Program Officer: Conference & Event Grants

Program Officer: Conference & Event Grants

Location: San Franciso, CA or Remote


The Community Resources team distributes funds and other resources via several participatory grantmaking programs, aimed at supporting mission-aligned organizations, groups, and individuals around the world. These programs support a variety of inspiring community-driven experiments, projects and programs, from outreach and events to research and tool-building.

The Program Officer works in coordination with volunteer grant committees to distribute these funds and other resources. They work across the different grant portfolios, with a focus on managing Conference & Event Grants for this next year and possibly beyond. In light of our new movement strategy, we will be restructuring our grant programs to transition to an improved resourcing model with a focus on supporting marginalized knowledge and communities.

The Conference & Event Grants program provides funding and planning support to groups to host local, regional, or thematic conferences that bring Wikimedians together for experience sharing, skill building, and networking. Recent conferences took place in Tunisia, Indonesia, Sweden, Korea, Mexico, Argentina, and more. The Program Officer works with applicants to develop proposals, review applications and reports, administer grants, and provide support during the conference planning process to support effective events in our communities.


  • Oversee the Conference Grants program, working with committees and grants administrator as needed to move applicants and grantees through the entire process.
  • Solicit and review grant proposals, including providing analysis and appropriate guidance to applicants in the pre-planning stage and coordinating committee review.
  • Evaluate new grant applications for eligibility and monitor for compliance as needed. Coordinate with other Program Officers as necessary to understand how new grant applications may impact applicants and their communities.
  • Be the primary point of contact at WMF for assigned grantees. Respond to requests in a timely way (generally within 3 business days).
  • Ensure grants include clear goals and effective measures of success, and help grantees measure and track their progress. Develop strategies for tracking short and long term outcomes.
  • Lead calls and support current and prospective grantees to engage in more in-depth discussions around conference planning, including community engagement assessments, program design, scholarship review, and strategies for financial support.
  • Provide guidance on implementing friendly space policies for events and support resolution of issues that arise.
  • Facilitate or lead constructive discussion about grant proposals online and offline (including enforcing the friendly space expectations), and involve staff and community members where their guidance is needed. Negotiate a mutual agreement on a way forward with applicants and grantees, where possible.
  • Work with the grants administrator to shepherd each grant through the approvals process in a timely way. Review and process changes to current grants.
  • Review open grant reports and provide applicants with timely constructive feedback.
  • Develop resources to guide grantees through planning, application, event management, and reporting. Maintain these resources on the grantmaking portals, and proactively support others in knowing about and using these resources.
  • Participate in annual planning process and tracking of the Conference Grants budget throughout the year.
  • Maintain accurate grant data in Fluxx and other relevant tracking systems.

The Program Officer works within the Foundation's Community Resources team, under the management of the Senior Program Officer. The position involves some international travel (2-4 trips a year).  


  • At least 2 years of experience in program or project management with a track record of success, preferably including much of the following: project planning, evaluation, budgeting, workflow management, and grant monitoring and reporting.
  • Experience communicating in different cultural and geographic contexts (and with those with a cultural or geographic perspective different from your own), and an understanding of how to navigate new cultural and geographic contexts and situations.
  • Experience mentoring others. You’ve not only managed your own programs in the past, you’ve also had some experience supporting others to achieve their goals, and have built meaningful relationships with others to exchange learning and grow together.
  • Experience with community organizing. You thrive working in collaborative groups and you are skilled in bringing out the best in people working together in a collaborative structure, you are organized and thoughtful about how you communicate with others and when, and you understand how your work and actions (and how you communicate about them) may affect your colleagues and those you serve.
  • Ability to take existing systems and organize them into well-oiled operations. We’re constantly piloting and ongoing experimentation is welcome, but we also need you to take what’s been learned and create effective systems and processes.
  • Experience in the non-profit sector (paid or unpaid), ideally involving making or receiving grants and working in a collaborative setting (such as serving on a committee or nonprofit board).
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills in English. Proven facility (ability to work) in at least one language other than English is preferable. Ideally, you have some experience communicating (in English) with those for whom English is not a first language.
  • You are skilled in building and cultivating relationships, you are skilled in listening, and you are skilled in delivering information and express points of view effectively and respectfully in both private and public settings.
  • Experience working independently: someone who will thrive working in a small team where other team members depend on you to deliver on your commitments. Comfort with ambiguity and complexity. Able to negotiate with people having sharply defined opinions while maintaining respectful relationships.  
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience.  

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply

Benefits & Perks *

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location



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