Jobs Board

Program Officer (The California Wellness Foundation)

Company Name

The California Wellness Foundation

Company City

Los Angeles

Company State


Job Location

Los Angeles or Oakland, CA (Hybrid)

Company Information

The California Wellness Foundation (“Cal Wellness”) is a private, independent foundation established in 1992 with a mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California. As one of the largest health-focused foundations in California, with approximately $1 billion in assets, Cal Wellness is a nationally recognized leader for its strategic core operating support for grantee partners, public policy grantmaking, and a focus on violence as a public health issue. Call Wellness awards approximately $50 million annually in grants and program-related investments that promote health equity, justice and advocacy for California communities and individuals whose lives and wellness are too often determined by their race, income, immigration status or where they live.

The foundation’s current Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy includes four interrelated portfolios. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded nearly 12,400 grants totaling more than $1.3 billion. In addition to its grantmaking, the foundation has committed to using its voice, influence, and endowment dollars to advance its mission.

Cal Wellness has a diverse staff of 43 located in its Los Angeles and Oakland offices and a diverse 13-member Board located throughout the state of California. The foundation’s work underscores a belief that wellness requires social justice, a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and sustained efforts to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent access to health care, education, employment, and safety.

Please visit for more information.

Job Description


The California Wellness Foundation is seeking innovative, strategic, and driven Program Officers to elevate and expand our grantmaking capacity and amplify the capacity of our extraordinary Programs team. The Programs team stewards our flagship Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy and will play a key role in advancing new grantmaking strategies to come. The team is currently made up of 16 dedicated and diverse professionals who serve as leaders, grantmakers, and consummate team players.

Program Officers hold the core responsibility to perform grantmaking activities, including reviewing and evaluating proposals, drafting funding recommendations and monitoring grant performance. They are responsible for implementing the strategic and operational objectives of an assigned portfolio. Program Officers also play a critical ambassadorial role as a primary point of contact with grantee partners and with community leaders and partners. They also have opportunities to contribute to the development of strategic plans in their portfolio area.

We seek Program Officers with diverse backgrounds, intersectional identities, and lived experience who have achieved a track record of professional success and expertise. We are seeking individuals who are deeply committed to the goals and aspirations of Cal Wellness, have program management experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, public health, and/or private sectors; possess an authentic and meaningful commitment to advancing diversity, equity inclusion, and belonging; and bring a genuine desire to help shape a passionate, positive, mission and values-driven organizational culture. Professional or lived experience in one or more of the specific strategic priorities within our Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy is welcome, but not required.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to become part of an organization doing essential work at an incredibly important time.


Grantmaking & Grantee Engagement (~75%)

• Review and respond to letters of interest (LOI), review grant proposals, and make grant recommendations. Respond to declined LOIs personally or in writing depending on level of engagement.
• Produce and present written summaries, analyses, and recommendations for proposed grants to key decision makers.
• Perform programmatic and financial due diligence for all grant proposals.
• Conduct grantee learning and site visits.
• Meet quarterly and annual grantmaking benchmarks/targets.
• Engage proactively with grantee partners throughout the grant life cycle, monitor progress and performance, support grantee partners to address/communicate resolving any issues that may arise (e.g., org closes, legal/financial issues).
• Review grantee reports and complete closeout in the grants management system.

Portfolio Strategy & Learning (~10%)

• Support the development of grantmaking strategy through research and other assigned activities.
• Prepare analyses and reports of grants, as well as strategy papers and other written material for the Vice President of Programs, Chief Executive Officer, the Executive Management Committee and/or the Board.
• Create and present materials at Board meetings regarding grant recommendations.
• Contribute to quarterly Programs Memo for Board review.
• Contribute to portfolio-related projects (convenings, assessments, etc.).
• Participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work. Contribute to the team’s development of criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the grantmaking portfolios.
• Maintain and share a high level of knowledge of effective grantmaking strategies and philanthropic innovations.
• Stay informed of trends, activities and strategies in the health care, public health, and social justice fields.

