Program Associate, Wellspring Climate Initiative (WPF)


A Program Associate at Wellspring’s Climate Initiative (WCI) reports to one of the Program Directors (recruitment to begin early 2020), supporting a diverse grantmaking portfolio across several sectors and geographies. A Program Associate provides both programmatic and administrative support for the WCI team and may manage a limited number of direct grantee relationships, including soliciting and reviewing proposals, monitoring grants, and conducting site visits under the guidance of the Program Director.

A Program Associate has a minimum of three years of experience in the climate change or related field; demonstrated experience creatively and strategically directing resources to leverage change; and strong analytical, writing, and verbal communication skills. 


WCI seeks to avoid the worst impacts of climate change by dramatically reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. Our investments will be aimed at decarbonizing the world economy as quickly as possible and will focus on the strategies and venues where philanthropy can have the highest impact. We will be active in multiple geographies based on opportunities for cost-effective mitigation. We believe that solving climate change requires the adoption of ambitious, evidence-based policy solutions that transform markets, advance clean technology and lead to large-scale change. WCI is dedicated to building the political will and powerful coalitions needed to achieve these bold policy solutions.

WCI is based in Irvine, California. It is an initiative of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, which is headquartered in New York City.


Program development, delivery, and performance

  • Conduct research and analysis on specific programs and climate sector trends to support WCI in determining strategic priorities and setting operational plans.
  • Provide and communicate global and regional analysis verbally and in writing, including developing presentations, graphs, and charts to contribute to the strategy and planning process.
  • Assist the Executive Director, Program Director, and leadership team in preparing aspects of the program strategy and evidence base to support grant approval processes.
  • Support the oversight and lead administration of the grant management process to enable WCI to deliver and monitor its philanthropic activity efficiently and effectively, and ensure impact.
  • Assist the program officers as needed with tracking grantee work and outcomes, including reviewing grants reports, and participating in meetings with grantees.
  • Support the preparation of strategy recommendations, background papers, summary reports and portfolio investment reports, to ensure these are produced to a high standard and in a timely fashion.
  • Assist program directors with drafting of summaries and analysis of grant proposals.
  • Participate in all aspects of grant making, including initial screening of potential grantees, analyzing background information; soliciting and developing funding proposals; preparing grant recommendations; serving as focal point on select grantee relationships; and conducting site visits.


  • Assist team with planning and coordinating meetings, travel, workshops and convenings; make logistical arrangements as needed; manage consultant contracts.
  • Maintain grants database, budget spreadsheets and grant calendars, and coordinate grant processes for the team.
  • Support strategic planning, reflection and learning processes, including through research, analysis, preparation of materials, and note taking.

Sector knowledge and profile-building

  • Proactively build and maintain external knowledge and networks to ensure decision-making is shaped by up-to-date insights and research.
  • Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities.
  • Support geographic or sector-relevant research and analysis to inform the effective development, delivery, and evaluation of programs and initiatives.

Financial stewardship, supervision, and management

  • Coordinate the development of grant agreements closely with the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund team including the forecasting of grant payments, to enable effective grant management and reporting.
  • Support the maintenance of annual administrative budgets for programmatic expenses.
  • Prepare and support relevant WCI presentations.
  • Serve as a compliance checkpoint to ensure grantmaking stays within yearly budgets.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as requested.


  • Minimum of three years of experience working in climate change or a related field; philanthropic and/or advocacy experience is desired.
  • An advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred, or equivalent by experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain close, collegial, effective working relationships with colleagues and grantees of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Exceptional judgment and ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Proven experience interacting with senior management.
  • Ability to multi-task, meet deadlines, and work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Understanding of grantmaking.
  • Excellent analytic abilities and organizational skills.
  • Comfort with quantitative information and data, including budgets and financial information.
  • Initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility, and a sense of humor.
  • Excellent English language writing, synthesizing, editing, and proofreading skills.
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural, team environment.
  • Understanding and embodiment of Wellspring values (, including humility and teamwork
  • Understanding and valuing social justice, including racial and gender equity as an organizational operating principle - - and a commitment to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Willingness to learn, be open to new ideas, and have fun.


Salary range $60,000-$70,000 based on experience and skills. Wellspring offers a very generous benefits package including payment of 100% of the health insurance premiums for employees (and 80% of the premiums for spouses, domestic partners and qualified family members). Wellspring also offers other benefits including life insurance, long‐term disability protection, a group 401(k) retirement plan (with an employer match), support for continuing education, up to $5,250 in annual student loan repayment OR college savings assistance for qualified dependents, and is committed to providing transgender‐inclusive healthcare.


Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to advancing the realization of human rights and social and economic justice for all people. Wellspring has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and Irvine, CA

Wellspring’s work is rooted in respect for the dignity and worth of every human being and is informed by the following beliefs:

  • Social institutions and structures should promote the full realization of human rights and human potential, and should be accountable to these ends.
  • The rights of all people are advanced when the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable peoples are protected.
  • Social justice movements should employ means that are consistent with their ideals, and should give agency to the people whose interests they seek to advance.
  • As responsible stewards, we must strive to maximize the impact of our charitable investments.

As a private foundation, Wellspring’s key functions are to conduct research and education tailored to our mission; manage a grantmaking portfolio of various programs, administer grants and monitoring grantee performance; and work to promote the effectiveness of programs that receive donor funding.

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund believes we are strengthened by the diversity of our staff, and welcomes such diversity including race, gender identity or expression, educational attainment, disability, veteran status, and personal experience with the criminal justice system. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and we strongly encourage people of color and persons with disabilities to apply. We actively cultivate an institutional culture that reflects the values of respect, equity and inclusion that we seek through our work to amplify in the larger world.

Wellspring hires, promotes and retains employees based on their professional qualifications, demonstrated abilities and work performance, as well as on the degree to which these qualities are required in the employment positions made available by the Foundation’s service needs and business requirements.  All personnel decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, assignment, training, promotion, discipline and discharge, are made without discrimination based on any protected characteristic as defined by law, e.g., race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, domestic partner status, veteran or military status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, and prior criminal convictions, as well as educational attainment.


For employment consideration, please submit application to [email protected] Subject Line: “[Your name]— Climate Program Associate.”

All applications must include:

  • a resumé; and
  • a thoughtful cover letter, including how you became aware of this opportunity (i.e. job portal ,referral, etc.) and salary requirements (must specify actual amount and/or range).

NOTE: At this time, our preference is that applicants have work authorization to work in the United States. If you need sponsorship, please let us know in your cover letter.

The application deadline is Friday, January 17th. (Candidates selected for interview will be contacted following the end of the application period.) No phone calls please.

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