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


Community Impact Program Specialist

At The San Diego Foundation, we value our diverse and experienced staff that are 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 mission that is carried out every day by providing leadership for effective philanthropy and promoting community solutions.

We are seeking an experienced Program Specialist to support the strategic program-related activities that are established as priorities of The San Diego Foundation. These priorities will maximize the impact of philanthropic investment made by donors and Foundation discretionary funds.

This opportunity offers:

  • An exciting career opportunity at a leading San Diego philanthropic institution
  • An opportunity to work with a collaborative team
  • A convenient Point Loma location, green-certified professional office building with free parking
  • A competitive pay, a comprehensive and generous benefit package

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

  • Support fundraising efforts and opportunities for programs by positioning and articulating TSDF program impact, value and purpose through research, writing, and report creation.
  • Oversee and update/improve systems that support information aggregation, organization, and content development in support of fundraising goals, including communications for external partners, TSDF Development & Stewardship team, and TSDF donor community. Coordinate fundraising proposal timeline and supporting content development.
  • Support the coordination of efforts related to convening actions and stakeholder engagement, and the development/presentation of related program data and messaging.
  • Support TSDF’s community leadership efforts by providing research and subject matter insight around initiatives, policy implications, and issues impacting the local non-profit community, TSDF partners, and local government, especially those related to TSDF strategic program areas.
  • Steward donor interest through effective administration of strategic grantmaking programs, information sharing, and support of engagement opportunities.
  • Create content, including writing, data visualization, and reports/proposals, in support of short, mid and longer-term donor stewardship opportunities, as appropriate. Oversee and continuously improve donor requested research and related systems in support of informed conversations with donors through high-quality final product.
  • Maximize operational efficiency to increase impact: improve efficiency, enhance collaboration, and continue to oversee and update systems that support effective messaging, evaluation, and strategic alignment in support of Community Impact programs and goals. Effectively manage and coordinate grantee communications and related agreements, timelines, and documents.
  • Effectively administer the Community Impact (CI) department strategic program operations, including systems related to the grantmaking processes and documentation, grantee coordination, timeline upkeep, research, writing and report creation in support of CI programs.
  • Aggregate information and produce content to support knowledge sharing with committees, grantees and partners.
  • Manage Community Impact Inbox to ensure external-facing communications and related systems offer appropriate messaging and support informed conversations with the San Diego Community and non-profit community leaders.

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.


  • Minimum of three years of administrative and/or program support experience in a private or community foundation, or position in a corporate, government or nonprofit organization
  • 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 issues as they relate to how we work, learn, live and enjoy 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


  • Bachelor’s degree 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

Please submit to

  • Resume
  • Indicate in the Subject Line: Community Impact Program Specialist


The San Diego region is set in a unique environment with a world-renowned climate which supports many aspects of our region’s quality of life and economy. As such, people throughout the County have a long and rich history of local community pride and protection of our region’s clean air and water, natural resources and quality of life. But our region faces significant challenges, like others throughout the world, from the impacts of climate change on the health and well-being of today’s communities and future generations.

We also know from Our Greater San Diego Vision that San Diegans value future growth in our region that ensures that nature is accessible, connected and protected for people to enjoy, with access to parks and open space, canyons and mountains, clean beaches and bays. They also want our region to grow up, not out, with convenient transportation options and neighborhood centers that are safe, vibrant and convenient, all aspects of a community that is resilient to climate change.

The purpose of this position is to lead the Foundation’s efforts to engage cross-sector partners– donors, government, business, academia and community organizations– to create, implement and collaborate on solutions to address the region’s most pressing environmental challenges.  Building on The San Diego Foundation’s track record in environmental research and initiatives, the Director, Environment Initiatives will work as part of the Community Impact department, to implement multi-pronged environmental initiatives.  The Climate, Thrive Outside, Opening the Outdoors and Water initiatives help achieve The San Diego Foundation’s overarching mission to improve the quality of life in all of our communities by providing leadership for effective philanthropy that builds enduring assets and by promoting community solutions through research, convenings and actions that advance the common good.


