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Program Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Job Title: Program Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group
Job Type:
Menlo Park
Job Search Ends:
April 15th, 2020
Organization's Website:
Program Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world – is seeking a Program Officer to join the Effective Philanthropy Group. This role oversees the philanthropy grantmaking portfolio of approximately $6 million annually, as well as a small portfolio of philanthropic sector memberships. The candidate will also be expected to actively contribute to and learn from the sector and to serve as a strong team member – to both the Effective Philanthropy Group and the Hewlett Foundation overall. The ideal candidate brings curiosity, growth mindset, experience in philanthropy, and strong communication skills.

About the Foundation

For more than 50 years, we have supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, and make the philanthropy sector more effective. In addition, we also make grants for special projects and to address other timely problems, such as challenges related to cybersecurity and U.S. democracy.

The foundation was started in 1966 by engineer and entrepreneur William R. Hewlett and his wife, Flora Lamson Hewlett, with their eldest son, Walter Hewlett. Today, it is one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the United States, awarding roughly $400 million in grants in 2019 to organizations across the globe to help people build better lives. Established through the personal generosity of the Hewlett family, the foundation is wholly independent of the Hewlett Packard Company and the Hewlett Packard Company Foundation.

The foundation has approximately 120 employees in programmatic, operational, and investment roles, located in Menlo Park, California. Across the organization, our employees are challenged with meaningful work, have the resources for ongoing professional development and learning, and contribute to a collegial and engaging environment where they can thrive. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. For more information about the Hewlett Foundation please visit the website at www.hewlett.org.

About the Effective Philanthropy Group

The Effective Philanthropy Group is designed to work collaboratively with all of the foundation’s programmatic and operational teams on issues of cross-foundation relevance, providing support in the areas of strategy, measurement and evaluation, organizational learning, organizational effectiveness, and effective philanthropic practice. It is a hybrid team that includes some grantmaking and some internal functions. The Program Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group, will report to the Vice President (who also leads the Effective Philanthropy Group) and will oversee all grantmaking to support a strong and effective philanthropic sector.

Philanthropy Grantmaking

The mission of the foundation’s Philanthropy grantmaking is to strengthen the capacity of philanthropy in general to achieve its goals and benefit the common good. The Philanthropy Program’s grantmaking focuses on two primary strategies:

Knowledge for Better Philanthropy: The goal of this longtime strategy is to inform and improve funders’ thinking and decision-making through the creation and dissemination of high-quality knowledge about philanthropic practice.

Fund for Shared Insight: The Philanthropy Program plays a central role in this funder collaborative that was launched in 2014, is housed at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and is supported by a diverse team of consultants. Fund for Shared Insight’s goal is that funders and nonprofits will be more meaningfully connected to one another, and to the people and communities they seek to help – and to be more responsive to their input and feedback.

Specific responsibilities of the Program Officer position

The Program Officer’s duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Oversee the Philanthropy Program’s strategies, building on past grantmaking, incorporating lessons learned, and correcting the course of activities as appropriate.

  • Lead special grants or projects as opportunities emerge.

  • Make and oversee active grants; track grantee progress; provide guidance, support, and

    assistance to grantees as needed; and respond to grantee reports.

  • Prepare analysis and summaries of applications for board grant dockets and written assessments of closed grants.

  • Develop a draft annual strategy memo to the President and the board reporting on progress for the previous year.

  • Present to the board and Effective Philanthropy Group Board Advisory Committee, as requested.

  • Commission third-party evaluation at key points in a strategy’s lifecycle to help the team and grantees answer important questions about the progress being made; share results as appropriate internally and externally.

  • Ensure that strategies are clearly communicated in simple and accessible language, to all relevant external audiences.

  • Represent the Effective Philanthropy Group’s guidance both internally and externally (including Outcomes Focused Philanthropy, Evaluation Practices and Principles, Tracking Progress, and Seven Habits of Excellent Work with Grantees).

  • Serve as an internal resource on excellent philanthropic practice. At a minimum this includes leading Philanthropy 101 trainings, attending key meetings and conferences in the sector across a variety of disciplines and perspectives; and developing briefing papers and reports that contribute to the Foundation’s understanding of new approaches, best practices, and trends in building sector capacity.

  • Organize periodic foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees, experts, and/or practitioners in the field of philanthropy and high-performing nonprofit practice.

  • Represent the foundation at appropriate meetings, conferences, formal or informal affinity group meetings, and site visits. This includes public speaking and the preparation of presentations about the foundation’s approach to philanthropy and the foundation’s philanthropy grantmaking strategies in particular.

  • Participate actively in cross-foundation learning sessions, planning activities, and organizational and team development efforts.

    The Program Officer should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • A deep commitment to the core values and principles of the Hewlett Foundation.

  • An understanding of the broader field of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector: the organizations, associations, databases, consultants, publications, and other players that work to support donors and nonprofits. Brings relevant experience in nonprofit management, philanthropy, strategic consulting, organizational development, or other related fields.

  • The ability to think and act strategically, consistent with the foundation’s commitment to outcome-focused philanthropy. Can make trade-offs with end goals in mind and has a demonstrated track record of processing and synthesizing complex information, goal setting, and project management.

  • Strong writing and public speaking skills; presents ideas in a pragmatic, organized, and compelling manner.

  • Demonstrated ability to partner effectively with peers in shared efforts; ideally brings experience managing coalitions, multi-organization collaboratives, or learning communities.

  • Organizational savvy, diplomacy, and outstanding interpersonal skills.

  • Prior experience working with individuals from diverse racial, socioeconomic,

    ideological, and cultural backgrounds.

  • The highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.

  • Excellent judgment, flexibility, curiosity, listening, good humor, and humility.

  • Experience working in both domestic and international contexts (preferred).

  • An advanced degree in public policy, public affairs, business, or related disciplines


    Physical Demands/Work Environment

    The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

    The position is based in Menlo Park, California. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to spend extended periods of time at a computer. This position also requires moderate levels of travel. Program officers of the Hewlett Foundation serve for an eight-year term.

    Compensation and Benefits

    The Hewlett Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with experience and education. This position is exempt and full-time.

    How to Apply

    Viewcrest Advisors (www.viewcrestadvisors.com) is partnering with the Hewlett Foundation on this search. Please send your resume and an initial cover letter in MS Word format. Your cover letter should include a description of how your skills and professional experience fit this position

    Email: hewlettfoundationEPG@viewcrestadvisors.com

    Application deadline: by April 15, 2020

    The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

Viewcrest Advisors is committed to social justice and access to opportunity, and actively cultivates relationships with individuals who have varied life experiences as well as the skills needed to lead strong, innovative programs and organizations.


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