Staff at The San Diego Foundation address the region’s most pressing challenges and identify opportunities by working with donors and partners to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans.

Thank you for your interest in the work of The San Diego Foundation. To learn more about our work and inquire about joining our team, contact



At The San Diego Foundation, we value a team composed of people committed to our mission of improving the quality of life within all of San Diego’s communities. We strive to be an employer of choice, offering a competitive compensation package, and a professional and vibrant work environment for those who have a passion for our work of providing leadership for effective philanthropy and promoting community solutions.

We are seeking a Program Specialist for our Education Initiatives team who will lead and support the essential programmatic and administrative activities of this new program priority for The San Diego Foundation. The Education Initiatives program area was in part borne out of our launch and pilot of the Community Scholars Initiative, a data-driven approach to scholarship philanthropy that pairs need-based scholarships with college readiness support to student groups facing the greatest barriers to persistence and college completion. In the near term, the Education Initiatives will define an exciting set of strategies to increase educational opportunity and equity informed and shaped by the evolving nature of work in the region.  

Education Initiatives resides within the Community Impact department of The San Diego Foundation. This position reports to the Director, Education Initiatives and collaborates closely with all members of the Community Impact team. 

Essential duties and principal responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee and maintain systems and processes to support effective and successful communications with internal and external partners, grantmaking, grantwriting and reporting activities, research and content development
  • Support and monitor the workplan for Community Scholars Initiative including managing the scholarship review and award process
  • Conduct research and data analysis that informs strategy setting for fundraising, grantmaking and community leadership activities
  • Lead the coordination of logistics related to convenings and stakeholder engagement, and support the development and presentation of related program data and messaging
  • Support writing, reporting and content creation, including data visualization, that serves to communicate the community impact of the strategies and bolsters fundraising activities
  • Support TSDF’s strategy setting with subject matter insight related to education
  • Support donor stewardship through effective administration of strategic grantmaking programs, information sharing, and customer-oriented engagement opportunities
  • Collaborate and contribute to a strong team culture across the Community Impact department and entire Foundation
  • These efforts require strong written and verbal communication skills, project management experience, and administrative capabilities, including financial administration, proposal writing, timeline creation and management, database utilization, and progress reporting.


  • Work/volunteer experience and or demonstrated commitment to the education field
  • Five years of administrative and/or program support experience in a private or community foundation, educational setting or position in a corporate, government or nonprofit organization
  • Experience in database management, research and data mining and analysis
  • Demonstrated track record in developing and utilizing administrative organizational systems with attention to detail, timeliness, finances, and record keeping
  • Ability to work independently and successfully organize and prioritize multiple projects, and meet deliverables and deadlines
  • Knowledge of the range of regional/local education issues as they relate to learning and workforce in the San Diego region
  • Demonstrated organization, time and project management skills. Ability to “right size” projects
  • Knowledge of and interest in advancing the collective impact model of cross-sectoral collaboration
  • Strong emotional intelligence with excellent interpersonal skills and customer service orientation
  • Able to thrive in a fast-paced environment where adapting to change is necessary and the ability to multi-task successfully is critical
  • Advanced knowledge and proficiency with computer software applications: MS Windows, Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and Google Docs; database/contact management software experience and data visualization software experience preferred


  • Post-secondary education in related field


  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently


  • Able to sit for prolonged periods of time at meetings, desk, computer
  • Able to sit at a desk and view a computer screen for up to two hours
  • Able to speak into and use a telephone


  • Non-smoking, professional office environment
  • Fast-paced work with multi-level distractions


  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed

If interested in joining our team, please submit your resume and a cover letter (2-page maximum) clearly defining your response to the following two questions to:

  • Describe your commitment and specific work or volunteer experience in the education field and share what you view as the top priorities for our local education system
  • Describe your experience in data, databases, data development and analysis

Please indicate in the Subject Line:  Education Initiative, Program Specialist

Resumes and cover letters will be accepted up to Monday, February 3rd

Please direct all inquiries to:

The Thomas Murphy San Diego Foundation Fellowship Program: Early Childhood Initiative Fellow


The Thomas Murphy Fellowship at The San Diego Foundation offers the chance to research important issues for our San Diego community, create well-informed reports, and disseminate that knowledge.

If you are interested in regional issues, have an aptitude for collecting and utilizing data in a meaningful way, and possess strong writing and communication skills, this fellowship may be of interest to you.

