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Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, seeks a strategy and organizational effectiveness officer for its Effective Philanthropy Group.

About the Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation has assets of more than $7.5 billion and awards more than $350 million in grants annually.  A 13-member Board of Directors provides overall direction for the Foundation. For more information about the Hewlett Foundation, please visit

About the Effective Philanthropy Group

The Effective Philanthropy Group, launched in August 2012, is designed to work collaboratively with all program and operational teams on issues of cross-foundation relevance, providing support in the areas of strategy, evaluation, organizational learning, organizational effectiveness and general philanthropic practice. It is a hybrid team that includes some grantmaking and some internal strategic functions. The strategy and organizational effectiveness officer reports to the director of the effective philanthropy group and will help shape this new team within the Foundation.

Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness at the Hewlett Foundation

The Foundation is committed to being strategic and outcomes-focused in its work, balancing rigor and flexibility to achieve the maximum benefit from the Foundation’s investments.  Each Foundation program develops goals and strategic initiatives that guide its grantmaking, and creates short- and long-term plans for tracking and reporting on progress.  Underpinning these strategies and plans are programmatic theories of change that articulate the assumptions and evidence-base for our expected results. The Foundation’s approach to strategy is adaptive, understanding that changing environments and continuous feedback require a flexible approach.

But the right strategies and theories of change are not enough. Strong grantees are the engines that power our collective success, and we recognize that we are better able to tackle  challenging problems in partnership with highly capable grantees.  To build our grantees’ organizational capacity, the Foundation offers organizational effectiveness (OE) grants. Since the Board approved this program in 2004, the Foundation has made more than 400 OE grants totaling over $15 million to help grantees clarify their strategies, enhance leadership, and strengthen organizational systems.

About the Position

The Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness Officer has two interconnected main areas of responsibility:

  • Supporting continuous improvement of the Foundation’s strategy development and reviewing processes and tools to ensure they are efficient, effective and highly responsive to program needs.
  • Collaborating with program teams in leading the Foundation’s OE grants program, which  helps U.S. and international grantees strengthen  leadership, organizational infrastructure, sustainability, and impact. 

There is an opportunity over time to creatively link these two areas, whereby consideration of capacity is built into all strategy development and review efforts.

The specific duties of the strategy and organizational effectiveness officer include, but are not limited to, the following:

Support strategy development and review in partnership with program staff

  • In collaboration with program and administrative colleagues, periodically review and facilitate ongoing improvement of the Foundation’s approach to strategy development, monitoring, and refresh in support of ongoing adaptation and course correction.* 
  • As necessary, and in collaboration with evaluation and learning officers, develop and refine tools for monitoring progress of our strategies and initiatives in ways that are efficient and add value to the Foundation's commitment to be accountable, to learn and improve, and to achieve greater impact.  
  • Provide internal consulting to program teams as requested. This might take various forms,  serving as a critical friend during strategy development and review processes, planning and/or facilitating meetings, documenting strategic conversations; or reviewing  planning documents.  
  • Stay current on the field of strategy development in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, sharing best practices with the Foundation staff.
  • Identify valuable strategic planning resources, including consultants.
  • Share the Foundation’s approach to strategy with others in the field.


Lead OE grantmaking in partnership with program staff

  • Lead efforts to continuously improve the Foundation’s approach to supporting grantee organizational effectiveness. 
  • Provide training to program staff on assessing organizational capacity needs and making high-impact OE grants. Specific topics should include leadership development and succession, board governance, strategic planning, financial health and sustainability, communications strategy, and mergers and alliances. 
  • Manage $3 million annual OE grants budget. Provide timely review of approximately 60 grant proposals per year across the Foundation’s program areas, providing feedback and suggestions to program officers as needed. This includes providing program staff and grantees with assistance in developing work plans, progress indicators, and success metrics.
  • When requested, consult with program teams on ways to integrate grantee organizational capacity building considerations into Foundation strategies. 
  • Identify highly qualified consultants in a variety of organizational effectiveness skill areas. 
  • Stay current with and contribute to the latest field-wide knowledge on funder-supported capacity building.  Collaborate with colleagues from peer foundations on joint grantee capacity building initiatives.
  • Lead an internal “OE Liaison” group for program staff to share and deepen skills.

Required Skills and Knowledge

The Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness Officer should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • At least 10 years experience working on strategy and organizational effectiveness issues.  Management and/or consulting experience preferred, ideally in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.
  • An advanced degree in organizational development, business, the social sciences or related fields desired.
  • Expert knowledge of nonprofit and/or philanthropic strategy, due diligence, effective grantmaking practices and the broader philanthropy sector.
  • Ability, interest and, preferably, experience in working across a variety of local, national, and international grantmaking domains and topics.
  • Ability to think and act strategically, consistent with the Foundation’s commitment to outcome-oriented grantmaking. 
  • Strong analytical skills and creative problem-solving ability, combined with broad intellectual interests.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship management skills. Appreciation for organizations as complex dynamic systems.  Team-player.  Ability to work collaboratively with diverse individuals and across teams.
  • Excellent project management skills with good judgment and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated excellent writing, public speaking and facilitation skills. Capacity to communicate persuasively, orally and in writing, in a range of settings and mediums.
  • Demonstrated ability to process complex information and present ideas in a pragmatic and compelling manner.
  • Computer skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office.
  • A deep commitment to the core values and principles of the Hewlett Foundation.
  • High level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.
  • Possesses excellent judgment, flexibility, good humor, motivation, modesty, and graciousness.

Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to spend extended hours at a computer.

Compensation and Benefits
For this exempt, full-time position, the Foundation offers a salary commensurate with experience and education and an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Please send our Human Resources Department a resume and cover letter explaining how your skills fit this position:

Email: (Subject Line: [Your Name] – Organizational Effectiveness  Officer, Effective Philanthropy Group)

Fax: 650.234.1985

Application Deadline: Until filled


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search.