Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Program Design Specialist

The Program Design Specialist is a vital member of the Program Design team and an authority on a set of cause spaces and their intersection with volunteerism. The cause spaces that this position will focus on are Teen and Adult Education (education-based programs for ages 14-65).

The Program Design Specialist will be responsible for creating ongoing, corporate group, and annual programs in their cause areas. This includes research, design, lesson planning, coordinating with partners and vendors on design, and the creation of logic models, theories of change, and other tools that document program design. The Program Design Specialist will also design and support in the execution of cause-related trainings, information sessions, or other issue education events for volunteers or staff, and serve as an internal point-person on their portfolio of cause areas and their intersection with volunteerism. Additionally, the Program Design Specialist will consult with the rest of PDE on relevant program evaluation.

The Program Design Specialist is a leadership role within the Program Design team, providing support to other members of the team, and taking on program design with a higher degree of complexity, including some of New York Cares’ large annual programs. Additionally, the Program Design Specialist will work with other leaders in the PDE department on programmatic strategy and developing processes and systems around program design.

This role is ideal for somebody who is deeply passionate about Teen and Adult Education and interested in converting that passion and knowledge into evidence-based, impactful volunteer programming to create a more equitable New York City.


  • Design all volunteer programs focusing on Teen and Adult Education in strong collaboration with other Programs teams. This portfolio includes our College Access program, which includes volunteer-led SAT Preparation, PSAT Tutoring, FAFSA assistance, and college application and selection guidance. The Adult Education portfolio includes resume prep, financial literacy, and English conversation programming.
  • Conduct research to inform program design and prioritization, through research briefs and similar tools.
  • Design and conduct training, information sessions, or other issue education events on associated case area.
  • Collaborate with other teams on the design of corporate group projects and annual programs.
  • Collaborate with Research & Evaluation team on program evaluation efforts, and adjust programming based on results of evaluation.
  • Document and internally communicate the design (including logic models, lesson plans, etc.) for each program we run to ensure organizational understanding of intended outcomes, associated activities, and other program components.
  • Maintain up-to-date descriptions of all active programs and activities.
  • Maintain an understanding of the major issues facing our city and the communities we serve, particularly as it pertains to education for teens and adults.
  • Remain at the forefront on innovative programs to respond to pressing community issues, focusing on the unique ways that volunteers can (or cannot) be used as a programmatic intervention on those issues.
  • Work with Research & Evaluation team to determine and track goals for program outcomes.
  • Work with department and division leadership to shape organizational goals based on cause area.
  • Staff volunteer projects as needed, approximately 10 – 20 per year.

Additional duties may be assigned as needed.


  • Demonstrate proficiency with program design and the creation of evidence-based programming.
  • At least two years of lesson planning and program design.
  • Significant knowledge of the teen and adult education cause areas and their relationship to volunteerism.
  • Illustrate the ability to logically identify, evaluate, and generate potential solutions to problems.
  • Demonstrate ability to produce clear, concise, and compelling written and verbal communications.
  • Demonstrate ability to work cooperatively with stakeholders to accomplish objectives.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in managing cross-departmental projects related to large programs.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with primary and secondary social research and analysis (preferred).  
  • Demonstrate proficiency with program evaluation (preferred).
  • Basic understanding of Salesforce reporting (preferred).


Starting salary is low to mid $50s a year. Salary is just one component of New York Cares total compensation package. We offer generous paid leave including a winter holiday break, self-care days, and summer Fridays; comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage; access to thousands of e-learning courses; tax advantage accounts including a 403b Thrift Plan, FSA and much more.


Apply via Indeed

About the Program Design Team

The Program Design team, part of the Program Design & Evaluation (PDE) department, is responsible for the identification and design of programs, dissemination of program-related information via training and other materials, shaping cause-related organizational goals, and holding expertise in the role of volunteers can play to meaningfully address issues in New York City.