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Public Policy and Funding Program Manager

Job Location

Santa Rosa


Type of Job



Starting at $90,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 24, 2021

About the job

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Public Policy and Funding Program Manager Job Description

Job Title: Public Policy and Funding Program Manager

Reports To: Executive Director

Status: Exempt


Want to play your part in protecting our local communities from the impacts of climate change? Ready to roll up your sleeves to help achieve tangible results on the ground? Want to be part of a talented, deeply committed, and national award-winning conservation organization? Then please read on!


Sonoma Land Trust seeks a passionate policy and public funding professional to join our dedicated band of conservation practitioners and help us navigate new state and local initiatives for tackling wildfire, drought, biodiversity loss, and environmental justice.


The Land Trust serves a diverse audience with broad cultural heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and orientations. We encourage applications from candidates who reflect and value the audiences and populations we serve.



The work of the PPF Manager is to collaborate with program leaders to ensure that Sonoma Land Trust provides timely and effective advocacy for policies to advance the Land Trust’s climate adaptation and conservation goals in the County, ensure that these needs receive adequate resource allocations from the appropriate government funding mechanisms, and secure the benefits of conservation for all of our communities.


General Duties

  • Lead the coordination and implementation of SLT’s local, state, and federal public policy funding and advocacy initiatives, in consultation with SLT’s Executive Director and Program staff. We anticipate that 60% of the PPF Program Manager’s time will spent on state policy and funding, 30% on County matters, and 10% on Federal.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with elected and appointed officials and their staffs, such that SLT is seen as a key regional and local conservation partner and thought leader.
  • Partner with Executive Director and program staff to anticipate policy needs at the state and local level.
  • Represent SLT on collaborative advocacy efforts led by the Land Trust Alliance, the California Council of Land Trusts, and Together Bay Area, among others.
  • Collaborate with our legislative consultants in Sacramento to coordinate policy priorities and strategies and advance them with elected officials and agency staff.
  • Deliver expertise to program staff on navigating state (and to some extent Federal) conservation related programs and initiatives and identify funding opportunities.
  • Educate state and local policy makers on the organization’s work and priorities and collaborate with the Communications team to develop and implement media relations strategies, as needed.
  • Collaborate with other nonprofit advocates to link policy and funding efforts to empower all communities in the region, and especially under-resourced communities that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • Prepare for, lead, and facilitate bi-weekly policy and funding coordination meetings.
  • Provide regular policy updates and emerging themes to board and staff.

Primary Responsibilities

The Public Policy and Funding Program Manager coordinates and collaborates with department and program managers, project staff, and consultants in four areas:


1. Legislative and Governmental Relations Strategy

Establish SLT’s legislative and public funding priorities as identified in our strategic plan, and actively participate in the development and guidance of state and local government lobbying efforts. The focus will be on our climate adaptation strategies around wildfire, sea level rise/flooding, drought, biodiversity, and equity. The Program Manager will develop an annual plan to address policy opportunities and obstacles to implementation, and track legislation for positive and negative impacts on our mission and conservation goals.


2. Identify and Secure Public Funding for SLT’s Conservation Goals

SLT works with our local elected officials and state and local government agencies to design, pass, and implement legislation and ballot measures that create new public funds for land conservation, climate resiliency, and equitable access. The Program Manager will represent SLT in organizing efforts, coalitions, and campaign committees for state and local ballot measure efforts to expand funding for conservation.


3. Public Grant Opportunities

The Program Manager will track current and emerging public funding opportunities, keep staff apprised of them, and assist SLT’s departments with guidance on funding program goals, project selection, and grant strategy for multiple public grant programs.


4. Outreach to Partners & Agencies

The Program Manager will serve as the point of first contact for agency and legislative staff seeking SLT’s input and steward relationships with legislators and key staff. The Program Manager will also provide the Community Programs team with policy and funding assistance for our partnerships and engagements with the diverse communities we serve.


Essential Qualifications

  • Strong commitment to conservation and environmentalism serving all communities
  • Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Minimum of 3+ years of legislative or governmental advocacy experience
  • Experience with the California budget and conservation funding process
  • Experience working with local governments, including agency staff and elected officials
  • Proven success in developing effective networks across agencies, legislative staffs, and peer organizations
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with challenging, multi-party coalitions
  • Demonstrated ability to forge strong partnerships with diverse organizations serving communities that have been given marginalized identities
  • Willingness to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule and to travel across Northern California
  • Valid CA Driver’s License required

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Proven ability to successfully manage all aspects of local ballot issue campaigns and funding initiatives
  • Working knowledge of the political landscape in California
  • Demonstrated experience with non-profit organizations
  • Spoken and/or written Spanish language skills would be helpful (but not required) for communicating to the County’s Latinx population about environmentally related ballot issues, grant opportunities and funding initiatives
  • Strategic or fundraising or communications skills and expertise a plus
  • Ability to write and edit persuasive materials e.g. funding proposals, white papers, reports, letters of inquiry, interim reports, stewardship materials, and other collateral information

About Sonoma Land Trust

Sonoma Land Trust works in alliance with nature to conserve and restore the integrity of the land with a focus on climate resiliency. The organization is also committed to ensuring more equitable access to the outdoors. Since 1976, the nonprofit Land Trust has protected more than 56,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural, and open land for future generations. Sonoma Land Trust was the recipient of the 2019 Land Trust Alliance Award of Excellence and is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The Land Trust has also been named one of the Best Places to Work by the North Bay Business Journal. For more information, please visit


We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable working environment that is representative of the communities we serve. We know that having varied perspectives leads to better outcomes to solve the complex problems of conservation, climate change, and environmental justice in Sonoma County.


Schedule, Salary & Benefits

Position is 40 hours per week.


Salary starting at $90,000 and commensurate with experience. Benefits include generous employer contributions to medical, dental and vision insurance plans. Employer contribution of 5% to 403(b) retirement plan after 1 year of service. Paid time off includes 15 paid holidays, 2-4 weeks of vacation based on tenure, personal and parental leave in accordance with SLT policies and procedures.


To apply please email your resume and cover letter to


Sonoma Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive organization and encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, national or regional origins, sexes, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.



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