Community Jobs » Chief Program Officer

Chief Program Officer

Proving the Next Economy is Possible

It’s time to put all you’ve learned in business in service to people and planet. You have been training for this moment all of your professional life. You know how the startup world works – incubators, accelerators, funds, lean, business models and finance – and you are ready to lead the charge to give it a major upgrade. People and Planet! You get it! You know that our economic system needs to be circular, regenerative, inclusive, equitable and participatory and see how the current models and systems aren’t designed to achieve this. You believe that the energy of capitalism can be harnessed for sustainability, community, humans and the earth which sustains us. You still have hope! And so do we!

The Centre for Social Innovation is proving that new business models are possible. With entrepreneurship, collaboration and systems change as our core DNA and the power of social innovation at our back, we are focusing on markets as the place to prioritize our work.

CSI is stepping up to build this Next Economy – one that is regenerative, equitable and prosperous for all. Are you ready to lead?

About the Centre for Social Innovation

Since our founding in 2004, CSI has been innovating new solutions – from being the first coworking space in Canada to creating the Community Bonds, CSI is proving that we can make change and do it differently. We have served over 5,000 individuals and organizations, incubated 1,700 social ventures and accelerated the impact of 450 promising enterprises. Our members generate $270 M annually to the economy and generate almost 500 jobs each year. Every day, we work with hundreds of social purpose organizations to help them break down barriers, turn ideas into action that demonstrate new models are possible and that prove that we don’t have to exploit, extract and exclude. We are Toronto-based and have strong partnerships provincially and nationally.

Are you ready for the job of a lifetime, for a real opportunity to make a difference? Are you ready to lead a team to fundamentally shift our economic systems for a more people and planet first world? If this is you… if you are an entrepreneur that has been working to create new, transformative systems, join us. You could be CSI’s first Chief Program Officer. We are ready to change the world and we need you!

About the Role

The Chief Program Officer will play a pivotal leadership role in driving our Next Economy Strategy and leading the next chapter of CSI’s evolution.

Our Campaign for the Next Economy has a singular, achievable goal: to bring the most promising and transformative models, enterprises and solutions to reality. We’re dedicated to proving that we can both create meaningful jobs and solve our social and environmental challenges in the process. We focus on accelerating the success of early stage entrepreneurs working on climate and social ventures, by building inclusive education and acceleration pathways, strengthened through the power of community.

The CPO will: oversee and develop CSI’s growing portfolio of Next Economy programs and services; diversify program funding and help build new social impact investment streams to support early stage entrepreneurs; monitor and evaluate program effectiveness; raise CSI’s profile; and provide mentoring, guidance, supervision and professional development to senior program, fundraising and communication staff.

The CPO will oversee a program portfolio that includes: 1) social impact labs; 2) climate and social venture acceleration and incubation 3) community wealth building initiatives 4) social entrepreneurship education and training; 5) adult workforce and newcomer training – and emerging initiatives that can move us closer to achieving our mission. The CPO will also engage the Board of Directors frequently under the CEO.

Key Competencies

A Builder: The CPO is dedicated, driven and experienced in bringing social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social finance to bear to achieve meaningful change. You’ve played a leading role in building and scaling successful change initiatives and are excited to bring these insights and experiences to help CSI deliver its Next Economy strategy.

Subject Knowledge: You are passionate about creating a more equitable, regenerative and prosperous economy and have an informed analysis on how achieving this “next” economy must take a systems lens to create the necessary market, culture and policy shifts.

Program Experience: You’ve launched or have considerable experience with social impact funds. You have built and run successful incubators and accelerators.

Fundraiser: You are a social entrepreneur at heart and are always looking for earned revenue opportunities. But you also have a strong, proven track record fundraising and/or securing investments from donors, sponsors and investors.

Relationship Builder: You love building relationships. You’re an inspired leader and love to bring out the best in others to help them grow and succeed.

Strategic Thinker and Sensemaker: You have a keen strategic mind and are great at bringing clarity out of complexity. You can connect seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive, impact-focused whole and you have a knack for clear and inspirational communication.

Key Responsibilities

Organizational Leadership and Strategy

  • In collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer and executive team, play a key role in the overall development, strategic planning, program delivery and leadership of the organization across multiple departments and initiatives (including with CSI’s charitable affiliate, the Centre for Social Innovation Institute), as well as across our co-working sites and digital platforms.
  • Lead the implementation of CSI’s emerging Next Economy strategy, including developing, implementing and evaluating new and existing programs and key external relationships that advance the strategy.
  • Play a leadership role in the annual organizational goal setting and budget development process. Maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility, deploying resources efficiently and effectively toward organizational goals.

