Program Officer - Global Children’s Rights Program (WP)

Job Summary

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund seeks a Program Officer for the Global Children’s Rights (GCR) team. The GCR Program Officer will report to the Program Director and work with the Director, the Senior Program Officer, a Program Assistant, and other Wellspring staff on a global grantmaking program to advance the rights and wellbeing of children. 

The Global Children’s Rights Program promotes the realization of the rights and wellbeing of children guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and locally defined concepts that support these principles. The Program supports children of all genders, abilities, and orientations, with a specific emphasis on girls. The program employs the following key values and principles in grantcraft: child-centered, rights-framed, locally generated, gender-sensitive, inclusive, and evidence-based.

The GCR portfolio aims to promote children’s thriving worldwide by strengthening the field of children’s rights, as well by preventing violence against girls and boys. The program strategies include accelerating progress through power-building, community-led and youth led-work, and fostering other new ways of working to advance children’s rights. The program also aims to foster progress through learning, knowledge generation, creation of effective interventions, and evidence-building. The team currently supports global advocacy and country-level work in East Africa and is exploring new geographies.

The Program Officer will co-manage an existing grant portfolio, and the role will consist of strategy implementation, analysis, grants management, monitoring and evaluation, and advancing the agenda through internal and external engagement with partners. It is envisioned that the new Program Officer’s role will include significant collaboration with the Senior Program Officer and the Program Assistant who currently manage the GCR grants.


Key Responsibilities


  • Under the guidance of the Program Director and in collaboration with the Senior Program Officer and Program Assistant, develop, refine, and implement grantmaking priorities and strategic approaches consistent with the program’s current multi-year strategy and work plan.
  • Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities in alignment with approved program strategy and how to best respond.
  • Provide thought leadership to advance the portfolio.


  • Build relationships with current and potential grantees, including engaging at community level, national level, and global level. Maintain regular contact with grantees about programming.
    • Conduct site visits internationally, including travel to remote areas.
  • As needed, advise grantees on key organizational development issues such as governance, growth, fiscal planning, managing leadership and staff transitions, multi-year strategic planning, coaching, etc.
  • As needed, connect grantees with opportunities, resources, and other actors in the field.
  • Solicit and develop funding proposals. Conduct due diligence. Write and edit grant summaries and other materials for official approval. Determine appropriate funding levels (in compliance with Wellspring guidelines). Ensure adherence to internal grantmaking processes.
  • As needed, assist grantees to craft stronger proposals.
  • As needed, advise grantees on monitoring and evaluation, theories of change, foundational research, development of interventions, crafting outcomes and measurement.
  • Review progress reports, conduct evaluations of grantee programs, and monitor use of grant funds.
  • Utilize the grantmaking to generate knowledge and evidence and share with the field.
    • Assess the individual and collective impact of the grantees and assess how to expand the impact.
    • Support grantees in their own learning.
  • Co-design a new learning process about reducing violence against girls and boys in East Africa and other geographies, among other duties. Create interconnections of local knowledge and global evidence.

Other Responsibilities

  • Educate Wellspring’s donors, other staff members, and public audiences on issues related to child rights and violence prevention.
  • Participate in cross-programmatic and foundation-wide activities, including internal committees or task forces.
  • Fulfill ongoing Wellspring administrative tasks as needed.
  • Mentor junior staff.
  • Supervise consultants for specific projects as needed.
  • Build and maintain relationships with other donors and participate in funder collaborations to advance program goals. Engage in creative use of convenings, co-funding, partnerships, pooled-funds, and other tools alongside donors to promote a common grantmaking agenda to advance the strategy, field learning, and leadership.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills Requirements/Qualifications

Values, Skills, and Abilities

  • A demonstrated commitment to promoting rights and a progressive agenda.
  • Demonstrated ability and cultural competency to establish and maintain relationships with colleagues and grantees of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Ability to understand and manage the power differential in the funder-grantee relationship as well as the ability to handle all relationships with humility and respect.
  • An open, critical thinking, and innovative mindset and a keen interest in learning.
  • Experience in learning processes, communities of practice, and generating program-level learning including on program design, theories of change, crafting outcomes, setting a baseline and foundational research, development of interventions, measurement, and generating evidence.
  • Close attention to follow-up and detail and strong writing skills.
  • Ability to manage time effectively and several tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Desire and ability to work as part of a small team in a highly collaborative environment and willingness to do whatever needs to be done. Comfort to work behind-the-scenes in a low-profile role.
  • Initiative, resourcefulness, and flexibility.
  • Experience mentoring and supporting junior staff growth and development.
  • Ability, capacity, and desire to travel extensively, including to remote locations in East Africa and elsewhere.

Education, Experience, and Knowledge

  • Graduate degree in international development, child development, human rights, organizational leadership and development, or related field; OR equivalent experience.
  • Strong background and seven to fifteen years’ work experience in children’s rights, such as:
    • Prevention of violence against girls and boys, child protection, community- and youth-led development, gender norms, social norms, human rights, and health.
    • Preferred experience with strategies such as organizational development and capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy.
    • Familiarity with the NGOs, researchers, and funders working in children’s rights.
  • Five years’ experience in grantmaking preferred, including: reviewing or writing grant proposals, resource mobilization, and/or program design.
  • Familiarity with trends in public, private, and philanthropic investment in child rights, education, and child development.
  • Experience living and working at community level in a developing country for at least a year preferred.
  • Foreign language competency preferred.



Salary range: $110,000–$120,000, depending on experience. Wellspring offers a very generous benefits package including payment of 100% of health insurance premiums for employees (and 80% of 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 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, NY and Washington, DC. 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. 

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]— GCR PO.” All applications must include:

  • a resumé;
  • 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 range); and
  • one writing sample (no less than 3 and no more than 5 pages, attached in PDF format).

No phone calls please.

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 November 19th, 2018



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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-10-29 18:57:19 -0400