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Grants Manager

Department: Office of Grants Management (OGM)
Location: New York, NY

Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation, a New York City-based national family foundation that was founded by John E. Andrus in 1917, seeks a Grants Manager to support its office in midtown Manhattan. With assets totaling more than $965 million and an annual grantmaking budget in excess of $42 million, Surdna focuses in three grantmaking areas: Sustainable Environments, Strong Local Economies, and Thriving Cultures. The Foundation aims to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States and to advance national action on sustainability. The work environment at Surdna is team-oriented, collegial, and one in which diversity is valued.

Office of Grants Management
The Office of Grants Management (OGM) oversees the policies and procedures of grantmaking for the Foundation. This includes legal compliance, review of grantee financials, management of grants budgeting, intake of grant requests, payments and reporting. The OGM also provides support to the Foundation’s programs and senior management to aid in organizational planning and learning about its grantmaking portfolios.
The OGM is a two-person team that creates systems and practices that support programs and grantees in service of mission, allowing for creativity, responsiveness and learning. The OGM works with the grants programs and senior management to maintain a team approach to grantmaking at Surdna, and support collaboration across the Foundation’s three grantmaking areas. 

Grants Manager Position
The Grants Manager will report to the Director of Learning and Grant Operations and will provide ongoing support and collaboration with the Foundation’s grants programs. S/he will share responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the grantmaking process, from grant intake through payments, reporting and grant closeout, and serve as an important resource to foundation staff and grant applicants.

Specific Responsibilities

Grants Administration
•Manages the intake process of letters of inquiry and grant proposals.
•Processes declinations to grant applicants that will not receive grants.
•Works with program staff to invite new proposals, and assist grantees throughout the proposal process.
•Conducts legal compliance and financial reviews of grant proposals, and flagging issues of concern during the due diligence process.
•Prepares monthly grant materials for staff discussion and grant approval.
•Responds to applicant and grantee questions regarding proposal status, subsequent payments, and other administrative inquiries.
•Drafts, proofreads and sends out grant agreements.
•Codes and updates grant records in the grants management system.
•Coordinates with staff to produce quarterly board book.
•Follows up with grantees to return paperwork for payment and reporting.
•Manages the employee matching grants program.

Organization Learning and Planning
•Provides data-driven research and reports to programs and senior management to assist with grant planning and learning.
•Assists in developing and maintaining an online grants management policies guide. Assists with the management of long-range planning, including preparing the annual grants management calendar to be used by all staff and board members.
•Provides orientation and on-going training to incoming and existing program staff about the grant making process.
•Provides in-house grants management database training (Surdna uses Fluxx as its grants management software) and acts as the primary resource to program staff.
•Responds to external surveys and data requests on the Foundation’s grantmaking.

The Grants Manager position requires a college bachelor-level degree with a minimum of 3-5 years experience in a grants management-related role. Experience in a position requiring knowledge of grantmaking rules and regulations, and private foundation policies is preferred.

This position requires strong analytical skills, particularly with financial data and budgets, as well as demonstrated verbal and written communication skills. Candidates must be detail-oriented with strong organizational skills, able to set priorities and work in a self-directed fashion, and willing and able to think outside the box and contribute new ideas and solutions. Experience with establishing organizational systems to improve efficiency in a changing environment is a plus. High-level proficiency of MS Excel, MS Word, and Fluxx or other grants management software is required. A willingness to obtain additional training and stay apprised of new features in Fluxx is essential.

The Grants Manager must be flexible, a team player requiring minimal supervision and one who approaches work with a solution-oriented view. The Foundation has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and a sense of humor are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Foundation’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with staff and an expressed interest in and strong commitment to the Foundation’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.

Surdna is an equal opportunity employer.

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