Job Type: Permanent
Salary Details: $90,000 – $110,000 per year

Heartland Fund is seeking a Senior Advisor for Climate and Energy to support the new Resource Rural program. The position requires a strategic leader who is committed to enabling rural and tribal communities to advance their goals for climate resilience and energy security by leveraging newly available federal resources under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other federal legislation. They will drive the creation of resources, tools, and support to advance the work of place-based partners focused on climate, energy, and economic development goals. 

The Senior Advisor will play a key role in helping place-based partners and grantees track, understand, and apply for the various federal funding opportunities, leverage national and regional organizations and resources that can support local efforts, and advance storytelling and policy engagement goals. 

We are looking for a collaborative team player with a track record of designing new initiatives and marshaling resources to advance priorities in underserved communities, a commitment to equitable rural prosperity, and a passion for promoting climate resilience and energy security in rural communities. The successful candidate will be a service-oriented project manager and a resourceful and strategic leader. 

This is an exciting and dynamic position with opportunities for leadership and rewarding collaborations with local rural and tribal leaders. You will have an opportunity to help develop and implement a brand new initiative with a diverse range of partners. We are actively building a small but mighty team to enable historic, equitable investment in rural America.  

About the Organization 

Heartland Fund is a funding collaborative built to support and connect local leaders and organizations working for progress across diverse communities in rural areas, towns and small cities. Heartland’s grantmaking supports rural people working to transform their lives and communities to advance shared prosperity and democracy. We invest in issue advocacy, community organizing infrastructure, civic engagement, and sustainable urban-rural coalitions, and we prioritize racial equity in all aspects of our work. In addition to grantmaking, Heartland also supports rural leaders and organizations through convening, research, and communications.

Heartland Fund is launching Resource Rural (RR), a new program which focuses on effective federal funding implementation to ensure historic climate and infrastructure investments land for maximum impact in rural communities. Heartland is also home to the Rural Climate Partnership (RCP), which supports hometowns across America to accelerate climate solutions and build healthy local economies. Our RR and RCP programs help remove barriers to federal funding for rural communities – through place-based technical assistance, local organizing, and a large-scale communications and narrative effort – to make a tangible difference in rural people’s lives and advance climate mitigation and resilience.

Why Resource Rural?

As unprecedented levels of federal infrastructure, economic development, and climate-focused resources begin to flow, we have a generational opportunity to make sure this funding lands where it is most needed and can have the biggest impact. Without targeted action, this influx of resources is likely to reinforce, rather than interrupt, entrenched patterns of geographic, racial, and economic inequity because communities with resources are fully prepared to take advantage of the opportunities, while rural communities—especially communities of color and low-wealth communities—are not. Helping underserved rural communities land these resources can dramatically improve quality of life for rural residents, advance climate solutions, and send a powerful message about the importance of federal investment to creating strong local communities and a healthy multi-racial democracy.

The Resource Rural Program

Resource Rural is an ambitious five-year program designed to build engagement, capacity and expertise, and a rural voice at the table in the national conversation about climate progress, workforce development, and equitable community and economic development. The program is built on four key strategies:

  • Resource Rural National Hub and Resource Partners: To address the capacity gaps that prevent rural communities and organizations from accessing federal dollars, Resource Rural will collaborate with local and regional partners to launch a national Resource Rural hub that supports place-based implementation. Place-based resource partners will provide support directly to rural communities, including grant funding, coordination, and technical assistance, while national hub staff will integrate resources and facilitate learning and rapid sharing of models across the network.
  • High-Leverage Climate Opportunities: To stimulate a virtuous cycle within which rural residents appreciate the benefits of interrelated economic and climate outcomes, Resource Rural will support high leverage efforts to unlock powerful climate resources (e.g., grants, incentives, rebates, tax credits) in key federal programs to benefit diverse constituencies and tackle barriers to clean energy implementation.
  • Resource Rural Communications Action Center: To shift rural narratives around federal investment and climate action, Resource Rural will invest in strategic communications and a coordinated narrative that finds and amplifies local success stories and centers how rural people have benefitted their communities and made progress on clean energy opportunities, infrastructure gaps, and economic development using federal investments.
  • Organizing and Advocacy Support: To make sure these resources truly benefit rural people, especially those most in need, Resource Rural will support organizing and advocacy in key places at the state and local levels focused on federal implementation participation, rule-making, and spending.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities 

The Senior Climate & Energy Advisor will report to the Resource Rural Director and work in close collaboration with the Rural Climate Partnership team. The Senior Climate & Energy Advisor will hold the following responsibilities: 

Place-Based Partner Support

  • Serves as primary liaison for designated Resource Rural place-based partners, and Rural Climate Partnership (RCP) staff and grantees seeking to access and/or implement federal funding for climate, energy, agriculture and food systems projects;
  • Tracks and understands high value climate and energy government funding opportunities for rural and tribal communities;
  • Cultivates and provides expertise on innovative funding opportunities through supply chain work, green banks, and other avenues to support rural energy development, energy efficiency, climate-friendly agricultural practices, etc.;
  • Creates tools, templates, communication materials related to climate, energy, and regenerative agriculture funding opportunities; and
  • Develops relationships with key federal staff and intermediaries providing climate-related technical assistance and support, shares relevant information with Resource Rural place-based partners, and facilitates partnerships that can accelerate their work.

