SCE is Hiring!

SCE is a Chicago-based foundation with a national purview. The focus of our work is on preparing youth to thrive in a rapidly changing world, with an emphasis on cultivating social and emotional skills and building healthy and purposeful relationships with technology. Foundations traditionally work in proven areas where results can be predicted. SCE is more likely to make calculated and thoughtful risks, moving beyond traditional grantmaking to explore new areas of impact, forge innovative partnerships, and find points of leverage.

We are currently seeking an entrepreneurial thinker to work with a small team as a Program Associate to advance SCE’s mission. The Program Associate will be responsible for managing initiatives and relationships with a portfolio of partners and identifying new opportunities for investment in our areas of interest. The Program Associate will manage external communications and support the Senior Director and Executive Director in managing SCE’s grantmaking operations and strategy. The Program Associate reports to the Senior Director.


  • Project Management. Manage a portfolio of active grants and initiatives, review reports and maintain accurate records and constructive contact with grantees. Assist with learning community cohort development and related activities in the Youth Sports and Tech and Society programs. Contribute to meetings that relate to program development, growth and impact. Identify, develop and execute project ideas; prioritize, plan and coordinate activities.
  • Industry Research and Landscape Analysis. Contribute to SCE’s efforts to develop deep knowledge of youth sports, technology and society, social and emotional learning and of the philanthropic landscape. Research trends, interview experts and identify opportunities to enhance the organization’s mission and effectiveness.
  • Brand and Communications. Manage the development of external communications (including social media, web and print content) that provide a concise message about SCE’s point of view and program areas, and represent SCE to the public, media, and philanthropic community. Responsible for blogging, social media strategy and activity (Twitter and Facebook), and website content updates.
  • Grantmaking. Assist in managing the grants process: research and identification of promising projects and grantees, requests for proposal, screening and review, grant agreements, payment, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. Provide technical assistance to grantees, and contribute information towards the Trustee’s knowledge-building and budgetary and grant review process. Support the development of new procedures for evaluation and impact measurement for all programs.
  • Organizational Strategy and Operations. Contribute to the collaborative process of developing goals, objectives, and operational plans for the organization. Assist in preparation of Board meetings and related materials. Provide support in managing SCE’s day-to-day administration. Maintain written and electronic records of all SCE meetings, correspondence, grant requests, forms, and financial transactions.

The ideal candidate possesses the following qualities and technical skills:

  • Three to five years of relevant work experience
  • Entrepreneurial oriented, bold thinker
  • Track record of devising ways to build successful initiatives that begin as aspirational concepts
  • A strong interest in innovation; a willingness to think unconventionally while maintaining an understanding of traditional methods and approaches
  • Ability to adapt and be nimble in strategic operations and work with ambiguity
  • An energetic self-starter able to work independently as well as within a team
  • Intellectually curious, willing to research topics and interview experts in a variety of fields
  • Solid research and analytic skills; an ability to cull insights from large bodies of knowledge and complex concepts and develop readable briefs and recommendations
  • Knowledge of broad national trends in education, learning and youth development
  • Proficient in using communications platforms such as MailChimp, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook
  • Respectful and ethical; motivated to be a positive force for social change 
  • Strong interpersonal communication and collaboration skills
  • Sense of humor and passion for the mission is required

This position is based in the City of Chicago, but our trustees, grantees, and partners span the country. Must be willing to travel 20% of time. Salary commensurate with experience. For more information on SCE, visit

How to apply:

Please submit resume, cover letter and two-page writing sample via attachment to with the subject heading “SCE Program Associate.”