Philanthropy & Research Specialist

Job Title:

Philanthropy & Research Specialist


San Francisco, CA



About Us

Energy Innovation is a clean energy and environmental policy firm established in February of 2012. We provide timely research and analysis on low-carbon energy policy options to policy makers, thought leaders, and members of the media. Our team has expertise in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable urban development, technological innovation, and energy policy design.

We focus our efforts in areas where policy solutions can have a serious impact on carbon emissions. To do this, we synthesize the best available research and perform original quantitative analysis on policies and technologies. Our current project list is:

  • Policies to help utilities integrate large shares of renewable energy into the electric grid;
  • Energy and climate policy for China, designed to drive an early peak, and then rapid decline, in carbon emissions;
  • Guidelines and policies for sustainable urbanization in China; and
  • Policies to decarbonize California.

We’re a mission-driven organization that has the look and feel of a start-up, the ambition of a non-profit, and the professionalism of a top-notch consultancy.

Position Summary

The Philanthropy & Research Specialist will split his/her time evenly between two specific roles: (1) directly support the CEO to develop a suite of research materials, including white papers and policy briefs, memos, datasheets, and compelling slide and video presentations; and, (2) work with the CEO and senior staff to help the firm’s clients achieve their goals in climate and clean energy philanthropy. This position will help review and set strategy, solicit and review grant proposals, recommend grants, write dockets, monitor grants, and write evaluations. The Philanthropy & Research Specialist will also manage calendaring, track program budgets, monitor the grant cycle, and communicate with grantees and funders on a variety of needs and issues. The role of Philanthropy & Research Specialist will report to the CEO.


  • Support CEO in drafting, editing, and sharpening written materials, including policy papers, letters to policy makers, thought leaders, and clients.
  • Lead projects through all stages of the research process, including research scoping, methodology development, data analysis, and synthesis.
  • Obtain relevant and crucial information from diverse sources such as reports and academic journal articles.
  • Produce summary memos, quantitative and analytical reports, presentations, and visual aids.
  • Maintain relationships with grantees, thought leaders, and other experts and leaders in the field.
  • Maintain knowledge of climate and clean energy policy and advocacy landscape in the U.S. and other identified geographies.
  • Work with CEO and senior staff to help set, refine, and adjust strategy.
  • Develop concise and accurate summaries of funding requests and answer substantive questions about the proposals.
  • Coordinate and assist grantees with the grantmaking process by requesting additional information when needed, responding to questions, notifying them of the status of their grant, and other activities.
  • Write evaluation reports of closed grants, compile and submit final grant reports and evaluations for approval.
  • Recommend a suite of grants to internal staff, and then to our clients.
  • Monitor and manage deadlines for reports, proposals, and updates; draft or edit reports, proposals, and updates for funders.
  • Represent Energy Innovation by participating in meetings with clients, grantees, and consultants as requested.
  • Monitor budget targets, reconcile program budgets, and keep funders and the program director informed of budget status.
  • Manage projects, ensuring milestones are met and deadlines are reached.
  • Schedule, coordinate, and facilitate / co-facilitate meetings and related meeting follow-up, including defining meeting deliverables and ensuring that they are produced.


  • Master’s degree in a relevant field.
  • 4+ years of relevant experience in philanthropy, advocacy, government, or another policy-oriented role.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas: electricity markets and regulation, renewable energy, climate, or public policy or candidate campaigns.
  • Exceptional research, analysis, synthesis, and written and verbal communication skills.
  • Detail-oriented, with proven organizational and project management skills.
  • Collegial approach, excellent interpersonal skills, and a sense of humor.
  • Able to travel.
  • Mandarin or Spanish fluency is a plus.

Critical Competencies For Success

  • Planning and Organizing: prioritizes work, uses time efficiently, develops realistic plans, has a strong attention to detail; manages a variety of responsibilities; prioritizes tasks and allocates time to planning, thinking, and mapping out tasks.
  • Oral and written communication: ability to present information clearly and succinctly in conversation and in writing; ability to prepare compelling visual presentations; responds to inquiries accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Collaboration: establishes productive, cooperative relationships within the team and across the organization; responds to others’ needs and priorities in a timely way; proactively addresses potential conflicts; gives and receives feedback in ways that enhance working relationships.
  • Analytical skills: reviews, analyzes, and synthesizes a variety of information and makes recommendations; anticipates problems, opportunities, and needs of the team, and develops results-oriented conclusions; organizes ideas and information in compelling ways.
  • Flexibility: copes skillfully with unexpected events, handles several projects simultaneously, adapts style of communication to suit the audience, and supports change efforts.

Equal Opportunity

Energy Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition.

Salary and Benefits

Energy Innovation provides a competitive compensation package, including a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience, and a comprehensive benefits package.

Application Procedure

Position is open until filled. Please submit an email with “Philanthropy & Research Specialist Application” in the subject line, a cover letter, and resume to Please provide all information electronically; no phone calls.