Pacific Foundation Services, LLC (PFS) is a professional services firm that manages over 35 independent family foundations. We provide whatever a foundation needs to operate optimally, including strategic advice, board support, grantmaking programs, compliance, financial management and a physical home. With a current staff of 38, we value competence and camaraderie, and work together to make the most of our collective experience. We thrive on collaboration and share our talents to provide top-level service to our clients.

This Opportunity:

The Senior Program Officer serves as the lead staff person for assigned client foundations, guiding the work of PFS client teams to ensure delivery of high-quality services tailored to each client foundation’s unique philanthropic goals, priorities, and areas of focus. The Senior Program Officer has extensive experience working directly with a board of directors to execute a foundation’s philanthropic mission as well as deep knowledge of trends and best practices in effective philanthropy, including practices that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to overseeing the grantmaking process, the Senior Program Officer is often called on to provide thought partnership and advising on matters related to foundation structure, operations, and content.

Principal Responsibilities:

Client Management

  • Serve as primary liaison to board of directors and/or foundation leadership for several client foundations concurrently. Develop strong working relationships with board members and/or foundation leadership to support the development and implementation of the philanthropic mission
  • Manage relationships and flow of work for multiple foundations, simultaneously being responsive to requests and managing client expectations
  • Confer with PFS senior management to ensure ongoing alignment between client expectations and scope of services; and
  • Maintain client confidentiality in all communications with the public, and use discretion when discussing PFS business.

Foundation Oversight

  • Collaborate with board of directors and/or foundation leadership as appropriate to develop and maintain all foundation policies, guidelines, bylaws, and public-facing communications;
  • Manage external partnerships with foundation advisors and consultants. Serve as primary contact for foundation legal matters and external consulting contracts, working with PFS management team as needed;
  • Oversee preparation and presentation of an annual operating budget for review and approval by the board of directors and/or foundation leadership;
  • Work with PFS Accounting staff to monitor foundation annual budget and monthly financial activities; review and approve all eligible operating expenses of assigned client foundations; support completion of the annual audit; and address any financial issues or concerns; and
  • Work in partnership with the VP of Administration to ensure that grants management functions are designed and executed to meet client needs.

Grantmaking Thought Leadership and Partnership/Advising

  • Represent the foundation within the local nonprofit and philanthropic communities to the degree preferred by the board of directors;
  • Maintain current skills and knowledge within the field of philanthropy and relevant program areas. Attend seminars, conferences, peer-learning opportunities, funder or interest-area collaboratives, and professional institutes as appropriate;
  • Provide opportunities for board involvement and education about community needs, the nonprofit sector, and effective philanthropy through site visits, guest speakers, and external programs, and conferences;
  • Research potential grantees and projects in the foundation’s areas of interest and proactively solicit proposals, manage initiatives, and organize grantee convenings when appropriate;
  • Identify opportunities to increase impact of existing projects and organizations supported by the foundation;
  • Develop and present information and recommendations on grant strategy and impact to the board. Recommend periodic refinement or alteration of grantmaking guidelines consistent with evaluative outcomes data and the evolution of the board’s preferences; and
  • Review, maintain, and update effective and equitable grantmaking procedures, including but not limited to developing and customizing grant solicitation and vetting practices.


  • Coordinate proposal assignments to Program Officers, review proposals, and, in partnership with Program Officers, make recommendations for funding;
  • Perform due diligence on organizations and grant proposals: site visits as appropriate, review and analysis of financial data, assessment of capacity, and alignment with priorities;
  • Prepare proposal summaries and grant recommendations consistent with each foundation’s grantmaking guidelines for board review and action;
  • Review final board dockets for completeness and accuracy;
  • Provide support and guidance to grantseekers;
  • Monitor approved grants to ensure grantees’ accountability; and
  • Maintain positive relationships with diverse community organizations that are grant candidates and recipients.

Team Leadership

  • As lead staff person for client foundations, the Senior Program Officer has the following responsibilities for each assigned foundation:
    • Coordinate team activities and ensure timeliness and high quality of work throughout the grantmaking process;
    • Work with Grants Managers to ensure board materials, board meeting coordination, and other grants management functions are carried out effectively;
    • Work with board and/or foundation leadership and committee chairs to develop agendas for board and committee meetings; facilitate board meetings and committee meetings as appropriate;
    • Ensure there are open channels of communication across all team members and departments, clear expectations regarding work flow, and necessary resources in place to support high-quality service provision;
    • Work with Accounting department to ensure financial compliance with established board policies;
    • Oversee day-to-day work of Grants Managers and Program Officers, as it relates to assigned client foundations, providing performance feedback and support as needed; and
    • Coordinate with team members’ supervisors about performance concerns, workloads, special projects, and professional development as appropriate.


  • Work with VP of Program and Strategic Initiatives on special projects as assigned;
  • Manage own calendar, correspondence, travel, and other daily administrative tasks except where specifically the responsibility of other staff; and
  • Participate in PFS-wide activities to build collegial culture and encourage cross-organizational learning.


  • At least seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector, preferably a combination of nonprofit and philanthropy work, with at least four years in a leadership role;
  • Demonstrated commitment to PFS values of generosity, respect, integrity, inclusion, commitment, and humility;
  • Knowledge of the Bay Area nonprofit community;
  • Demonstrated leadership and relationship management experience, including the ability to lead teams and work with boards of directors effectively;
  • Familiarity with foundation compliance requirements;
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to conduct research, organize report material, and clearly translate content and data into accessible language;
  • Demonstrated ability to read and understand nonprofit financial reports and budgets;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to make public presentations and prepare concise and effective written content;
  • Ability to represent foundation clients to the community at large, maintaining strong partnerships with nonprofit and foundation partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop expertise in new program areas as needed;
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, while centering equity in all decisions and interactions;
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and take initiative within broadly defined guidelines;
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and work both independently and collaboratively in a, team environment;
  • Adept at working with people from diverse backgrounds, including staff of grantee organizations, client boards of directors, high net worth donors, and those with divergent political and world views;
  • Empathy and respect for those who do the hard work of developing and raising money for programs and organizations;
  • Openness to receiving feedback as a means to personal and professional growth;
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and discretion about confidential matters;
  • Proven experience with Microsoft Office and database programs; and
  • Ability to travel locally and regionally for site visits. Depending on client assignments, occasional travel outside of the Bay Area may be required.


PFS has offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Santa Rosa. This position will be primarily based in the San Francisco office but will require regular travel to the Palo Alto office as well. During shelter-in-place, our offices are closed with only essential staff occasionally working in the office. The person in this position will work from home until the office re-opens.


PFS offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, Section 125 plan, 401K retirement, charitable gift matching, public transportation subsidies, and more.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and a resume to:

Judi Powell, Vice President of Program and Strategic Initiatives

No phone calls, please.

Pacific Foundation Services is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion, and our staff is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and the Firm’s achievement, as well. We consider all qualified applicants for employment and our company policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), gender, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), marital status, domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information and characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected under federal, state, or local laws.

All final candidates must provide three relevant employment references and be able to verify the right to work in the United States.

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