Program Associate

Onion Foundation | Auburn, ME

Posted Date 3/18/2024


The Onion Foundation is a private charitable foundation established in 2014, with offices in Auburn, Maine. Its mission is to build a healthy and more equitable Maine by deepening the connection of all people to the arts and to nature. The Foundation focuses most of its work on two program areas. The Environment Program aims to enable all Maine residents, especially in rural areas, to enjoy the state’s natural resources and to develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation to protect Maine’s environment. The Arts Programs seeks to connect Maine residents to arts experiences as audience members and as makers in order to offer opportunities for expression, learning, and inspiration.  

Since its creation, the Foundation has made over 1600 grants, totaling approximately $19 million, to more than 515 unique non-profit organizations in the state of Maine. The Onion Foundation is committed to leveraging its resources to reduce systemic inequities so all people in Maine can fully realize their potential. The Foundation’s values—equity, learning and creativity, inclusion and diversity, and accessibility and transparency— capture what it stands for as an organization, informs its decision making and programs, and guides it in building a healthy and more equitable Maine.

Within its two program areas, the Foundation undertakes grantmaking, capacity building, convening, educational, and advocacy activities. The Foundation also actively participates in and supports the philanthropic community in Maine.



A newly created position, the Program Associate provides critical administrative and programmatic support to the Environment Program and to the Arts Program. The Program Associate responds to requests for information and assistance related to the programs generally as well as to specific inquiries about funding opportunities and grants, administrative issues, fiscal matters, and events hosted or sponsored by the Foundation. The Program Associate assists with docket preparation and grantee monitoring, organizes internal and external meetings, schedules site visits, helps to develop and manages internal and public educational meetings and workshops, and handles logistics relating to Foundation sponsored events, including capacity building and training sessions. The Program Associate assists Program Officers with grants administration and communication tasks, in coordination with the Grants and Office Administrator. As requested, the Program Associate also engages in research and provides support in emerging areas of grantmaking. The position reports to two Program Officers.



  • Performing grant administration tasks requested by the Program Officers, in coordination with the Grants and Officer Administrator

  • Running reports on grant making, grant characteristics, grant requirements, and program expenditures as requested by Program Officers

  • Monitoring grants through review of narrative and financial reports

  • Fielding and responding to inquiries about application opportunities, grants, and other program matters

  • Communicating with applicants and grantees as requested by Program Officers

  • Participating actively in staff and team meetings

  • Organizing and handling logistics for internal and external meetings, including tracking participation in capacity building initiatives supported by the Foundation

  • Arranging site visits and multi-party meetings

  • Handling clerical tasks, including drafting, proofreading, and tracking Program Officers’ communication

  • Assisting with logistics, travel arrangements, materials, and other aspects related to meetings, conferences, publications, presentations, and webinars

  • Conducting internet and other research as requested by Program Officers

  • Representing the Onion Foundation at various grantee and other meetings and synthesizing meeting discussions for Foundation staff and board members

  • Other tasks as requested by the Executive Director



  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or equivalent practical experience

  • A minimum of three years of administrative and programmatic experience in the workforce, preferably in the non-profit sector

  • Familiarity with the nonprofit environment and arts sectors in Maine is a plus



  • Excellent computer skills, including expertise in Microsoft Office, Google Suite, DropBox, and PowerPoint

  • Ability to master the Foundation’s grant administration software, GivingData, and willingness to learn new platforms as needed to facilitate grant and contact management, data integrity, workflows, and efficiency

  • Excellent organizational skills and consistent attention to detail, priorities, and deadlines

  • Ability to multitask

  • Ability to establish and implement systems and procedures to help organize a busy office and to track the progress of program initiatives, grants, and correspondence

  • Strong writing and proofreading skills

  • Familiarity with tracking financial information

  • Capacity to undertake internet and other research and clearly present information

  • Ability to manage confidential issues and act with discretion

  • Excellent interpersonal skills

  • Strong listening and communication skills, with sensitivity to cultural communication differences

  • High level of self-motivation, a strong work ethic, and, when necessary, ease working independently

  • Ability and desire to work with a diverse group of individuals and as a member of a team

  • An interest in the work of nonprofit organizations and a commitment to advancing equity and social and racial justice

  • Capacity for self-reflection and a sense of humor



The Onion Foundation office is in Auburn, Maine. The Program Associate must be available to work in the Auburn office three days each week and may work remotely other days. The position may occasionally require travel, including outside of business hours, to attend conferences and meetings.



The Program Associate typically performs functions in an office setting with a low level of noise. The Foundation will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the job functions. The Onion Foundation requires employees to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as a condition of employment and to provide proof of such vaccination prior to commencement of employment.



  • Salary range: $45,000 to $55,000 based on experience

  • Full time: 36-hour week

  • Generous, comprehensive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, and disability insurance; four weeks paid vacation; flexible savings plan for dependent care and for medical expenses; and, an employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement account with up to a 6% employer contribution



Forward a cover letter and resume by April 14, 2024 to The Foundation will not consider an application without a cover letter.

The Onion Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages individuals from communities that historically have experienced discrimination to apply.

Salary45,000.00 - 55,000.00 Annual
Job Function
Program Officer | Other
Workplace Type

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