Vice President Grants & Community Initiatives - Hamilton Community Foundation

Sep 27, 2020
Hamilton, Ontario
Entry Level, Early Career

Position Overview

Organization: Hamilton Community Foundation 

Title: Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives 

Reports to: Executive Vice-President, Finance & Operations    

Team: 5: Manager, Grants; Manager, Community Initiatives; Learning & Evaluation Lead; ABACUS Project Manager; Administrative Assistant, Grants

Location: 120 King Street West, Suite 700, Hamilton, Ontario 

Drive Positive Change

HCF contributes time, leadership, and financial support to initiatives that benefit the community, based on an intimate understanding of local needs and opportunities. HCF mobilizes its knowledge, assets, and relationships to address emerging community issues and opportunities. HCF acts to drive positive change and foster a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Hamilton by making grants and loans to local charitable organizations and initiatives. This is your opportunity to make a direct difference to the life of a city by joining a dedicated team that is committed to positive change and excellence. 

Where you can make a real difference

You are a leader, mentor, and consensus-builder – a strategic thinker with a bias for action. 

Contributing to the development of a thriving, diverse and inclusive city excites you. You believe in the power of community, relationships, and socially responsible investment. You have a passion for working with your team to mobilize support and make a positive community impact.  You consider yourself creative and savvy. 

You are a bridge-builder and natural networker. You work successfully with multiple stakeholders as you bring authenticity, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. You are trustworthy: you follow through on your commitments and do the right thing even if it is not easy or popular. 

With experience working in a complex environment, ambiguity does not scare you. In fact, such choice inspires every aspect of your work:  you are entrepreneurial and ready to chart a path, though you thrive in a team environment and excel at fostering talent and growing the leaders of tomorrow. 

Your management colleagues rely on you for your sage council. You are an excellent listener; you ask great questions that get to the root of the problem. You are not quick to make a judgement or recommendation’ you gather the facts, analyze and then propose.

You have credibility with your Board of Directors because you know how to mobilize their support and involvement in a way that is respectful and productive. You do not waste their time because you never lose sight of the goal: positive change. 

You have experience in a granting and community leadership environment. You know how to develop broad community change strategies and granting approaches. You are interested in improving community through partnerships and collaborations. 

Do you want to be part of a high-performing team committed to driving positive change by connecting diverse people, ideas, and resources? If this sounds like you, read on. 

The Organization

The oldest community foundation in Ontario, Hamilton Community Foundation has been a leader in Hamilton since its founding in 1954. 

Hamilton Community Foundation is unique from other local charities because donors may choose to support any area of charitable interest. Hamilton Community Foundation invests donations and uses the income to support granting with the aim to bolster Hamilton quality of life. Hamilton Community Foundation also offers loans to charities, not-for-profits, and social enterprises. 

Since its inception, Hamilton Community Foundation has granted over $133 million, distributed across the arts, education, environment, health and human services, and recreation. The Foundation connects philanthropy with community needs and opportunities. It currently oversees over $200 million in total assets and last year issued almost 900 grants to 318 organizations 

Community leadership is a hallmark of Hamilton Community Foundation. It addresses priority areas that affect Hamiltonians by mobilizing HCF’s knowledge, assets, and relationships to address emerging issues and opportunities. Examples of Hamilton Community Foundation’s community leadership projects include:

ABACUS: Advancing Post-Secondary Access

ABACUS is an initiative that focuses on improving the academic, community, and environmental factors that most directly affect students’ likelihood of continuing their education. By starting the intervention in middle school, Hamilton students facing multiple barriers will increasingly access post-secondary education. Learn more about ABACUS.

Strengthening Neighbourhoods and Reducing Poverty

Hamilton Community Foundation launched a multi-year commitment to poverty reduction in 2002 with a focus on strengthening low-income neighbourhoods, community development, and engaging and supporting residents to take leadership roles and have a voice in the changes needed. Learn more about how Hamilton Community Foundation is strengthening neighbourhoods and reducing poverty.

Neighbourhood Leadership Institute

At the Neighbourhood Leadership Institute, people put their ideas into action. They receive leadership training while growing a locally developed project area, developing skills such as project management, conflict resolution, communication, grant writing, and public speaking along the way. Participants also can develop their ideas into a tangible project which may be put into action in their neighbourhood. Learn more about the Neighbourhood Leadership Institute. 

Impact Investing 

As a public foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation exists to advance their mission and vision in the interest of the public good and in support of their donors’ intentions. They challenge the premise that their investments are only a means to create income to fund granting and operations of the Foundation. Recognizing that all investments have impact, they believe their investments can be powerful tools to accelerate achieving their vision and mission. They are committed to aligning 100% of their investments in support of their vision, mission, and values through:

  • Impact investing:  Investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial returns and for which this impact is measured
  • Responsible investing:  Investments that integrate environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) into their selection and management.

