The Weingart Foundation partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector in Southern California that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice.
We are a private grantmaking foundation advancing racial, social and economic justice in Southern California. Founded in 1951 by Ben and Stella Weingart, the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants and loans to thousands of organizations across the region. By strengthening organizations focused on providing critical services and building power in communities of color, the Weingart Foundation is demonstrating what is possible when we invest and trust in our partners. The Foundation’s grantmaking program and other support are designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to meet essential needs, expand opportunity and eliminate structural barriers to equity by building the community power required to sustain long-term prosperity.
A staff of 24 conducts the day-to-day operations of the Foundation, and a Board of Trustees oversees our work. Our core values are: racial justice, courage, dignity, innovation, curiosity, partnership, respect, and trust. More information about the Foundation can be found at www.weingartfnd.org.
Background on What We Do
The Weingart Foundation funds in the five Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. We support nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions that provide critical services in communities, as well as those engaged in power building and organizing for systemic change. Reflecting the trust and respect we have for our nonprofit partners, multi-year Unrestricted Operating Support (U.O.S.) makes up the overwhelming majority of our grantmaking. While we fund a broad range of organizations throughout our service area, we have also identified several Areas of Special Interest. Our geographically-based areas of special interest include the historically underserved communities of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles. Our issue-based areas of special interest include Housing Justice, Immigrant/Refugee Rights and Integration, and Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness.
Our commitment to equity requires that all of our policies and practices align with our focus on advancing racial and socioeconomic justice. We increasingly make mission related investments, and we exclude investments in areas like firearms, tobacco, private prisons, and activity that harms the environment.
Position: Program Officer
Reports to: Senior Director of Special Projects and Communications
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The primary responsibility of this newly created Program Officer position is the management and review of grant requests from initial contact with grant applicants to final disposition, reporting and learning. The Program Officer serves as a member of the grant making staff of the Foundation and works closely with the Special Projects team, all program staff, and the Foundation’s C.E.O. to develop and recommend grants consistent with the Foundation’s policies, guidelines and commitment to advancing racial, social and economic justice. The Program Officer will have a specific, but not exclusive, focus on reviewing grant requests specific to several of the Foundation’s Areas of Special Interest (Immigrant & Refugee Rights, Housing Justice, and Strengthening Nonprofit Effectiveness) and our Strategic Opportunity Fund.
Review and analyze grant applications. Conduct site visits and other due diligence activities to determine the fit with the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities;
Analyze financial documents submitted with grant applications to assess fiscal strength of applicant and sustainability of programs;
Engage with applicants to obtain additional information and to answer all inquiries in a timely, service-oriented manner;
Prepare written assessments of applications and recommendations for funding; o Present grant requests and recommendations through a peer review process and ultimately to the C.E.O. and/or Board for consideration and action.
Program Strategy: Support the Senior Director of Special Projects and the Director, Leadership for Movements, in developing and implementing the grant strategy for the relevant Areas of Special Interest.
Emerging Issues and Trends: Keep current on issues impacting the Foundation’s geographic and issue funding areas as well as trends in philanthropy and share insights with staff and management as appropriate.
Organizational Learning and Assessment: Monitor progress of grantees in achieving key objectives of the grant. Synthesize learnings from grantee reports and other deliverables for internal and external knowledge sharing. Complete benchmark organizational assessments to capture data on applicants’ organizational effectiveness to support the Foundation’s ongoing learning.
Capacity-Building/Organizational Effectiveness Support: Provide other forms of support to build capacity and organizational effectiveness of grantees including facilitating technical assistance, sharing best practices and knowledge, and/or convening as appropriate.
External Representation: Represent the Foundation to external partners and constituents and participate in funder tables (nonprofits, policy makers, the general public and other funders, etc.) as requested by management.
Consultants and Vendors: Manage consulting and vendor relationships as needed, including drafting and issuing request for qualifications/proposals, reviewing scopes of work and independent contractor agreements.
Board Assistance/Responsiveness: Assist individual Board members and management with grant questions and other areas of inquiry or interest.
Special Projects: Special projects as assigned.
A successful candidate will have the following professional competencies and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics.
Dedication to our mission: Passion for the Foundation’s mission and alignment with our core values, a demonstrated commitment to racial and social justice, and a demonstrated commitment to serving impacted communities.
Relevant experience: Minimum 5 years of relevant experience working for racial, economic, and social change, including but not limited to the nonprofit, public, and philanthropic sectors.
Skills, knowledge and abilities:
The ability to assess key issues from a systemic perspective, connect with relevant stakeholders, and understand the landscape in order to make recommendations on grant applications and to inform strategy development.
A strong understanding of the Southern California nonprofit social justice sector, movement building, systems changes, the diverse communities that make up the region, and the Foundation’s major equity and social justice issues.
A strong understanding of nonprofit program development, campaign and coalition work, budgeting, evaluation and organizational development. o General familiarity on the issues of housing/homelessness and immigrant and refugee rights.
Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills. Strong computer proficiency including Microsoft Office software suite and willingness to learn the required grants database software.
Excellence and integrity:
A strong work ethic, with the highest level of personal and professional integrity. o Excellent time-management and organizational skills with an ability to balance multiple priorities, meet deadlines, and adjust with flexibility -- all with attention to detail. o A commitment to ongoing learning and improvement.
Flexible and proactive work style:
Ability to work independently, collaboratively and in a team-oriented environment both within the Foundation and with external stakeholders.
Comfortable working as a generalist in the context of the Foundation’s broad interests and priorities.
Proactive. Possesses initiative and drive, an inquisitive mind, and good humor. Open to innovation and mindful risk-taking in our work.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Demonstrated experience working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Has a strong personal interest and commitment to working in an inclusive environment that places a high value on equity.
An undergraduate degree is preferred but not required. A graduate degree is a plus but not required.
Benefits and Compensation
Expected initial salary will be $75,000-$95,000 annually, commensurate with experience. The Foundation also provides a generous benefits package. This position is full-time and exempt.
The Weingart Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Given the Foundation’s focus on racial and socio-economic justice, we welcome candidates from marginalized communities. This includes people of color, people with disabilities, with diverse cultural and gender identities, and with relevant lived experience, who are strongly encouraged to apply.