team to share and celebrate our partners work
  • Engage in operations related to our grantmaking and growing foundation
  • Oversee data maintenance, systems development and office-wide coordination for portfolio
  • Manage workflow and processes through effective project management, and clear, customized, and concise communication
  • As part of a growing foundation, you may also be asked to manage other projects and assignments as requested and will have opportunities to engage in this work across the office.

Experience + Attributes

We realize that people’s lived experiences and motivations for entering the philanthropic space vary greatly. Given this, we are open to a wide range of experience and education backgrounds.

  • At least 2-4 years working in a professional, social-change setting including:
  • 2+ years of related project management experience, with proven organization and time management skills
  • Experience with climate and environmental justice related issues and organizations a plus
  • Experience in a grant-making organization or role a plus
  • Experience in developing social impact strategies and projects:
  • Experience with executing a philanthropy portfolio will be strongly prioritized, including:
  • Developing strategic and practical grant proposals and managing grants
  • Conducting organizational and financial due diligence
  • Experience facilitating decision making processes is a plus
  • Building and maintaining relationships with partners –including grantees, peer funders, and other movement partners
  • Tracking progress and evaluating success; learning lessons from tough and/or unexpected situations a plus
  • Has demonstrated strong critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills
  • Shares the Builders Vision’s values of bravery and creativity; beginner’s mindset; integrity with humility; diversity and collaboration; and making the world better.
  • Community orientation and servant leadership; respects partners of all types uniformly and view partners as peers. Can comfortably communicate with grantees and partners in a culturally relevant and respectable manner. Practices integrating listening and findings into strategic planning and grant decisions.
  • Communicate well: in person, via phone, and through written communication.
  • Are technology savvy: skilled with Microsoft Suite (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) and Google Suite (Gmail, Drive, Calendar), and can learn other programs – such as Slack, Salesforce, Ally, Airtable – readily
  • Possess unquestionable ethics and personal integrity.
  • Location in (or willingness to relocate to) Chicago is required.
  • Willingness to travel up to 30% time visiting locally and nationally with impact partners (grantees, nonprofits, peer foundations, and other leaders)

Other Duties

Please note this position description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the candidate in this position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may evolve or change over time.

To apply: Submit your resume and a writing sample from a recent project to Nicole Hamm at

Builders Vision is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, among other things or status as a qualified individual with a disability.