Nonprofit and Social Impact, Operations, Social Justice and Advocacy

Program Officer, Global Children’s Rights

  • Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
  • Washington, D.C.

This position has been filled.

About Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to advancing the realization of human rights and social and economic justice for all people. Wellspring grounds their work in their respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and prioritizes the advancement of racial, gender, and economic justice across all our programs. Through domestic and international grantmaking, Wellspring strives to cultivate accountable social systems and structures that uphold human dignity, strengthen agency, and advance equity for all people, and to contribute to making real change that matters. As responsible stewards, Wellspring strives to maximize the impact of their charitable investments and make a tangible difference in shifting conditions that materially affect people’s lives.

The Global Children’s Rights (GCR) program catalyzes action to realize rights and advance social justice for all children, with specific emphasis on girls in all their diversity, and gender justice. We aim to encompass an intersectional feminist approach, supporting systemic change to address the root causes of age and gender inequality and to contribute to shifting adultist, racist, neocolonial, and other oppressive systems. GCR focuses on two complementary approaches: shifting public systems and influential large-scale actors to make them more responsive to the needs of children and girls; and enhancing power and movement building work that resources local girls’, children’s, and communities’ organizing and actions to influence change. Through grantmaking and philanthropic leadership, GCR supports work in four themes: Advance Girls’ Education and Skills; Prevent Violence Against Children and Girls; Shift Social and Gender Norms; and Foster Enabling Conditions for Realizing Children’s and Girls’ Rights.

For more information on Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, please visit website.

The Opportunity

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund seeks a Program Officer to join its Global Children’s Rights Program (GCR).

The Program Officer will work collaboratively within the GCR team to evolve and implement new strategic efforts particularly for the Advance Girls’ Education and Skills theme, in the focus areas of Latin America and East Africa. The goal of this theme is that more girls have equal access to and better completion rates of quality education and skill building programs. The approach is that families, communities, and institutions work with and for girls and children to dismantle systemic barriers that perpetuate gender-related disparities to the attainment of education and skills. 

The Program Officer reports to the GCR Program Director and works closely with the Program Director, a Senior Program Officer, a Program Officer, a Program Associate, an Administrative Assistant, a Grants Management Officer, and other Wellspring staff.

Candidate Profile and Responsibilities

While it is understood that no single candidate will offer every desired attribute and competency, the following is a representative list of the ideal candidate profile and priority tasks and responsibilities.

Strategy and Grantmaking

  • Under the guidance of the Program Director and in collaboration with the Program Team Members, contribute to strategic plan implementation across the whole portfolio/program with a specific emphasis on the theme Advance Girls’ Education and Skills in Latin America and East Africa.
  • Refine and implement grantmaking priorities and strategic approaches to advance the program’s theory of change, five-year goals, objectives, and outcomes. Contribute to strategic learning, evaluation, and program adaptation.
  • Monitor new developments and trends in the field and provide analyses to synthesize implications for the program and to ensure that Wellspring’s resources are directed appropriately toward the highest level of impact.
  • Identify and recommend potential grantees and manage existing grantee relationships for the new Advance Girls’ Education and Skills thematic area to align with the strategic plan and contribute to overall GCR grantmaking. Effectively manage grantee relationships; build relationships and trust with prospective and existing grantees; write grant recommendations; conduct due diligence and site visits; review progress reports; conduct or assess evaluations of grantee programs; and monitor use of grant funds.
  • Ensure adherence to internal grantmaking processes via appropriate documentation, grant budgeting, data entry, and reporting.
  • Utilize learning and evaluation to influence decision making about strategy and grantmaking and to generate learning, knowledge, and evidence to share with the field.

Organizational Engagement

  • Support and contribute to GCR program team development and continued evolution of the Program’s practices and infrastructure, including weekly meetings and team retreats.
  • Shape and participate in internal program presentations and opportunities for shared learning.
  • Advance institution‐wide initiatives, including by serving on internal advisory groups and/or task forces.
  • Contribute to informing and engaging Wellspring’s donors, leadership, other staff members, and public audiences on issues and develop program communication materials, in collaboration with the team and other Wellspring departments.
  • Collaborate in learning, evaluation, and grantmaking with colleagues across Wellspring and mentoring junior staff as appropriate.

