Program Director

Oakland, California
Sep 30, 2019
Oct 30, 2019
Focus Areas
Human Services
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level

Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is a wish granting organization that creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Our Chapter serves children from Monterey to the Oregon border and anticipates fulfilling over 350 magical wishes this year.  Each wish is unique and is the dream of a child who is critically ill and the resulting smiles speak volumes to the healing effects of a wish come true.  Our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child in our broad territory, which will require increasing referrals, growing our volunteer base, expanding donations of in-kind and cash gifts and broadening communication across our entire territory.

Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is seeking a compassionate, detail-oriented, and energetic team leader to direct the planning and implementation wishes, from referral to wish completion.  This exempt position reports to the CEO, is a member of the Senior Management Team and oversees a team of eight.   The Program Director directly supervises four staff: Senior Program Manager, Program Manager (3), and indirectly supervises four staff: Senior Program Associate, Senior Medical Outreach Associate, Program Associate and Program Assistant. 


Staff Management

• Develops, supervises, and evaluates direct reports to ensure the Chapter grants high-quality wishes consistent with goals set forth in business plan and budget

• Ensures all appropriate documentation is submitted to complete the wish granting process (expense coding, in-kind submissions, cost sheet reconciliation, evaluations, etc.) and ensures all team members are complying with wish granting standards

• Ensures communications with volunteers is consistent, effective, and seamless 

• Ensures all incoming referrals are handled in compliance with performance standards

• Reviews post wish family evaluations and determines with assistance of program team how to improve wish quality 

Department Management

• Tracks and analyzes departmental data including wish costs, referral trends, wish progress wish pipeline, wish quality etc., utilizing data to determine areas of improvements

• Reports regularly to CEO on said trends, progress, and other data in context of National Benchmarks and performance standards and recommends adjustments to processes as necessary

• Ensures departmental and chapter goals, objectives and mission of Make-A-Wish are successfully implemented and executed

• Ensures the integrity of data within The Raiser’s Edge and the Wish and Volunteer Center

• Works closely with the Database Administrator to ensure database integrity and maximizes use of data reports to make solid decisions regarding wish management and quality

• Develops and delivers wish granter training – both initial and continuing education. Other program staff share in the training delivery.

• Works collaboratively with the Volunteer Manager to ensure volunteers are effectively trained

• Collaborates with the Volunteer Manager and program staff on volunteer performance issues

• Works within the structure and design of wish granting policies and procedures to ensure quality wishes are granted while maintaining sensitivity to the needs of wish families and their unique circumstances 

• Understands the specific aspects involved with wish granting, including but not limited to the development of appropriate wish budget, purchase and planning of transportation, accommodations, enhancements, medical equipment and itineraries of assigned wishes 

• Develops annual department budget and business plan and works closely with Senior Management team to develop chapter business plan and budget

• Keeps abreast of National policies, guidelines and resources as they relate to the wish-granting program.  Attends annual conferences when appropriate, participates in national committees for continued education, etc., time permitting

• Provides excellent customer service and communication to wish children, wish families, volunteers, affiliates, vendors, donors, and co-workers

• Shares “on call” and wish granter training duties with other members of the Program team (includes some weekend and evenings.

• Manages a small caseload of wishes, as needed

Senior Team and Volunteer Leadership Collaboration

• Works collaboratively with senior leadership team to ensure goals, objectives and mission of Make-A-Wish are successfully implemented and executed

• Work with senior leadership team and Board to develop departmental and organizational strategies, joining the work of board committees as needed.  Oversee departmental implementation of determined strategies to ensure successful execution

• Works closely with fundraising teams to identify opportunities for donor support of wishes, whether cash or in-kind services as well as with the Marketing & Communication teams for media/social media promotional opportunities

• Participates, as needed, in donor cultivation and fundraising efforts to help tell the story of the mission and the impact of donor support on fulfilling the mission, and encourages program staff to participate when possible

• Completes all necessary reports including board reports, referral reports, aspects of the quarterly report and other reports designated by the CEO

• Primary staff liaison to recruit, facilitate, manage and execute all functions related to Medical Advisory Committee 


• 7+ years related work experience with 3+ years managing a team required

• Complex program management experience required

• BA or equivalent

• Extremely well-organized, able to multi-task efficiently, meet deadlines under pressure and maintain composure in handling difficult situations

• Excellent communication skills and prompt follow through, both written and verbal

• Warm, yet professional, demeanor while working with children, families, staff and volunteers

• Experience working with individuals/families in crisis a plus

• History of managing complex projects from inception to completion including data analysis and collection

• Effective presentation skills

• Ability to maintain complete confidentiality

• Experience developing and conducting training desired

• PC literate – Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), database, etc.)

• The Raiser’s Edge and/or Salesforce experience a plus

• Fluency in Spanish is a plus

• Valid CA Driver’s License and access to personal car for occasional travel, when MAW vehicles are not available

• Some evening and weekend commitments required


Send a letter of interest and a resume to:

Program Director Search


Office Location 

1333 Broadway, Suite 200

Oakland, CA  94612

No phone calls, please.  Position is open until filled. EOE

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