Program Associate, Climate & Clean Energy
San Francisco Bay Area
Job Type

About the Foundation 

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos and San Francisco, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people. In 2021, the Foundation awarded more than $141 million in grants. The Foundation’s grantmaking is guided by the values of humility, courage, justice, opportunity, sustainability, innovation, relationships, and integrity.

In 2022, the Heising-Simons Foundation is piloting hybrid work. During the pilot, this position may work from home and/or from one of our Foundation offices. Staff are required to be on-site for a minimum of 10 days per quarter and as needed to successfully onboard and fulfill their responsibilities.

Position Summary

The Program Associate (PA) provides administrative and program-related support to the Foundation’s Climate & Clean Energy team. The goal of the Foundation’s CCE program is to protect people and the planet from the worst impacts of climate change by cutting pollution and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. We aim to help make energy clean, affordable, safe, and reliable for all.

In 2021, the CCE team made 61 grants totaling approximately $25M in grant funding through the Foundation and 17 grants totaling $10.4M through the Heising-Simons Action Fund. It is anticipated that the volume and amount will stay the from 2021 to 2022. The CCE team is currently staffed by one PA, two Program Officers (PO), and the Program Director (PD). This role will work in partnership with the current PA to provide support to the team’s PD and POs.

This position is an opportunity to learn about the fields of climate and clean energy and philanthropy. Candidates are not expected to have experience in all areas listed in the job posting.

This full-time (37.5 hours per week) non-exempt (hourly) position reports to a PO of the CCE team. This position can be located in either our Los Altos or San Francisco office and may work remotely for the majority of 2022. Starting in 2023, we may require staff to spend more time in the office and work less time remotely.

Primary Responsibilities

Provide grants administration support.

  • Work closely with the Grants Management team to ensure that grantmaking adheres to the Foundation’s grantmaking and contracting policies, procedures, and deadlines.
  • Serve as grantees and grantseekers’ primary point of contact for proposal submissions, reports, and other activities in the grant cycle.
  • Invite grantees to the Foundation’s grantee portal and offer technical assistance to support the successful completion and submission of grant materials, including grant proposals and reports. 
  • Track grant start and end dates, due dates for deliverables and reports, and changes to grant timelines and scopes of work. Ensure team members and grantees are aware of upcoming deadlines.
  • Keep grant files and contacts current by entering and updating grant information.
  • Conduct research to inform the due diligence process as well as the program’s grantmaking, including: (1) Reviewing organizations’ websites for information about their mission, staff, board members, and recent projects or accomplishments; (2) Reviewing organizations’ financials to conduct an initial assessment of financial stability; and (3) Reviewing organization’s proposals to conduct an initial assessment of legal compliance.
  • Work with team members to draft, format, and proofread written materials for grants, including grant summaries, budgets, and overview memos.

Provide administrative support and project coordination.

  • Manage calendars and meeting requests daily and make travel and other logistical arrangements, as needed.
  • Arrange and attend meetings and phone/video conferences, and plan logistics of convenings ranging from 2 to 50 attendees. 
  • Plan and attend grantee site visits, when team members visit grantees to learn more about their work. 
  • Work with team members to draft, format, and proofread materials, including memos, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other documents.
  • Track and help manage the program’s workflow and deadlines.

Support the CCE program’s strategy development, learning, and evaluation

  • Communicate the CCE program’s strategy and grantmaking guidelines to internal colleagues and in external meetings. 
  • Communicate the Foundation’s history, values, and programs in external meetings. 
  • Support strategic planning activities, including collating historical grants data and other information and contributing to strategies and presentations.
  • Conduct research, analyze data, and prepare reports, as guided by the POs and PD.
  • Contribute to team DEI process and strategy development.
  • Track current research, policy changes, and trends in the areas of energy, climate, and philanthropy by reviewing news and professional publications and by attending related conferences, meetings, and other events.  
  • Provide regular feedback to supervisor and colleagues both informally and as a part of the annual review process.

Foundation-wide Responsibilities

  • Pitch-in across the Foundation, as important deadlines or events approach.
  • Participate in Foundation-wide committees; diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and internal culture-building. 
  • Participate in Foundation-wide training sessions.
  • Help the Foundation promote and maintain environmentally friendly office practices. 
  • Meet or exceed the 10-day per quarter in-office requirement during the Foundation’s Hybrid Work Pilot.
  • Relevant work experience providing administrative support.
  • Interest in climate and clean energy policy.
  • Reside in the San Francisco Bay Area or be willing to relocate.
  • Able to manage and prioritize a large volume of tasks and deadlines with attention to detail.
  • Able to read, write, and produce professional written materials in English.
  • Able to communicate and work with people of different backgrounds internally and externally to achieve shared goals.
  • Reliable, resourceful, proactive, and motivated to find creative solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Able and willing to quickly learn and use new systems of technology, such as Microsoft Office applications, Salesforce, Zoom,  
  • Box, Calendly, and Asana. 
  • Able to produce presentations in PowerPoint and maintain databases is a plus.
  • Committed to living the Foundation’s values.
  • Flexible and willing to assist others, when needed.
  • Must be available for occasional travel between our San Francisco and Los Altos offices or to other meetings, conferences, and convenings with grantees or other stakeholders.

Compensation and Benefits

The target starting salary for this position is $74,000-$87,000 per year, depending on location, experience, and internal equity.

We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package that includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, long term disability, business travel and life insurance, flexible spending accounts for medical and child care expenses, a 401(k) plan (with a matching contribution of up to 16%), commuting assistance, an employee assistance program (EAP), mental health counseling, tuition reimbursement and a generous professional development budget, matching gifts, fitness reimbursements, fertility & adoption assistance, and identity theft protection. In addition, we allow flexible schedules and some telecommuting with the manager’s approval.

Paid time off includes:

  • Vacation: 3 weeks/year, with increases based on tenure
  • Wellness (Sick): 15 days/year
  • Personal Days: 2 days/year
  • Family Medical Leave: 10 days/year
  • Parental Leave: 6-16 weeks/year, depending on tenure
  • Holidays include: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; President’s Day; Memorial Day; Juneteenth; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving Day (and the day after); Year-End Break (Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)

Application Process

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of applicants. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Our success is dependent on our ability to build teams that include people with different experiences and expertise and who can challenge each other’s assumptions with new viewpoints and bring different perspectives to the team. We encourage women, people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and others with diverse perspectives and experiences to apply.

Salary Description
Starts at $74,000-$87,000, depending on experience