Orton Family Foundation – Senior Associate, Programs


Join our effort to help develop stronger and healthier towns across America! As a new member of the Programs team, you will help deliver the Foundation’s four-phase Community Heart & Soul® model and expand its adoption by training partner organizations via remote and in-person training workshops and seminars. The Foundation is interested in candidates who have experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated commitment to improving lives for all, regardless of background.  


The Orton Family Foundation empowers people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging, and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of small towns across the country.  Orton employees are deeply involved in helping community members discover their shared emotional connections and love of where they live, and using their Heart & Soul learning as their guide for the future.


To learn more about our work, please visit: https://www.orton.org/.


As we are looking to fill this position as soon as possible, qualified applicants will be considered and interviewed on a rolling basis. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter via the form on the website or to info@orton.org.  

You may also request a confidential conversation with our search partner, Beth Gilpin Consulting, if you’d like more information before deciding whether or not to apply; you can reach her at beth@bethgilpin.com

We look forward to hearing from you.


Position Summary

The Senior Associate, Programs reports to the Director of Programs and plays a key role in the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to refine and improve the method while supporting the organization to bring Community Heart & Soul to towns across America. The Senior Associate, Programs assists the Foundation in spreading the use of Community Heart & Soul by working with other interested organizations via remote and in-person training workshops and seminars.


Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities

Program Development and Implementation


  • Help expand the adoption of Community Heart & Soul to hundreds of communities across America;


  • Provide as-needed direct and indirect technical assistance to partners and communities;
  • Mentor, teach, and train Community Heart & Soul philosophy, principles, and methods to a national network of place-based partners, community coaches and professionals to become certified;
  • Deliver training programs in a variety of settings and formats via on-line technology such as videos and webinars, classroom settings, community centers, and conference workshops;
  • Collaborate with partners to co-design and deliver training of Community Heart & Soul while strengthening and enhancing these relationships;
  • Assist in developing and refining tools, guides, training workbooks, web-based curricula, and techniques through directed research and field evaluation;
  • Look for opportunities to add or enhance relationships and networks that expand the spread of Community Heart & Soul and share with appropriate departments to nurture those connections;
  • Collaborate with the Programs team to research and adopt innovative methods to improve effectiveness of Community Heart & Soul for civic engagement, place-based practices, values-based planning, and community decision-making designed for small towns;
  • Collaborate with others at Orton in writing content for various publications, presentation materials, and local and national awards; as well as in strategic partnerships work;
  • Write content for resources and tools used for training Community Heart & Soul;
  • Manage agreements with strategic partners, as assigned by the Director of Programs;
  • Assist with Foundation-sponsored events including, workshops, trainings, convenings, and conferences; and
  • Assist the Director of Programs in developing and executing program strategies.


Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes

  • Commitment to the Community Heart & Soul program and affinity for the Foundation’s mission;
  • Demonstrated passion for learning and teaching others;
  • Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated commitment to improving lives for all, regardless of background;
  • Ability to deliver powerful presentations;
  • Strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to develop, build, and manage relationships;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize tasks;
  • Analytical mindset and intellectual curiosity;
  • Ability to work independently and to collaborate as a team member;
  • Ability to handle stress with grace;
  • Affinity for working in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment;
  • Positive “can-do” professional work attitude and ethic.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in planning, urban studies, sociology human geography, or related field;
  • Minimum of five years of professional work experience in small town civic engagement, community organizing, place-based practices, values-based planning, or community development;

Please note that consideration will be given to individuals without a degree but who possess at least eight years of relevant professional work experience.

  • Experience with community organizing, development, planning or place-based work is strongly preferred;
  • Strong computer skills and knowledge of MS Office Suite, Internet, database applications and software and technologies used in community engagement and training;
  • A valid driver’s license;
  • Ability to travel approximately 30% of time.

This position is based in our Shelburne, Vermont, office. Orton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.


Job Details

  • Position Type: Unknown / Not Applicable
  • Location: Chittenden County
  • Employment Type/ Status: Full Time