Finance and Grants Accountant

The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives.


Established by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in the early 1990s, and guided today by the Lemelson family, The Lemelson Foundation (the Foundation) believes invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time. A private philanthropy located in Oregon and operating globally, The Lemelson Foundation has assets of approximately $400 million and an annual budget of approximately $25 million. All told, the Foundation has provided over $300 million in grants and other investments to hundreds of organizations around the world. The Foundation approaches its work to strengthen the invention ecosystem and empower inventors to solve the biggest global challenges and opportunities of our time, guided by a three-part framework called Impact Inventing:


Inventions should have positive social impact;

Inventions should be environmentally responsible—from the materials and processes used through final products that go to market; and,

Business models should become financially self-sustaining.


The Foundation promotes a culture of collaboration and continuous learning, and operates its programs and initiatives through two strategically focused teams: Invention and Entrepreneurship, and Invention Education. Its flexible approach and entrepreneurial environment has helped The Foundation’s small team (10-15) to have an outsized impact in the social landscape of invention.



The Finance and Grants Accountant (FGA) leads all day-to-day finance and administrative operations of a $25 million foundation budget (with approximately $400 million in investment assets) with responsibilities that include oversight for accounting, budgeting, compliance, reporting, and grants administrative services. The FGA also manages The Foundation’s administrative processes including human resources, payroll, and benefits. This position supports Program Officers, the Grants Manager, the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, and the Executive Director to educate them regarding finance, accounting, and administrative program operations and to develop new and improved systems. The FGA reports to the CFAO.



$110,000 - $130,000



Click here for more information or to apply. RESPONSIBILITIES


Accounting & Administration


Oversee and maintain all accounting systems, functions and financial policy development;

Maintain awareness of laws and regulations as necessary and oversee the preparation of all required tax returns and audit activity with appropriate team members;

Oversee all HR administrative processes including payroll, policies and procedures, and employee benefits.

Financial Planning & Management


Oversee and manage all finance-related policies and procedures;

Work with the Executive Director and Chief Financial & Administrative Officer to prepare and administer the Foundation’s annual administrative, programmatic, and grantmaking budgets, including financial projection models and subsequent analysis;

Develop financial plans and projections with the Board of Directors and ensure timely communication of financial statements and other updates as needed;

Oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management in alignment with the Foundation’s strategic plan.

Grants and Program-Related Investment Oversight


Ensure accurate recording for all grants, in coordination with appropriate team members;

Oversee the Foundation’s program-related investments and ensure compliance and up-to-date documentation;

Work with legal counsel in support of the Foundation’s domestic and international grantmaking, contracts, and contract practices.

Foundation Culture and Performance


Participate in the Foundation’s evaluation and communication initiatives; engage with Foundation colleagues and partners to develop, understand, and communicate the impact of its collective portfolio;

Contribute to strategic planning and other Foundation-wide initiatives, including work to make the Foundation increasingly accountable to its values of joy, DEIJ, trust, collaboration, accountability, learning, and audacity;

Contribute to the Foundation’s culture of ‘inquiry, learning, and collaboration’; cultivate an organizational culture in which timely, accurate, and meaningful information is shared by and accessible to all;

Participate in refining and implementing operational processes especially as they relate to grantmaking and management.





The Lemelson Foundation welcomes expressions of interest from candidates with the expertise and ability to deliver against the above responsibilities, and has identified the following characteristics as indicative of the abilities, aptitudes, and dispositions that will make for success in this role:


A minimum of 5-10 years of full charge accounting experience

Experience in philanthropy overseeing grants and ideally program-related investments; Experience at a private foundation is helpful but not required

Experience working directly with organization leadership to represent the accounting function across procedures, preparing and maintaining accurate records, compiling and preparing financial reports, and accrual and depreciation accounting methods 

Knowledge at the advanced level of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Practices (GAAP) for non-profit and foundation accounting procedures 

Knowledge of databases and systems, including accounting, payroll, and online grants management databases, from set up, ongoing improvement, and use (Sage Intacct, ADP Payroll, Salesforce)

Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field required, CPA preferred





The salary range for this position is $110,000 - $130,000.


The Lemelson Foundation offers employees an exceptionally generous benefits package including fully paid health care coverage for employees and dependents, a 403(b) plan with a generous employer match, and 20 paid vacation days per calendar year during the first year of employment, increasing over time.


While employees are welcome to work in the office on any day of the week, The Foundation has official ‘Core Days’ (administrative support present) on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Employees are expected to be in the office 6-10 Core Days per month (27-45% of a typical 22 working-day month). Relocation assistance is available if the successful candidate resides outside the Portland, Oregon area.






The Lemelson Foundation has retained OE Consulting to support this search. 


In order to apply, please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest and addresses your relevant qualifications. Applicants may expect an email from OE Consulting confirming receipt.


Finalist candidates will be invited to participate in on- site interviews during the week of August 28th. The Lemelson Foundation expects to extend and finalize an offer of employment by early September. 


The Lemelson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to build a diverse team. Candidates with historically underrepresented identities and affiliations are encouraged to apply. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation.


Please refrain from contacting The Lemelson Foundation about this opportunity, and direct any questions to OE Consulting at ([email protected]). Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.


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  • Kevin Perez
    published this page in Job Board 2023-08-07 10:35:03 -0400