Program Oversight, Fundraising and Evaluation

  • Establish annual Next Economy programs, departmental and staff goals and objectives and track results against these goals to ensure the effective delivery of qualitative and quantitative goals and outcomes of programs and services
  • Monitor emerging needs among key stakeholders such as members, government, philanthropy, and investors to develop relationships, seize opportunities and ensure strategic relevance of CSI’s programs.
  • Provide leadership for the Next Economy Campaign, working in close collaboration with the Director of Partnerships to set and achieve fundraising targets, build donor and investor relationships, strengthen government engagement and ensure quality of proposal writing across development and program staff. Work with the CEO and Director of Partnerships to steward funding relationships. Ensure that the expectations of funders, partners, constituents, clients, and other stakeholders are consistently met.
  • Oversee the coordination, integration, and delivery of all programs, contracts and related services, promoting collaborative relationships between CSI’s program, space and digital areas.
  • Deepen existing and create new performance impact and outcome measures for CSI’s programs. Analyze and assess programs based on data collected and continue to improve programs for greater impact. Work with the Chief Operating Officer to develop an assessment protocol to determine the feasibility and sustainability of programs leading to more effective and efficient program service delivery.
  • Coordinate with other teams to develop new program ideas and pilot projects, including integrating successful pilots into the program department.
  • Work closely with the finance department to budget and monitor programmatic operations to ensure sound fiscal and system management.
  • Represent CSI on relevant committees and task forces, as well as at speaking engagements and conference panels.

Program Staff Leadership and Development

  • Create and support a high performing, team-based culture aligned with CSI’s core values to motivate and inspire staff working collaboratively toward CSI’s vision and strategic priorities. Implement yearly staff development plans and mentoring.
  • Coordinate with the executive team to identify and create leadership and professional development opportunities for program, fundraising and communications staff.
  • Work with staff to balance workload and effort, and provide regular feedback so that key staff can continuously improve their supervision and mentoring skills.
  • Directly supervise program, communication and partnership directors, working closely with them to build their skills and confidence so that they can mentor, encourage, and motivate all staff. Provide assistance and guidance on how to troubleshoot program and staff performance challenges.
  • Determine staffing plans to achieve program goals and objectives and participate in hiring decisions for new program staff.

Estimated Spilt of Time

  • 15% organizational executive leadership – C-Suite level planning, budgeting, board of directors
  • 65% program development. fundraising and external relationships – investors, donors and program partners
  • 20% internal program development and team management


  • A minimum of 15 years leadership experience in a startup culture, a progressive business, social enterprise/social purpose organization, and/or a consulting background
  • Expertise in one or more of the following service areas: entrepreneurship, accelerators, social finance, social enterprise, adult education and workforce development
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team in a dynamic structure to include professional development and mentorship
  • A proven track record in fundraising and proposal design, preparing prospectuses, and donor-driven cases for support
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of program planning, organizational structure, budgeting, administrative operations, and fundraising
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex quantitative and qualitative data for planning and reporting purposes
  • Ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven and entrepreneurial environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment


  • Bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree in Business/Public Administration or a related field would be considered an advantage.


Job Title: Chief Program Officer

Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer

Direct Reports (#): 5 (the CPO will lead a growing team including the Director of Climate Ventures, the Social Innovation Specialist, the Sr. Manager Community Wealth, Director of Partnerships and the Director of Communications)

Location: Toronto, starting remotely and later working from our CSI locations

Employment Type: Permanent

Work hours/days: Full-time, 37.5h/week

Pay Range: $110 – $140K annually + benefits

What you can expect working at CSI

We are a dynamic and collaborative team invested in our mission. We are constantly seeking to improve processes and increase our impact in the community.

We advocate for the presence and contributions of all people regardless of ability, age, cultural background, education, ethnic origin, gender expression, gender identity, immigration status, language, marital status, nationality, physical appearance, political affiliations, perspective, race, religion, sexual orientation, sexuality, family status, socioeconomic status, or other such considerations, and intersectionalities therein. We strongly encourage applications from diverse backgrounds and communities.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2021. Please submit your full application here, including your resume and cover letter as soon as you are interested. Only those selected will be contacted via e-mail and/or phone call.

Please let us know of any specific requirements needed in advance of visiting any our spaces – we will be happy to work with you on any accommodation requests.

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