External Relations

  • Develop relationships with peer funders and external stakeholders working in relevant fields to share best practices, integrate learnings, and advance the program’s goals.
  • Take part in the creative use of conferences, convenings, co-funding partnerships, pooled funds, and other tools to promote common and complementary grantmaking agendas, learning, and to advance learning in the philanthropic and advocacy sectors.
  • Remain well-connected to key actors in the field and understand what new and deeper opportunities exist to strengthen support for relevant communities.           
Knowledge, Skills, and Qualifications

The ideal candidate brings a deep commitment to Wellspring’s mission and passion for children’s rights, girls’ rights, girls’ education, and gender justice. They will have a bold vision of what is possible and will be able to articulate that vision to a range of internal and external stakeholders. They should bring both a seriousness of purpose and a sense of joy to the work. Wellspring seeks colleagues eager to learn, grow, and be part of an enterprise larger than themselves. Key qualifications include:

Content Knowledge 

  • 9-15 years of experience in education and social justice, including aspects such as:
    • Girls’ education, education, life skills, or related work in children’s rights, community and youth-led development, gender norms, social norms, human rights, and related fields.
    • Familiarity with the NGOs, researchers, and funders working in girls’ education and children’s and girls’ rights, especially in Latin America and/or East Africa.
  • Graduate degree in education or related field preferred, including children’s rights, gender studies, international development, child development, human rights, organizational leadership and development, OR equivalent experience.
  • Strong background in non-profit or philanthropy, in roles that enabled the candidate to shape and implement strategy, conduct advocacy, and learn how non-profits and philanthropic institutions operate.
  • Passion for and commitment to social justice, including racial and gender equity, as an organizational operating principle – and committed to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, identity, disability, religion/spiritual belief, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Reasoning and Strategic Thinking

  • Excellent research and analytical skills and problem-solving skills, with the ability to recognize connections and identify patterns; curiosity to seek out information and connection across a broad range of issues and synthesize information clearly and concisely. An open, critical thinking, and innovative mindset and a keen interest in learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to use learning and evaluation to influence decision making about strategy and grantmaking.
  • Sound judgment and the ability to make complex, multidimensional decisions based on both facts and experience.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and dexterity in communicating with a broad diversity of partners and audiences with clarity and authenticity.

Building Relationships

  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain close, collegial, and effective working relationships with colleagues and grantees of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Desire and ability to work in a highly collaborative environment in collective strategic, program, and grantmaking approaches on a matrixed, small team.
  • Ability to understand and manage the power differential in the funder-grantee relationship as well as the ability to handle all relationships with humility and respect.
  • A collaborator and team player, someone who is open, adaptable, and leads with humility.
Portfolio Management
  • Ability to plan, manage, and execute multiple detailed workstreams on different timelines and meet deadlines, with close attention to details and follow-up.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively, to take initiative, and to manage one’s own time.
  • Sophistication and commitment to adhere to confidentiality policies and manage confidential information thoughtfully.
  • Ability to be flexible, manage ambiguity, and organizational change.
  • Comfort to work behind-the-scenes in a low-profile role.


  • Foreign language competency in Spanish highly preferred.
  • Experience living and/or working in Latin America especially highly preferred.
  • Experience living and working in a developing country for at least a year preferred.
  • Five years’ experience in grantmaking preferred, including: reviewing or writing grant proposals, resource mobilization, and/or program design.
  • Experience with uptake of evidence-based interventions by governments and advocacy preferred.
  • Experience with organizational development and capacity building preferred.


The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. The team member may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

NOTE: At this time, all applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at the time of hire.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary range of $120,000 – $145,000 commensurate with experience.

Wellspring offers a very generous benefits package including payment of 100% of the health insurance premiums for employees (and 80% of the premiums for spouses, domestic partners, and qualified family members). Wellspring also offers other benefits including life insurance, long‐term disability protection, a group 401(k) retirement plan (with an employer match), support for continuing education, up to $5,250 in annual student loan repayment or college savings assistance for qualified dependents and is committed to providing transgender‐inclusive healthcare.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Sarah Avendaño of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Wellspring’s Institutional Culture of Respect, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging 

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund believes we are strengthened by the diversity of our staff, and welcomes such diversity including race, gender identity or expression, educational attainment, disability, veteran status, and personal experience with the criminal justice system. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and we strongly encourage people of color and persons with disabilities to apply. We actively cultivate an institutional culture that reflects the values of respect, equity, and inclusion that we seek through our work to amplify in the larger world. 

Wellspring hires, promotes, and retains employees based on their professional qualifications, demonstrated abilities and work performance, as well as on the degree to which these qualities are required in the employment positions made available by the Foundations’ service needs and business requirements. All personnel decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, assignment, training, promotion, discipline and discharge, are made without discrimination based on any protected characteristic as defined by law (e.g., race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, domestic partner status, veteran or military status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, and prior criminal convictions, as well as educational attainment.) 

All applicants must be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of hire to be considered for this position.

Covid-19 Hiring Update

Wellspring’s Offices have returned to in-person work using a hybrid model. Staff are required to be fully vaccinated and to work from the office Tuesday – Thursday and have the option to work remotely Monday and Friday. To ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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