Exciting Fellowship Position Available at Major Foundation

The Christensen Fund
Posted: July 12, 2017
Location: California, United States
Position: Administrative, Program
Field: Community development, Community foundations, Other fields, Philanthropic advisors
Salary: USD50,500 to USD50,500
Application Deadline: July 31, 2017
Category: Community outreach, Grant administration, Grant making, Office administration, Other administrative, Program administration and management, Public relations and communications
Employment Level: Full-time

The Christensen Fund

The Christensen Fund is a private foundation founded in 1957 and based in San Francisco, California. We are a non-profit, non-governmental organization governed by an independent Board of Trustees.

 The Christensen Fund believes in the power of biological and cultural diversity to sustain and enrich a world faced with great change and uncertainty. Since 2003, our grantmaking has centered on the “biocultural”—the rich, adaptive interweave of people and place, culture and ecology. Under this approach, we seek to support the resilience of biological and cultural diversity in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and their allies. Our grantmaking programs are focused around six geographic regions of the world and selected global biocultural initiatives. These regions currently include: the US Southwest, the African Rift Valley, Central Asia, Melanesia, Northwest Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area.

 Throughout our programs and relationships, we give special attention to realizing the aspirations and enhancing the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). UNDRIP is central to both our work as a foundation and to our grantmaking processes.

As an institution, we deeply value diversity, passion, creativity and excellence—all of which are reflected in our highly skilled staff that is based in San Francisco, as well as in our grantmaking regions. Our staff comes from many parts of the world and speaks more than 40 languages.

Confluence Philanthropy

 Confluence Philanthropy advances mission aligned investing.  We support and catalyze a community of private, public and community foundations, families, individual donors, and their values-aligned investment managers representing more than $71 billion in philanthropic assets under management, and over $3 trillion in managed capital. Members are committed to full mission alignment when prudent and feasible. Based in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Canada and Puerto Rico, our members collectively invest around the world.

 Position Summary – PRI Program Fellow (US Southwest Focused)

 The PRI Program Fellow, supporting a pilot program at the Christensen Fund, will offer an early- to mid-career professional with strong Indigenous connections a unique opportunity to a) deeply learn about philanthropy thru extensive hands-on Program Related Investment (PRI) capital deployment experience, to b) help develop funder (PRI) networks focused on Native America with an emphasis on the US Southwest, and to c) support Christensen and Confluence Philanthropy in this work.

The Fellowship is designed to support a Fellow’s holistic development as a leader and advocate for transformative social change (including within philanthropy) and to strengthen her/his work with and service to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. We acknowledge that the skills needed for paradigm shifting leadership are broad and multifaceted. And, that rooted leadership requires opportunities to be engaged and active in community and culture. The Fellowship will include both support of The Christensen Fund’s US Southwest PRI program, and simultaneously the support of Confluence Philanthropy’s Rainmakers Investment Collaborative (Rainmakers). Additionally, the Fellow will have time for dedicated personal cultural study/practice. The Fellow will collaborate regularly and directly with partners, borrowers, and investors in San Francisco and the US Southwest region.


The PRI Program Fellow will be a Christensen Fund employee with 50% of her/his time allocated to developing and implementing the Christensen PRI Pilot Program, and 50% of his/her time supporting Confluence Philanthropy to develop the Rainmakers initiative. Duties are outlined below.


The PRI Program Fellow will be responsible for (Christensen):

