Program Officer, Civic Engagement

Central Valley Foundation
November 21, 2019
Sacramento, California
Job Type


The Central Valley Foundation

Founded by Susan and the late James B. McClatchy in 1994, the Central Valley Foundation (CVF) is organized to advance English Learner students, promote First Amendment awareness, especially in the freedoms of speech and the press, and to improve life in one of the country’s most diverse, culturally rich, and economically vibrant regions, California’s Central Valley.

Despite these assets, the Central Valley faces many critical challenges requiring significant resources. The pressing nature of these challenges is compelling: they should be addressed sooner rather than later. In response to this reality, the Board of Directors has decided to increase CVF’s annual grantmaking, with plans to invest all its assets in the next decade or so. This decision reflects a commitment to English Learners in our communities and to the First Amendment. As such, CVF is entering an exciting time in its life-cycle and is looking for dedicated and qualified people with integrity to honor this vision and join the Foundation on this journey.

Program Officer- Civic Engagement Job Description

The Program Officer (PO) is responsible for guiding the inaugural grantmaking and leadership portfolio of civic engagement, which will reflect the Foundation’s focus area of First Amendment freedoms of the press, speech, and expression.

The Foundation is seeking a strategic thinker and thoughtful professional who respects community ideals in order to lift voices and opportunities for marginalized communities across the Central Valley. The ideal candidate has a strong record of experience working at a strategic program level at a foundation or at a community-based or similar organization, upholding the utmost of professionalism, honoring proprietary in community, organizational, and interpersonal transactions, decisions, and communications. Through its work, CVF lifts community voices by honoring diversity, equity, and inclusion, improves education access, and ensures all people, especially children, have pathways to a fulfilling life in the Central Valley - these institutional qualities are core to the Foundation. This position will represent the Foundation and will reflect the diverse backgrounds and talents of the people and communities CVF serves. A successful candidate will demonstrate a passion for CVF’s work; a spirit of accountability and collaboration; and, a commitment to creating – and communicating - powerful stories of the impact of this work that are grounded in rigor and data

Leadership in extensive grantmaking, community convening & collaboration, strategic planning, resourceful problem-solving, and community engagement with diverse audiences is desired.

CVF is an equal opportunity employer and fosters a workplace without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic.

We anticipate this being a highly competitive process. Only qualified candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be contacted. No phone calls and no recruiters please.

To apply, please send cover letter and resume to [email protected]


Title Program Officer, Civic Engagement Reports to CEO Classification Full-time exempt Responsibilities Designs and implements the First Amendment civic engagement focus area for the Foundation. In partnership with the CEO, program staff, board, and others, the program officer will be a thoughtful colleague and foundation asset to ideate and refine the civic engagement portfolio of grantmaking and leadership for CVF.


Grant-Making and Grants Management

•        Provide strategic direction in the grant portfolio.

•        All forms of grantmaking

o   Request for Proposal (RFP) development

o   Technical assistance to applicants

o   Proposal due diligence, grant reviews and analysis

o   Program evaluation and reporting

o   Ongoing grantee relationship management

o   Program data analysis

o   Portfolio and grantee budget and financial reviews and monitoring

o   Grantee site visits

o   Secure, evaluate, and manage external consultants and other third-party vendors


Leadership and Community Engagement



•       Plan and execute ad hoc committee meetings, grantee or stakeholder convenings, technical assistance forums.

•       Keep abreast of and communicate relevant current issues across the Central Valley, the state and nation regarding First Amendment issues, civic engagement opportunities.

•       Develop, recruit, and nurture new professional relationships with other funders, subject-matter experts, and key community leaders.

•       Work closely and in partnership with grantees and other partners to give visibility to the portfolio’s progress across a diverse range of venues and media - conferences, meetings, social media, other speaking or written engagements.

•       Act as a critical resource to others by providing guidance, constructive feedback, and possessing high standards in program rigor and quality.



•        Communicate with three main audiences:

o   the board and related committees and workgroups, as needed

o   related stakeholders, grantees, community leaders on the portfolio

o   internally with staff to build alignment across initiatives

•       Prepare written reports and conduct presentations on the portfolio progress, as needed and requested.

•       Be active on CVF and other related social media communications platforms. Desired Qualifications •       Experience operating a grantmaking program and/or a multi- faceted community engagement campaign

•       Strong project management experience, with excellent writing and verbal communications skills

•       Proven track record of success in understanding complex and dynamic situations and formulating program interventions

•       Comprehension of and facility with data and numbers

•       Thoughtful understanding of grantees’ and/or key customer needs in key areas of program planning, including nuances of organizational development, capacity building, nonprofit financials, and board and community development



•       Understands value of diversity and equity with proven capacity to respectfully work in a multicultural and inclusive workforce and environment

•       Has excellent and clear writing and public speaking experience and an ability to interact with diverse audiences

•       Possesses ability to discern and comprehend key program, policy, and community issues and challenges, especially those affecting communities that have been historically marginalized

•       Experience in program development through a cohort model of collaboration, technical assistance, and/or convening power

•       Supervision of interns or aligned positions, with an ethic of development and coaching

•       Possesses a continual, fearless, and team-oriented growth mindset

•       Works productively in a fast-paced environment with multiple tasks and projects, with great attention to detail and completion deadlines

•       Values collaboration and partnership but also is self-directed and can work without supervision.

•       Shares information, provides and receives feedback and guidance to and from others respectfully and skillfully

•       Ability to be proactice and reset priorities in a fast-moving, rapidly changing environment. Required Qualifications •       A minimum of 5 years’ work and grantmaking experience in an equivalent position for a foundation or similar setting and familiarity with the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors is required.

•       Master’s degree desired, but bachelor’s with significant and relevant work experience may substitute.

•       Familiarity with technology and online platforms

o   fluent with using a computer and a variety of applications (Microsoft Office suite, Mac/Apple products, GoogleSuite)

o   familiarity or willing to learn cloud-based Content Management Systems (CMS), Customer Relationship



Management (CRM) that support project management and online grants management


•       Capability to travel frequently within California’s Central Valley, including occasional overnight site visits, state, and national conferences, and evening meetings

•       Possess a valid California Driver’s License Physical Requirements •       Able to work at a desk standing or sitting for up to two hours at a time; lift and move documents up to 25 lbs; bend or lift to file