Strategy Development, Grantmaking & Learning

  • Works with partners to accelerate impactful federal funding implementation to advance climate and energy goals in rural communities;
  • Coordinates identification of  potential grantees, and conducting due diligence and oversight on grants and contracts;
  • Participates in application and proposal reviews. Presents grant and contract recommendations as needed to the leadership teams;
  • Monitors grantees and contractors regularly and provides updates on grantee/contractor performance, activities, needs, and opportunities.
  • Helps develop and implement systems to capture learning, including data collection systems that minimize burden on partners;
  • Facilitates community of practice and learning opportunities for Resource Rural partners related to rural climate/energy work; and
  • Distills and shares learning with funders and stakeholders in a compelling manner.

Communications & Policy

  • Helps elevate stories for the Resource Rural Communications Action Center and works with the Communications Director to identify communications opportunities and needs;
  • Provides program related updates and new content for communications platforms and development materials;
  • Helps capture insights to drive policy discussions with state and federal agencies; and
  • Identifies policy and advocacy opportunities and works with the Resource Rural Advocacy and Organizing Director to connect advocacy resources to state partners to advance implementation goals.

Fundraising Management & Support

  • Provides fundraising support to the Resource Rural Director, including but not limited to:
    • prospect and funder tracking;
    • management of follow up; and,
    • proposal writing and preparation of promotional materials.
  • As needed, represent the climate and energy related work to funding partners and prospects.

 Organizational Development & Support

  • Works collaboratively with Heartland team members to establish effective and efficient work processes, plan meetings, and contribute to organizational learning;
  • Maintains files, documents and shared communications systems to facilitate project management and partnership; and
  • Fulfills other programmatic duties as requested by the Resource Rural Director.


We realize that some great candidates may not have every single thing on this list – that’s OK!  If this job posting piques your interest, we encourage you to apply. 


  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in program strategy development and management – helping organizations design and implement environmental, energy, or sustainability projects or programs, preferably in a rural context.
  • Knowledge of major climate and energy related federal programs and the agencies and organizations that are actively working to implement federally-funded projects and initiatives.
  • Strong lived or professional experience with rural issues and communities.
  • Excellent oral presentation, writing, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Strong resource stewardship skills (both financial and people).
  • Values learning and continuous growth.
  • Strong commitment to racial justice and fluency with equity and anti-racist practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to listen deeply, hold space for different perspectives, and work with people from a variety of political, cultural, and social backgrounds.
  • Working knowledge of a range of communications and technology platforms including Monday, Slack, and Google Apps.
  • Willingness to travel regularly across regions in the US. 


  • Experience successfully navigating federal grant processes (i.e. grantseeking, post-award compliance and management).
  • Demonstrated ability to independently own, manage, and drive complex projects, involving a high degree of cross-org collaboration, and management of staff and/or high-level consultants.
  • Experience as a strategist that sets and drives towards ambitious goals and tracks patterns, trends, challenges in order to envision and grow our energy programs.
  • Experience living and/or working in rural America on environmental, energy, or sustainability strongly preferred.

Compensation & Job Design

This is a permanent, full time exempt staff position with occasional travel. The organization is virtual, and the position may work remotely from their home within the United States. Expected compensation will be based on skills and experience, with a salary range of $90,000 to $110,000. Comprehensive benefits package includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance for employees (and their families). Employees are able to enroll in 401k retirement plan and are eligible for a 3% automatic contribution and up to a 3% employer match on 401k contributions. Employees are also eligible for pre-tax transportation benefits. Employees will receive 120 hours of vacation time, 80 hours of health leave, up to 2 days of casual leave, and 20 hours of volunteer leave annually. Employees will also receive 13 paid holidays throughout the calendar year. Employees are eligible for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave after 90 days of employment. All employees of Windward are required to complete timesheets.

Resource Rural is a program of the Heartland Fund. Heartland Fund is fiscally sponsored by the Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. Windward is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working. 


Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis with interviews anticipated to start October 2023. Desired start date is November 2023. Apply by submitting a cover letter and resume to