San Francisco

Program Officer/Senior Program Officer, Grantmaking, San Francisco Foundation

The Organization

With more than $1.5 billion in assets, the San Francisco Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country. The foundation is committed to expanding opportunity and ensuring a more equitable future for all in the Bay Area. Together with its donors, the foundation distributed $154 million to nonprofit organizations last fiscal year. The San Francisco Foundation serves Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties.

The San Francisco Foundation is uniquely positioned to address the Bay Area’s most pressing needs, particularly in the areas of affordable housing in the region. The Foundation aims for greater community impact and moving toward population-level results for low-income families and communities of color left out of the region’s robust economy. Five years into the San Francisco Foundation’s implementation of the racial equity and economic inclusion agenda, the organization is at an exciting juncture and next crossroads – poised to further leverage its impact across the Bay Area through deepened strategies for policy and systems change at the local, regional, and state levels, as well as innovative, proactive, and strategically aligned approaches.

Position Overview

Reports To: Vice President of Policy and Innovation

Position Overview:

The Program Officer/Senior Program Officer, under the direction of the Vice President of Policy and Innovation (VPPI), has primary responsibility for strategic and aligned grantmaking under the Foundation’s Policy and Innovation Team. The Program Officer/Senior Program Officer will help inform strategic grantmaking priorities that advance affordable housing policy and systems change, collaborate across teams in the Community Impact Department, and maintain external relationships with grant partners that are addressing inequities in public policy. Under the leadership of the VPPI, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer will manage the lobbying grantmaking budget and portfolio, co-convening an internal Lobbying Work Group that includes members of the Power Pathway, whose grantmaking portfolio includes community organizations are building the grassroots power and inclusive voice of low-income and people of color through leadership development, community organizing, and civic engagement efforts. This is an individual contributor role and the ideal professional has to be comfortable being a thought partner on strategy, managing a grantmaking portfolio, while being comfortable managing his/her own schedule and administration.

Results in Role

Under the direction of the Vice President of Policy and Innovation, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer is responsible for strategic grantmaking that contributes to the Foundation’s rooted in vibrant communities’ targets. Determined by the cross-departmental Housing Work Group for the Foundation’s regional and state-level housing work, the Foundation envisions a 20-year line of sight where our Bay Area communities have:

  • Significant increase in affordable housing production in alignment with various income spectrum (120% and below of Area Medium Income);
  • A policy environment that stabilizes the housing situation for tenants at the lower end of the economic ladder;
  • An ongoing housing and transportation system that maintains a balance between job growth and housing supported by regulatory oversight, implementation, and watchdog advocacy, dedicated, reliable funding stream, and stronger, more sophisticated political voice; and
  • Communities welcome affordable housing creation in their neighborhoods, and low-income families, so that progress can be made at the jurisdictional level.

This work is grounded in a tenant protection, affordable housing preservation, and production framework; and addresses five big levers: 1) equitable regional governance; 2) increased financial resources for affordable housing; 3) legislative victories for tenant protections; 4) increased public will to support local, regional, and state civic action; and 5) increased political will for policy change. As part of the internal Housing Work Group, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer will help to ensure strategic coordination, integration, and alignment across grantmaking portfolios, particularly between the Policy and Innovation team and the equity pathway teams through the following:

Strategic Grantmaking

Conduct strategic grantmaking related to housing impacts, and investment in policy change and systems change efforts at the local, regional, and state levels. The Program Officer/Senior Program Officer helps to meet grantmaking performance measures for the Policy and Innovation Team by doing the following:

  • Develop and manage a robust grantmaking portfolio. Develop a strategy for grantmaking portfolio, including collaboration with internal colleagues and external partners.  As appropriate, s/he will also jointly review grants with other teams in the Community Impact Department and in collaboration with other funding entities, including the Foundation’s lobbying portfolio.
  • Review, research, and recommend grants. Determine the solicitation of grants and the response to nonprofit, government, and private agency requests for Foundation funding. This could include the development of RFPs and/or plans for grants distribution. Evaluate merits of written proposals, conduct due diligence, participate in site visits, review research, and present grant recommendations to the Board of Trustees, as appropriate.

External Focus

  • Meaningful contributions that advance the team’s affordable housing strategies to achieve population-level outcomes. This includes the management of key components of strategy development and implementation, including research and analysis, as well as building and maintaining relationships with community partners.
  • Demonstrated civic leadership.  Develop and implement a plan to advance critical elements of the Foundation’s equity agenda in affordable housing through a civic leadership role, maintaining grantee relationships, connections to the staff at similar foundations, and participation in relevant affinity groups.
  • Partnership design, development, and implementation. Lead proactive efforts for change, including partnership development efforts with other funders, private and public sector leaders, and grantees. This could include working with VPPI and Institutional Partnerships Officer to raise additional funds from other foundations to leverage additional grantmaking resources for community impact.
  • High-impact, well-organized convenings, events, and other briefings. Identify, facilitate, and manage opportunities to bring various stakeholders together to further the goals of the Foundation’s equitable housing agenda. Working with the rest of the Policy and Innovation Team, as well as the Foundation’s Marketing and Communications Team so that convenings position SFF as a resource for those interested in addressing critical issues affecting individuals and communities, gather input on a specific strategy or body of work, garner support for a cause or activity, and/or educate and learn.
  • Provide resource and referral advice and technical assistance to grantee partners, agencies and/or collaboratives.

Internal Focus

  • Deepened housing knowledge, skill, and expertise at SFF through the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer’s research and thought leadership, and information dissemination through key speaking engagements, articles, media interviews, and other social media opportunities.
  • Meaningful contributions to the Foundation’s strategic learning and evaluation work.  Determine the benchmarks, indicators of success, and methodology to track and assess the progress toward outcomes associated with the Policy and Innovation Team strategies, as well as the effectiveness of grants and progress reports. Use qualitative and quantitative data to inform recommendations and decision-making.
  • In partnership with the Development and Donor Services team, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer meets with donors and prospective donors as assigned, providing them with information about Policy and Innovation efforts or other specific issues, and best practices and grantmaking opportunities in the Bay Area. Provide background information for direct funding requests to donors. Organize and present at donor forums.



Bachelor’s degree, in one or more of the Foundation’s programmatic areas of focus or a related discipline required. A master’s degree strongly preferred.


10+ years of increasingly responsible experience in a leadership role in the public, non-profit, or philanthropic sector.  In-depth knowledge of grantmaking and successfully managing projects to achieve specified goals and outcomes.  Ideally, the Program Officer/Senior Program Officer has broad, multi-sector knowledge and/or experience coupled with a good understanding of Bay Area nonprofit, public, and philanthropic communities. This person must deeply value racial equity and economic inclusion, and has experience with housing policy, policy advocacy, and/or systems change efforts at scale. Proven record of successfully working collaboratively and in teams.

Knowledge, Skills, & Competencies

  • Strong active listening, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to build successful relationships with local leaders and organizations and engage people from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings.
  • Ability to facilitate meetings, synthesize ideas, and provide sensitive feedback.
  • Strong understanding of organizational development and operations of small and large nonprofits.
  • Finance, budget and management experience.
  • Ability to lead collaboratives of multiple funders and leaders, provide cross-sector learning opportunities for funders and grantees, and serve as staff lead for special projects or committees.
  • Demonstrable computer and technology literacy in word processing, email, spreadsheets, contact management, and knowledge management applications.


Commensurate with background and experience in addition to a competitive benefits package.

The San Francisco Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of diverse backgrounds to apply.

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