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Program Manager, Policy Connect

Northern California Grantmakers

This is a Full-time position in San Francisco, CA posted June 9, 2021.

Tides is a foundation and nonprofit partner committed to building a world of social justice and shared prosperity. Founded in 1976, Tides works at the cutting edge of today’s biggest challenges, with a focus on equality and human rights; a sustainable environment; healthy individuals, families, and communities; and education. Tides’ services include social impact consulting, donor-advised funds, fiscal sponsorship, and shared spaces in San Francisco and New York City. For more information, please visit .


The Special Initiatives team leads Tides’ social impact strategy consulting services and collaborative initiative design, development and implementation. The Policy Connect Program Manager plays a pivotal role in supporting Tides’ consulting work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to engage a community of 30-40 policy-focused organizations across the US. These organizations receive funding from RWJF’s Healthy Children and Families (HCF) portfolio, which is focused on ensuring that all families–no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make–have the resources they need to foster healthy development from their child’s earliest years.

Through the Policy Connect initiative, Tides works closely with RWJF to develop and implement an on-going HCF grantee coordination strategy that supports learning and leverages RWJF-funded tools and resources to put children and family health at the forefront of federal and state policy agendas. The Program Manager oversees grantee communications and the day-to-day design and delivery of programming that elevates grantee leadership, provides opportunities for peer learning and creates space for collaboration through monthly virtual meetings, annual convenings, trainings and workshops, small grant funds and other activities. This position is part of a collaborative three-person team led by a Special Initiatives Senior Advisor and supported by the Policy Connect Program Coordinator. The Program Manager also actively engages in relationship management with RWJF and leads daily operations of the initiative, including grant management, invoicing and vendor management.

This is a full-time, exempt position and is contingent on funding, which is expected through July 2023. 

Candidates located near Tides’ offices in San Francisco or New York are preferred, though remote candidates will also be considered. Tides is currently working remotely through September 6, 2021. Flexible remote work options will be available once our physical spaces re-open. Once it is safe to do so, the position may require occasional overnight domestic travel.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Grantee Engagement and Community Management – 50%

  • In partnership with initiative stakeholders, develop and implement a compelling annual grantee engagement strategy that meets grantees’ needs and supports RWJF strategy. 
  • Plan and facilitate monthly Community of Practice and Town Hall virtual meetings, an annual retreat (currently planned as virtual) and other activities, including agenda development, presenter outreach and preparation, and slide creation.
  • Develop and implement a new “mini grant” program to support grantee-organized activities that deepen connection and coordination in 2021.
  • Surface and track learnings and insights to inform engagement strategy and activities.
  • Elevate capacity building needs and work with RWJF Program Officers to identify and leverage existing resources within the RWJF ecosystem to meet those needs.
  • Oversee grantee communications via email/phone, monthly e-newsletter, WordPress website, listserv and other avenues. 
  • Develop and maintain an understanding of grantees and their work and relevant policy issues and approaches to be able to proactively identify opportunities for programming and support peer learning and connections.
  • Form and manage advisory group(s) of grantee representatives and other stakeholders to co-design and inform strategy and activities.
  • Manage program success and evaluation, including member feedback, to measure progress against outcomes and success indicators. Implement changes to program activities, as necessary to support outcomes.
  • Ensure community norms, member guides, and other member materials are up to date and reflect current activities and expectations. Develop new materials, as needed.
  • Oversee grantee onboarding and offboarding based on direction from RWJF. 

Project Management and Operations – 20%

  • With support from the Senior Advisor, manage and mentor the Program Coordinator to advance project and team goals and to support their professional growth. 
  • Develop and implement project plans with clear timelines, roles and deliverables.
  • Regularly review and improve activities, tools and processes to ensure continuous learning and improvement.
  • Work closely with the Program Coordinator to maintain and update communication tools and platforms, engaging with outside vendors, as needed.
  • Develop activity budgets, track project expenses and manage invoicing and payments to vendors and participants.
  • Liaise and coordinate with other departments within Tides to carry out responsibilities and execute deliverables.
  • Hire and oversee consultants and other vendors, as needed.
  • Monitor activities for compliance with IRS guidelines and Tides policies, including lobbying.
  • Support other program-related special projects and duties as requested.

Grant and Partner Management – 20%

  • Develop and maintain an understanding of RWJF strategy and goals to ensure on-going alignment. 
  • Plan and facilitate regular RWJF Program Officer check-ins with and quarterly strategy check-ins with RWJF leadership to share progress updates and ensure alignment on goals and activities.
  • Ensure relevant RWJF stakeholders are informed and engaged appropriately with Policy Connect strategy and activities.
  • Identify and elevate strategic opportunities and challenges for Tides and RWJF.
  • Support the Senior Advisor in proposal and report writing. 
  • Support RWJF learning by elevating grantee and programmatic insights that build collective knowledge and inform RWJF strategy and activities.
  • Make data-informed recommendations for ongoing and future supports, action and collaborative opportunities following the grant period.

Organizational Engagement and Strategy – 5%

  • Contribute to and provide input on the Special Initiative team’s goals and plans. 
  • Contribute to Tides’ thought leadership through presentations and blogs.
  • Share learnings and resources across the Special Initiatives team and with others leading strategic consulting projects.
  • Engage in professional development opportunities to support program activities and personal growth.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of nonprofit operations, including finance, compliance, and administration, particularly in the health or policy space.
  • Knowledge of health equity principles, familiarity with the intersections between race, income, immigration status, gender and other identities and circumstances. 
  • Knowledge of or experience in policy, advocacy, movement building, and/or lobbying at local, state and/or federal levels is preferred, but not required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including ability to actively listen for and translate complex and strategic concepts into actionable steps.
  • Strong facilitation and public speaking skills, with ability to lead large-group meetings and present to senior staff at partner organizations. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build trusting relationships with partners and internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills, high attention to detail and solid experience in working across organizations undertaking significant, complex policy efforts.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize amongst multiple commitments, and to drive a high profile and complex project in a fluid environment.
  • Ability to work comfortably both independently and in close collaboration with cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty comfortably; ability to quickly adapt to shifts in strategy and plans. 
  • Ability to work effectively with people from different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and optimize website, project management, communication and interactive meeting tools.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required, master’s degree preferred, in public health (MPH), public policy (MPP) or a related field with deep understanding of health equity issues and the intersections between root cause issues that impact health and wellbeing. 
  • 5-7+ years of relevant work experience in nonprofit program management, philanthropy, client-focused consulting in the field of public health, early childcare and education, health or economic policy, advocacy, or other related field. 
  • 2-3+ years of experience managing or facilitating projects that engage multiple stakeholders such as coalitions or collaborative initiatives, communities of practice, peer networks, collective impact initiatives or similar efforts. 
  • Event planning experience, history of planning and facilitating both remote and in-person multi-day convenings. 
  • People management experience, with ability to delegate tasks and provide clear instruction and feedback in writing and verbally. 
  • Proficiency with G-Suite and Microsoft Office. Familiarity with WordPress, NetSuite and virtual engagement tools such as Zoom, MURAL, Gaggle Mail, Slack or similar tools strongly preferred.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Applicants with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. If you seek an accommodation, please advise in writing at the time you apply.

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