Racial Justice Program Officer | Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Racial Justice Program Officer
New York, NY
Organization Name: 
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

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’s work is rooted in respect for the dignity and worth of every human being and it has offices in New York, NY and Washington, DC.

The Racial Justice Program at Wellspring, based in the New York office, launched in 2016 in response to expanding social movements working to address the over-criminalization of Black people and communities in the US. The program envisions a day when Black people and other people of color in all corners of the US thrive and experience full participation in the US democracy. In service of this vision, the program provides grants and field support that build power within Black communities and communities of color, creating a more just and equitable society by challenging anti-Black racism and White supremacy, which perpetuate structural racism and a racialized criminalization system. The Racial Justice Program’s grantmaking targets the root causes of criminalization and oppression.

The Racial Justice Program team operates with the following core institutional and program values:

  • Humility: openness to listening to and learning from groups and leaders working on the ground, from colleagues in philanthropy and across Wellspring, and to elevating the work of grantees
  • Respect: for Wellspring grantees and colleagues, their perspectives, pressures, and contributions
  • Teamwork: a desire to work collaboratively and supportively with grantees and Wellspring colleagues
  • Courage: to support work that is bold, strategic, and informed by those most impacted by criminalization and injustice.

For more information on Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, please visit wpfund.org.

The Opportunity

Wellspring is seeking a Racial Justice Program Officer to join its dynamic and growing Racial Justice Program. The Program Officer will work in close collaboration with four teammates to continue to build out an ambitious grantmaking strategy and root the program within Wellspring and the larger philanthropic sector.

The Program Officer must demonstrate a willingness to actively listen and learn from the racial and criminal justice fields that the program supports, including formerly incarcerated people and communities of color directly impacted by criminalization and punishment, and Black communities and other communities of color building movements for social justice. This is an incredible opportunity to help uplift the vision of impacted communities.

The Program Officer will be based in New York, NY and report to Racial Justice Program Director Kirsten Levingston.

The Program Officer’s responsibilities fall in three broad categories, each of which is central to the role:


The Program Officer will be responsible for deepening grantee and potential grantee relationships around the country. This will include managing evaluations of grantee programs, monitoring the use of grant funds, and conducting site visits. The Program Officer will need to stay abreast of new developments and trends in the field in order to ensure that Wellspring’s resources are directed appropriately toward the highest level of impact.

Organizational Engagement

The Program Officer will be a key contributor to the growing Racial Justice Program team, as well as to the broader Wellspring staff. This individual will support the continued evolution of the Program’s practices and infrastructure, and will be an active participant in internal meetings, task forces, and committees. The Program Officer will collaborate in learning and grantmaking with colleagues across Wellspring.

External Relations

Developing relationships with peer funders and community-based organizations working in relevant fields, including mass criminalization and incarceration, civic engagement, youth leadership, economic justice, public health, and narrative change, is a critical element of this position. The Program Officer will engage in the creative use of conferences, convenings, co-funding partnerships, pooled funds, and other tools to promote common and complementary grantmaking agendas and to advance learning in the philanthropic and advocacy sectors.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be passionate about social justice and building power in Black communities and communities of color. 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. Wellspring seeks a colleague eager to learn, grow, and be part of an enterprise larger than themselves.

Ideal candidates will possess the following knowledge, skills, and qualifications:

  • Minimum of seven years of experience with a social justice organization or in philanthropy, in roles that enabled them to shape and implement strategy and learn how nonprofits operate
  • Demonstrated experience building and sustaining relationships with diverse stakeholders in the racial justice eco-system, including movement leaders, organizers, policy advocates, lawyers, directly impacted communities, and funders
  • Experience (work or lived) with criminalization or the criminal legal system; deep knowledge and understanding of the criminalization of communities of color
  • Ability to think and work intersectionally, particularly with regard to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity
  • Familiarity with organizing and power building strategies
  • Strong research, analytic, and problem-solving skills, and the ability to synthesize information clearly and concisely
  • An effective communicator, both orally and in writing, with close attention to follow-up and detail
  • Demonstrated experience managing multiple priorities on different timelines
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion
  • Willingness to travel extensively, up to 30-40% of the time
  • Understands and values social justice, including racial and gender equity, as an organizational operating principle – and committed to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, disability, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Compensation & Benefits

The annual salary for this role will be $110,000‐$120,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Wellspring offers a 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 dependents, and a commitment to providing transgender‐inclusive health care.


Molly Brennan and Meghan Franklin of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your cover letter and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund believes it is strengthened by the diversity of its staff, and welcomes such diversity, including race, gender identity or expression, educational attainment, disability, veteran status, and personal experience with the criminal justice system. Wellspring welcomes applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and strongly encourages people of color and persons with disabilities to apply. Wellspring actively cultivates an institutional culture that reflects the values of respect, equity, and inclusion that it seeks to amplify in the larger world.

About Koya Leadership Partners 

Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit koyapartners.com.