Program Officer

Common Counsel Foundation | Oakland, California


Founded in 1988, Common Counsel Foundation advances equity and environmental health through a combination of direct grantmaking and strategic philanthropic advising for independent foundations and donors.

We are looking for a Program Officer to join our team. This is a new position and the Program Officer will be responsible for managing a set of Common Counsel Foundation’s grantmaking programs. We are looking for someone who has experience working with social justice philanthropy, is flexible and is energized to hit the ground running. You can review the full job description below.

Although we expect this person to begin working virtually, the position is based in Oakland, CA and will need to come into the office, once it is safe to do so.

Job Summary

The Program Officer is responsible for managing a set of Common Counsel Foundation’s (CCF) grant making programs, including national and regional grant portfolios across a range of issue sectors; managing grant making strategies for clients; managing pooled funding initiatives; and, advancing thought leadership in the field of philanthropy around social change and educating donors; and, advising clients on their grant making and other philanthropic activities. 

Reports To

Senior Program Officer


Philanthropic Advising and Grantmaking Implementation (65% of time)

  • Leads multiple annual grantmaking strategies for member funds and donor advised funds to further each client’s mission, in alignment with CCF’s grantmaking strategy.
  • Researches and reviews proposals, conducts due diligence, and prepares written and verbal docket presentations and site visits for clients.
  • Provides leadership and support for the grantmaking strategy of member funds and donor-advised funds to better align with CCF’s grantmaking strategy.
  • Coordinates with Grants Manager to ensure accurate administration and processing of grant portfolios. 
  • Participates actively in stewardship of client relationships with fund members, major donors, and institutional partners.


Pooled Grantmaking Collaboratives (20%)

  • Manages the programmatic and fundraising needs of a pooled funding initiative at CCF such as  the Native Voices Rising (NVR) pooled fund.
  • Supports the growth and development of CCF’s shared grantmaking collaboratives with proposal and report writing and calendaring.
  • Participates and supports in organizational conversations to investigate potential pooled grantmaking collaboratives.

Organizational and Field Building (15%)

  • Participates in regular staff meetings and annual program and board/staff retreats, as well as providing feedback around CCF’s direction
  • Provides external leadership on behalf of the Foundation, representing the Foundation in the sector and community on various boards and committees.
  • Builds key partnerships with prospective donors, institutional funders, and grassroots organizations, with the goal of collaborating and better aligning and influencing external dollars to support frontline communities.
  • Develops and tracks knowledge of trends across social change issue and progressive philanthropy across the United States
  • Other tasks as assigned.


  • Experience in community organizing and working with and/or supporting community-based social justice organizations
  • Familiarity with social change foundations and donors, as well as grassroots fundraising strategies
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as a foundations program officer, nonprofit fundraiser, or program leader in progressive social change organizations
  • Willingness to learn and understand the rules and regulations governing donor vehicles, including public charities, private foundations, donor advised funds, fiscal sponsorships and supporting organizations 
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of clients and staff graciously and with a sense of humor
  • A passion for racial, social, environmental and economic justice
  • The ability to juggle multiple clients, projects and deadlines
  • Strong program management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, and verbal communication skills, including public speaking skills
  • Experience with research and analysis
  • A bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
  • Proficiency with computer systems and databases
  • Fluency in a language other than English is a plus


Common Counsel Foundation offers a competitive benefits package which includes; medical, dental, vision and life  insurances, employer matched contributions to a Simple IRA, and generous PTO. The pay range for this position is $80,000 - $90,000.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send their resume and cover letter by 7/31/20 to: Please make sure to include  ‘Program Officer’ in the subject line of your email. All communications about this position will initially take place by email, please no calls.

Common Counsel Foundation

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Organization: Grantmaking public charities