Program Officer

Background

Sixty-five years ago, Evelyn and Walter A. Haas, Jr. started a family foundation as a way to give back to their community—the people of the San Francisco Bay Area. The founders were inspired by their vision of a society in which all people could live, work, and raise their families with dignity. Today, their children and grandchildren—Robert D. Haas, Betsy Haas Eisenhardt, Walter J. Haas, Elise K. Haas, Jesse Eisenhardt, and Walter A. Haas III—carry on the founders’ legacy by taking on contemporary issues rooted in a deep commitment to advancing rights and creating opportunities for all. The Haas, Jr. Fund has evolved from a locally-focused funder in the Bay Area to one that is recognized at the local, state, and national levels.


The Haas, Jr. Fund currently focuses on the following five key areas:

  • Immigrant Rights: Through its support for the immigrant movement in California, the Fund has helped the state become a beacon for the nation in advancing common-sense policies that recognize and amplify opportunities for immigrants to contribute to their communities and the economy. The Haas, Jr. Fund was one of the first foundations to invest in leadership and organizing for young undocumented Dreamers. 
     
  • Gay and Lesbian Rights: The Haas, Jr. Fund was the first foundation to take a stand on the freedom to marry by making it a funding priority. The Fund is credited as a key player in the success of the movement for marriage equality from coast to coast. It was also a leading supporter of the effort to dismantle the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring gays and lesbians from military service. 
     
  • Education Equity: The Haas, Jr. Fund has forged a close partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District to reduce the achievement gap for students of color in the city’s public schools. The Fund has been a leading philanthropic partner in the district’s efforts to improve education for children in the PreK-3rd grade years, and it supported the development of a bold plan (Vision 2025) to prepare all students to succeed in the global economy. 
     
  • Haas Leadership Initiatives: The Haas, Jr. Fund launched the Haas Leadership Initiatives to advance solutions that enable nonprofit leaders to get better results for their organizations and movements. The core of the initiative is the Flexible Leadership Awards, an innovative program that supports the Fund’s grantees over three to five years to implement solutions to the leadership challenges and opportunities their organizations face.  
     
  • Community Partnerships and Initiatives: The Fund is an important partner in a range of Bay Area initiatives to open doors and strengthen opportunities for all. The Fund helped establish the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund, which raised a record $9.4 million to support low-income families with emergency assistance this past year; it helped lead the transformation of Crissy Field and the Presidio to become cherished public spaces; and it is a longtime partner with UC Berkeley to create a more inclusive and equitable institution. The Fund is also a founder and leading supporter of Coaching Corps, a national program using the power of sports to improve health, educational, and social outcomes for low-income kids.

With a reputation of “punching above its weight class,” the Haas, Jr. Fund currently has $465 million in assets. It has awarded over $580 million in grants since its establishment in 1953. In 2017, the Haas, Jr. Fund made $24.5 million in grant investments. The Fund has 25 staff working in its downtown San Francisco office.
 

Position Summary

The Program Officer has the important role of implementing high priority local initiatives and strategic program goals. As such, this position affords the opportunity to be involved in the full range of Haas, Jr.’s strategic grantmaking. This position provides grantmaking support to the President and Vice President of Programs; it includes project management to advance complex multi-faceted initiatives and responsibility to perform comprehensive due diligence, analysis, and grantmaking. The Program Officer also works in collaboration with Program Directors to support grantmaking across the Fund’s various program areas. The position reports to the Vice President of Programs.    
  

Job Responsibilities

The Program Officer will:

  • Support the Haas, Jr. Fund’s strategic grantmaking by reviewing grant proposals; performing financial and programmatic analyses; writing grant recommendations; assisting in problem-solving; reviewing progress reports and writing Board updates; serving as a point of contact for some grantees; and monitoring progress of grantees.
  • Provide quality staffing to the President and Vice President of Programs on high priority initiatives such as:
    • Crissy Field: develop relationships with key stakeholders and support grantmaking for this beloved national park in San Francisco as it enters the next decade of welcoming one million visitors annually and focuses on growing a diverse community of engaged park-goers.
    • Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund: support this annual fundraising drive which raised a record $9.4 million in 2017–18 to house, feed, and meet critical needs of Bay Area low-income families; conduct research and assist in the preparation of grant recommendations and other written communications; manage the Board of Directors’ annual appeal; and work upon request with Season of Sharing staff to facilitate organizational effectiveness. 
    • Other initiatives could include the Haas, Jr. Fund’s work with these partner organizations: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Coaching Corps, the Presidio, and UC Berkeley.
  • Write grant recommendations assigned by program directors, contributing as part of a team to support work focused on—but not limited to—Education Equity, Immigrant Rights, and Gay and Lesbian Rights.
  • Manage a portfolio of about 40 small grants primarily related to the Founders and Board of Directors. 
  • Conduct research about new trends or issues relevant to advancing strategic goals or shaping the design of new initiatives.
  • Organize periodic convenings of grantees, foundations, or stakeholders, and represent the Haas, Jr. Fund at these external meetings.
  • Develop and maintain effective and collaborative relationships with grantees, funding partners, and other stakeholders; meet high customer service standards by respectfully engaging and partnering with grantees to promote grant objectives; provide grantees with support and technical assistance. 
  • Support administration of grants and assure compliance with all financial and audit requirements; coordinate end-of-year final grant payout with the CFO, Controller, and Director of Grants Administration; and maintain Salesforce database and related files. 
  • Contribute to a culture of learning and nimbleness at the Haas, Jr. Fund.
  • Develop and manage special projects as assigned.

Qualifications, Competencies, and Attributes


The Program Officer must bring: a strong commitment to the Haas, Jr. Fund’s mission; intellectual curiosity and a desire to learn; a strong customer service orientation; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in teams while also contributing individually; an ability to think and act strategically while maintaining attention to detail; and a capacity to translate creative ideas into action.
 
Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree or comparable years of experience.
  • Three to five years of relevant professional experience.
  • Basic understanding and/or a desire to learn about the role of philanthropy in social movements and community change efforts. 
  • Familiarity with basic nonprofit and/or business management practices to ensure effective work planning and accountability.
  • Understanding of and experience working with diverse constituencies and communities. 

Competencies

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to write efficiently, concisely, and clearly; strong listening skills and judgement.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and ability to think strategically. Ability to analyze, synthesize complex ideas, and present data, as well as the ability to be resourceful if an answer is not at hand.
  • Solid relationship-building skills, with the capacity to build trust and respect with board members, nonprofit leaders, and professional staff.
  • Excellent project management skills and ability to set and achieve realistic goals. Experience managing multiple projects, often with competing demands.
  • Effective time management skills. Ability to work well under pressure and consistently meet deadlines while attending to the details of grantmaking.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in computer skills (Microsoft Office suite; Salesforce or other CRM databases); facility with social media tools. 

Attributes

  • A commitment to the Haas, Jr. Fund’s mission and values.
  • High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Self-motivation and commitment to the highest quality work.
  • Keen ability to adapt to change and ambiguity, and ability to stretch—skills needed to respond effectively to changing programmatic and organizational needs. 
  • Compassion and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with other staff as a team, and to bring people together around common issues.
  • Ability to navigate comfortably and manage relationships effectively across a variety of sectors, including philanthropy, nonprofit, government, and the private sector.

How to Apply: Candidates should send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to programsearch@haasjr.org by Friday, April 13. Candidates selected for interviews will be notified on or about April 20. No phone calls please. The preferred start date for this position is mid-May.

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is an equal opportunity employer; we seek broad diversity in the makeup of our staff and strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply.