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Opening: Director of Grants Management

Publication date: 
October, 2021

Position: Director of Grants Management
Organization: Resources Legacy Fund
Location: Sacramento, CA

About Resources Legacy Fund

Resources Legacy Fund (RLF) builds alliances that advance bold solutions to secure a just and resilient world for people and nature. As both a funder and a grantee, building alliances is at the heart of what we do. We partner with philanthropy, community groups, government, science, and business to promote smart policies and ensure equitable public funding for the environment, climate change resilience, and healthy communities. Across the American West and internationally, we manage complex, multi-year grantmaking programs and fiscally sponsor projects that accelerate change on environmental and equity issues. We believe strategic philanthropy and thoughtful partnerships can achieve enduring, equitable outcomes at scale for land protection, ocean conservation, resilient communities, healthy watersheds, and parks access.

RLF was founded 20+ years ago to help the Packard Foundation invest large sums of money to achieve largescale conservation impact in California. Since then, we have partnered to protect more than five million acres and generated more than $30 billion in new public funding for land and ocean conservation, equitable outdoor access, and climate resilience. Over the past 20 years, our work has taught us that conservation does not advance in a bubble. Its success is integrally tied to social equity, community health, economic opportunity, and a strong democracy. To safeguard our achievements to date, and help prepare a favorable environment to face the daunting threats of climate change, we helped launch two partner organizations: Fund for a Better Future (FBF) and Shared Ascent Fund (SAF) to work in the intersecting areas of democracy, environment, health, and equity.

We are a core team of approximately 50 people in 7 states, with the majority based in the Sacramento, California region. We also have staff across the country working on more than 25 fiscally sponsored projects that span the globe.

To learn more about Resources Legacy Fund, visit https://resourceslegacyfund.org

About the Opportunity

The Director of Grants Management is a newly created position at RLF. With this role, RLF seeks to add expertise in best practices for grantmaking, constituency management, and gift processing. The Director of Grants Management will be the primary administrator of RLF’s new enterprise-wide system for grants management, relationship management, and accounting/finance, which will launch in January.

Reporting to the Vice President of Operations, the Director of Grants Management is a member of the Leadership Team. This position plays an essential role in effecting change related to the new system and associated processes and procedures, as well as cross-program and cross-division information sharing and collaboration.

We process approximately 700 grants and contracts annually and receive over 200 gifts from approximately 85 unique donors per year for RLF and our partner organizations.

This position may be based in the Sacramento office, or the position may be 100% remote with travel to Sacramento at least quarterly. Please note that due to COVID-19, RLF offices are closed, and we remain a fully remote organization until further notice.

Key aspects of the role include the following:

Champion Best Practices in Grantmaking and Gift Processing

The Director of Grants Management serves as a point of consistency across multiple programs, as the subject matter expert for policy and procedures related to grant and contract administration, gift processing, and constituent management. RLF seeks to be nimble and responsive to both donors and grantees, while both modeling best practices and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. This position requires flexible thinking and an understanding of where there can be creativity in program administration versus when legal constraints indicate a specific course of action. This is particularly important when considering the practical implications of RLF’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking.

In preparation for the implementation of the new grants management system, RLF has completed a comprehensive business process review to inform system design and implementation. The Director will be a key champion for implementing these changes and will provide prioritization to process changes, system tweaks, and related training and communication to staff. This includes updates to templates, policy and procedure documents, and training materials.

This position is an important resource to staff as they handle processing of both incoming gifts and outgoing grants and contracts. The Director will field inquiries regarding options for handling due diligence, documentation, and similar questions, while also proactively convening meetings of staff and consultants to address cross-cutting grantmaking policy and process issues, working topics through to full adoption. As a member of the leadership team, the Director will elevate cross-program and cross-division issues to build alignment for grantmaking strategies that support RLF’s overall purpose and values. The Director will identify training needs, and will prioritize and execute ongoing training for staff to foster organization-wide competency in philanthropic processes as well as use of the grants management system.

Own and Administer Integrated Data System

RLF’s new Director of Grants Management is, at heart, a systems and data geek. This position is the owner of RLF’s soon-to-be-implemented AkoyaGO system. As the primary system administrator, the Director ensures system configuration changes are done with a comprehensive understanding of both the human system and the technology system. This role provides oversight for system architecture for the GMS and CRM components of the system, and advises the Executive and Leadership Teams with regard to options to manage system-related process questions as they arise.

System ownership includes evaluating system releases and third-party tools, ensuring smooth implementation of upgrades, and identifying training needs based on new features and system changes. In consultation with the Vice President of Operations, the Director will identify when to engage outside consultants for technical and/or training needs, and will be responsible for managing and providing direction to consultants as appropriate.

The Director serves as point of contact for applicants/grantees and fiscally sponsored project clients related to system functionality or technical support questions, and will also coordinate with program staff with regard to inquiries about application content and requirements. This role is also a central point of contact for staff and grantee feedback regarding system enhancements and bugs, coordinating with system vendor on ticket submission, tracking, and resolution.

Promote Knowledge Management and Data Reporting

Eager to support a culture of learning and development, the Director works to help staff learn from each other and from external stakeholders regarding our processes and our relationships with grantees and funders. This is a highly collaborative senior role, working with colleagues at all levels of the organization to understand the variety of needs related to philanthropic processes and systems, and partnering with staff to find streamlined and consistent solutions.

Reports, dashboards, and forms are a much-anticipated area of growth for RLF in managing its grants portfolio. The Director of Grants Management will iteratively assess needs, create standard and custom reports, ensure colleagues have access to the data they need for their level of decision-making, and provide training as appropriate.

With a birds-eye view of the grant portfolio, the Director of Grants Management will coordinate with the Executive Team, Leadership Team, and Communications Team to provide data-driven findings to inform decisions and external storytelling. Likewise, the Director will strive to build CRM capacity to promote internal collaboration that supports donor relationships.

Ideal Candidate

RLF’s new Director of Grants Manager is an internal service provider who thrives as a subject matter expert working to “get to yes”. The ideal candidate has leadership style that enables colleagues to do their best work on behalf of the organization’s grantees, fiscally sponsored projects, and donors.

The primary skillset candidates will bring is deep and broad experience implementing grant management processes, procedures, and policies within a foundation or nonprofit organization, along with strong understanding of best practices in grantmaking. The ideal candidate has experience with both grants-out and grants-in. As a leader within the organization, RLF’s Director of Grants Management has outstanding decision-making, problem-solving, and analytical skills with experience providing oversight for grantmaking compliance.

As a user-facing system owner, exceptional candidates for the Director of Grants Management enjoy the technical aspects of making a database system work for all users, while also proactively helping users discover how the system can best support them, their teams, and their projects. Proven project management and change management skills are essential. Related skills include the ability to communicate complex technical concepts in business terms; the ability to understand and communicate both grants management and business system processes to evaluate requests; and the ability to work with colleagues at all levels of the organization to assess their needs, build consistency, and promote adoption of business processes.

General computer literacy and proficiency in the Microsoft suite are a given, along with the ability to learn new technology quickly and thoroughly. Candidates will have a strong commitment to good data management and data governance practices. Strong technical skills including administration, system configuration, and maintenance of GMS and/or CRM systems are required; knowledge of AkoyaGO, Microsoft Dynamics, and PowerBI is a plus.

The ideal candidate has experience with training facilitation. While this position does not yet have direct reports, it will provide leadership to the program coordinators so experience managing a team is a strong plus, either in a project management capacity or in a direct supervisory relationship. This role requires strong coaching skills, and the balance of humility and confidence required to provide mentorship to staff at all levels of the organization.

Leadership skills include a high degree of professionalism and accountability, strong collaboration skills, excellent interpersonal (verbal and written) communication skills, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The selected candidate is expected to be a self-starter with strong prioritization and time management skills, organizational skills, and the ability to multi-task in an environment with high expectations of responsiveness. Meanwhile, as RLF is an innovative, constantly expanding environment, the ideal candidate will bring an attitude of positivity and commitment to RLF’s mission, its grantees and fiscally sponsored projects, and its funder clients.

Every team member who joins RLF is expected to embody RLF values:

  • Collaboration – We believe the key to achieving meaningful environmental results and a productive workplace is rooted in humanity—our ability to build effective relationships, listen deeply, respect different perspectives, and elevate new leaders.
  • Equity – We value the insight, energy, and innovation of inclusive decision making. Our work seeks to elevate voices and build power within underrepresented communities to help advance a just and equitable future in which leadership reflects the diversity of the world we live in.
  • Integrity – We are dedicated to our cause, genuine in our approach, and strive to cultivate a foundation of trust within our organization and with our partners. We believe humility and commitment to ongoing learning keeps us effective in our work.
  • Creativity – We embrace a thoughtful, entrepreneurial spirit, seeking innovative ways to solve problems new and old. We are willing to take risks that the times and issues require to achieve lasting results.
  • Excellence – We aspire to high standards of quality in everything we do—from internal operations to strategic program implementation. We are attentive to detail and persevere to deliver results on goals we share with funders, partners, and colleagues.

Qualifications

To be considered, applicants must have demonstrated experience developing and implementing grant management strategies at a philanthropy or nonprofit organization and a strong understanding of best practices in grantmaking. Experience demonstrating some degree of ownership of a database system is also required.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

RLF is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment free from discrimination, where all team members feel valued, respected, and included. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all qualified candidates, whatever their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, religious or political affiliation, marital status, or any other dimension of diversity. We know that our work is enriched by the varied voices and perspectives of every staff and board member, so we are committed to making an earnest effort to recruit, welcome, train, develop, and retain talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. We believe that a diverse and inclusive culture expands our creative capacity to do our work and achieve greater outcomes for people and the natural world.

We invite you to learn more about RLF’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on our website.

Compensation

Salary range of $140,000 - $160,000. We offer a comprehensive benefit package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) plan, student loan repayment assistance, and generous paid time off.

To Apply

Click to Apply. Please provide a resume and cover letter explaining how your skills and experience align with this position.

Recruitment Schedule

September 30 – Recruitment launches

October 29 – Application deadline (applications received after this date may still be considered)

Late-October – Screening interviews

November – Interviews with Hiring Team

December – Start date

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