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Director of Grants Management, Kenneth Rainin Foundation

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The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a family foundation that collaborates with creative thinkers in the Arts, Education, and Health. Founded in 2008, the organization believes in taking smart risks to achieve breakthroughs. It supports visionary artists in the Bay Area, creates opportunities for Oakland’s youngest learners, and funds researchers on the forefront of scientific discoveries to cure chronic disease. As such, the Foundation acts as a catalyst for exploring new ideas that enhance life. The Kenneth Rainin Foundation embodies an unusual combination of the strategic and creative. While it engages in its three diverse program areas with a focus on long-term growth, it also allows for the innovation of its program staff to pursue the greatest possible paths to impact their respective areas of expertise. The result is a developing culture that is both unified and intentional.



The Director of Grants Management (Director) is a newly created position reporting to the Chief Program and Strategy Officer. The Director is responsible for managing operational components of grants management and integrating its work with the other Foundation departments. This role leads grants management operations and personnel to ensure a high quality of grants processing. This will include contributing to the structure of a centralized grants management function; developing, recommending, and implementing compliant and efficient Foundation policies and processes related to the full spectrum of the grants lifecycle; and sharing grants information to develop collaborative partnerships with program, finance, and communications teams. The role also requires management level decision-making for grants management policies, practices and strategic direction.

The Director enhances the Rainin Foundation’s long-range planning, strategy implementation, evaluation and learning, and communications efforts with knowledge of grantees, Foundation history, and pertinent regulations. As the administrator and principal lead of the online grants management system, the Director ensures data integrity and workflow efficiency for Foundation staff, applicants, and grantees. The work is supported by a Grants Officer, who reports to this position.

The ideal candidate will be committed to the Foundation’s mission. This is an exciting and important moment for the Director to join the organization, and it requires a candidate with deep expertise leading change management initiatives. Candidates must know from experience when to move forward and when to be patient while pursuing such initiatives. The ability to lead or influence teams across disciplines and functions is essential, as is a highly flexible and adaptive work ethic.

The Director will be an accomplished leader and manager who directs both grants management strategy and execution. Candidates must be committed to investing in people and cultivating a team culture that inspires confidence, trust, and respect. The Director will have a background promoting professional development opportunities and motivating staff, as well as be a natural collaborator who enjoys empowering teams across an organization.

This role requires an open and engaging communication style, active listening and the ability to translate ideas and information across diverse stakeholders. The successful candidate will know how to provide generative insights on Foundation priorities and incorporate diverse perspectives in decision-making. The Director will possess the professional maturity to hold colleagues accountable to grants management policies and practices, as well as consistently adhere to grantmaking procedures, including use of the grants management system.



The key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Grants Management Strategy & Evaluation (25%)

The Director will develop, communicate, and implement effective grants management strategies with aligned technology solutions. The position is responsible for continuous process improvement, cost effective system maintenance and support, and the development and implementation of centralized practices, systems, policies, and management tools that advance the Foundation’s mission and grantmaking. The Director will contribute to strategic decision-making across numerous organizational areas, including knowledge management, learning and assessment, and institutional policies.

Compliance & Due Diligence (25%)

The Director drives the management of the grantmaking process by leading the development and implementation of policies, systems and practices on grants data collection, storage and analysis, as well as due diligence requirements and document retention. The leader in this role will also partner with legal counsel to identify, develop, implement, and communicate appropriate compliance policies and procedures, due diligence and risk assessment procedures.

Staff Management & Leadership (25%)

The Director is responsible for overseeing grants management and integrating its work with other Foundation departments, in addition to keeping current with new technology in the field. The Director will invest in people and cultivate a team culture rooted in mutual accountability that inspires confidence, trust, respect and transparency to encourage information sharing and promote learning within the Foundation. The person in this position will serve as a role model that exemplifies leadership internally and externally through performance that is aligned with Foundation values and best interests.

Grants Management System Oversight (25%)

The Director will provide conceptual leadership in the evaluation and design of systems and processes for the collection, indexing, storage, translation, and reporting of data and information on the grants lifecycle. The leader in this role will monitor operations (including people, projects, procedures and/or budget), assess performance, as well as design and provide training on grantmaking processes. The Director will also determine the qualitative and quantitative measures that are critical for tracking and understanding organizational efficiency and impact.



While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Minimum of ten years of foundation work experience within grants administration or a closely related department (such as Programs, Development or Finance) is required.
  • Minimum of five years of direct staff management experience with a focus on staff development.
  • Strong systems orientation, with a track record of improving and enhancing existing grants management technologies, developing new solutions, and maintaining an awareness of and willingness to use new and emerging platforms.
  • Thorough understanding of current IRS regulations related to private foundation grantmaking, and application of best practices to remain compliant.
  • Strong active listening skills and customer service orientation to accurately capture needs of other departments and plan follow up for implementation.
  • An approach to problem-solving and creating processes that demonstrates a collaborative mindset to seeking positive resolution.
  • Strong background promoting professional development opportunities, motivating staff, and empowering teams across an organization.
  • Exceptional project management skills are a must; demonstrated ability to take ownership of complex projects from conception to fruition, with continuous follow up to ensure project completion within specified time parameters.
  • Proven ability to produce high-quality reports of data or related grant information, and to maintain integrity of data within a database; keen attention to detail and accuracy is imperative.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in related field is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Preferred Skills and Experiences

  • Effective time management skills with the ability to manage multiple deadlines simultaneously.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with experience presenting complex materials in an understandable manner to a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that allow for effective relationships in a diverse environment.
  • Proactive work ethic with high emotional intelligence and the ability to anticipate needs of colleagues and take appropriate actions.
  • Sense of humor and enthusiasm a must!

This is a full-time position with benefits. The salary range for this position is highly competitive with the industry and commensurate with relevant skills and experience.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such complies with federal, state, and/or local laws that prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, citizen or intending citizen status, disability, and veteran status. Information provided during the application or employment process will not be used to discriminate against any individual in any manner. The Company complies with ADA regulations as applicable.



The Kenneth Rainin Foundation has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this high-priority search. To apply, please submit an updated resume and thoughtful cover letter that outlines how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications of the position. 

Please refrain from contacting the Kenneth Rainin Foundation directly; all inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at We will accept applications on a rolling basis.

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