  • Manage a PRI Pilot Program budget of approximately $2,000,000 (including deployed funds and recommendations for funds yet to be allocated) for the US Southwest region.
  • Enhance and support capacity building programs that help develop borrowers and intermediaries to enable easier deployment of capital.
  • Participate in development and deployment of entrepreneur accelerator and incubator programs in the US Southwest.
  • Evaluate, critique, and recommend PRI investment and partnership opportunities.
  • Collaborate with in-region partners to develop platforms and opportunities.
  • Engage in regular in-region meetings among funders, intermediaries, partners, and borrowers to track progress and learnings.
  • Report regularly to Christensen Directors and Board leadership.
  • Develop and refine reporting of program outcomes for borrowers, and collaborate with partners for enhanced outcome learnings that can enhance field growth.
  • Prepare recommendations to Christensen leadership for expanding PRI Pilot Program to other Christensen geographic regions, once pilot period is complete.
  • Prepare annual PRI Pilot Program report of investments made, lessons learned, and outcomes achieved, to be presented to senior Christensen Directors and the Board of Trustees.
  • Represent Christensen at a broad range of meetings and events.
  • Travel regularly to the US Southwest region is required for this position, including extensive contact with Native American communities, entrepreneurs and groups, and also regional, national, and international philanthropies and funders, as well as intermediaries.
  • This position will have a dedicated office in San Francisco, California.
  • The PRI Program Fellow will be responsible for (Confluence Philanthropy):
  • Steering Committee Coordination: Staff the Rainmakers Steering Committee to include scheduling meetings, preparing meeting materials, and note-taking.
    • Field Building Projects: Design an Investor Toolkit and other materials to facilitate investment for Indigenous communities in the US Southwest; craft investee and investor profiles for marketing and case studies; additional projects to be determined by the Rainmakers Steering Committee.
    • Educational Programs: Coordinate Rainmakers learning events. Tasks include conducting research about potential speakers, recruiting speakers, marketing events to members, managing event registration, event materials and presentation preparation, post meeting follow-up.
    • Social Media and Resource Content: Assist Confluence staff in developing content for the website and e-communications. (i.e. blog posts from Members or investees, library content, aggregating interesting data about investees), writing copy and editing content.
    • Administrative and Organizational Development: Maintain correspondence with members; participate in weekly staff meetings and discuss growth opportunities; assist in database upkeep and other admin tasks as requested.
  • This position will have a dedicated office in Oakland, California.
  • The PRI Program Fellow will have access to:

    • Individual coaching and mentorship, including from Christensen Fund Trustees, Directors and International Program Staff.
    • Individual coaching and mentorship, including Confluence Philanthropy Senior Management and Board.
    • A growing network of funders, donors and partners in the US Southwest, including dedicated staff at various institutions focused on a healthy expansion of Program-Related Investments into Indigenous regions and territories.
    • Dedicated time for personal cultural study/practice (one week per year, plus professional development support).
    • Travel support to attend local and national conferences and events, as well as to enhance and develop Christensen and Rainmakers PRI work in the US Southwest.

    Traits and Desired Qualifications


    • Deep commitment to our core values of deep diversity, self-determination, cultural expression, critical thinking and learning, and a delight in thinking in integrated ways.
    • Comprehension of the relationships between biological and cultural diversity.
    • Familiarity with the history, complexities and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in the United States.
    • Experience working with Indigenous Peoples, particularly in the US Southwest.
    • Ability to think innovatively about strategic partnerships, alliances and engagement with different types of actors – foundations, Tribal Governments, nonprofits, federal and state agencies, intermediaries, donors, and other partners.
    • Ability to articulate a vision that motivates internal and external stakeholders from multiple communities and in diverse settings.
    • Well-organized and self-sufficient, IT-savvy, and able to manage time and work under pressure.
    • High integrity and a commitment to personal and professional excellence.


  • A demonstrated ability and inclination to work as part of a team, and as part of multiple, inter-related teams.
  • An ability to travel to work in two offices (Christensen-San Francisco and Confluence Philanthropy-Oakland) in the Bay Area, to travel regularly to the US Southwest to meet with partners, and to seek out, listen to, understand and respect applicants, borrowers and other stakeholders and work in support of their passions and dreams. 
  • Applicants should possess 
  • A graduate degree (MBA, etc.) or 5-7 years of experience in business development, social enterprise, small business, or entrepreneurship, along with knowledge of biocultural diversity, environmental socio-ecological resilience and/or the issues facing Indigenous Peoples in the United States.


  • Demonstrated commitment to the visions and struggles of Indigenous Peoples to secure their economic development, cultural integrity and environmental heritage.
  • Experience reviewing and evaluating new venture business plans, including the capability of providing clear written critiques and analysis of the strengths and challenges of such plans and proposals.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. 

Terms of Employment

 Two-year full-time Fellowship based in San Francisco, California; this is a local hire with no relocation support.

  • $50,500 plus medical and dental benefits.
  • Interviews will take place in August 2017. The Fellowship will commence September 18, 2017.    
  • Please submit an application packet to programresumes@christensenfund.org by Monday, July 31, 2017 at 5pm PST. A complete application packet consists of the following four items:
  • To Apply  
  1. Cover letter outlining your relevant experience and why you are interested in the Fellowship
  2. Résumé (CV)
  3. Responses to essay questions (below)
  4. Three referencesAll documents should be submitted together in one PDF that includes your name and the Fellowship title (ie: LastName_ChristensenFundFellow.pdf). Review of credentials will begin immediately. Principals only. No phone calls please.