Program Associate for Education

About the Heising-Simons Foundation

Established in 2007 by husband and wife Board Members Mark Heising and Liz Simons, the Heising-Simons Foundation is dedicated to sustainable solutions in environment, supporting groundbreaking research in science, and enhancing the education of the nation’s youngest learners. The Foundation makes grants at the local, state, and national levels.

The Foundation’s grantmaking is guided by the following values:

  • We believe education is the route to opportunity.
  • We are committed to promoting sustainability.
  • We believe in research-driven solutions.
  • We are committed to engaging and uniting stakeholders.

The Foundation currently has an asset base of about $370,000,000. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $42,390,000 in grants.

Summary of Position

The Program Associate provides administrative and program-related support to the Foundation’s Education portfolio. As assigned by the Program Director of Education, the Program Associate may be involved in the initial screening of potential grantees, arranging meetings with potential grantees, preparing docket materials, and monitoring ongoing grants. The Program Associate works closely with the Grants Manager to ensure that grantmaking under the Education Program adheres to Foundation policies, procedures and deadlines.

Working and Reporting Relationships

The Program Associate will support the Foundation’s Education Program Officers (POs). This nonexempt position reports to the Program Director of Education.

Duties and Responsibilities

Duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Provides primary clerical and administrative support to the Education POs: manages meeting requests; handles travel and other logistical arrangements; prepares the POs’ expense reports; handles logistical details for internal and external meetings, keeps contacts databases updated; and assists with formatting presentations and other electronic documents. Maintains the Education grant files, drafts or edits correspondence and reports, and tracks and renews memberships and subscriptions to journals and other publications.
  • Provides grants administration support for the maintenance of all active grants in the Education portfolio, including: regular communications with grantees; report receipt and follow-up on overdue reports; authorizations for no-cost extensions or changes in the grant budget and report or payment schedules; ensuring grant files are complete and updated as needed; and entry of all related information and attachment of documents such as reports and closing summaries in grants database (CyberGrants). In carrying out these duties, responds to all requests, deadlines, and any special assignments from the Grants Manager or the Program Director for Education.
  • Ensures timely receipt of concept papers and proposal submissions and their appropriate internal distribution.
  • In coordination with the POs, prepares a series of written products for Education grants in advance of deadlines for grants and docket preparation, including grants-level summaries, budgets, and/or overview memos and program-level narratives, budgets, memos, surveys, and/or presentations. Compiles all grant materials in accordance with grantmaking policies and procedures and within deadlines set forth by the POs and Grants Manager.
  • Participates in meetings and training sessions organized by Grants Management, Human Resources, and/or Finance.
  • Assumes a lead role and serves as first point of contact in compiling, reviewing, and responding to unsolicited grant requests: requests additional information from organizations, if necessary to complete a review; and communicates declinations and the rationale of the declination to the grant seekers orally and/or in writing.
  • Maintains a thorough knowledge of the priorities and grantee selection criteria for the Education program area and a working knowledge of the priorities of other program areas of the Foundation. Responds to phone or email requests for program area information from potential grant applicants.
  • Conducts research and maintains an internal database on potential grantees and partner institutions, including intermediary organizations. Assists colleagues in gathering background information, history, and organizational data on prospective grantees to inform the review process and ensure the eligibility of prospective grantees in the early phase of consideration.
  • At the request of or in consultation with the POs, arranges and attends meetings of grantees in the Foundation’s office or in the field on site visits. Manages the logistical arrangements, coordination, and follow-up activities related to meetings on- or off-site, as needed. For on-site meetings, works collaboratively with the Office Manager to plan and carry out events.
  • Prepares consultant contracts and assists in coordinating activity of the consultants with internal colleagues or grantees, as needed. Prepares required documents for the establishment and approval of individual consulting contracts. Assists with monitoring expenditures related to the approved budgets, ensures reimbursement of authorized expenses, maintains supporting documentation of related contracts, and works with the Finance Department on year-end budget reconciliation.
  • Conducts research, data analysis, and prepares reports as assigned by the POs. Remains abreast of current research, activities, and trends in philanthropy by reviewing professional publications, and attending related conferences, meetings, and other events.

Minimum Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Minimum of 2-3 years of related work experience with a nonprofit organization.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Ability to plan and prioritize workflow and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and reliably, take initiative, and be solution-oriented.
  • Excellent attention to detail, accuracy, and follow-through.
  • Flexibility and willingness to assist others as needed.
  • Ability to explain Foundation’s history, values, and current funding initiatives.
  • Ability to accurately articulate the goals and objectives of assigned program area(s).

Additional Preferences

  • Experience in philanthropy or nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience with grants management databases.
  • Experience in one or more of the Foundation’s Education areas of interest.
  • Sense of teamwork, community, humor, and integrity.

Physical Demands

  • Generates written communications using a computer.
  • Works at a desk for 2–3 hours at a time.
  • Lifts and moves documents and supplies (not to exceed 25 lbs.).
  • Bends to file or retrieve documents.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, welcomes a diverse pool of applicants, and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

Applicants with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Benefits and Compensation

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with education and experience. This nonexempt, full-time position is located in Los Altos, California.

Application Instructions

To apply for this position, please send cover letter, resume, and salary history to hr@heisingsimons.org with “Program Associate for Education” in the subject line. Review of applications will continue until March 31, 2016. No phone inquiries please.