Berkeley, California

Program Officer, General Service Foundation

The Organization

The General Service Foundation (“GSF”) is a private grant making family foundation that dedicates all of its resources to bringing about a more just and sustainable world. Founded and endowed by Clifton and Margaret Musser, the General Service Foundation has been committed to social justice since 1946.  We believe everyone should have a chance to enjoy life with dignity, and every family should have the opportunity to thrive. GSF works with nonprofit organizations as a funder and partner.  These organizations are embedded in grassroots communities, networked with one another, and connected to larger movements for a decisive impact.  They’re pioneers, breaking new trails toward social justice with women, people of color and people with low incomes leading the way. For more information, please check out:

We take a collaborative, integrated, and active approach to our grantmaking.  We have a strong commitment to racial and gender justice and highly value having a diverse team.

Position Overview

The Program Officer will be joining the program team and will be responsible for supporting GSF’s grantmaking for a Building Strong Movements portfolio. This portfolio builds on current grantmaking in reproductive and economic justice, and in 2018 will expand to include a broader range of movement and power building organizations. This position offers an opportunity to help craft and implement the vision for this portfolio with the program team. GSF currently has a staff of four, and this position will be based in the Berkeley office. The Program Officer will also contribute to the Foundation’s overall strategies, activities and initiatives in a highly integrated work environment.  S/he is a highly motivated, problem solving, solution-oriented self-starter who can hit the ground running.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee all stages of grant-making, from solicitation through assessment, recommendation, and presentation to the Board of Directors
  • Monitor approved grants through site visits and reports on grantee progress to Executive Director and GSF Board of Directors
  • Contribute to the development and refinement of the Foundation’s systems, policies, and practices related to grantmaking and other organizational issues and practices
  • Ongoing communication with and support for grantees, including technical assistance to grantees and grant-seeking organizations, providing advice on other funding opportunities; referrals to consultants and other providers to address organizational needs; arranging for grantees to have broader exposure within the funding community; and providing other assistance that may help grantees carry out their work successfully
  • Build and maintain relationships with other funders,  participate in strategic philanthropic affinity groups, and represent the foundation at conferences and meetings
  • Track information and analyze trends, networks, and movements and where GSF’s  funding priorities intersect, and share information with GSF colleagues
  • Be able to take on other responsibilities as needed and wear multiple hats



  • 5+ years professional experience
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Strong credibility as a social justice advocate and experience in building power and voice among marginalized communities
  • Previous experience working on Black-led organizing efforts and/or a healing justice background preferred
  • Demonstrated commitment to GSF’s mission and an alignment with our organizational values
  • An understanding of/ and a perspective on the role of philanthropy in advancing social justice
  • Experience working in non-profit, activist, or community-based organizations, and/or philanthropic institutions

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to plan and think strategically, set and achieve realistic goals, and objectives, and balance multiple priorities
  • Strong intersectional analysis of gender and race
  • A belief in the power of social movements to bring about social, political, economic, and cultural change
  • Understanding of the role of philanthropy in advancing social justice
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, listening skills, and judgement
  • Skilled at managing complex field dynamics at both individual and organizational levels
  • Appreciation of the power dynamics that shape grantmaking relationships and a commitment to building trust, two-way accountability, and mutual respect with grantee organizations
  • Ability to assess the leadership, track record, and capacity of social sector organizations and collaboratives
  • Excellent judgment, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to analyze, synthesize, and present data
  • Able to build strong internal and external relationships to ensure shared learnings and strategic alignment
  • Comfort with ambiguity and willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changes in the needs of the foundation’s various initiatives
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently; willing to help make a small organization run effectively
  • Proactive and self-motivated work style, with close attention to follow-up and detail and ability to manage several tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion


  • Shares GSF’s vision and is inspired by the Foundation’s mission
  • Comfortable with multitasking and supporting multiple priorities for one or more individuals on the team
  • Flexible and able to cope skillfully with unexpected events
  • Collaborative: establishes productive, positive, and cooperative relationships within the organization, with grantees and other partners; resolves conflicts constructively
  • Warm, friendly, with a sense of fun and humor; s/he is excited to work with a team who hold each other in a respectful and affectionate regard

How To Apply

Applications will be accepted until Jan 5th, 2018.   Applications should submit one PDF that will include the following: a resume, a thoughtful cover letter stating why you are interested in the position and your qualifications, and a writing sample (between 3-5 pages) sent to:

General Service Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse group of applicants.

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