Program and Policy Officer

826 Broadway # 9, New York, NY 10003, USA
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Job Description

Program and Policy Officer, Program & Impact

About Robin Hood

Robin Hood fights poverty in New York City. Since 1988, we have invested more than $3 billion to help elevate New Yorkers out of poverty by identifying and supporting high-impact community organizations, partnering with government, and advocating for what works so that New York City can be an engine for upward mobility for all. We focus relentlessly on results, and are committed to using research, data, and evidence throughout our work. Because Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers 100% of all administrative, fundraising, and evaluation costs, every dollar donated to Robin Hood goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need. Robin Hood is the largest philanthropic organization focused on poverty in New York City, raising and granting about $130 million to local organizations in our most recent year.

Position Overview

Increasingly, Robin Hood’s philanthropic work integrates multiple disciplines, including grants for direct services and policy advocacy, lobbying, research, community engagement, capacity building and other activities. The Program and Policy Officer is intentionally cross-functional, supporting direct service grants and policy grants as well as advocacy and research, responsible for managing a varied portfolio of grants to address issues affecting New Yorkers living in poverty.

The primary area of focus for the Program and Policy Officer will be to address workforce and income related challenges, with the aim of helping New Yorkers build the skills, careers and assets that enable economic progress and strengthening policies that prevent and cushion financial shocks that thrust New Yorkers into poverty.

The Program and Policy Officer will oversee a portfolio of grants, serve as a resource and thought partner for our community and government partners, and identify potential new investment opportunities. Like other Program Officers and Policy Advisors, the Program and Policy Officer is expected to articulate clear and persuasive rationales for funding new and renewing ongoing programs. This is accomplished by thoroughly understanding the nature of a problem, the landscape of existing and potential solutions, and the evidence about what works, while also conducting comprehensive reviews of performance data and nonprofits’ organizational health.

The Program and Policy Officer will work collaboratively with other Robin Hood staff within the Program & Impact Department and across the organization . As this is a new multi-disciplinary role, the Program and Policy Officer should expect and welcome a degree of ambiguity and experimentation during the early phase of the position and be prepared for the role to evolve with experience.


The direct supervisor for the Program and Policy Officer will be the Managing Director, Adults and Household Supports, but the Program and Policy Officer will also work closely with the Public Policy team. As such the Program and Policy Officer will manage grants and support initiatives being overseen in both the Program and Policy teams.

Key Responsibilities

Manage Grants

  • Monitor grantee performance through analysis of outcomes data, site visits, and independent assessment of progress or setbacks in management and financial reports
  • Develop a clear articulation of the strengths and weaknesses of potential new and renewal grant s and capture them in write-ups and presentations delivered to program staff and board committees
  • Develop contracts and negotiate annual objectives and goals
  • Identify and refine methods for quantifying the impact of an organization’s services using the latest research studies, or by helping to fill research gaps where they exist
  • Collaborate with Robin Hood management acceleration staff to assess community partners’ organizational health with respect to finance, governance, fundraising, strategy, and other areas
  • Build relationships of trust and mutual respect with nonprofit leaders to support them in delivering on their mission
  • Ensure timely preparation of grant write-ups and recommendations to ensure efficient management of grants and preparation of documentation for Board committee meetings
  • Evaluate and revise grant strategies, as necessary, to achieve program and policy priorities under portfolio responsibility

Source New Funding Opportunities

  • Explore, identify, and fund effective approaches to lift New Yorkers out of poverty
  • Understand pressing needs, including through direct input from community members, organizations, advocates and research
  • Identify the most promising or effective interventions, policies, and organizations in the field, keeping open opportunities for direct service, policy, and research grants
  • Rigorously assess potential investments based on strategic fit, potential performance, likelihood for meaningful impact, and organizational strength
  • Develop a clear articulation of the strengths and weaknesses of a potential grant in write-ups and presentations delivered to program staff and board committees

Analyze Public Policy and Governmental Practice

  • In consultation with the Policy team leadership and relevant Program teams, lead efforts to identify, propose, develop, and pursue policy priorities to advance Robin Hood’s poverty-fighting agenda
  • Produce written materials to promote and advance Robin Hood’s policy positions and priorities to various audiences (e.g., policy statements, memos of support or opposition, op eds, etc.)
  • Prepare presentation decks and other materials for meetings with relevant government and non-governmental stakeholders
  • Monitor and conduct timely analysis of relevant proposed and enacted policies and legislation on the city, state, and federal levels impacting Robin Hood’s poverty-fighting agenda

