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Program Associate

Los Angeles or San Francisco

About the Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s vision is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $2.09 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2020 with more than $3 billion in assets and provided $109 million in grants. We have about 55 staff across our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. The Irvine Foundation is committed, internally and externally, to the values of accountability, curiosity, empathy, equity, nimbleness, partnership, and transparency.

Position Summary

The Program Associate provides program-related support to the multi-initiative portfolio team to facilitate the grantmaking and grant monitoring processes and to support relationship-building in the field. The Program Associate may be involved in the initial screening of potential grantees, arranging meetings with potential grantees, preparing docket materials, and monitoring ongoing grants. The Program Associate also monitors administrative and Foundation Administered Projects (FAP) budgets and consultant contracts for a given initiative or project. Working closely with the Grants Administration team, the Program Associate ensures that grantmaking adheres to Foundation policies, procedures, and deadlines.

The Program Associate will work in partnership with the Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio staff on a set of initiatives that advance Irvine’s efforts to give all low-income workers in California the power to advance economically. Program Associates work on multiple initiative or project teams, which may be led by an Initiative Director or another senior staff member. Program Associates have an Advisor, typically a senior team member, who provides professional development coaching and performance assessments. The Advisor to whom this position will report will depend, in part, on the person’s background and interests and the distribution of staff reporting to various senior team members.

The ideal candidate has a strong desire to contribute to the mission of the Foundation and has experience managing processes, planning workflow, and can handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Good attention to detail and follow-through is essential, and you should easily take initiative, work collaboratively, and think proactively and creatively. Excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as strong analytic ability are a must.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • In coordination with assigned initiative teams, provides grants administration support for the maintenance of all active grants in the assigned portfolio. These grants administration responsibilities include maintaining grant files, drafting or editing correspondence and reports, regular communications with grantees and entry of related information in the grants database. In carrying out these duties, responds to all requests and any special assignments from the Grants Administration department.
  • Ensures timely receipt of concept papers and proposal submissions and their distribution to Initiative Directors, Senior Program Officers, Program Officers, and other members of the grantmaking portfolio team.
  • Participates in meetings of assigned teams to review grant proposals and grant recommendations; review grant progress updates; plan technical assistance, evaluation, and communications activities; and share and reflect on experiences in the field and related program activity. As requested by the team lead, circulates agendas and prepares meeting minutes. Also, participates in meetings and training sessions organized by Grants Administration.
  • Assumes a support role in responding to unsolicited grant requests for funding, including updating material on the website, undertaking the logistical arrangements for review by other members of the appropriate team and other Foundation staff, requesting additional documents from applicants to complete the review, informing applicants of the review timing, and communicating declinations and the rationale of the declination to the grantseekers.
  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of the priorities and grantee selection criteria for assigned initiatives and a working knowledge of the priorities of other grantmaking areas of the Foundation. Responds to phone or email requests for initiative-related information from potential grant applicants.
  • Conducts research and maintains an internal database of potential grantees and partner institutions, including intermediary organizations. Assists other colleagues in the assigned initiative teams in gathering background information, history, and organizational data on prospective grantees to inform the review process and ensure the eligibility of prospective grantees in the early phase of consideration.
  • Arranges, attends, and manages the logistical arrangements, coordination, and follow-up activities related to team and grantee-related meetings on- or off-site, as needed. For on-site grantee-related meetings, works collaboratively with appropriate managers and/or Executive Assistant to plan and carry out events.
  • Assists in coordinating consultant activity with initiative team colleagues or grantees, as needed. Prepares required documents for the establishment and approval of individual consulting contracts. Monitors expenditures related to the approved budgets, ensures reimbursement of authorized expenses, maintains supporting documentation of related contracts, and works with the Accounting department on year-end budget reconciliation.
  • Conducts research, data analysis, and prepares reports as assigned by senior staff members and/or team leads. Remains abreast of current research, activities, and trends in the specific field(s) related to the initiative by reviewing professional publications, and attending related conferences, meetings, and other events.
  • Works collaboratively and participates in cross-disciplinary teams with colleagues at the Foundation, as requested.

Education and Experience

  • A strong desire to contribute to the mission of The James Irvine Foundation
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience related to the role
  • A minimum of two years of work experience related to the role

Desired Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to manage process, plan workflow, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet office deadlines; good attention to detail and follow-through are essential
  • Ability to take initiative, work collaboratively, and think proactively and creatively
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as strong analytic ability
  • Strong administrative and computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and databases
Position Details

Reports to: Initiative Director or Senior Program Officer

Status: Nonexempt

Application Deadline: September 13, 2021


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