Program Associate (2sf)

About Us:

The Sobrato Family Foundation is committed to building a strong and vibrant Silicon Valley community through business and philanthropic leadership. To support these efforts, the Sobrato Family Foundation (SFF) operates as a place-based grantmaker that invests in organizations serving Santa Clara, San Mateo and Southern Alameda counties. SFF utilizes both real estate and cash assets to achieve maximum impact, providing in-kind office and meeting space at its three nonprofit centers located in Redwood Shores, San Jose and Milpitas; providing multi-year General Operating Support grants to an array of non-profit service providers; and funding two strategic grantmaking programs, 21st Century Education and Pathways for Success, that seek to strategically shift the structures of opportunity for low-income families in the region. SFF also operates the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model to serve English Learner students, and for the 2016-17 school year, has formally partnered with 87 public schools across 16 districts in California to implement the model.


The Program Associate (PA) is a member of the team that advances all of SFF’s grantmaking activities, which totaled nearly $13M in 2016. This early-career position reports to the Director of Strategic Grantmaking, and also works under the Program Officers (POs) as close colleagues. The Foundation is seeking a candidate to support our interaction and strong relationships with more than 100 grantee partners, peer funders, and field-leaders.

The position’s primary focus is to support the broad activities of the grantmaking team. The PA will handle a wide range of responsibilities and tasks, and must be able to work independently - with little or no supervision, in some cases. The role requires analytical and communication skills to appropriately prioritize duties and engage with the Director and PO’s in a proactive and positive style, and to produce results on-time with meticulous attention to detail. The PA is also expected, as a lesser portion of the role, to directly assist the Director with administrative support and managing logistics and processing fiscal items on behalf of the team.

Candidates should possess substantive previous experience in the nonprofit or public sector and/or serving low-income communities, and understand the context and strategies of the Foundation’s programs. Ideally, candidates will have some initial knowledge of education or economic development - with an understanding that serving in the PA role provides the opportunity to deepen knowledge in both areas over time.

The PA must be exceedingly well organized, and also enjoy the challenges of a growing organization, while juggling multiple tasks and deadlines. Additionally, the PA must have the ability to interact with internal colleagues and the community in a fast-paced environment, sometimes under pressure, while remaining flexible, resourceful and efficient, with a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm.

Key Responsibilities:

Grantmaking Activities

  • Serve as an initial point of contact for the grantmaking team, addressing inquiries from grantseekers knowledgeably and punctually, and also assisting the Director and POs in responding to requests from our current grantee partners.
  • Participate in the cultivation and review of proposals for strategic and responsive grants, and assist with the preparation of funding recommendations for the Board.
  • Conduct due diligence on grant applicants, prepare correspondence, coordinate and participate in site visits, and handle other administrative duties related to the review process for the General Operating Support grant cycles.
  • Assist with monitoring grantee performance against established grant metrics and agreements, and format reported data of milestones and outcomes for internal program reports or dashboards.
  • Coordinate with other colleagues in SFF, including Program Director, Grants Manager, and other Program Associates, to ensure smooth internal operations for grantmaking and other SFF business.

Research, Strategy, and Field Engagement

  • Conduct desk research and synthesize information on programmatic trends and best practices in the education and economic security fields, as guided by Director or PO’s.
  • Contribute to the evolution of the long-term strategies in all grant programs, including deepening learning and evidence-building activities, and expanding the team’s external communications via the SFF website, social media, and other channels.
  • Support the team in organizing and executing meetings, briefings, learning communities, and other engagements of stakeholders around the key issues and priorities of the grant programs.
  • Proactively monitor program-relevant and community-wide news, including acquisition of published reports and materials, and prioritizing and sharing appropriately with staff.

Administrative Infrastructure

  • Provide effective logistic management and information flow for the team across email, phone, calendars, etc. – including calendar and travel support for the Director.
  • Prepare reports, presentations, memos and other documents for internal and external audiences.
  • Ensure all files and documentation of grantmaking and other activities are complete and up to date.
  • Monitor and record changes in the team’s budget; prepare and process contracts, invoices, reimbursements.
  • Execute special projects as assigned.

Qualifications and Abilities:

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum of 2-3 years of experience, though 4-5 years preferred, in the nonprofit or public sector, and/or serving low-income communities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing issues of social justice and social change.
  • Experience in project coordination, and a creative and agile problem-solver.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, to support the design and implementation of program activities and initiatives.
  • Full proficiency with core business applications including MS Office, cloud-based file storage and databases, webinar and remote communications tools – on Mac platform.
  • Strongly prefer experience with strategic communications, proficiency with social media and media research / monitoring tactics.
  • Flexible, nimble, and able to effectively adapt to varying workflows, in-bound requests from multiple senior colleagues, natural interruptions or emerging situations, and potential shifts in the role and duties of the PA as SFF grows.
  • Strong judgment and sound decision-making ability, especially when facing multi-faceted issues.
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, easily able to build and facilitate relationships with ease.
  • Ability to clearly and succinctly communicate orally and in writing, with competent proofreading ability.
  • Deep personal integrity to the highest standards of excellence, setting high expectations for personal and organizational achievement.
  • A strong sense of self-confidence, self-awareness, and humor.

Additional Information:

  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Highly competitive benefits package
  • Full-time, exempt position
  • Office hours 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

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.

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