Community Engagement (~15%)

• Serve as a liaison between the foundation and grantee partners, grantseekers, other foundations, evaluators and policymakers.
• Explain foundation priorities and procedures to grantseekers and respond to goal- and priority-related inquiries from grantseekers and the general public.
• Actively engage with partners to learn and guide strategy development and build relationships.
• Represent the foundation and its work in a variety of venues and to a range of audiences, including philanthropic, governmental, academic, and nonprofit groups.
• Participate in networks, affinity groups and other external efforts to contribute learning in the field, identify relevant emerging trends, and advance the foundation’s strategies.
• Facilitate and participate in community visits, learning visits, outreach activities, and public speaking opportunities.
• Partner with Public Affairs to disseminate highlights and lessons learned from grantmaking portfolios. Respond quickly to current events related to portfolios.

Job Qualifications


Strong candidates will be aligned with our mission and values; possess strong program management, strategic and analytical skills; demonstrate exceptional communications and relationship-building aptitude to respectfully develop genuine connections with grantee partners and peer funders; and commitment to prioritizing a DEI lens in their work and/or lived experience.

Other desirable skills, experiences, orientations, and personal and professional attributes include:

• Well-developed sense of empathy and humility as an orientation to the work.
• Demonstrated experience in project development, nonprofit management, community organizing, fundraising, strategy development, and/or financial analysis.
• Exceptional project management skills, including organization and attention to detail.
• Solid understanding of the social determinants of health and the philanthropic, public, and nonprofit sectors, including knowledge in one or more of the foundation’s grantmaking areas.
• Ability to work independently and prioritize duties. Must work well under pressure, balance multiple and competing demands, complete work accurately under deadlines, and follow tasks through to completion.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences while maintaining high professional and ethical conduct.
• Impeccable ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion.
• Ability to maintain objectivity in proposal evaluations.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, a strong customer service orientation, and desire to work in a collegial, team-oriented environment.
• Excellent analytical, research, reasoning, problem‐solving and decision‐making abilities.
• Superb written and oral communication skills, including solid presentation abilities.
• Capacity to see how details fit into a bigger picture.
• Comfort receiving feedback and assisting others.
• Flexibility in assuming additional responsibilities, as required.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and general computer literacy.
• Strong alignment with the foundation’s values.
• Willingness to travel up to 40%.

Additional Qualifications

• Desirable areas of expertise include (but are not limited to): health policy, public policy, community organizing and power building, social work, communications, nonprofit or business management, or a related field.
• Experience with community-based organizations, community organizing, fundraising, corporate philanthropy, government, health professions, higher education, public affairs, or private foundations preferred.
• Understanding of program related investments desired.

Core Competencies

The ideal candidate will embody Cal Wellness’ core competencies:

• Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
• Communication
• Innovation
• Leadership
• Teamwork and Collaboration


Cal Wellness operates with a hybrid work model that supports in-office and remote work. In-office attendance will typically be required Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This position may be based at either our Los Angeles headquarters or Oakland office.

Travel is estimated at up to 40% to engage in communities across California, ensure presence at our Los Angeles headquarters and our Oakland office, and ensure a presence at key meetings and convenings.


This is a full-time, exempt position, reporting to the Managing Director of Programs. The target starting salary for this position is $140,000 per year. The full salary range for the role is $112,000 to $168,000.

Highlights from our benefit package include: a variety of medical insurance plans (fully covered for staff, covered at 90% for dependents, subject to plan limits), dental and vision insurance (covered at 90-95%), a generous 401(k) retirement savings plan with a 16% employer contribution, flexible paid time off, tuition reimbursement (up to $5,250 per year), professional development opportunities, matching gifts (for every $1 you give to an eligible organization, we’ll match $3), and the opportunity to work at a mission- and values-driven organization.

How to Apply

More information about The California Wellness Foundation may be found at:

The California Wellness Foundation has partnered with Ellen LaPointe and Phuong Quach of the national search firm NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via the applicant portal.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidates selected for advancement in the process will be asked to participate in at least 3 interviews (by Zoom and/or in-person) and will be asked to complete a writing assignment.

If you have nominations or need accommodations in the application process, please contact the NPAG search team at: .

The California Wellness Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. Additionally, we are a fair chance employer and welcome candidates with lived experience within the criminal justice system.

The above job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed and is not intended to limit the scope of potential work assignments. This is only a summary of the typical functions of the job and duties may differ from those as outlined above.

Want to receive the latest AAPIP updates and events directly to your inbox?