Background and Program Officer

Rasmuson Foundatin   Anchorage, AK   Full-time     Business Development
Posted on July 29, 2020

Rasmuson Foundation Rasmuson Foundation ( is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people throughout Alaska. In addition to supporting broad system change, the Foundation awards grants to nonprofits working in the areas of arts, culture, humanities, health, housing and community development. Through grantmaking and support for the growth of philanthropy, Rasmuson Foundation contributes to healthy, enriched and productive lives for all Alaskans. The Foundation was established in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson with an initial investment of $3,000 to seed an endowment. Her son, Elmer Rasmuson, then president of the National Bank of Alaska, believed strongly in the ability of Alaskans to solve their state’s problems and sought to create a Foundation that could become a steadfast partner to people and organizations who seek to make Alaska better. From these beginnings, Rasmuson Foundation has grown to become the largest private funder in the state of Alaska. The Foundation Board is comprised of Rasmuson family members and other talented leaders across Alaska who, together with staff, utilize best practices of both independent and family foundations.


Rasmuson Foundation’s grant program include responsive grantmaking, and program-related investments to increase availability of credit and capital for affordable housing, community and economic development, and historic preservation. The Foundation also operates grant programs to support the arts, nonprofits and tribal organizations. The Foundation’s annual awards total $25 million - $30 million.


The Foundation engages in initiatives to address systemic issues as needed, including homelessness and housing, opportunities for youth including camps, oral health, and the Recover Alaska coalition focused on reducing harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption. One initiative in 2020 aims to connect organizations with personal protective equipment and supplies during the coronavirus outbreak. In 2015, the Foundation launched Plan4Alaska, a state fiscal responsibility campaign to educate all Alaskans about the urgent need to find solutions to the State of Alaska budget issues. Mission: To promote a better life for Alaskans. Primary program areas of interest: Arts & culture, health, social services, housing, and supporting the growth of philanthropy Assets as of Dec. 31, 2019: $699,900,000 Total grants awarded in 2019: $20,300,000 Total charitable awards since 1955: $422,000,000 Staff: 26 Operating Budget: $6,600,000 Rasmuson Foundation - Program Officer 2 Several initiatives concentrate on growing individual giving and investments in Alaska’s social sector, including a Community Affiliate partnership with The Alaska Community Foundation to promote local giving, and an annual week-long Grantmaker’s Tour of Alaska for select foundation leaders from across the country. The purpose of the tour is to elevate the national profile of Alaska in the philanthropic world. Data shows that since 2003, at least $115 million has been granted to Alaska nonprofits from foundations that participated in the tour.

Program Officer Job Description

The Program Officer serves as a key staff member, providing strategic and tactical program-related leadership to accomplish the Foundation’s mission. Program officers work with community leaders to promote economic betterment, build social infrastructure and improve quality of life. These individuals also serve as a critical resource to the Board, providing support on Program Team planning, projects, initiatives and communications. The individual who assumes this role will report to the Vice President of Programs and manage a portfolio of annual and multi-year grants. The Program Officer works with everyone at the Foundation. As such, this person will need to bring a blend of tact, diplomatic ability, joy and creativity to the position. The Program Officer provides an invaluable resource, advising program and other key Foundation staff on proposals and the work of their grantees. In addition, the Program Officer serves to link the Foundation to valuable external resources, maintaining an active line of inquiry with other Foundations, the broader philanthropic community and targeted affinity groups. The appointment of a Senior Program Officer with additional management level responsibilities may be considered for candidates who demonstrate the experience and background.


Grant portfolio management • Evaluate and monitor a diverse portfolio of grants and initiatives as assigned. Work closely with staff to maintain accurate records and ensure grantee compliance • Prepare formal recommendations for individual grants and initiatives for presentation to Foundation leadership • Advise the President and Vice President of Programs on program-related agenda items for Board and Grants Committee meetings. Provide leadership on Tier 1 (grants up to $25,000), Tier 2 (grants over $25,000) and Program Team initiatives, and assist the Vice President of Programs with monitoring workloads, outcomes, and opportunities

Strategy development • Initiate and contribute to the design, implementation and oversight of programmatic initiatives as directed in specific interest areas. May lead work groups to design and manage current initiatives and projects to achieve key team objectives • Serve as a partner to the Vice President of Programs in identifying strategic objectives and direction

Opportunity development • Proactively survey and monitor the local, state, regional and national environments and identify and develop the key relationships necessary to create strategically consistent deal structures • Analyze, prepare and present investment recommendations to Board and CEO

Building Field Capacity • Identify needs and develop a cadre of established nonprofit partners and intermediaries who can function as long-term partners with whom the Foundation can work to affect desired strategic outcomes Rasmuson Foundation - Program Officer 3 • Provide technical assistance as needed

Public Policy • Monitor the field for all public policy-related developments to help further the Foundation’s goal of promoting a better life for Alaskans. Work with the communications team to develop a strategy and related information resources that inform the public, opinion leaders and policy makers about significant issues and trends

Leadership • Provide intellectual and operational leadership, working closely with the Foundation’s leadership team • Serve as a resource to staff to identify professional development opportunities for individual team members and staff as a whole • Represent the Foundation at public meetings and events, as needed. • Represent the Foundation’s interests on boards, committees, and special projects at the local, state, and national levels, as assigned Special projects • As assigned by the Vice President of Programs

Qualifications • Alignment with the Foundation’s missions and values • A professional or master’s degree in an area of Foundation interest preferred; bachelor’s degree required. The Foundation’s primary interests are arts and culture, community development, health, and social services • A minimum of five years of increasingly responsible work experience in a specific subject-matter area and/or sector of importance to the Foundation • Proven experience in the philanthropic or nonprofit sectors and nonprofit accounting preferred • Knowledge of the structure and operational nature of foundations desired. Staff and/or board level nonprofit experience a plus • Demonstrated experience collaborating with partners to achieve collective impact is an advantage, as is experience in impact investing • Demonstrated leadership and management skill, including ability to manage internal and external teams effectively and to supervise external professional consultants • Proven research, financial and analytical skills, including ability to critique business plans and render sound judgments on the relative risk of investments • A communications orientation as evidenced by a working knowledge of and commitment to the use of social media tools and techniques • Effective at communicating and listening, possessing superior oral and written communication skills with the ability to communicate in a manner that will advance the Foundation’s values, mission and goals • Agility and creativity as a dedicated team player who enjoys people, fosters a collegial atmosphere with all staff, and proactively stewards interaction of ideas leading to action • Demonstrated ability to plan and think strategically, set realistic goals and objectives, and balance multiple priorities in a very fast-paced environment • High energy level, confident, team and customer-service oriented, with a sense of humor • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value Rasmuson Foundation - Program Officer 4

Application To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume  Please direct questions to: Debbie Bitney VP of Finance & Administration (907) 334-0506 Rasmuson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and its role in building a more inclusive culture and, ultimately, a more capable organization