The Director of Grant Programs will partner with the Vice President in delivering a strategic and effective Grant Program that enables Comic Relief US to achieve its vision of a just world free from poverty. Through funding across four strategic focus areas, Red Nose Day works to ensure that children in low-income communities in the US and around the world are safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Undergirding each of these four pillars is a cross-portfolio focus on gender and racial equity, building resilience and elevating populations most impacted by poverty. The Director is responsible for managing the Red Nose Day grants portfolio and serves as a senior relationship manager for Grantee Partners with regard to Red Nose Day campaign support and year-round Comic Relief US partnership. The geographic focus of the Red Nose Day Fund is both domestic and international and the Director would hold responsibility for grantmaking in 30+ countries including the United States. The Director would serve as a key thought partner with the Grant Programs Team and across teams in support of Comic Relief US growth and sustainability goals beyond the Red Nose Day campaign. The Director is a member of the Grant Programs Team and reports to the VP of Grant Programs. S/he would supervise two direct reports.
STRATEGY AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (30%)
Collaborate with VP of Grant Programs to design, refine and implement the Comic Relief US (CR-US)/Red Nose Day (RND) grantmaking strategy.
Partner with VP of Grant Programs and Grant Programs Team to fully integrate the Theory of Change (TOC) framework into the grantmaking strategy.
Collaborate with the VP of Grant Programs to manage the expansion of the RND Health pillar strategy, in line with CR-US priorities.
Partner with the Sr. Program Manager/Program Officer on expanding RND’s domestic Health grants portfolio in line with CR-US priorities; develop new domestic Health funding initiatives and research and identify potential grantees with a focus on promoting health justice and policy for historically underserved communities.
Partner with the VP of Grant Programs and the Grant Programs Team to develop new CR-US funding initiatives.
Lead on strategic decisions for Rapid Response/natural disaster-related grantmaking.
Participate in thought leadership bodies and external meetings on behalf of CR-US; bring learnings to bear on grantmaking portfolio.
Serve as senior relationship manager for Grantee Partners; nurture and strengthen collaborative, supportive relationships with Grantee Partners, community leaders and funders; facilitate connections and partnerships across the portfolio.
Manage a diverse portfolio of domestic and international Grantee Partners aligned with the mandate to end intergenerational poverty.
Oversee assessment of letters of inquiry/concept notes and proposals, review grant evaluations conducted by a team of Independent Assessors.
Partner on the preparation and facilitation of quarterly grantee calls; work with the full Grant Programs Team in designing and conducting topical grantee gatherings.
Participate in Assessor Team meetings and engage on grant assessments and research as needed.
Collaborate with Sr. Manager, Grant Management and Programs and CR-US fundraising team on management of matching grant partnerships.
Partner with the Sr. Manager, Grant Management and Programs on the development and management of the financial model for grantmaking.
Work with consultants and/or others to institute relevant trainings or initiatives to support grantees’ capacity building.
Manage production of grant docket for Grants Committee and Board of Directors including producing executive summaries of grant proposals and assessments.
Participate in and present information as required during Grant Committee Meetings.
MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING (MEL) (10%)
Partner with the Sr. Manager, Grant Management and Programs on the design and implementation of an integrated MEL (monitoring, evaluation and learning) strategy across the portfolio.
Advocate for trust-based philanthropy across CR-US MEL systems in a way that ensures efficiency and respect for Grantee Partners and maximizes learning; with a focus on streamlining grants management processes, systems, and timelines.
Partner with the VP of Grant Programs, Grant Programs Team, and external consultants on the development of DEI policies, strategy, and practices as they relate to grantmaking and Grantee Partners. Track the progress of Grantee Partners in relation to the CR-US DEI scoring rubric.
Monitor the activities of Grantee Partners and projects; reviewing and analyzing grantee reports; assessing grant program trends, outcomes and impact.
Share learnings with the Grant Programs Team, Assessors and across CR-US.
Conduct MEL site visits with Grantees (domestic and global) as needed.
SAFEGUARDING AND CROSS-DEPARTMENTAL COORDINATION (5%)
Serve as a Safeguarding Compliance Officer.
Partner with VP of Grant Programs and Sr. Manager, Grants and Communications to manage safeguarding policies and practices with Grantee Partners throughout the grant cycle.
Consult with and support other CR-US departments in leveraging grantee-provided assets to ensure the dignity and privacy of featured person(s) in CR-US appeal films, and across its digital and social platforms and serve as primary liaison between other departments and the relevant marketing, communications, PR, creative, digital and talent counterparts and Grantee Partners.
Present on grantmaking activities and impact to relevant CR-US teams as required.
Monitor external, internal and programmatic risks to programs; proactively communicate risks to VP of Grant Programs and Grant Programs Team.
IMPACT COMMUNICATIONS (5%)
Partner with the Sr. Manager, Grants and Communications to provide input on the development of concise and compelling communications about CR-US grantmaking and social impact that can be used for marketing and public engagement.
Ensure the Grant Programs Team provides content needed to produce the RND Campaign and other CR-US campaigns.
Provide child safeguarding guidance on filming projects to ensure that CR-US relationships with Grantee Partners are protected and CR-US's impact is portrayed accurately and ethically; working with the Sr. Manager, Grant Programs and Communications, connect film crews with relevant Grantee Partners, participate in briefing calls, and attend filming trips as required.
Produce or provide feedback on impact-related content; research and write issue briefs/talking points for senior leaders.
Other duties as required
EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
A minimum of seven (7-10) years of proven leadership experience funding and/or directing programs in the nonprofit or philanthropic sector in the field of poverty alleviation, particularly in addressing the needs of children; both domestic and international grantmaking experience are required.
Experience advancing health justice and policy for historically underserved communities.
Demonstrated commitment through lived and/or work experience, educational background, and volunteer experience to poverty alleviation and social justice is essential.
Undergraduate degree in a related field is required.
Master’s degree in a related field – along with fluency in Spanish (or second language) - is ideal.
PERSONAL QUALITIES AND ABILITIES
Passionate about and committed to CR-US’ mission, vision and values.
Brings a strong intersectional analysis to the work.
Deep understanding of Trust-based philanthropy practices.
Commitment to social change and to learning from and with nonprofit partners.
Deep analytical skills in the organizational, programmatic, and financial arenas.
Strong participatory leadership, management and organizational development skills.
Demonstrated ability to lead teams and to cultivate trust and positive relationships internally at different levels of the organization and externally with Grantee Partners and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.
Professional with a demeanor demonstrating integrity, humility, respect, cultural sensitivity and flexibility to represent CR-US in diverse forums and partnerships.
Strong written communications skills, along with highly effective oral communications and engaging presentation skills.
Strength in working in a fast-paced environment, under pressure and meeting deadlines.
Ability to travel (~10%) balancing time in the field for MEL site visits and other opportunities as needed.
Great sense of ingenuity, curiosity, and humor
Comic Relief US values diversity and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of underrepresented backgrounds including race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.