Oakland, CA

Program Officer, Akonadi Foundation

The Organization

Headquartered in Oakland, California, Akonadi Foundation is a family foundation working to support and nurture a racial justice movement to end structural racism. Since 2000, with an asset base of $29.6 million and six staff, Akonadi has distributed more than $30 million in grants to over 1,300 racial justice organizations focused on communities of color in Oakland working for racial equity through community and youth organizing, advocacy and cultural strategies. Akonadi engages in the ecosystem of social justice philanthropy in the Bay Area and nationally and participates in public-private partnerships with the City of Oakland.

Akonadi has two main grantmaking programs: the Arc Toward Justice Fund, which gives grants to organizations working to end the criminalization of youth and young adults of color, end the school-to-prison pipeline and support the wellbeing of youth and young adults of color in Oakland; and the Beloved Community Fund, which supports cultural events and activities that celebrate and support the culture of communities of color in Oakland. Through these and other discretionary funds supporting related grantmaking and program activities, Akonadi strives to distribute approximately $3 million annually.

Position Overview

Akonadi seeks a passionate and strategic Program Officer to manage the Beloved Community Fund, which supports cultural events and activities that celebrate and support the culture of communities of color in Oakland and seeks to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations engaged in this work. The new Program Officer will join a small diverse team working in support of Akonadi’s vision of equity and racial justice in Oakland. The Program Officer will report to the Vice President of Programs and is expected to begin work no later than June, 2017.

The Program Officer will assist in the planning, development, implementation and assessment of Akonadi’s grantmaking programs, most directly, the Beloved Community Fund. The Program Officer will also manage additional grantmaking and program activities that relate to these areas of work. Working with the board and staff, the Program Officer helps Akonadi fulfill its mission by nurturing deep relationships with grantee organizations and leaders and maintaining a breadth of knowledge about current trends, emerging issues, policy and cultural interventions and innovations in philanthropy and the field of racial justice in Oakland.


  • Lead the Beloved Community Fund: Conduct ongoing grantmaking, solicit and evaluate new proposals, conduct site visits, analyze the impact of the work and develop strategy for the fund
  • As a member of the program team, analyze, strategize, plan and develop grantmaking and related programs for all of Akonadi’s programs
  • Prepare written funding recommendations, evaluation summaries and participate in board meetings as requested
  • Launch and provide management and oversight for all facets of the Hewlett Foundation-Sponsored Beloved Community Fund Capacity Building Initiative
  • Lead research, organizational learning and strategy around key questions related to Akonadi’s grantmaking in support of communities of color in Oakland
  • Maintain a working knowledge of best practice in the issues that grantees are addressing
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with current and prospective grantees, outside advisors, experts in the field, public sector partners and colleagues in philanthropy
  • Develop deep relationships and connections with leaders and communities in Oakland
  • Develop collaborative relationships with funder colleagues and other philanthropic institutions to extend the impact of Akonadi’s grantmaking
  • Represent the foundation at various venues
  • Work with the Grants Manager to ensure timely, efficient and accurate grantmaking


  • Deep understanding of, and strong commitment to, the values and mission of Akoandi Foundation
  • Strong racial justice analysis and understanding of movement building strategy
  • Understanding of the racial and economic justice organizing landscape in Oakland
  • Familiarity with Oakland organizations, leaders and communities, including those in fields related to Akonadi’s areas of work
  • Personal experience with and/or genuine empathy with the issues confronting the communities Akonadi works with
  • Experience in arts and cultural strategy preferred, either as a grantmaker, organizer or practitioner
  • Strong analytical capability; ability to analyze, conduct strategic research and relate findings
  • Strong project and time management skills; an ability to thrive working under deadlines and handle multiple tasks without sacrificing attention to detail
  • Prior experience with foundation-sponsored capacity building initiatives
  • Working knowledge of expenditure responsibility requirements for private foundations
  • Three to five years of post-college experience developing and managing a program in philanthropy, nonprofits, corporations, government or a related field
  • Experience in social change philanthropy a plus
  • A desire and competence to work in diverse communities across race, class and ethnic boundaries
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to create positive long-term working relationships
  • Competency in core computer skills and comfort with technology
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in areas such as social justice, public policy, business or political science required; Master’s degree is a plus

How To Apply

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, salary history and list of three references on or before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017 to akonadifoundation@walkeraac.com.

Email applications are required – use the Subject Line: Program Officer, Akonadi Foundation. Documents must be Microsoft Word or PDF files only (PDF files are preferred).

Resume review begins immediately.

Akonadi Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and a values-based organization with a deep commitment to building transformative culture and challenging racism, sexism, homophobia and oppression in all its forms. People of color, working class people, differently-abled people, formerly incarcerated people and LGBTQ people are strongly encouraged to apply.

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