Parks California – It’s in our nature Donate

Associate Program Manager – Grants & Operations

Organization Background

Parks California is an ambitious new organization working to ensure that our state’s parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs to lighthouses and ghost towns, we’re working with our partners to make California parks more welcoming, accessible, and relevant to all visitors.

Managing these assets for nearly 40 million residents and millions more annual visitors takes collective work. Park managers cannot do it alone. Parks California harnesses skills and resources—and California’s renowned ingenuity—to help our state, regional, and local parks thrive and evolve.

Formed after extensive consultation with hundreds of stakeholders, park executives, and philanthropic leaders, Parks California stimulates and supports innovative public-private partnerships that raise the visibility of California’s parks and their partners, inspire passionate support for public lands, and set trends for the future of parks. Parks California attracts new public and private funding, and provides expertise and entrepreneurial approaches to high-priority projects and programs developed and implemented in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation and other park districts across the state. Parks California coalesces a diverse set of partners to make this vision a reality. Parks California is committed to supporting and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization and its programs.

Position Overview

Responsible for executing the operational and grant making components of Parks California Programs division. The position also works closely with the Programs team to provide project management across all of Parks California’s programs.

Parks California is seeking an energetic, diligent, and self-motivated team player to join its staff as an Associate Program Manager – Grants & Operations. This position offers the opportunity to participate in a broad range of program operations as part of a small, dynamic team. The Associate Program Manager will be responsible for the management of Parks California grantmaking activities. In addition, the Associate Program Manager will work in close partnership with the Programs team to execute operational and programmatic functions, ensuring effectiveness and efficiency. The role involves engagement throughout the grantmaking processes with nonprofit organizations, grant applicants and grantees; serving as a technical and professional resource both within and outside of Parks California; responsibility for ongoing operations including but not limited to research, compliance and communications related to financial management and reporting, vendor management and administration.

Applicants who have previous program, management, administrative and communications experience are preferred. An understanding of the philanthropic and the non-profit sector is a plus.


Grant Management

  • Responsible for the overall management of Parks California grantmaking activities.
  • Lead the development and oversight of systems and processes that ensure an effective grantmaking process, including the evaluation and selection of grant making software.
  • Collaborate with program leads and partners to develop competitive grant programs in support of mission goals.
  • Manage the lifecycle of Parks California grants, including: initial development, marketing, due diligence and selection, maintenance and reporting.
  • Using the grant making software, develop grant proposal guidelines and reporting templates to achieve program goals.
  • Draft and edit agency project agreements, contracts, and grant agreements from predefined templates.
  • Oversee all administrative, legal and compliance aspects of grants and agreements, partnering closely with external legal support and other departments.
  • Cultivate relationships with existing and prospective grantee partners, providing technical assistance and facilitating new partnerships.
  • Identify opportunities to streamline the grants process through continuous improvement.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of evaluation programs for grants.
  • Stay abreast and monitor trends in the nonprofit and grant-making arena. Identify and undertake professional development and training.

Program Operations

  • Lead project work streams across Parks California projects and support ongoing activities that ensure the organization’s successful program delivery.
  • Develop project concept proposals and budgets that drive innovation and advancement of California State Parks.
  • Conduct research and identify industry trends and best practices to support the development of new projects.
  • Assist with program and event logistics.
  • Manage the collection, analysis, and reporting of program metrics.
  • Create customized reports and analyses as needed.
  • In collaboration with program leads, manage website updates.
  • Work with the communications team to build engaging and effective presentations and marketing campaigns across all programs.
  • Monitor operating and grant budgets, track spending, and contract deliverables.

Desired Experience And Competencies

  • Familiarity with competitive grant programs, nonprofit tax rules and grant/legal agreements.
  • Experience working with databases, spreadsheets, and presentation software. Grant making technology preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to distill data into reports and visual representation.
  • Comfortable working in a matrixed environment, collaborating on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • The ability to easily interact with a wide range of people and styles, preference for experience working in a virtual work environment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including demonstrated proofreading and editing skills.
  • Strong project management skills, with a strong attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of best practices, legal, accounting and regulatory requirements for grantmaking.

Other Qualifications

  • 4-year college degree
  • 5-7 years in a grants management, program/project management or program operations role, preferably in a non-profit or philanthropic foundation setting
  • Ability and willingness to travel periodically
  • This position’s preferred location is Sacramento, CA, San Diego, CA, or San Francisco, CA, though exceptional candidates with a demonstrated ability to work remotely from other locations in California will also be considered.


A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered based on experience.

To Apply

Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a cover letter describing their qualifications that match the position criteria and what they will bring to the role, along with a resume, to with the subject line “Parks California, Associate Program Manager Search.”

Additional information

More information on Parks California can be found at

Parks California is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that our overall effectiveness is enhanced when equity and inclusiveness are practiced and protected throughout our organizational governance, culture, and staffing. We are committed to leadership in and serving as a catalyst for promoting equity and inclusion in parks communities.