January 15, 2016

Sample Job Description: Vice President, Programs

This sample job description shares how one large nonprofit's vice president of programs oversees the general management of all program areas, which includes program development, delivery, and evaluation, as well as fundraising, budget setting, knowledge management, and all external relationship management.

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The vice president of programs of this organization oversees the general management of all program areas, which includes program development, delivery, and evaluation, as well as fundraising, budget setting, knowledge management, and all external relationship management.

Feel free to use and modify this sample job description to help you create one for your organization.

Sample Description

XYZ Nonprofit
Vice President, Programs

The Vice President (VP), Programs will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for all program areas. The position will be a part of the senior management team that drives the overall strategy for the organization and represents XYZ Nonprofit on a local, regional, and national basis. With a program budget of $2.5 million and a staff of X, the VP, Programs will initially develop deep knowledge of each project, program operations, and business plan, and will focus on the following three areas: program leadership and management, external relationships, and knowledge management.


Program Leadership & Management:

  • Enhance, flesh out, and implement organizational vision as established in XYZ Nonprofit's Strategic Plan.
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence.
  • Demonstrate consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the program goals.
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance.
  • Work with staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management.
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.

External Relationships:

  • Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing programs and the growth of XYZ Nonprofit; cultivate existing relationships and develop new funder relationships.
  • Manage relationships with partner organizations.

Knowledge Management:

  • Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge that is generated by the programs.
  • Develop dissemination system to share organizational learning with a broad range of communities.
  • Ensure that key project outcomes and/or policy, advocacy, and legislation are evaluated and leveraged for maximum community and organizational impact.
  • Work collaboratively with the senior management team to integrate cross program activities and functions.


The VP, Programs will be thoroughly committed to XYZ Nonprofit's strategy and mission. All candidates should have demonstrated leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience and strong demonstrated success managing funder relationships.

Specific requirements include:

  • Program Leadership and Management: This individual will have taken a hands-on approach in leading a variety of initiatives. The ideal candidate will have a track record of effectively leading a performance-based and outcome-based program and staff. She or he will have developed and operationalized strategies that have taken a program or organization to the next stage of growth
  • Team Building and Development: The successful candidate will have recruited, managed, and developed a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and development professionals. This individual will serve as a “player/coach” to motivate and mentor his or her team
  • Exceptional Communication and Influencing Skills: As a voice/advocate XYZ Nonprofit, the VP, Programs will have strong written and verbal communication skills. She or he will be a persuasive, credible, and polished communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills. This individual must work collaboratively with internal as well as external partners and other organizations, providing exposure for program impact in a variety of professional journals and other media outlets. Ideally, this person will have served as an effective spokesperson at the national level.
  • Advanced degree, with at least 10 years of management experience
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and excellence in organizational and project management with the ability to achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Strong demonstrated fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders including advisory groups, coalitions, forums, trade associations, foundations, corporate sponsors, and practitioner groups
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed with demonstrated passion for XYZ Nonprofit's mission and commitment to working collaboratively with a management team of senior professionals
  • Solid judgment and apparent leadership skills
  • A team player, who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment
  • An individual who is able to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities
  • Impeccable integrity
  • Strong analytical skills; basic business intuition, and common sense
  • Strong work ethic

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