Program Officer, Family Initiatives & New Opportunities

California, United States
Competitive Salary
Jun 25, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


Sobrato Philanthropies creates social change by partnering with communities to build a world that is more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. Guided by the business philosophy and personal values of the Sobrato family, three generations engage in grantmaking, advocacy, impact investing, and collaborative efforts designed to create impact in the communities they serve. Sobrato Philanthropies is part of The Sobrato Organization, a multi-generational, family-owned firm that has played a dynamic role in the emergence and growth of Silicon Valley for nearly 70 years. Sobrato Philanthropies leverages the combined power of multiple giving vehicles, including the Sobrato Family Foundation, which has focused on building opportunity in Silicon Valley since 1996. The Sobrato family is committed to building a strong and vibrant Silicon Valley community through business and philanthropic leadership.

Sobrato Philanthropies’ Silicon Valley strategy leverages grantmaking and in-kind office space to build a resilient and effective nonprofit community serving low-income Silicon Valley residents and increase stability and economic mobility for low-income individuals in the region. The Economic Mobility Program makes grants across three portfolios – Essential Human Services, Pathways for Success, and Bachelor’s Completion – toward a vision of expanded opportunity for low-income Silicon Valley residents. Sobrato Philanthropies also invests directly in the region’s nonprofit ecosystem by providing in-kind office and meeting space through its four Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits. Beyond these programs, Sobrato Philanthropies has expanded to new strategies including impacting systemic change on behalf of English Learners in the state and investing in ocean conservation and plastic reduction efforts globally.


The Sobrato Philanthropies platform was developed in 2019 with a key goal of bringing the Sobrato family’s multiple forms of giving—both personal and through the foundation—under one umbrella. In order to operationalize this goal, new processes, systems, and capacity are being developed to equip the staff and family—all while promoting a sustained level of engagement from the family members and piloting/iterating new engagement strategies.

The Family Initiatives & New Opportunities team was created to: 1) Support individual Sobrato family members on their philanthropic efforts; 2) Develop portfolios and strategies to support new areas of giving; 3) Facilitate opportunities for the family to engage with each other around philanthropic pursuits, and for the family to learn more about potential new areas of giving. Working at three levels—individual, collaborative, and collective—this new team seeks to support the Sobrato family’s philanthropic activity across a range of topics and issues currently including ocean conservation, climate, and democracy reform.

Working closely with and reporting to the Director, Family Initiatives & New Opportunities, this newly-created Program Officer position will provide support to individual Sobrato family members in their philanthropic pursuits and provide research, project management, planning, and grantmaking support for new areas of giving. The program officer will be a core member of the team, working collaboratively with foundation staff, Sobrato family and board, external advisors, and grantees. Initially, this role will focus on Sobrato family engagement and, over time, key areas of work will shift to grantmaking portfolios requiring more engagement with grantees.

This is a unique opportunity to partner with the Sobrato family to shape passions and ideas from the seedling phase all the way to ripened areas for grantmaking implementation. The ideal candidate will be a stellar project manager and facilitator as well as a quick learner with a strong ability to design and execute strategic exploration processes across multiple issue areas. The Program Officer must be adaptable to the goals and styles of key stakeholders and navigate through any roadblocks toward alignment and successful implementation.


Sobrato Family Individual Philanthropic Support

  • Support individual family members in their areas of personal philanthropic interest
  • Support planning and facilitation of quarterly family meetings aimed to promote sharing about individual areas of philanthropic activity
  • Manage ongoing communications efforts to support Sobrato family members to learn about new opportunities for giving, for example, through bi-weekly newsletters and relevant memos

New Opportunities: Portfolio-Related Research, Project Management, and Planning

  • In partnership with the Director, build, manage and refine the process to shape new areas of giving, including engaging key stakeholders and Sobrato family members
  • In partnership with the Director, support the ongoing facilitation process to develop strategies and curate new areas of giving
  • Conduct research pertaining to priority issue areas to ensure philanthropic activity is informed by knowledge and data
  • Analyze and synthesize findings and recommendations drawn from analysis and share with key stakeholders
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, and other key stakeholders in the climate/democracy/oceans areas to keep abreast of trends, leverage peer learning and drive program outcomes
  • Provide meeting preparation support as needed (e.g. agenda development and facilitation support)

