The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people.
The Program Associate provides administrative and program-related support to the Foundation’s Education portfolio. As assigned by the Program Director of Education, the Program Associate may be involved in the initial screening of potential grantees, arranging meetings with potential grantees, preparing docket materials, and monitoring ongoing grants. The Program Associate works closely with the Grants Manager to ensure that grantmaking under the Education Program adheres to Foundation policies, procedures and deadlines.
The Program Associate will support the Foundation’s Education Program Officers (POs). This nonexempt position is based in our Los Altos, CA office and reports to the Program Director of Education. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
Duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Provide primary clerical and administrative support to the Education POs: manage meeting requests; handle travel and other logistical arrangements; prepare POs’ expense reports, if needed; handle logistical details for internal and external meetings, keep contacts databases updated; and assist with formatting presentations and other electronic documents. Maintain the Education grant files, drafts or edits correspondence and reports, and track and renew memberships and subscriptions to journals and other publications.
- Provide grants administration support for the maintenance of all active grants in the Education portfolio, including: regular communications with grantees; report receipt and follow-up on overdue reports; authorizations for no-cost extensions or changes in the grant budget and report or payment schedules; ensuring grant files are complete and updated as needed; and entry of all related information and attachment of documents such as reports and closing summaries in grants database. In carrying out these duties, respond to all requests, deadlines, and any special assignments from the Grants Manager, Program Officers, or the Program Director for Education.
- Ensure timely receipt of concept papers and proposal submissions and their appropriate internal distribution.
- In coordination with the POs, prepare a series of written products for Education grants in advance of deadlines for grants and docket preparation, including grants-level summaries, budgets, and/or overview memos and program-level narratives, budgets, memos, surveys, and/or presentations. Compile all grant materials in accordance with grantmaking policies and procedures and within deadlines set forth by the POs and Grants Manager.
- Participate in meetings and training sessions organized by Grants Management, Human Resources, and/or Finance.
- Assume a lead role and serve as first point of contact in compiling, reviewing, and responding to unsolicited grant requests: request additional information from organizations, if necessary to complete a review; and communicate declinations and the rationale of the declination to the grant seekers orally and/or in writing.
- Maintain a thorough knowledge of the priorities and grantee selection criteria for the Education program area and a working knowledge of the priorities of other program areas of the Foundation. Respond to phone or email requests for program area information from potential grant applicants.
- Conduct research and maintain an internal database on potential grantees and partner institutions, including intermediary organizations. Assist colleagues in gathering background information, history, and organizational data on prospective grantees to inform the review process and ensure the eligibility of prospective grantees in the early phase of consideration.
- At the request of or in consultation with the POs, arrange and attend meetings of grantees in the Foundation’s office or in the field on site visits. Manage the logistical arrangements, coordination, and follow-up activities related to meetings on- or off-site, as needed. For on-site meetings, work collaboratively with the Office Manager to plan and carry out events.
- Prepare consultant contracts and assist in coordinating activity of the consultants with internal colleagues or grantees, as needed. Prepare required documents for the establishment and approval of individual consulting contracts. Assist with monitoring expenditures related to the approved budgets, ensure reimbursement of authorized expenses, maintain supporting documentation of related contracts, and work with the Finance Department on year-end budget reconciliation.
- Conduct research, data analysis, and prepare reports as assigned by the POs. Remain abreast of current research, activities, and trends in philanthropy by reviewing professional publications, and attending related conferences, meetings, and other events.
- Support strategic planning activities which may include collating historical grants data, and responding to other data calls and information needs.
- A bachelor’s degree is required.
- 2+ years of related work experience with a nonprofit organization.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, as well as databases and cloud-based file sharing systems.
- Ability to plan and prioritize workflow and meet deadlines.
- Ability to work independently and reliably, think strategically, take initiative, and be solution-oriented.
- Excellent attention to detail, accuracy, and follow-through.
- Experience in meeting facilitation and organization.
- Flexibility and willingness to assist others as needed.
- Ability to explain Foundation’s history, values, and current funding initiatives.
- Ability to accurately articulate the goals and objectives of assigned program area(s).
- Experience in philanthropy or nonprofit organizations.
- Experience in one or more of the Foundation’s Education areas of interest.
- Sense of teamwork, community, humor, and integrity.
How To Apply