Grants Manager (CF)

Established in 2005, the College Futures Foundation is a private foundation whose goal is to increase the rate of bachelor’s degree completion among California student populations who are low-income and have had historically low college success rates. With an endowment of approximately $500 million, the Foundation expects to award grants of approximately $18.5 million annually.

We believe improving college achievement is central to California’s future. It is this belief that drives us to serve as a strategic partner to school districts, post-secondary institutions, nonprofits, foundations, businesses, local governments and policy makers in California. We work collaboratively to increase opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students and ensure a thriving future for the state by removing barriers to college degree attainment.

To achieve our goal, we work primarily in three target regions with large numbers of low-income students: Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley. Our grantmaking is organized around the following three broad categories:

  1. The development and/or expansion of institutional policies and interventions based on promising practices that support students’ successful transitions along the degree completion pathway, with special focus on transitions from secondary school to college, and from community college to four-year colleges and universities.
    • In our Pipeline to Degree initiative, we support the implementation and scale-up of practices and policies in secondary and postsecondary institutions that reduce remediation and accelerate student progress to bachelor degree completion.
    • In our Community Philanthropy initiative, we support community foundations’ capacities to: a) raise local funding for, and awareness of, need-based financial aid, and b) play a leadership role in strengthening college-going culture in their respective communities.
  2. Community capacities to coordinate policies and practices across K-12 and higher education segments towards a coherent education system for their students.
    • In our Regional Partnerships for Student Success initiative, we support data, communications and organizational tools to facilitate a shared understanding of student flows across local secondary and postsecondary institutions. We also provide operating support for coordination, planning and greater alignment between local secondary and postsecondary institutions.
  3. We also support what we call “cross-cutting” work: a) institutionally-focused as well as community-based strategies to close gaps and increase bachelor degree attainment among young men of color; and b) support for research and advocacy for statewide policies that increase bachelor degree attainment for low-income students.

How We Work

Our program, communications, and evaluation and learning teams work collaboratively with one another to ensure the respective relevant functions are integrated into the work we undertake and support.  Consequently, working in teams is a key feature of how we do our work. Another key aspect of the Foundation’s work is our use of data, assessment, and learning. It is one of our core strengths and therefore central to our organizational positioning and brand identity. We use metrics to help inform strategy, focus program effort, document progress, and provide valuable feedback to help adjust and modify approaches by our grantees and the Foundation as well as inform and ground communications to our target audiences.

Position Summary

Reporting to the vice president of programs, this position will also work closely with colleagues in the program, evaluation and learning, and finance and administration departments. 

The Grants Manager plays a lead role in the efficient and effective management and implementation of the Foundation’s policies and procedures related to grants administration. This position is directly responsible for:

  • Developing, refining, and managing the systems used to receive, track and process grant requests, administer outstanding grants, and monitor grantee compliance with the Foundation’s reporting and regulatory requirements.
  • Ensuring that the Foundation’s grants administration systems and processes meet the needs and support the work of the Foundation’s staff, grantees and partners as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Supervising program assistants who provide grant administrative support.

The Grants Manager is expected to actively participate as a member of the program team, and Foundation staff as a whole, to support the Foundation’s work

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The Grants Manager’s primary areas of responsibility are:

  1. Grants Management: Systems and Tracking
  • Manages and maintains the Foundation’s grants management system that follows the Foundation’s work processes and strategic needs. Ensures the system balances needs of program and accounting staff and regulatory compliance; assures integrity of data related to all grant applications and grant funded programs.
  • Provide, and oversee the provision of, technical and customer service support to grantees and applicants using the Foundation’s grants management and application systems, including responding to inquiries about the Foundation’s grantmaking procedures, eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
  • Establish protocols for, train and provide technical support to staff on how to enter, manage, and extract data from grants management and related systems; troubleshoots with staff to address questions or problems as necessary.
  • Serve as project manager overseeing technology consultant(s) in making revisions or building out new capacity in grants management system.
  • Collaborate with IT to ensure that all technology systems related to Foundation program activities are smoothly implemented and managed.
  • Prepare statistical and summary reports and presentations with relevant data on grants and grant proposals to inform decision-making and support strategic planning by the staff and Board of Directors, including dashboards for Board dockets.
  • Develop and update systems to automatically track grant budgets and grants awarded by initiative and for the Foundation as a whole.
  1. Grantmaking Policies and Procedures
  • Draft and update Foundation’s grantmaking and administration policies and procedures as documented in the grants manual. Develop and execute new and ongoing training for staff on grantmaking procedures.
  • Prepare and maintain the schedule for each grant cycle and manage the efficient flow of all grants from proposal intake to approval to archiving.
  • Maintain familiarity with IRS rules and regulations as they pertain to the grantmaking process, both for private foundations and for grantees. Review the Foundation’s grant processes and materials for compliance with IRS rules and seek guidance from counsel as necessary. Work with Vice President for Programs to ensure that all the Foundation’s grants are made and administered in compliance with all applicable regulations.
  • Maintain familiarity with best practices and new developments in grants management that could improve the Foundation’s grantmaking processes.
  • Work with strategic learning officer and VP for Programs to regularly evaluate grant inquiry, application, and reporting forms and requirements, solicit input from staff and grantees, and revise as necessary.
  • Supervise program assistants and oversee review of all grant inquiries and applications for completeness, compliance and eligibility; oversee program assistants’ monitoring of grantee reports and communication with grantees regarding issues in the grantmaking and management process; support program assistants’ professional development.
  • Collaborate with finance department staff to manage the grant payment process and to provide information for annual audits, tax preparation, and internal audits.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree a plus, but not required if candidate has relevant experience.
  • A minimum of four years’ of relevant professional experience in grants administration.
  • Strong competency using Salesforce platforms; certification or competency in administering Salesforce platforms preferred.

Required Skills, Experience and Attributes

  • Strong analytic, organizational, and project management skills, with keen attention to details and deadlines, balanced with the ability to keep a big-picture view.
  • Ability to design systems processes that balance the needs of different stakeholders, internally among staff and externally with grantees.
  • Affinity for technology and a strong ability to learn and use new technology applications to enhance the Foundation’s grants management processes
  • Ability use MS Office tools, including the ability to quickly produce clear and concise financial reports using MS Excel and ability to produce presentations in MS Powerpoint.
  • An approachable, respectful, and helpful manner; demonstrated ability work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to quickly produce clear, cogent, written and verbal information.
  • Set and exemplify the highest standards of honesty, integrity and professionalism; ability to discreetly handle sensitive or confidential information.
  • Comfortable working in an ambiguous and complex fast paced environment.
  • A high degree of flexibility, initiative, self-awareness, accountability, judgment, and resourcefulness in problem-solving,
  • A strong sense of purpose and commitment to the value of philanthropy and educational opportunity.

College Futures Foundation is an equal opportunity employer to all regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, or sexual orientation.


This permanent, full-time position offers competitive compensation and excellent health, commuter and retirement benefits. Annual salary $80-$90,000.

Application Process

Interested individuals should send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. No calls, please.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.