Program Officer (GSF)

The General Service Foundation (“GSF”) is a private grant making family foundation that dedicates all of its resources to bringing about a more just and sustainable world. Founded and endowed by Clifton and Margaret Musser, the General Service Foundation has been committed to social justice since 1946. We believe everyone should have a chance to enjoy life with dignity, and every family should have the opportunity to thrive. GSF works with nonprofit organizations as a funder and partner. These organizations are embedded in grassroots communities, networked with one another, and connected to larger movements for a decisive impact. They’re pioneers, breaking new trails toward social justice with women, people of color and people with low incomes leading the way. For more information, please check out:

We take a collaborative, integrated, and active approach to our grantmaking. We have a strong commitment to racial and gender justice and highly value having a diverse team.


The Program Officer will be joining the program team and will be responsible for supporting GSF’s grantmaking for a Building Strong Movements portfolio. This portfolio builds on current grantmaking in reproductive and economic justice, and in 2018 will expand to include a broader range of movement and power building organizations. This position offers an opportunity to help craft and implement the vision for this portfolio with the program team. GSF currently has a staff of four, and this position will be based in the Berkeley office. The Program Officer will also contribute to the Foundation’s overall strategies, activities and initiatives in a highly integrated work environment. S/he is a highly motivated, problem solving, solution-oriented self-starter who can hit the ground running.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee all stages of grant-making, from solicitation through assessment, recommendation, and presentation to the Board of Directors

  • Monitor approved grants through site visits and reports on grantee progress to Executive Director and GSF Board of Directorspage1image18656

  • Contribute to the development and refinement of the Foundation’s systems, policies, and practices related to grantmaking and other organizational issues and practices

  • Ongoing communication with and support for grantees, including technical assistance to grantees and grant-seeking organizations, providing advice on other funding opportunities; referrals to consultants and other providers to address organizational needs; arranging for grantees to have broader exposure within the funding community; and providing other assistance that may help grantees carry out their work successfully

  • Build and maintain relationships with other funders, participate in strategic philanthropic affinity groups, and represent the foundation at conferences and meetings

  • Track information and analyze trends, networks, and movements and where GSF’s funding priorities intersect, and share information with GSF colleagues

  • Be able to take on other responsibilities as needed and wear multiple hats Qualifications

  • 5+ years professional experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred

  • Strong credibility as a social justice advocate and experience in building power and voice among marginalized communities

  • Previous experience working on Black-led organizing efforts and/or a healing justice background preferred

  • Demonstrated commitment to GSF’s mission and an alignment with our organizational values

  • An understanding of/ and a perspective on the role of philanthropy in advancing social justice

  • Experience working in non-profit, activist, or community-based organizations, and/orphilanthropic institutions

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to plan and think strategically, set and achieve realistic goals, and

    objectives, and balance multiple priorities

  • Strong intersectional analysis of gender and race

  • A belief in the power of social movements to bring about social, political, economic, and cultural


  • Understanding of the role of philanthropy in advancing social justice

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, listening skills, and judgement

  • Skilled at managing complex field dynamics at both individual and organizational levels

  • Appreciation of the power dynamics that shape grantmaking relationships and a commitment to building trust, two-way accountability, and mutual respect with grantee organizations

  • Ability to assess the leadership, track record, and capacity of social sector organizations and collaboratives

  • Excellent judgment, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills

  • Ability to analyze, synthesize, and present data

  • Able to build strong internal and external relationships to ensure shared learnings and strategic alignment

  • Comfort with ambiguity and willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changes in the needs of the foundation’s various initiatives

  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently; willing to help make a small organization run effectively

  • Proactive and self-motivated work style, with close attention to follow-up and detail and ability to manage several tasks simultaneously

  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion


  • Shares GSF’s vision and is inspired by the Foundation’s mission

  • Comfortable with multitasking and supporting multiple priorities for one or more individuals on the team

  • Flexible and able to cope skillfully with unexpected events

  • Collaborative: establishes productive, positive, and cooperative relationships within the organization, with grantees and other partners; resolves conflicts constructively

  • Warm, friendly, with a sense of fun and humor; s/he is excited to work with a team who hold each other in a respectful and affectionate regard

Benefits and Compensation

GSF provides competitive salaries, a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement benefits, generous sick days, holidays, and vacation time, and a pleasant working environment. The Foundation employs a small staff and is dedicated to promoting an environment of collaboration and workplace flexibility. GSF deeply values diversity and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of underrepresented backgrounds, including gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.


Applications will be accepted until Jan 5th, 2018. Applications should submit one PDF that will include the following: a resume, a thoughtful cover letter stating why you are interested in the position and your qualifications, and a writing sample (between 3-5 pages) sent to: [email protected]. General Service Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse group of applicants.


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