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Director of Healthy Communities

Topeka, KS

Company: Sunflower Foundation
Job Title: Director of Healthy Communities
Job Classification: Full-Time
Work Schedule: Normal operating hours of 8:00-5:00, M-F, or as agreed upon
Compensation: $95,000-$105,000/yr. - Compensation based on experience
Location: Topeka, KS
Reporting Relationship: Senior Vice President of Programs and Strategy

Primary Accountabilities:

The Director of Healthy Communities is a key member of the foundation’s staff, reporting to the Senior Vice President of Programs and Strategy and working with the President/CEO, program team and other foundation staff, and members of the Board of Trustees to successfully develop, manage, and drive strategic projects and initiatives to support the foundation’s mission and vision. Specifically, this position will oversee development and implementation of grantmaking designed to support the policies, systems, structures, and environments that optimize the health and well-being of all Kansans primarily at the community level, using a collection of curated programmatic priorities and effectively designed evaluation plans. Responsibilities include researching and developing written funding recommendations for Board review, reviewing grant applications, conducting site visits; providing technical assistance to applicants and grantees; designing group learning events, managing internal grantmaking processes, procedures and systems; and developing strong relationships with community-based nonprofits, leaders, volunteers and advocates; entities of local government and public officials; relevant statewide organizations and relevant state agency staffs; community, state and national-level stakeholders; and other funders.

Major Duties:

  • Partners with the program team, other foundation staff and consultants to evolve the work of the healthy communities area through implementation of evidence based and promising practices, innovation and novel ideas, developing and managing the needed activities, infrastructure, deliverables, and resources to produce short term (1-3 years) and longer term (3+ years) impact noting that Sunflower Foundation’s service area includes 105 Kansas counties and the state’s four sovereign Native nations.
  • Consistently seeks new knowledge from a myriad of trusted sources (e.g., scientific literature review, field of philanthropy, public agencies, relevant meetings and conferences, professional networks, grantee input, etc.) to inform current and future grantmaking practices in the foundation’s selected areas of interest to advance healthy communities.
  • Works proactively to engage communities and organizations across the entire state in a collaborative way by traveling, meeting, and listening to a diverse set of stakeholders, with special attention to underserved and historically overlooked populations including rural and frontier.
  • Collaborates with applicants to design responsive proposals and present for staff discussion and recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
  • Designs and implements requests for proposals (RFP) as directed by the Board of Trustees, including oversight for the grant review process.
  • Conducts preliminary research to conceptualize new program initiatives and/or revise ongoing initiatives, using external consultation and technical assistance as needed.
  • Designs and executes program monitoring process for grants and special projects; assure that all pre-grant and open grant management requirements are met, including review of progress and expenditure reports, as needed.
  • Arranges for technical assistance for grants programs and initiatives as needed, overseeing any related contract work.
  • Conceptualizes and, with input from the president/CEO, staff and consultants, plans “Learning Collaboratives” for grantees and other stakeholders.
  • Partners with grantees and staff to ensure that a meaningful evaluation plan is in place, coordinating alignment with the foundation’s strategic plan.
  • Provides story ideas, share news of grantee successes, and collaborate with staff to promote strategic communications of the work of the foundation.
  • Pursues opportunities to promote Sunflower’s mission and strategic initiatives through such methods as policy development, advancing statewide networks, convening, and collaborating with other key organizations.
  • Actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with Director of Health Systems when a cross-sector approach makes the most sense.
  • Provides topic-specific reports as requested by the President/CEO concerning current and/or proposed program areas.
  • Conducts site visits with grantees to enhance communication, project understanding and the ability to assess outcomes.
  • Assumes a share of office functions which requires an “all hands-on deck” approach including meeting planning, set-up, clean-up, logistics, administrative tasks, and communications.
  • Assists, as needed, with the communication of information to policymakers, community representatives, grantees and potential grantees, other funders, and the general public.
  • Represents the foundation locally and nationally with philanthropic and other professional organizations.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. A master’s degree is preferred.
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience working in the field of community and/or public health, a nonprofit connected to the Social Determinants of Health, or a health-related grantmaking organization is required. A background in the foundation’s selected areas of interest around healthy communities is preferred.
  • Excellence in communication, both orally and written, is required, as is exceptional “customer service” to all those who contact the foundation.
  • Good judgment, reliable, common sense, and maturity, with an ability to identify and address organizational needs, make decisions, develop, and justify recommendations, resolve conflicts and be responsive is required.
  • Smart, high-energy, self-motivating and self-confident person, with a wide-ranging curiosity and deep interest in the work of the program area, the foundation, and the communities and organizations that it serves. This includes the social determinants of health, resident-driven change, and the patterns of health-related community development across the spectrum of geographically and demographically diverse populations in Kansas.
  • A deep sense of humility and respect for others with the willingness to listen and learn from grantees/potential grantees, foundation team, and partners.
  • Willingness to travel across the state by car and meet communities “where they are at,” literally. Must be self-directed, efficient, and mindful of foundation resources when making travel plans.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of organizations from across the state, region, and nation.
  • Ability to work as a team member in a small group, collegial environment where differing viewpoints and give-and-take are expected and encouraged.
  • The ability to think creatively and strategically about the broad goals of the foundation while remaining focused on the detail-oriented work and follow-through required by this position.
  • The ability to play an effective leadership role in healthy community topics in Kansas and the national philanthropic landscape.
  • Dress, personal hygiene, demeanor and language must be impeccable.
  • Ability to work creatively with grant applicants and recipients, and with colleagues in the community, state and nationally.
  • A sense of humor and a constructive, positive outlook.

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to read mail and talk on the phone.
  • Must be able to speak and listen effectively.
  • Ability to work on the computer for hours at a time and concentrate on detailed information.
  • Vision abilities for close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception.
  • Sit, stand, and walk for extended periods of time.
  • Bend, kneel and reach items with use of hands to finger, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls.
  • Unpack, lift, and move items up to fifty (50) pounds.
  • Travel to community partners across the state expected (<25%).

Work Environment:

  • Professional and deadline-oriented environment in an office setting.
  • Interaction with staff and customers.

Additional Duties:

Additional duties and responsibilities may be added to this job description at any time. The job description does not state or imply that these are the only activities to be performed by the employee(s) holding this position. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related responsibilities as requested by their supervisor.

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