Position Announcement: Senior Program Officer, Economic Mobility
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.
About The Position
The Senior Program Officer will play a significant role as a member of the Sobrato Philanthropies team, reporting to the Program Director, Economic Mobility and working collaboratively with a team of colleagues to lead and help shape key elements of strategy design, implementation, evaluation and learning in the Economic Mobility Program. The senior program officer will develop, implement, and adapt strategy to address structural barriers and support increased economic mobility for low-income Silicon Valley residents. In particular, they will lead local grantmaking with a focus on a range of strategies impacting economic mobility, including career pathways, small business and entrepreneurship, and postsecondary success for first generation and low-income students. The senior program officer will demonstrate deep knowledge about promising strategies and approaches to support economic mobility, with an emphasis on catalyzing change for low-income Silicon Valley individuals and families. They will have an understanding of the local, state, and national landscape and systems related to economic inclusion and barriers to economic mobility faced by low-income populations and communities of color. They will apply strategic thinking and meaningful knowledge and understanding across a variety of issue areas to drive impact in Silicon Valley, but need not be an expert on every issue.
The senior program officer will bring and cultivate deep relationships with local stakeholders, develop feedback loops that leverage community voice as a key input into strategy, and deploy evaluation toward outcomes and learning. They will be grounded in humility and respect for the audiences and stakeholders we serve and will be curious, collaborative, and growth-minded with the capacity and desire to leverage all of Sobrato Philanthropies’ tools – grant dollars, capacity building, evaluation, investments, leadership, and real estate – toward community impact. The senior program officer will also artfully synthesize concepts and data into effective communications for a range of audiences. We will honor and recognize the multitude of valuable experiences pertaining to this role, including lived, educational, and career experience as valuable.
Program Strategy and Planning
- Design, implement, and adapt a strategy to increase economic mobility for low-income Silicon Valley residents
- Stay abreast of current research, policy, activities, and trends related to economic mobility
- Provide regular updates and briefings to leadership in coordination with the Director
- Develop annual goals, corresponding activities, indicators of success, and a budget as part of the foundation’s annual planning and budgeting cycle; provide ongoing timely and accurate forecasting
- Build collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with all staff, seeking input from others and offering support in return
- Participate in team meetings to coordinate work, report on progress, flag challenges and offer insights
- Document and track learning from the Economic Mobility portfolio to inform program shifts and communicate lessons learned with stakeholders
- Partner with grants management team to ensure solid grantmaking processes are in place and followed
- Special projects and duties as assigned
- Identify potential grantees and projects, coordinate and conduct due diligence on organizations, investigate and assess grant proposals, and present recommended proposals for funding
- Build and maintain trust-based relationships with grantees, current and prospective, including conducting site visits and providing technical assistance
- Work cross-functionally with colleagues to identify and implement capacity building and monitoring, evaluation and learning (ME&L) priorities for the portfolio, and promote learning across the portfolio and organization
- Engage in and manage monitoring, evaluation and learning in relation to the portfolio’s outcomes, learning priorities, and strategic goals
- As appropriate, contribute to responsive grantmaking including family-initiated or special opportunities
Relationship and Network Building
- Cultivate and manage relationships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, consulting partners, and other key stakeholders in the Silicon Valley economic mobility landscape to keep abreast of local trends, leverage peer learning and drive program outcomes
- Build networks with key government, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to coordinate efforts and funding
- Represent Sobrato Philanthropies to various constituencies including in outside conferences and meetings
Qualifications and Competencies
- Commitment to Sobrato Philanthropies’ mission and values
- 8 to 10 years of related experience with deep knowledge of promising strategies and approaches to support economic mobility and an emphasis on catalyzing change for low-income Silicon Valley individuals and families
- Demonstrated ability to be proactive and constantly prioritize responsibilities in a fast moving and rapidly changing environment
- Track record of effectively building trusting relationships with diverse stakeholders internally and externally
- A background in philanthropy, government, education, the nonprofit sector, or community engagement work that demonstrates an understanding of what it takes to develop and expand innovative programming
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education, training, and lived experience in our focus areas
- Strong analytical skills and ability to invest grant funds strategically and with a high degree of accountability
- Desire and ability to listen to and empathize with community challenges and channel voices of lived experience
- High tolerance for ambiguity with an ability to thrive in an environment of organizational change and growth
- Views change and challenge as exciting opportunities to identify solutions, test new approaches, respond to feedback, and make course corrections
- Passion for the Silicon Valley community and the potential to support the community’s evolution and growth
- Interest in contributing to ongoing efforts to deepen our work in diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Excellent written and oral communications
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a team player
- Demonstrates a high degree of initiative, flexibility, and collaboration
- Sets the highest of expectations for personal and organizational standards and achievement
- Exercises good judgment
- Humility and learning orientation to recognize and flag relevant challenges and ask for help when needed and to learn from successes and challenges
- Ability to translate ideas into execution and advance initiatives
- Ability to help develop team competencies
- Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word and Excel; familiarity with tools like Fluxx a plus
What We Offer
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.
How To Apply
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 Monday, April 5, 2021 to email@example.com. Use the subject line “Senior Program Officer, Economic Mobility.” One combined PDF file is preferred. Candidate review begins immediately. Questions or Nominations? Email Jeannine N. Walker, President and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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