Community Engagement Officer for Community Philanthropy

Organizational Overview

The mission of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) is to build stronger communities through philanthropy and leadership. We offer donors, nonprofits and community groups the tools and expertise to achieve their philanthropic vision and goals, and identify critical areas where the foundation can leverage its relationships and leadership for lasting impact. Founded in 1987 in Salisbury, Conn., Berkshire Taconic serves Berkshire County, Mass.; Columbia and northeast Dutchess County, N.Y.; and northwest Litchfield County, Conn. In all, we support the residents of 70 towns and three cities across three states, within a 2,200-square-mile region.

Like most community foundations, Berkshire Taconic offers a variety of fund types that allow donors and community groups to build charitable resources and make grants and other awards over time to achieve their philanthropic goals. BTCF has also proactively established funds to address a specific issue in our region or to develop permanent charitable resources to serve a set of communities. This has resulted in the creation and growth of 11 area funds, 33 educational enrichment funds that serve every public school district in our region, and special initiatives to address regional challenges, such as the shortage of high-quality early childhood programs and affordable housing options. In 2017, BTCF adopted a new strategic plan that is focused on three issue-based priorities: increasing educational attainment, from early childhood through adult learning; increasing community engagement; and fostering economic opportunity for all residents.

In total, the foundation manages more than 520 funds totaling over $150 million in combined assets that together make between $7 million and $12 million in grants and other awards each year. BTCF is a learning organization that embraces a culture of high performance, transparency and flexibility. All staff participate in professional development activities on an ongoing basis and work cooperatively as a team, respectful of one another, the volunteer board that guides our work, and the nonprofits and donors who are our vital partners in improving lives around the region. More information can be found at

Position Overview

The Community Engagement Officer works closely with the Director of Philanthropic Services and the Program Director to advance the community foundation’s donor stewardship and strategic priorities, with a focus on area funds in the Northwest Corner (Conn.) and Northeast Dutchess (N.Y.), arts and culture funds and special projects related to the priorities of community engagement and economic development.

Part of a collaborative team of philanthropic services and program staff, s/he is externally focused on the work of building productive relationships with donors and nonprofits, gaining knowledge of the nonprofit sector and issues facing the region, supporting volunteer advisory committees and serving as a foundation representative at community meetings and events. Approximately 45% of the officer’s time will be spent on working with donors and advancement activities; 45% on program-related activities; and 10% on other priorities, including professional development and administrative matters. The position is one of four Community Engagement Officers in a staff structure designed to integrate programmatic and donor services responsibilities.  The position reports to Program Director.

Position Outcomes

The successful Community Engagement Officer will achieve the following outcomes over time, working with other staff, board and volunteers:

  • Stronger relationships with donors and prospective donors in his/her portfolio through regular communication that results in personal visits, attendance at foundation-sponsored events, support of strategic priorities and/or grant proposals referred for consideration, or new gifts
  • Incremental progress toward greater alignment between the grantmaking of area funds and the foundation’s strategic priorities
  • Development of resources to support the implementation of the foundation’s strategic priorities
  • Strategic priorities used effectively to inform donor engagement activities

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop productive working relationships with a portfolio of donors; proactively engage donors through in-person meetings, sharing information on grantmaking opportunities and community foundation leadership initiatives, and responding to fund-related questions. The engagement officer will serve as the key contact/relationship manager for approximately 30 to 45 donors.
  • Participate in new relationship development activities with prospective donors and nonprofits unfamiliar with the foundation and the opportunities it provides.
  • Support major donor activities in partnership with area fund committees.
  • Manage annual appeal and donor communications processes for the Northeast Dutchess and Northwest Corner area funds.
  • Manage a portfolio of competitive grant programs for Northeast Dutchess and Northwest Corner area funds and regional arts and culture funds: 
    • Oversee the committee review process, including:
      • Update and maintain information on committee members
      • Work with committee chairs to schedule review meetings
      • Prepare committee agendas
      • Review applications for eligibility
      • Collaborate with committee chairs to facilitate advisory committee review and decision-making processes
      • Prepare donor stewardship reports
  • Oversight of two special initiatives related to our new strategic priorities:
    • A reorganized initiative, formerly HousingUs, focused on downtown and town center economic development, including affordable housing
    • Trustee Summit, to be launched in 2018 to provide training in effective board service and organizational development
  • Other related duties as assigned by the Program Director or Director of Philanthropic Services


The successful candidate will possess, and have demonstrated in previous roles, the following attributes and skills:

  • College degree required, along with 3-5 years of professional experience
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in the nonprofit sector
  • Familiarity with or willingness to build knowledge of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut and northeast Dutchess County
  • Project management skills and ability to work in deadline-driven environment
  • Critical analysis, oral and written communication skills
  • Public speaking and group facilitation skills
  • Ability to synthesize and organize information with an attention to detail
  • Ability to travel to meetings around the foundation’s region and occasionally to conferences and other professional development opportunities


Commensurate with experience and skills. Benefits include health, dental, life, disability, paid vacation, sick leave and contribution to 403(b) plan.

How to Apply

Please submit resume and cover letter to No calls please.


Applications accepted until filled. Candidate review will begin February 12.