To date, Hamilton Community Foundation has invested $25 million toward impact investment with an additional $15 million committed pending placement.  Impact investments cover areas including affordable housing, arts, environment, and sustainable development. Learn more about Impact Investing.

Vital Signs 

Vital Signs is a citizen’s report from Hamilton Community Foundation on a range of issues affecting Hamiltonians – from safety, transportation, the arts, and the environment to education, gaps between rich and poor and getting started in the community. It highlights the latest research, trends, progress, and challenges, and provides an overall snapshot of the Hamilton communities quality of life. View the latest report.

The Position

The Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives is a senior leadership position at Hamilton Community Foundation. The successful candidate will succeed a long-time leader well regarded within the Foundation and the Hamilton community at large. The Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives will manage a high-performing team of five, accountable for developing, implementing, and overseeing the Foundation’s granting and community initiatives. The new VP and team will analyze community needs, and design and develop the complex granting and community leadership strategies to support those areas of need. They will focus their work on the impact the grants and community leadership initiatives can have on Hamilton. The successful candidate will oversee a granting budget of $8-$11 million annually. 

The Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives will provide overall leadership and direction for HCF’s grant programs; experience in developing grantmaking strategies will be considered an asset. In addition, the successful candidate will continually develop key relationships within Hamilton and beyond. 

The Vice-President will be heavily involved in strategic planning, working directly with the Board of Directors, and providing sage council and support to the CEO and EVP. The successful candidate will be mature, thoughtful, professional, and team-oriented – ideally with a great sense of humour! The new Vice-President will be a roll-up-your-sleeves team player who will go the extra mile to achieve HCF’s mission and be a passionate advocate for community and positive change. 

Primary Accountabilities


  • Design the approach, implementation, assessment and evaluation of grants programs, community initiatives and special projects that advance strategic objectives
  • Undertake and share analysis related to the design with staff, Board Members, committee members, donors, and other stakeholders
  • Design and implement community strategies to obtain financial, community, political, and other support to achieve the goals and outcomes identified within grants programs, community initiatives, and special projects
  • Provide support, insight and expertise to the organization, CEO, EVP, staff, and consultants related to impact investment
  • Oversee the effective management of grantmaking processes for all funds held by HCF
  • Provide leadership to the HCF Board and advisory committees associated with Foundation grant programs, community initiatives, and special projects
  • Ensure and support a culture of continuous/quality improvement within Grants & Community Initiatives 
  • Report on progress and outcomes of community initiatives internally (senior management, Board) and externally (advisory committees, community, donors)


  • Develop, nurture, and maintain relationships and partnerships with key individuals, donors, and organizations in Hamilton and beyond
  • Be informed and current on research and best practices; in turn, be able to provide insight and analysis to the Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders on issues relevant to strategic priorities, the organization, and the community 


  • Collaborate with the Hamilton Community Foundation senior management team and Board of Directors to define and implement the long-term strategic and operational plans  


  • Attract, inspire, engage, develop, and lead Grants & Community Initiatives team members and provide oversight to consultants
  • Oversee and supervise performance evaluation to ensure performance contributes to achieving grantmaking and community initiatives goals efficiently and effectively
  • Support coaching and collaborative culture within the organization, including creating inter-departmental team-building opportunities
  • Provide counsel to the CEO and EVP as well as to the Board of Directors as it relates to impact investing, grants, and other priority initiatives 


  • Contribute to the communications and marketing plans for the Foundation, particularly as they relate to grants and community initiatives
  • Identify organizational needs for which external consultants may be required; identify and develop an appropriate resource plan
  • Develop and manage the Grants & Community Initiatives budget in collaboration with the EVP, Finance & Operations

The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications and/or characteristics:

  • Relevant education ideally in management, public policy, or health/social services or another relevant/transferrable field
  • Relevant experience, including senior management and people management experience
  • Skilled verbal and written communicator, possessing persuasive writing ability and general business acumen
  • Skilled creative and strategic problem-solver
  • Demonstrated leadership in community building, change management, program design and implementation 
  • A champion for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and community at large
  • Comfortable managing through ambiguity and able to make decisions 
  • Savvy, organized, politically aware and comfortable managing multiple stakeholders
  • Effective people and relationship manager who values teamwork and mutual respect 

Application Instructions 

Hamilton Community Foundation is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion within its community and welcomes applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, women, persons with disabilities, persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, and others who may contribute to furthering the diversity of ideas.

If you are looking for an outstanding challenge, working with a great team for a, uniquely focused organization, then what are you waiting for?  Apply now by sending your application to Lindsay Preston at Please include your cover letter and CV and please outline your salary expectations. The deadline for applications is Friday, September 11, 2020. 

We thank you for your interest in this opportunity. Please note only qualified respondents will be contacted.

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