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Careers

Program Officer

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 Officer (“PO”) role requires a professional with strong analytical abilities, a high degree of initiative, and collaborative skills. Reporting to a Director of Program Development, the PO will work in partnership with the Foundation’s program staff and other staff on a set of initiatives and projects to advance Irvine’s vision of a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. The ideal candidate has experience in project execution and grantmaking; and strong interpersonal, writing, and communication skills.

Program Officers work on one or more grantmaking initiative teams, which may be led by an Initiative Director or another senior staff member. This PO position may also work on short-term assignments across the grantmaking portfolio to support special projects and/or capacity needs on various initiative or program development teams. In addition, Program Officers have an Advisor who provides professional development coaching and performance assessments.

This Program Officer will monitor the performance of a set of grants; coach and advise grantees, including the negotiation of performance milestones to support grantee partner success. In partnership with Initiative Directors and relevant leads, identify organizations with strong potential for partnership; conduct due diligence and assess grantee partners for effective track records, internal capacity, and strategic skills.  The ideal candidate has a strong desire to contribute to the mission of The James Irvine Foundation, experience in grantmaking or project execution focused on benefitting target communities, an understanding of issues impacting low-income workers, and a track record of working with underserved communities.

This role demands an ability to learn and work on new content areas quickly; to assemble and assess data and research, and conduct landscape analysis; and the ability to assess the leadership, track record, and capacity of social sector organizations and collaboratives.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Grantmaking and Project Support

  • Monitor the performance of a set of grants; coach and advise grantees, including the negotiation of performance milestones to support grantee partner success.
  • In partnership with Initiative Directors and relevant leads, identify organizations with strong potential for partnership; conduct due diligence and assess grantee partners for effective track records, internal capacity, and strategic skills.
  • Consult and coordinate with other Irvine program staff in exploring new grantmaking opportunities within initiatives.
  • Contribute to written materials that communicate the alignment of grantee activities with initiative goals and strategies, including grant recommendations and context papers.
  • Provide project management support for teams, which could include planning and facilitating internal meetings, conducting research in a discrete new area of potential grantmaking, etc.
  • As appropriate, and in partnership with other Irvine staff, convene grantees and others in the field to advance collective action, networking, and learning opportunities.

Analyzing and Evaluating

  • Remain well informed of current research, activities, and trends in the issues addressed by grantees.
  • Support staff in assessment and learning activities that inform strategy and continuous improvement.
  • Participate in the ongoing refinement of Irvine’s initiatives, through discussions with relevant initiative teams.

Collaboration with Colleagues to Execute Portfolio and Foundation-wide Efforts

  • Collaborate with other staff –– to coordinate with and contribute to projects and relationships that may connect to other foundation efforts.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of other foundation efforts.

Education and Experience

  • A strong desire to contribute to the mission of The James Irvine Foundation
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience and background related to the role
  • Experience in grantmaking or project execution focused on benefitting target communities or populations, which could be in the public, nonprofit, or private sectors
  • An understanding of issues impacting low-income communities
  • A commitment to and track record of working with disadvantaged communities

Desired Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to learn and work on new content areas quickly
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and listening skills, and judgment in communicating within a variety of settings
  • Ability to assemble and assess data and research, and conduct landscape analyses
  • Experience in positively contributing to a culture of learning
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and think strategically, set and achieve realistic goals and objectives, and balance multiple priorities
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through
  • Demonstrate respect for diverse perspectives
  • Ability to assess the leadership, track record, and capacity of social sector organizations and collaboratives
  • Personal presence to represent the foundation in diverse forums and relationships
  • A desire to work collaboratively in a dynamic team-oriented environment
Position Details

Reports to: Director of Program Development

Status: Exempt

Application Deadline: February 28, 2021

Apply Now

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