Program Assistant (CWF)

The Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 1992 with a mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California. One of the largest health-focused foundations in California, with nearly $1 billion in assets, Cal Wellness is a nationally recognized leader for its strategic core operating support for grantees, public policy grantmaking and focus on violence as a public health issue. It is Cal Wellness’ desire to promote equity and level the playing field so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, healthy and safe neighborhoods, and quality health care services. The Foundation’s current Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy includes three interrelated portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care, Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded nearly 9,000 grants totaling more than $1 billion.

In 2017, Cal Wellness celebrated its 25th anniversary. As the Foundation looks to the future, it is pursuing new and innovative strategies beyond its core grantmaking work to advance its mission, including implementation of technology systems, development of its public affairs capacity and establishing mission- and program-related investment portfolios.

Cal Wellness has a diverse staff and Board and continues to enhance its deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, both internally and externally. The Foundation’s work underscores a belief that wellness requires social justice, a deep commitment todiversity, equity and inclusion, and sustained efforts to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent access to health care, education, employment and safety.

The Opportunity

The Program Assistant (PA) will provide administrative and grants management support to the programs department. The selected candidate will join a team of three other PAs, five Program Directors (PDs), three organizational learning and evaluation (OLE) professionals, and the Vice President of Programs. The department’s work is crucial to the mission of the Foundation, carrying out its grantmaking activities, strategy and community engagement. This position works alongside other PAs to support multiple grantmakers. PAs also provide grantmaking support to the Public Affairs department as needed.

PAs and PDs are Cal Wellness’ key ambassadors to grantseekers, grantees and other external partners. PAs ensure efficiency of grantmaking operations, effective delivery of grantmaking and high-quality service to nonprofits, community partners, Board members and other key constituents.

The ideal candidate will thrive in a dynamic environment that involves relationship building with diverse constituencies and in a team environment.

Principal duties and responsibilities

  • Provide high-quality administrative and grantmaking support to the Programs Department, including two or more grantmakers.
  • Proofread and edit grant recommendations and other documents.
  • Review and triage letters of interest, progress reports and other related items.
  • Manage complex scheduling of calls, meetings and site visits for assigned grantmakers.
  • Monitor travel budgets and process expense reports for assigned grantmakers.
  • Assist with initiation of contracts with vendors and consultants, track contract execution and amendment processes, and submit invoices for payment.
  • Conduct research and analysis on program area issues and the philanthropic field, as needed.
  • Provide excellent customer service to external and internal constituents.
  • Answer phone calls and emails from grantseekers, grantees and internal colleagues.
  • Work closely with grantseekers and granteesto gather information, resolve routine issues, and respond to general queries about letters of interest, proposals, active grants, and grantmaking strategies and priorities.
  • Monitor grants using the Foundation’s grants management system, including entering grant codes, preparing correspondence, sending and receiving grant proposals, generating documents, and reviewing progress and final reports.
  • Expand knowledge and understanding of Advancing Wellness portfolios and program areas, and the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.
  • Attend site visits, webinars, local meetings and local funder briefings.
  • Participate in education and training about Advancing Wellness strategies.
  • Work as a team with the other program assistants to achieve department goals.
  • Participate in intradepartmental committees and cross-disciplinary teams with colleagues from the Foundation’s other departments.
  • Complete additional tasks as assigned.

Experience and Skills Required

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred but not required.
  • At least three years of administrative experience.
  • Prior work or volunteer experience in the nonprofit sector is highly desirable.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Successfully works both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Organized, pays attention to detail, manages time effectively, anticipates the needs of those they support, proactively solves problems, and takes initiative.
  • Strong interpersonal and customer service skills, including the ability to interact with diverse populations.
  • Ability to use technology in a productive and efficient manner. Highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).
  • Experience with MicroEdge GIFTS, foundationConnect or other grants management systems is a plus, but not required.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Commitment to working for an organization that is driven by its mission and values, including a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Core Competencies

Core competencies are the essential set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors that enable us to achieve our mission, goals and philosophy.

  • Live our core values: Our North Star. Modeling our values – respect, integrity, accountability, equity, stewardship, excellence, learning and trust – and using them in decision making and navigating challenges.
  • Drive toward innovation: Be bold. Experiment and learn from both successes and failures.
  • Make a difference: Yes, we can. Own our responsibilities and our ability to make positive change.
  • Contribute to one team: We’re in this together. Our success is a collective effort.
  • Show courage: Be thoughtful but act on your convictions and be open to feedback.

Compensation and Culture

Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience. The benefits package includes a variety of health plans, a generous 401(k) retirement savings plan, paid time off, professional development and educational opportunities, matching gifts, and the opportunity to work at a mission- and values-driven organization.

To Apply

Please upload your resume and letter of interest here: foundation/jobs/10253-program-assistant.

The position will only be open through August 24th for applications. Candidates selected for further consideration will be asked to complete a brief writing assignment and Microsoft Office skills tests.

The California Wellness Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.


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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-08-04 16:45:18 -0400