  • Provide strategic leadership of the environmental initiatives to facilitate donors, nonprofits, government, academia, business and other strategic partners working together to leverage resources and collectively drive toward growing a vibrant region.
  • Raise funding for environmental grantmaking and operations by developing and stewarding relationships with national, state and local foundations as well as individual donors.
  • Lead strategic grantmaking to invest funds raised and those held at The Foundation to create measurable results toward the region’s most pressing regional environmental issues.
  • Maintain a broad understanding of the San Diego community and environmental needs and use this knowledge to create data-driven action.
  • Create strategic partnerships with funders, donors, nonprofits, academia, business, or other civic organizations and leaders to meet environmental initiative goals beyond grantmaking, through research, convenings, public awareness, and other actions.
  • Represent The Foundation in the community, in media appearances, on relevant external Boards or Committees, in public speaking engagements, and as needed in presentations to the Board of Governors.


Lead The Foundation’s environmental efforts to engage donors/foundation partners, community partners and volunteers to advance strategic and effective environmental initiatives that contribute to the protection of our region’s air, land and water resources and a high quality of life for all San Diegans. Responsibilities include:

  • Provide strategic direction for four environmental initiatives (Opening the Outdoors, Thrive Outside, Climate and Water) and two funds (Balboa Park Endowment and San Diego Regional Disaster).
  • Serve on relevant funder affinity groups to build relationships with external funders and build knowledge among funders about climate-related and environmental equity needs in San Diego (for example, Smart Growth California, Clean Energy, The Funders Network, San Diego Grantmakers)
  • Work with relevant internal and external stakeholders to identify where philanthropy can make the greatest impact with limited resources to address critical environmental needs of the region; identify initiative gaps that require attention and work collaboratively to fill those gaps.
  • Fundraise/secure external funding and manage donor relations for environment portfolio in coordination with organizational fundraising efforts.
  • Manage approximately $1 million in grants and charitable expenses annually, as well as associated budget, contracts and grant agreements.
  • Work with TSDF senior leadership and Community Impact Directors in department-wide strategy, reporting, communications and initiatives implementation.
  • Oversee relevant grant advisory committees including recruiting donors and volunteers and develop effective and efficient grantmaking approach based on philanthropic best practices and organizational alignment.
  • Ensure timely, efficient and effective grants management that meets donor intent by working with Grants Manager and relevant systems (i.e. Smarter Select, Blackbaud).
  • Work with Communications to lead communications about environment and disaster initiatives through media, blogs, and other written communications.
  • Conceptualize and facilitate results-oriented convenings to inform environmental initiatives and educate stakeholders about local and regional needs.
  • Leverage Foundation efforts by linking with relevant environmental public policy
  • Establish clear metrics for midterm and year-end benchmarks.
  • Seek and manage collaboration with other departments to meet shared goals (especially Communications, Development & Stewardship and Regional Affiliates).
  • Participate with other supervising managers at the Foundation in providing leadership and insights as requested on key organization planning issues that impact The Foundation’s goals, plans, and policies, as well as activities and operations and recommended courses of action.
  • Evaluate and secure consulting expertise when funded and appropriate.


Environment portfolio, Thrive Outside Manager and Fellow


Reports to the President & CEO or designee


  • Five to seven years of experience in a private or community foundation, or management position in a corporate, government or non-profit organizations, and/or environment sector companies
  • Demonstrated leadership and organizational skills, able to engage and convene, facilitate meetings and build collaboration with diverse constituents
  • Broad knowledge of the range of issues facing San Diego’s environment, nonprofit, as well as San Diego’s diverse communities, and solutions to meet those challenges
  • Demonstrated success with fund development and grants management, including knowledge of and success in attracting foundation and corporate grants; ability to collaborate with other departments to identify, steward and solicit individual donors
  • Proven track record managing and leading complex projects, meeting deliverables and timelines
  • Initiative to recognize and anticipate problems, then solve them.
  • Supervisory or management experience
  • Interdisciplinary, analytical, innovative and critical thinking
  • Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to foster and encourage teamwork
  • Ability to inspire and motivate, and effectively manage conflict
  • Volunteer management experience preferred
  • Strong ability to persuade and influence
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills
  • Computer literate, Microsoft Office Suite


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Advanced degree in relevant field preferred


  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently
  • Spanish fluency preferred


  • Use of good judgment and own initiative
  • Professional attitude and demeanor
  • Demonstrated ability to accomplish objectives with minimal guidance

At The San Diego Foundation, we value our diverse and experienced staff that are 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 mission that is carried out every day by providing leadership for effective philanthropy and promoting community solutions.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit the following to

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Indicate in the Subject line: Director, Environment Initiatives

Please direct all inquiries to: