Senior Grants Manager: Job Description

The Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there.  Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. It makes grants in four core program areas (Higher Learning, Arts and Culture, Public Knowledge, and Humanities in Place).  The Foundation seeks a Senior Grants Manager.


Reporting to the Director of Grants and Data Management, the Senior Grants Manager will supervise the Grants Managers and the Grants Management Coordinator and work closely with the Director of Grants and Data Management to ensure the team is functioning effectively and in alignment with the Foundation's values and priorities.  The Senior Grants Manager will help to coordinate the grantmaking processes and will review the grant application materials, to ensure compliance with IRS and Foundation requirements.  The Senior Grants Manager will also review and compile materials that serve as the basis for the grant review and approval processes, including materials for review by the Board of Trustees.  The work is detail-oriented and requires excellent communications and project management skills, positivity, and a deep understanding of the grantmaking strategy and processes.


Responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Works with the Director of Grants and Data Management to set priorities and goals for the grants management team
  • Supervises the three Grants Managers and the Grants Management Coordinator
  • Works to review grant information for completeness and accuracy, and conducts appropriate due diligence, including ensuring compliance with Foundation policies and nonprofit law and identifying issues for review by Legal and other staff
  • Prepares materials for review and approval by the Board and Foundation Officers, including the review of a summary of each grant and the compilation of all grant summaries and other materials into the Board meeting "docket"
  • Prepares and coordinates grant agreements and other documents
  • Coordinates and helps to manage the Foundation's grantmaking calendar and processes
  • Participates in ongoing efforts to improve and streamline the Foundation's grantmaking policies, workflows, and procedures, and guides program staff through policy transitions 
  • Helps to maintain and update internal manuals and other documentation
  • Helps to develop training materials and assist with training sessions
  • Helps to monitor the grants management inbox and provides assistance to staff, as needed
  • Participates in and contributes to cross-Foundational projects, as needed


The ideal candidate would have at least seven years of experience working within the nonprofit sector or within a role that involved significant writing skills and/or operational work, including at least three years of grants management experience.  The ideal candidate would also hold an advanced degree in a humanities discipline, social science, law, or other related field.  Managerial experience preferred.  Applicants should also possess:

  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills
  • Experience working within databases or relational management systems and the ability to quickly acquire proficiency in database software (e.g., the Fluxx database)
  • Strong administrative, organizational, time and work-flow management skills
  • Ability to read and understand organizational budgets
  • An orientation toward self-starting, proactive anticipation of team needs, and creative problem solving
  • Flexibility, adaptability, curiosity, integrity
  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission, core values, and focus on social justice

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Contact Information

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume here:  Senior Grants Manager.  The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.