Program Associate (SAFSF)

Grade:                              Full-Time (40 hrs/week); Exempt

Reports to:                      Program and Operations Director

Location:                          Santa Barbara, CA

Start Date:                       No later than early December 2018

Application Deadline:    October 1, 2018


Short Candidate Profile
A strong candidate for the Program Associate position is excellent at quickly organizing and synthesizing information from many sources, keeping track of many details while not losing sight of the bigger picture, collaborating with others, and taking responsibility for logistical and content development tasks. The Program Associate will demonstrate dedication to the values promoted by SAFSF: equity, collaboration, respect, stewardship, and integrity. Reliability, flexibility, a commitment to lifelong learning, and a sense of humor are strongly valued.



Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems. SAFSF is a vibrant and growing network of more than 100 organizational members from the philanthropic and investment sectors whose work spans a broad range of issues and strategies as well as a wide geographic range—domestic and international.


Our vision is that all resources invested in food and agriculture systems enhance our collective wellbeing. Our core values of collaboration, equity, respect, stewardship, and integrity drive our organization on a daily basis. We use these values to guide our decision-making process in all our work, from developing programs and hiring new staff to choosing caterers, vendors, and venues.


SAFSF recognizes that a diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, and professional and personal skills among our staff, leadership, and membership is critical to our success as an organization. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork based on mutual respect.


Our strategy is to harness the power of our membership and community through the use of three strategic levers to fulfill our mission based on our values of collaboration, equity, respect, stewardship, and integrity:

  • Strengthening Connections among philanthropy, investors, and government agencies at all levels
  • Fostering Collaboration which can be topical, geographical, and/or policy-oriented in focus
  • Building Capacity of the philanthropic and impact investing sectors through advocacy and education


Position Overview

SAFSF seeks a full-time Program Associate to play a critical supporting role in developing SAFSF’s core programming and events that build capacity, strengthen connections, and foster collaboration within the philanthropic and impact investing sectors. The Program Associate will work as part of the program team, collaborating closely with SAFSF’s staff and funder planning committees to develop, promote, and execute aspects of SAFSF’s programming related to in-person meetings (including the Annual SAFSF Forum), virtual meetings (including webinars and conference calls), and online content. This position includes considerable opportunities for professional growth and education with regard to leadership development, philanthropy, agriculture, and food systems issues based on the employee’s skillsets and interests. This position is based at SAFSF’s office in Santa Barbara, California.


Core Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with SAFSF’s program and operations staff, work on many aspects of SAFSF’s core programming related to in-person meetings, virtual meetings (webinars and conference calls), and online content.
  • Assist with program logistics and administrative details, including registration site development, speaker invitations and travel/lodging, and interfacing with vendors and venues.
  • Assist with program content and session development, including but not limited to supporting planning calls and meetings (scheduling, sending meeting reminders and agendas, taking and distributing call notes, following up on action items), working with planning committees, and researching speakers.
  • Collaborate with program team to write, edit, format, and/or distribute external program-related communications, including for SAFSF website, event mobile app, and emails to various audiences.
  • In coordination with program team, develop, distribute, and analyze post-event evaluations.
  • Maintain and update records related to programming in Salesforce database and project management tools.
  • Represent SAFSF in a variety of capacities, which may include phone, video call, and in-person contact with staff from philanthropic organizations, philanthropy-serving organizations (also known as affinity groups), and nonprofit organizations; participation in conference calls, meetings, and conferences; and written correspondence.
  • Stay abreast of current and emerging issues relevant to SAFSF member organizations, the broader philanthropic community, and other philanthropy-serving organizations.


Required Skills and Experiences

  • Program and project management skills: work on multiple projects within a team/collaborative staff environment; apply creativity and organizational skills, anticipate obstacles, identify and involve stakeholders appropriately, and use resources wisely; demonstrate experience and/or interest in conference/event planning.
  • Understanding of food systems in the U.S. context: broad understanding of current food and agriculture systems cultivated through applied work experience and/or education.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills: able to seek out, curate, and synthesize information from various sources (verbal, written, etc.) to support the development of programming on a wide range of topics related to food and agriculture systems; comfortable relying on subject area experts without personally needing to be an expert at any particular program area.
  • Attention to detail: track and manage many small details while not losing sight of the big picture; prioritize and work on multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
  • Strong communications, interpersonal, and listening skills: clearly and effectively communicate with others in writing, on the phone, and in person; work effectively and respectfully with a variety of individuals and organizations and provide space for diverse perspectives.
  • Strong computer skills: required expertise with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and email; preference for those with experience using email marketing platforms (MailChimp preferred), CRM databases (Salesforce preferred), and project management platforms.
  • Willingness to discuss and help SAFSF work to eliminate the impacts of race, class, gender, and other forms of structural bias within our own organization and the broader philanthropic sector.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years demonstrated experience with content-based program development and/or college education in relevant field.


Additional Preferred Skills

  • Past conference or event planning experience is a plus; SAFSF staff has high level of expertise and is able to provide training.
  • Basic to intermediate or greater experience with HTML, WordPress, and Adobe Creative Cloud programs.
  • Past experience developing effective communications and promotional materials for different audiences.
  • Past experience working for or directly with a philanthropic or philanthropy-serving organization, membership/network-based organization, or nonprofit organization is not required but would be a benefit.


Basic Work Requirements

Fluency in English. Willingness to travel within the U.S. occasionally, up to several times per year.


Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $45-55,000. We offer an excellent benefits package, which currently includes automatic and matching retirement contributions, medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance (paid for by SAFSF), as well as health and fitness and cell phone benefits. Paid time off includes federal holidays, vacation, personal, and volunteer hours.


Application and Hiring Process

We are committed to transparency and aim to minimize the stress and uncertainty of our application and hiring process.


All interested applicants must apply online at no later than 12:00 noon Pacific on October 1, 2018. Please submit a single PDF file (with the naming protocol Lastname_Firstname_SAFSF_ProgramAssociate) containing the following:

  1. Cover letter of no more than one page. Your letter should respond to the following:
    • How do your experiences and personal strengths prepare you for this position?
    • What appeals to you about this position?
  2. Resume or CV


Applicants will be contact by October 31, 2018 at the latest with regard to the status of their application. Applicants who move forward through the hiring process will participate in some combination of a video interview, in-person interview, and assessment(s).


Please contact [email protected] with any questions. We look forward to getting to know you!


SAFSF is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding, and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-09-12 00:06:23 -0400