Program Officer for The ELMA Philanthropies Services (East Africa) Ltd.

  • Full-time

Company Description

The ELMA Philanthropies Services (East Africa) Ltd. (“ELMA Philanthropies”) in Kampala, Uganda, seeks a Program Officer to develop and manage grant investments, and provide strategic leadership for the dynamic and growing community-led initiatives portfolio in Africa. The Program Officer will report to Director, Programs, and will work closely with ELMA’s program, finance, and legal, teams across offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kampala, and New York. The ability to be an active, collaborative, and collegial team member of a dynamic global team and to demonstrate flexibility to provide support across the ELMA portfolios is essential to success in this role.

About ELMA Philanthropies:

With offices in New York City, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Kampala, ELMA Philanthropies develops program strategies, identifies grant and other investment opportunities, monitors and evaluates investment performance, and manages strategic partnerships for The ELMA Group of Foundations. This Group includes The ELMA Foundation, The ELMA Relief Foundation, The ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, The ELMA Music Foundation, The ELMA Growth Foundation, The ELMA Caribbean Foundation, The ELMA South Africa Foundation and ELMA Masana wa Afrika (new entity in formation). ELMA Philanthropies is largely focused on providing these services to the largest foundation within the group, The ELMA Foundation. A full description of the investment frameworks and activities of each Foundation can be found on our website:

The ELMA Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of African children and youth through support of sustainable efforts to relieve poverty, advance education, and promote health. It is primarily active in eastern and southern Africa.

The ELMA Relief Foundation invests in relief efforts throughout the globe with special attention to Africa and the needs of children, who often suffer disproportionately in the aftermath of such tragedies.

The ELMA South Africa Foundation funds organizations and programs that support development and progress in South Africa.

The ELMA Music Foundation invests in organizations in USA and South Africa that support youth development through music or provide assistance to members of the music community undergoing personal and financial hardship.

The ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation’s mission is to expand vaccine and immunization coverage for children globally, with a special emphasis on Africa.

The ELMA Growth Foundation invests in the growth or expansion of initiatives that improve the lives of low-income communities in Africa.

The ELMA Caribbean Foundation supports efforts to advance health or combat the environmental and economic threats posed by climate change in the Caribbean.

Job Description

Working closely with the Director, Programs, the Program Officer will be expected to:     

  • Identify programs and organizations in East Africa that fit within ELMA’s community-led initiatives focus areas and broader approach to philanthropy 
  • Conduct thorough grantee due diligence, including critical analysis of applications, budgets, organizational strengths and weaknesses, and external risk factors
  • Develop, write, and present concise, high quality investment recommendations
  • Critically monitor programmatic effectiveness and grantee’s financial management of grant funds through review of periodic reports and grantee site visits
  • Diligently manage all relevant aspects of grants administration
  • Analyze grantee reports and prepare documentation to facilitate timely grant payments and other grant actions
  • Support the success of grantees in the portfolio, including connecting them to appropriate resources
  • Assess performance of the portfolio, and design solutions to improve performance and impact
  • Manage and grow strategic relationships with grantees, co-funders, government, and other key stakeholders
  • Contribute to organizational learning and strategy development
  • Other duties, as assigned

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the incumbent(s) of this job. They are not intended to form an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required for the position. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time

Alignment to Values:

All ELMA employees are expected to demonstrate fit with ELMA’s organizational values and culture.  Specifically, all employees are expected to demonstrate a commitment to:

  • ELMA’s core values of:  humility and integrity; respect for human dignity; pursuit of excellence; commitment to partnership; and a results-orientation informed by continuous learning; and
  • Gender equity, social justice, and combatting white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, colonialism, and other intersecting systems of oppression.


  • Educational background and/or professional interest in at least one or more areas of the foundations’ focus areas
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in managing programs, grant making, or equivalent private sector experience
  • Demonstrated facility with analyzing budgets, financial statements and conducting thorough financial due diligence of potential grantees
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, risks, challenges in programming
  • Ability to source analyze, synthesize and effectively present information and data for a variety of audiences
  • A strong understanding of how to apply racial and gender analyses to programming so that ELMA’s philanthropy is directed to diverse, gender-equitable, BIPOC and African-led organizations
  • A strong and critical understanding of international development
  • Passion for social justice and improving the lives of children in Africa
  • Ability to work in a dynamic organization; flexible and adaptable to rapid change; quick learner, comfortable with fast paced environment; a self-starter and team-player
  • Strong work ethic and ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and ability to collaborate on internal teams of diverse backgrounds as well as with external stakeholders and partners
  • Experience developing and managing partnerships and programs
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to work non-traditional hours and travel locally and internationally as needed
  • Fluency in English and excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent Excel skills and ability to analyze and present data in a highly organized manner
  • Bachelor’s degree is required
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field is strongly preferred but not required
  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship

Additional Information

Salary, Benefits and other Details:

Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications with attractive benefits.  The salary range for this position is $50,000 to $60,000.

ELMA employees are expected to work in the office located in Kampala city Monday – Thursday, full time with the option to work remotely on Friday.

How to Apply

The ELMA Philanthropies is an equal opportunities employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position.  All employment decisions shall be made without regard to age, race, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, marital status, or any other basis as protected by Ugandan law.

If you would like to apply for this position, please submit the following with your application:

  • A cover letter
  • CV
  • Details of contactable references