Program Officer, Civic Engagement & Immigrant Justice

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jul 06, 2021
Jul 29, 2021
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

Program Officer, Civic Engagement & Immigrant Justice
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Los Angeles, CA

About Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

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 monitor grantee performance; and work to promote the effectiveness of programs that receive donor funding. 

For more information on Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, please visit

The Opportunity

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund’s Donor Initiatives Department seeks a dynamic, collaborative, and strategic Program Officer to help evolve and implement new strategic efforts to strengthen diverse representation, participation, and leadership in U.S. democracy in selected U.S. States, as well as efforts to promote the protection of the rights of immigrants and their children to ensure they are treated with dignity and fairness. The Program Officer must be a proven leader in both fields and bring a strong intersectional analysis to the work with a clear track record working on racial justice issues. The Program Officer also has the seamless ability to straddle between these two areas.

The Program Officer must have significant lived and/or professional experience working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized from the systems that affect their lives to always keep the lived experiences of people and communities at the center of this dual grantmaking approach.

This position calls on a depth of knowledge in state-level, nonpartisan civic engagement with a focus on BIPOC and youth, as well as in immigrant justice. The Program Officer must have a demonstrated understanding of effective philanthropy that can be applied across any of these issue areas.

Primary responsibilities fall into four broad categories, each of which are central to the role:

Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Under the guidance of the NY-Based Program Director and in response to Wellspring donors, implement grantmaking strategies focused on civic engagement and immigrant justice, and other intersecting issues. 
  • For issue areas identified by the Director and the donors, research outstanding needs, refine philanthropy strategies and develop goals for impact. 
  • Stay well-informed of new developments and trends in the selected fields to find emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities, and to supply analyses to synthesize implications for the different portfolios. 
  • Explore emerging grantmaking strategies across these two issue areas and other social justice issues. 
  • Promote and participate in fostering open-mindedness and a culture of learning – including learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work – seeking to continually ask hard questions, gather independent and rigorous data and evidence about effectiveness of the foundation and grantees’ strategies, and help adapt practice as needed. 


  • Explore potential grantee partnerships, manage grantee relationships, analyze background information, ask for and develop funding proposals, determine appropriate funding levels, and prepare grant recommendations. 
  • Conduct site visits to monitor grantee work, reviewing progress reports, conducting evaluations of grantee programs, and monitoring use of grant funds. 
  • Ensure compliance with internal grantmaking due diligence and monitoring protocols. Liaise with grants management and legal teams to troubleshoot compliance issues and ensure prompt and smooth grant transactions.

External Relations

  • When relevant, create annual work plans, annual reports, and prepare presentations and memos to educate Wellspring leadership and donor clients on strategy, emerging areas, and grantmaking impact. 
  • Build and keep engagement with peer funders, thought leaders, affinity groups, and civil society organizations working in fields relevant to human rights and atrocity prevention and response. 
  • Engage in creative use of convenings, co-funding, partnerships, pooled funds, and other philanthropic tools to promote a common grantmaking agenda and advance learning in the philanthropy and social justice sectors, among others. 
  • As needed, source and manage outside consultants: develop RFPs, solicit proposals, develop work plans, oversee contracts, and ensure high-quality deliverables. 
  • Represent WPF at conferences and meetings with NGOs, funders, experts, and consultants; ensure follow-up, as needed. This may include some minimum international or domestic travel. 

Team and Organizational Engagement

  • Contribute to the advancement of organization‐wide initiatives at Wellspring, including internal committees or task forces with program and operational staff. 
  • Initiate and lead institutional discussions on common thematic areas of interest or grantmaking practice, collaborating with staff from other program areas to share and align strategic thinking. 
  • Participate in team activities to coordinate workflow, learn, align grantmaking, and represent the Donor Initiatives team internally. 

Candidate Profile

Strong candidates will bring a diverse set of skills, characteristics, and experiences, both professional and lived. Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and Koya strive to mitigate inherent biases that influence hiring practices by focusing on a holistic view of potential candidates and understanding that no single candidate will offer every desired skill and characteristic.

The following offers an aspirational view of the ideal candidate profile; we encourage applications from candidates with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented groups.

  • 10-15 years of experience leading social justice strategies and proven subject-matter expertise related to the ideas and approaches outlined above, including significant experience with demonstrable impact in BIPOC communities and/or other historically disadvantaged communities. 
  • 5+ years of experience working in philanthropy; including developing philanthropy strategies and executing a philanthropy portfolio for individual philanthropists. 
  • A strong sense of how to apply racial justice analyses to strategy is required. 
  • Written and oral fluency in English (required) and Spanish (highly preferred). Strong orientation for, and commitment to donor service; ability to assess and meet the donors’ goals and preferences. A passion to serve in a way that demonstrates respect and comradery. 
  • Comfortable working autonomously but also with a broader team in support of the donors.  
  • Proven organizational skills and ability to manage complex processes and track multiple projects. 
  • Must thrive when working under deadlines, have strong project and time management skills, and be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without sacrificing attention to detail.  
  • Familiarity with a fast-paced and evolving environment and a willingness to share in both “big picture” thinking and administrative tasks. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Possession of sound judgment, tact, humility, and discretion required in order to work effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Highly flexible and adaptable, self-starting team player with a direct, honest, and respectful approach to problem solving, and ability to contribute to a strong sense of community among staff. 
  • Excellent analytic abilities, research, writing, editing, and communications skills.  
  • Understands and values social justice, including racial and gender equity as an organizational operating principle –and is committed to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of the time required (Note that Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is prioritizing the safety of its team in COVID-19 and has suspended travel for the time being). 
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required.  
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Asana. 

Additional preferred qualifications/attributes

  • Experience in a nonprofit grantmaking environment. 
  • Familiarity with narrative change for social justice a plus.  
  • Foreign language skills, including Spanish, a plus. 

Limitations and Disclaimer

The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required for the position. The team member may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed. 

Compensation & Benefits

Salary range: $115,000 - $130,000 based on experience. We offer 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 dependents, and is committed to providing transgender‐inclusive healthcare. 


Molly Brennan and Malissa Brennan of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Molly Brennan and Malissa Brennan at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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