The Thomas Murphy Fellowship at The San Diego Foundation offers an opportunity to work with a collaborative team that is passionate about improving their communities through philanthropy. The Foundation is located conveniently in Point Loma’s Liberty Station, in a green-certified professional office building with free parking.


The Inclusive Growth Initiatives at The San Diego Foundation include the Early Childhood, Science & Technology, Strong Families Thriving Communities, Advancing Family Prosperity, and Age-Friendly Communities programs.

Inclusive growth involves the entire region in a vision for livability and prosperity. Aligned with The San Diego Foundation’s goal to deliver on the promise of a more vibrant future for all who call San Diego home, Inclusive Growth Initiatives support efforts that build a region where there are equitable pathways to success for all San Diegans.

The Early Childhood initiative is one of The Foundation’s newest programs, and a quickly-growing opportunity for impact in our region. The Early Childhood Initiative Fellow will support the data collection, research, and policy-related efforts of the Early Childhood Initiative and will work with the Inclusive Growth Initiatives team.


The Thomas Murphy San Diego Fellowship Program is an opportunity for a current college student or graduate who is an imaginative problem solver, interested in local issues, and excels in research, writing and analysis.

The Thomas Murphy San Diego Foundation Fellow supports the Early Childhood Initiative and the Inclusive Growth team’s efforts by:

  1. Conducting high-quality research on regional issues – including looking at current and future trends and the policy environment impacting these issues.
  2. Crafting reports, developing targeted briefing documents and collecting/displaying data in easy-to-understand ways.

Fellows will receive:

  • Exposure to educational and networking opportunities within The Foundation that will give a broadened perspective on the nonprofit sector, philanthropy and the San Diego community.
  • Participation in an enriching professional experience.
  • The fellowship is paid at an hourly rate of $25.00/hour and includes a benefit package. The fellow will be a full-time employee, for a one-year fellowship.


Candidates must possess:

  • The ability to participate in a professional and fast-paced office environment, including the ability to manage multiple projects, meet deadlines, adopt office protocols, and utilize tools, including Microsoft Office/Outlook.
  • Ability to allocate sufficient time to complete responsibilities and meet firm deadlines (position requires a full-time commitment to a position at The San Diego Foundation offices).
  • Strong time management skills, including the ability to meet regular deadlines and successfully manage multiple projects.
  • Clear and professional writing skills are required, including the ability to create accurate and succinct documents. (Writing sample required).
  • A professional demeanor, the ability to communicate with internal and external contacts in a way that is engaging, professional, and polished. 
  • The capacity to read and review background reports, data, and information in order to inform a research topic efficiently and articulate a clear message quickly and effectively.
  • A detail-oriented skill set, including the ability to review written documents for accuracy, clarity, structure and quality. The ability to produce work that has been edited and reviewed for correct spelling and grammar, as well as the ability to convey professional tone in writing is required.
  • Experience utilizing or creating surveys, and familiarity with appropriate practices for collecting participant data is preferred.
  • Statistical skills that support data collection, program evaluation and impact analysis. Previous experience working with data to inform and support research/reporting on a topic related to public policy and/or education is preferred.
  • Familiarity with administrative processes, experience with project organization, completion, task management, and other skills related to successful time management.
  • Familiarity with the local non-profit sector, interest in policy and social issues, and knowledge of issues impacting the non-profit sector preferred.
  • Willingness to learn to utilize data visualization tools is required, experience is preferred.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, professional communication skills, ability to be adaptive, and a strong desire to learn new things.
  • Ability to be a supportive part of an impact-focused team, and support additional duties as assigned.
  • The ability to work on-site in an office setting during regular work hours.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduates and students currently pursuing a master’s degree (or higher) are encouraged to apply


  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently


  • Use of good judgment and own initiative
  • Logical thought process
  • Time management skills
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills


  • Able to safely lift 25 pounds


  • Non-smoking, professional office environment
  • Fast-paced
  • Professional work attire
  • Multi-track workflow that requires the ability to prioritize and plan


  • Resume
  • One writing sample that illustrates a succinct, clear articulation of a topic. This can be a report, brief, or research paper.
  • One page personal statement: why you are the ideal candidate
  • Contact information for three references


Please submit your application materials as soon as possible electronically to, at the San Diego Foundation.  If you have any questions, please contact

This position is open immediately and the posting will remain open until the position is filled.