New Opportunities: Grantmaking

  • Identify potential grantees and projects relevant to the exploration of new topic areas
  • Coordinate and conduct due diligence on organizations and evaluate potential investment opportunities
  • Manage the relationship with prospective grantees, including conducting site visits; providing technical assistance and facilitating connections, where appropriate; and maintaining an open relationship with current grantees
  • Monitor and evaluate the work, based on reports and other monitoring data

Other Responsibilities

  • Represent Sobrato Philanthropies to various constituencies including at outside conferences and meetings
  • Build collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with other staff, identifying areas of synergy, seeking input from others, and offering support in return
  • Special projects and duties as assigned



  • Commitment to Sobrato Philanthropies’ mission and values
  • 5-8 years of related experience such as facilitating philanthropic initiatives for donors, supporting donor advised funds, philanthropic consulting/project management, and/or grantmaking across a range of topic areas
  • A learning mindset with aptitude, interest, and enthusiasm in expanding understanding across and shifting between multiple issue areas; ability to both hold a broad/cross-issue lens and go deep on particular topics as needed (deep issue-area expertise in ocean conservation, climate, and/or democracy reform is not required)
  • Experience thriving in an environment of organizational change with multiple priorities
  • Experience effectively managing multiple work streams simultaneously, ensuring projects move forward
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to quickly digest and translate new information into actionable insights and invest grant funds strategically with a high degree of accountability
  • Track record of effectively building trusting relationships with stakeholders, internally and externally – including with diverse personalities, roles, functions, and perspectives – and the ability to work well independently and within a team, demonstrating a high degree of initiative and collaboration
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education, training, and other experience


  • Desire and ability to listen to and empathize with community challenges and channel voices of lived experience
  • Emotional intelligence and self-awareness to understand impact on others and quickly adapt to styles
  • Exceptional interpersonal communications skills
  • Ability to be flexible and comfortable with ambiguity
  • Views change and challenge as exciting opportunities to identify solutions, test new approaches, respond to feedback, and make course corrections
  • Highly collaborative bridge-builder who can bring individuals and teams together
  • Interest in contributing to ongoing efforts to deepen our work in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Sets the highest of expectations for personal and organizational standards and achievement
  • Demonstrates integrity using discretion and maintaining confidentiality and excellent judgment
  • Humility and learning orientation to recognize and flag relevant challenges, ask for help when needed, and to learn from successes and challenges
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word and Excel, with familiarity with tools like Fluxx a plus


Sobrato Philanthropies promotes equitable and rewarding compensation for its team. Salary is commensurate with experience, plus a competitive benefits package with perks including medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; 401(k) plan with generous employer match; paid time off; vacation and holidays; access to professional development resources; matching gift contributions; an Employee Assistance Program (EAP); cell phone reimbursement; public transportation passes; dedicated parking; stocked kitchen snacks and beverages; and many employee events and lunches!

Beyond competitive salaries, benefits and perks, joining Sobrato Philanthropies is an opportunity to build upon the Sobrato family legacy of strong values, deep commitment and large-scale community impact. Sobrato Philanthropies is dynamic, growing, encourages collaboration and continuous learning, and is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion. Our team has the opportunity to contribute immediately taking on meaningful work alongside caring, talented colleagues.


Sobrato Philanthropies is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a values-aligned, Bay Area-based, people of color- and women-owned and -led strategic consultancy. To apply, email a cover letter, resume and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to references) by 5:00 pm PT on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 to Use the subject line “Program Officer, Family Initiatives and New Opportunities.” One combined PDF file is preferred. Candidate review begins immediately. 

In alignment with our values, Sobrato Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are dedicated to building a team that represents a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, experiences, perspectives, and skills and to creating an environment of inclusion and belonging welcoming to all regardless of race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. People of diverse backgrounds with lived experience in our communities and focus areas are strongly encouraged to apply. The team is currently working remotely, with the plan to return to the office when it is deemed safe to do so.

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