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Project Manager

Salary Range
$185,000 - $205,000
Application Deadline
San Francisco, CA

PROJECT MANAGER, CRANKSTART San Francisco CA – January 18, 2024

About Crankstart
Crankstart envisions a vibrant, thriving Bay Area, where our region’s prosperity is shared, strengthened, and realized by all who live here. We are a family foundation, based in San Francisco, working with others to address social issues and their underlying causes. Our main interests are education; a thriving democracy; economic mobility; housing security; the environment; and the basic sciences. In 2022, we made over $200m in grants, with 60% going to nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Crankstart is very much a startup and consists of 11 core team members of diverse backgrounds. We value authenticity, collaboration, learning, commitment, and hope.

The Opportunity
Crankstart is hiring for a Project Manager to support the end-to-end planning and execution of large, complex, and strategically significant projects across a range of programmatic strategy areas and organizational operations. 

The Project Manager ensures the productivity of a project team in its execution of coordinated activities to meet defined scopes of work and deliver tangible work products at a high-quality standard. In this role, you will develop project plans and lead projects. You will create processes and tools to track task status and manage core project team members and additional project stakeholders to ensure projects deliver their expected scope and value in accordance with planned budgets, schedules, and programmatic goals. You will lead cross-portfolio projects in support of our team, our grantees, and our co-funders. While the role will report through the Senior Program Officer of Democracy and Environment, the Project Manager will be a shared resource across Crankstart’s programmatic areas and will occasionally support organization-wide initiatives.

You will have an assigned cadence of baseline responsibilities and will additionally be working on several projects at any given time, each with its own set of core objectives and rhythms of business. These projects might vary in type, including but not limited to research, measurement and evaluation, events and convenings, program design, and communications.

You are a high-capacity generalist who can plug into any team and project to add immediate value and organization. We are looking for an individual who is organized and loves helping others stay organized; detail-oriented; comfortable pursuing colleagues for deliverables, including their supervisor and executive level leadership; understanding when the timing and scope of projects need to change; and willing to do whatever needs to be done to help the team succeed.

This position is a hybrid role based in San Francisco and reports to the Senior Program Officer – Democracy & Environment.

Key Responsibilities

Project Management (70%)

  • Determine and define a project scope, key objectives, and guiding principles given a set of strategic priorities.
  • Develop and maintain detailed project schedules and work plans that sequence tasks and describe milestone deliverables needed to complete a project.
  • Coordinate the efforts of cross-functional and diverse project teams, related stakeholders, and other external partners, such as grantees, consultants, and vendors.
  • Codify and communicate project updates, including decisions made and actions taken in various formats (e.g., memos, reports, meeting minutes) on a regular basis to various stakeholders.
  • Secure, allocate, and track resources, including financial and human capital, needed to reach project objectives.
  • Develop measures of success and evaluate project performance to identify areas of strength and areas of improvement for broader organizational learning.
  • Recommend and implement approved project adjustments as necessary to ensure high integrity and high fidelity completion of a project.
  • Illustrative projects might include organizing convenings with groups of funders, organizing and overseeing offerings for the Executive Directors that Crankstart funds, leading RFP processes, and coordinating inter-team funding efforts.

Programmatic and Grantmaking Support (15%)

  • Support the design and implementation of program strategies, including desk research of issues, programs, and organizations that may cut across Crankstart’s priorities in Economic Mobility, Education, Democracy, Housing Security, Environment, and Medical Science and Innovation.
  • Collect and analyze outcomes data to measure and evaluate the impact of our work.
  • Plan and coordinate check-ins with grantees and other key partners (e.g., peer funders, local elected officials, etc.) to understand their needs, identify patterns across portfolios, and invite their input and feedback to guide and improve Crankstart’s work.
  • Plan and coordinate grantee site visits to see grantees “in action.”
  • Draft communications of funding decisions to organizations that are authentic and diplomatic.
  • Contribute to the design, development, and accuracy of written work products (e.g., grant recommendations, impact reports, etc.) intended to capture learning and move funding recommendations forward.
  • Scope and implement special philanthropic initiatives that Crankstart may be piloting for the first time (e.g., an open RFP, challenge/competitive grants, giving circles, etc.)

Team Capacity Building + Other Special Projects  (15%)

  • Contribute to general team and organizational operations, including short-term coverage of other team functions and/or emergent issues (e.g., crisis response), as necessary.
  • Share and coach program team members on project management practices to nurture a quality project management function or philosophy within Crankstart.
  • Maintain the accuracy of Crankstart’s grants database and Google Drive, including the organizing and pulling of reports, data, research, and/or historical artifacts to inform key decisions.


  • You have 5+ years of professional experience, with at least 2+ years of direct project management experience working on large, complex, and strategically significant projects.
  • Professional experience working in the private sector (private for-profit or public company) is required.
  • You are passionate about advancing social justice.
  • You have a track record as a high-capacity generalist who can plug into any team and project to add immediate value and organization.
  • You have participated in end-to-end organizational strategic and operational planning processes, including goal setting and budget forecasting.
  • You have experience working on complex, long-term projects that involve a diverse range of stakeholders and types of people, both internal and external to an organization.
  • You are highly organized and detail-oriented, enjoy helping others stay organized, and are willing to do whatever needs to be done to help the team succeed.
  • You are hungry to make a difference and recognize that big and small tasks alike add value.
  • You thrive in a dynamic, startup environment—you can shift gears quickly to adapt to changing priorities and enjoy doing a little bit of everything.
  • You are excellent at using informal influence and non-positional leadership to accomplish work
  • You have excellent verbal and written communication skills with a focus on being able to synthesize complex concepts, information, and your point of view to make decisions.

This is a hybrid role. Candidates must have the ability to travel to Crankstart’s San Francisco office at least 3x a week and occasionally travel nationally to build relationships with partners and grantees.

Compensation and Benefits
The starting salary for this role is $185,000 - $205,000. Crankstart offers a competitive salary based on experience and a benefits package including medical and dental, a 15% 401k match, generous vacation and paid holidays, and an Employee Giving Alignment Program.

Equal Opportunity Statement
Crankstart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, mental or physical disability, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status. Crankstart also prohibits harassment of applicants or employees in any of these protected categories.  We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and partners. Consistent with that commitment and in light of the substantial and growing body of evidence that vaccinations remain the most effective protection against the spread of COVID-19, we require that members of our workforce be fully vaccinated.

To Apply
Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC has been retained to conduct this search. Interested and qualified candidates should apply by emailing a resume and substantive cover letter to All correspondence will remain confidential.



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