The Senior Manager, Grants Management & Programs will work with the Grant Programs Team to deliver 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 Senior Manager is responsible for grants management and program development at Comic Relief US (CRUS). This position is essential for delivering a strategic and effective grants program that enables CRUS to achieve its vision of a just world free from poverty. The Senior Manager develops and implements appropriate systems to facilitate efficient and respectful grantmaking, maximize learning as an organization, and support communication needs of the organization. The Senior Manager helps source and vet new grantees and supports grantee partners in developing and submitting concept notes, applications and reports. They also help manage the team of external Assessors in conducting their assessments and report reviews. The Senior Manager will 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 Sr. Program Manager is a member of the Grant Programs Team and reports to the Director of Grant Programs. S/he will supervise one direct report.
GRANTS MANAGEMENT/GRANTEE RELATIONSHIPS (50%)
● With the full Grants Team, develop strong partnerships with Grantee Partners, grounded in trust and respect; serve as a primary point of contact for Grantee Partners on all grants management related interactions.
● Play a leading role in overhauling our grants management systems, processes, forms, and guidelines in alignment with a Trust Based Philanthropy approach to grantmaking (to be completed by the end of 2022)
● Develop and maintain an efficient and effective grants management system (Foundant GLM); develop and maintain grants processes and forms.
● Develop and maintain a grant lifecycle calendar (on Asana) to ensure timely completion of grant applications, reports, and payments; develop the timelines for two distinct grantmaking rounds and bespoke processes as needed.
● Assist grantees with the preparation of grant proposals, grant reports and supporting documentation; ensure all required documentation submitted is in compliance with grantee letters of agreement as well as internal requirements.
● Oversee, as a direct report, the Grants Project Associate, to ensure timely payments to grantees, assigning of assessments and reports to Assessors, and updates to contacts with grantees.
● On a monthly basis, reconcile grant payments with the finance team and ensure compliance with all financial and auditing requirements.
● Manage application and report review process with Grants Team and Assessors.
● Support planning of quarterly Grantee calls as well as Grantee gatherings.
STRATEGY AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (20%)
● Support the VP of Grant Programs and the Director of Grant Programs to develop and implement RND's grants strategy and grantmaking guidelines.
● Conduct portfolio and issue-related research, as needed.
● Partner with the VP and Director of Grant Programs to source and vet Opportunity Grantee Partners and develop new funding initiatives; conduct research and assess concept notes/proposals for potential Opportunity Grantee Partners, as needed.
● In partnership with the VP of Grant Programs, develop, maintain and update a financial model and docket for all grants programs.
● In partnership with the Grants Project Associate, produce analytical summaries and other relevant written documents with regard to grants programs, spending, and impact.
LEARNING AND EVALUATION PROCESS FOR RND GRANTS PORTFOLIO (20%)
● Collate, analyze and report on impact numbers and portfolio spending for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating grantees’ progress and assessing impact and strategy alignment of portfolio overall;
● Share data analysis and learning outcomes with the Grants Team, Assessors and organization at large.
● In partnership with the Director of Grant Programs, help design and manage CRUS’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) systems and practices in a way that ensures efficiency and respect for grantees, and maximizes learning.
● As part of a shift towards Trust Based Philanthropy practices and in alignment with our new Theory of Change, utilize external consultants and resources to improve MEL practices and to conduct impact studies and evaluations of grant investments, as needed.
● Organize, and occasionally participate in, MEL site visits for Grants Team members and Assessors; coordinate agendas and schedules, manage budgets and logistics for site visits; process and share site visit reports.
● When appropriate, participate in field building and learning opportunities with regard to MEL.
GRANTS TEAM/ASSESSOR TEAM/GRANTS COMMITTEE/BOARD (10%)
● Partner with VP of Grant Programs and Director of Grant Programs in developing and implementing the Grants Team’s annual work plan and calendar.
● Support the VP of Grant Programs in facilitating the work of the Independent Assessor Team, including contract development, workflow management, and troubleshooting.
● Develop and organize agendas and documents for review by the Grants Committee and Board of Directors
Other duties as required.
EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
The Senior Manager, Grants Management and Programs will have a depth of understanding of grants management in a foundation environment, understanding of work in the nonprofit sector and a strong desire to work with and support the CR-US/RND grantees.
A minimum of seven (7-10) years of proven experience funding programs in the non-profit or philanthropic sector in the field of poverty alleviation, particularly in addressing the needs of children, is essential; both domestic and international grantmaking experience is preferred.
Experience advancing equity and justice initiatives 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 presentation skills.
Strength in working in a fast-paced environment, under pressure and meeting deadlines.
Ability to travel (~5%) 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.