Internal and External Engagement

  • Support Robin Hood’s development and communications staff by providing program knowledge in support of Robin Hood organizational efforts to donors, at events, and through other development programming
  • Help foster and participate [SR1] in cross-department collaboration and coordination between Program and Policy teams and other relevant departments
  • Represent Robin Hood, as assigned, in external forums to convey programmatic, policy and advocacy positions and share learnings related to achieving upward mobility from poverty
  • Engage with nonprofit, government, and philanthropic partners in portfolio-related areas

Required Skills

  • Critical Analysis and Communication
    • Applies sounds reasoning and questions basic assumptions; notices discrepancies and inconsistencies in available information
    • Strong writer; able to distill key information and develop compelling written grant recommendations that articulate clear arguments for funding or defunding work
    • Clarity of presentation; provides direct and clear communication; delivers counsel and feedback to stakeholders; and presents well and persuasively based on sound, well-considered argument rooted in data and evidence
  • Issue Area Expertise: Commands knowledge of one or more content areas, including best practices and core strategies for success
  • Relationship Building: Establishes trust with internal and external stakeholders including leadership at nonprofit organizations and government agencies
  • Initiative: Identifies what needs to be done and takes action before being asked or the situation requires it; takes independent action to improve the ultimate outcome
  • Performance Assessment of Grants: Identifies themes, strengths, and opportunities across quantitative and qualitative data sets and monitors and evaluates organizational performance against established goals


  • B.A. and at least four years of experience required. Master’s degree preferred, but equivalent experience considered
  • Brings experience in government, advocacy or direct service. Background in workforce development required; experience/interest in adult education or other social services preferred
  • Personal or professional experience with low-income communities and New York City preferred
  • Skilled at analyzing data, drawing nuanced findings, and asking questions to refine conclusions
  • Comfortable with reviewing and assessing social science research
  • Able to identify assumptions, make forecasts and make decisions, if required, with limited information
  • Able to speak and write clearly, especially under time pressure
  • Excellent organizational, planning and time-management skills; capacity to multi-task, take initiative, and assume new or additional work quickly and graciously
  • Welcomes feedback and is committed to learning and growing
  • Able to work collaboratively across the organization and acknowledge achievements of others

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Robin Hood is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation in all aspects of its work. As New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, Robin Hood believes that building a diverse team is fundamental to its ability to effectively serve and strengthen organizations serving the most vulnerable communities in the city, and to influence the policies that affect them.

Robin Hood believes in the potential that diversity creates – deep and responsive relationships with its community partners; the ability to solve complex problems efficiently and effectively; and, most importantly, the ability of its diverse staff to work to its full capacity.

Robin Hood builds diversity, inclusion, and equity practices into all aspects of its work. Its practices, values, traditions, and beliefs are embedded in the inclusive culture that it creates. Operationally, its formal and informal structures support a work environment that advances the professional development of staff at all levels, allows for innovation, and grounds its work as poverty fighters.

I n its workplace, diversity equals representation. Robin Hood seeks to attract and retain a staff that reflects the communities that it serves. Racial and ethnic diversity matter to it, as does diversity among other cultural identifiers (ability, educational background, generation, gender, gender expression religion, immigration status, military status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status).

Diversity within Robin Hood's staff is enhanced by its efforts at meaningful inclusion. It ensures that team members are empowered to make decisions, offer actionable feedback, and share credit for team success. Further, Robin Hood seeks to develop its talent professionally and has created an intentional focus on mentorship and sponsorship, particularly of junior staff. its goal is to encourage long term talent retention and engagement, while fostering a culture of innovation.

Robin Hood Guiding Principles

As an organization committed to economic mobility, our work is grounded in the following Guiding Principles :

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Proximity and humanity
  • Risk-taking and innovation

Our professional community reflects myriad demographic characteristics, perspectives, and backgrounds, which includes various identities that reflect diversity in gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic status. Our colleagues have access to opportunity and advancement, as we promote fair and equitable treatment and have encouraged participation by underrepresented groups. As a team, we promote a sense of belonging, high levels of engagement, and shared respect.

  • Robin Hood puts people first. Always.
  • Robin Hood is unafraid to take action and create solutions.
  • Robin Hood is data driven and heart led.
  • Robin Hood works the coat check.

Salary and Benefits

Robin Hood offers a highly competitive and comprehensive salary and package of employee benefits and encourages strong work-life balance. This position is located in New York City.

The salary range for this role is $120,000 - $130,000.

To Apply

Please visit our website to complete our online application.

Robin Hood is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from diverse backgrounds and identities are encouraged to apply.

Please note that Robin Hood Foundation has adopted a COVID-19 vaccination policy to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees. As a condition of employment, Robin Hood employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved or as otherwise required by law.