EMPLOYMENT POSTING: Director of Programs

Our Mission and Our Call: Empowering Communities, Changing Lives.

The Urban League of West Michigan is the city's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering Blacks/African Americans. Founded in 1943, The Urban League is a multi-service, non-profit, impact organization, with a long established reputation and overarching goal of promoting social and economic stability among African-American families and others, as well as advocating and striving for the achievement of racial equity throughout Grand Rapids, Kent County, and West Michigan.



The Urban League of West Michigan seeks an energetic Director of Programs who is passionate about promoting social and economic stability in the communities we serve. The Director of Programs oversees the organization’s employment, housing, education and health program areas; ensuring programs are delivered with excellence and in alignment with the ULWM mission, vision, and values. Supporting a diverse, growing team is a critical function of this role, as is the ability to engage a range of diverse stakeholders that includes fellow team members, advisory groups, funders, foundations, sponsors, and practitioners. As a member of the senior management team, the Director of Programs works in close partnership with the President & CEO and VP& COO, participates in short- and long-term program planning, fundraising, budget oversight, multi-year deliverables, and knowledge management. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated passion for the public humanities and an ability to unite and engage diverse groups of people.



The Program Director oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of ULWM programs, including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling program activities. 



  • Provides leadership and direction to 4 Direct Reports.
  • Leads and participates in staff and department meetings and Professional Development.
  • Recruits, interviews and selects well-qualified program staff.
  • Manages the performance management process for all program staff.
  • Ensures all staff members receive orientation and appropriate training.


Strategic Planning

  • Plans, develops, implements, and coordinates an annual program plan for all programs in accordance with the mission and goals of Urban League of West Michigan.
  • Develops a program evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the program and to identify areas for improvement, through administering surveys, conducting program evaluations and annual written analysis of member needs and interests. Compiles monthly statistical reports reflecting activities and attendance/ participation.
  • Develops new initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Develops and implements long-term goals and objectives to achieve the successful outcome of all programs.
  • Ensures that program activities operate within the policies and procedures of the organization.
  • Report evaluation findings to the VP & COO and recommend changes to enhance the program, as appropriate.



  • Provides input to annual budget and operating plan to support programming. Ensure programs operate within the approved budget.
  • Manages expenditures against approved annual budget; makes program expenditure recommendations and budget adjustments.
  • Ensures grant and funding requirements are implemented, tracked, and evaluated in collaboration with Leadership.
  • Develops funding proposals for the program to ensure the continuous delivery of services.


Partnership Development

  • Develops and maintains collaborative partnerships.
  • Develops and maintains public relations, promoting ULWM within the communities we serve.



  • Maintains close contact with the executive leadership team, attends leadership meetings, and reports critical information to executive leadership.
  • Maintains close, daily contact with program staff and management to interpret and explain organization mission, program objectives, discuss issues, and provides/receives information.
  • Communicates with stakeholders to gain community support for the program and to solicit input to improveprograms
  • Cultivates existing relationships with vendors, community groups, companies and schools with the goal of ensuring sufficient resources and access to services 


Additional Responsibilities

  • Supports and participate in fundraising events or community events after typical operating hours and occasionally on weekends
  • May be required to drive ULWM vehicles.



  • Highest personal integrity, standards, and professional ability in business practices and program development.
  • A minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, or equivalent experience.
  • A minimum of five years work experience in a non-profit agency or related field with experience in operations, supervision, and management or an equivalent combination of experience and education.
  • Considerable knowledge of program development and the basic principles and practices of non-profits.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize, direct, inspire and coordinate operations, personnel supervision, recruitment and retention of key staff, facilities management, and budget management.
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, Board members, community groups, and other agencies.



$60,000 - $75,0000 annually



If you're passionate about eliminating racism, empowering men, women and children and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, we want you on our team! 

We have partnered with S.S. Consulting & Services to manage this search. Please email your resume to Shaquanda Gordon at ssconsultinggr@gmail.com with the Subject: Director of Programs for consideration.













745 Eastern Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, 616-245-2207