Position Title: Senior Grant Writer
Time Commitment: 35 hour work week at minimum
Reports To: Director of Foundation Strategy
Spark Point Fundraising is seeking a Senior Grant Writer to support our work with progressive nonprofit clients fighting to end poverty, healthcare inequity, systemic racism, and more. Senior grant writers lead client projects; provide strategic guidance to clients on grant writing and foundation relations; manage the work of more junior grant writers; and also conduct independent grant proposal and report writing. The ideal candidate is someone who thrives in a fast-paced working environment and who embodies the values of kindness, compassion, and equity. Strong candidates will also have 2-4 years of experience in a full-time grant writing position. However, we recognize that strong writers from a variety of backgrounds may have the foundational skills needed to succeed in this role, and we encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
Specifically, a Spark Point Senior Grant Writer is someone who: 1) is self-motivated and driven by a desire for excellence, 2) has the confidence and knowledge to ask the right questions and show up strong in client meetings, 3) has the skills and experience to manage up and across to internal and external stakeholders, 4) can set expectations and manage project timelines to meet and beat all deadlines, 5) is a highly organized and effective communicator, 6) is able to manage, support, and empower team members to do their best work, with a lens of compassion and kindness, and 7) is an excellent writer, keen editor, and enthusiastic researcher. And, let’s face it, you’re going to need a sense of humor, too.
The role of Senior Grant Writer has three core job responsibilities: grant writing, client management, and staff supervision.
- Grant Writing (40%) – A Senior Grant Writer is able to produce well written, story-focused, compelling grant proposals and reports for various nonprofit clients (~3), with minimal supervision. A Senior Grant Writer should have a firm grasp of their abilities and the quality of their work, and should be able to manage up (to the Director of Foundation Strategy) or across (to nonprofit clients) to proactively seek feedback where needed. This includes:
- Leading the development of high-quality grant proposals and reports for complex clients and/or projects
- Coordinating with multiple stakeholders to proactively seek input where needed
- Managing the editing/revision timeline for complex writing projects
- Providing editing support to junior writers
- Adhering to Spark Point’s grant writing protocols and general writing standards, and supporting the development of new standards as needs arise
- Client Management (35%) – A Senior Grant Writer is expected to build and maintain strong, supportive, and responsive relationships with clients (~3-4) that make them feel like Spark Point is an indispensable part of their team. The person in this role will bring deep knowledge of the process of foundation fundraising and grant writing, and they will leverage this knowledge to support our work with clients. A Senior Grant Writer is expected to provide strategic guidance and education to clients AND to set high standards for quality, all while managing expectations within our scope of work. This includes:
- Managing project teams for their assigned clients, which include an operations associate and a junior grant writer
- Preparing for and facilitating biweekly client meetings, in coordination with their client teams
- Conducting prospect research as-needed to support client revenue goals
- Coordinating with the Director of Foundation Strategy to manage workflow across all client teams, ensuring that all team members have a reasonable amount of work on their plates.
- Coordinating with the Managing Director to support and improve client engagement and use of our systems, tools, and processes
- Staff Supervision (20%) – Senior Grant Writers are also expected to serve as supervisors to 1-2 junior staff members. If you haven’t been a supervisor before, don’t worry! Every manager at Spark Point completes The Management Center’s Managing to Change the World training, including the person in this position. As a supervisor, the person in this role will:
- Hold weekly check-in meetings with their assigned supervisees, providing coaching, mentorship, and guidance that allows all team members to grow and thrive
- Conduct goal/KPI setting sessions, quarterly KPI reviews, and annual performance reviews for each team member with the support of the Director of Foundation Strategy
- Support the Director of Foundation Strategy in managing hiring processes for future open roles on the team
- Other duties as assigned (5%) – As a small, dynamic, and growing team, our needs can often change quickly. Senior Grant Writers, as leaders within the Foundation Strategy Team, are expected to contribute to internal company initiatives and projects as-needed.
Required Skills and Experience
- Nonprofit Sector – Nonprofit Sector – The person in this position will ideally have 1-2 years of experience in the nonprofit sector (staff, consultant, or volunteer) or equivalent experience in the private sector. Candidates without direct experience may still apply, but must be able to articulate their interest in the nonprofit sector.
- Grant Writing – Ideally, the person in this position has managed the development of at least 12 successful grant proposals in the past 12 months, or comparable previous experience. This position is 50% grant and report writing, so to be successful the person in this position has to both be good at and enjoy grant writing. Other applicants with strong writing backgrounds – in journalism, marketing, communications, creative writing, etc. – are encouraged to apply.
- Client Relations – The person in this position must understand and follow the basic tenets of client relationship management and professional services delivery. Experience coordinating with internal and external partners is a plus.
- Communication – The person in this position must be able to effectively (meaning without ambiguity or animosity) communicate with colleagues, clients, and others in a direct and respectful manner and must prioritize direct communication as the most effective means of conveying meaning. In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Creative Problem Solving – Being a client-facing service provider, the person in this position must be able to provide creative and helpful solutions to problems with the ultimate goal of achieving the highest possible level of client satisfaction.
- Ingenuity – The person in this position must have experience with creating, designing, or otherwise coming up with a new idea, creating a plan for executing on the idea, and completing the execution of said plan.
- A Commitment to Ending Racism – Our commitment to equity is not superficial. Spark Point, like many organizations, is on a journey to eliminate racism and White supremacy from its operations. If this resonates with you then you are a good fit for this position.
Compensation and Benefits Package
The salary for this position is $65,000-70,000 annually.
In addition to financial compensation, Spark Point will offer the following additional benefits:
- Health Insurance – 100% employer-sponsored for the employee
- 401K – 3% of salary plus an additional employer match of up to 3%.
- Paid Time Off – 15 days (increases at the 3- and 5-year marks)
- Holidays – 11 Federal holidays, 3 floating holidays, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
- Professional development – $500 per year to pay for conferences, seminars, or other professional development opportunities
- Equipment – $300 is allotted yearly for equipment upgrades.
- Telecom Allowance – $600 per year to cover the cost of phone and internet usage
- Flexibility – Spark Point values work-life balance and flexibility in work environments, so you will be able to work at the times, locations, and pace that work best for you, provided that all deadlines are met, all client meetings proceed appropriately, progress is being made toward KPIs, and you attend any meetings that the CEO requires everyone to attend. Our team is fully remote. Occasional travel may be required for annual staff retreats, conferences, and other opportunities.
For your cover letter, please respond to two of the following questions in the form of a 1-page “grant proposal” for yourself. Be creative! Use this as an opportunity to show us who you are.
- Why do you want to work at Spark Point Fundraising? What resonates with you about our company values?
- What do you enjoy about grant writing?
- What do you think is the biggest challenge that nonprofits might have in being successful with grant writing?
Spark Point Fundraising is a boutique consulting firm that fights for equity. We work with clients in health care, human services, workforce development, advocacy, the arts, and other critical issue areas that help our neighbors and communities thrive. We provide outsourced foundation relations services (that’s where you come in) and fundraising strategy development to nonprofits that are changing the world. As a team, we are rooted in the values of kindness, compassion, respect, and integrity. We believe in equity. The majority of our clients are Black-led organizations serving communities of color. As such, a commitment to racial justice and anti-racism are central to our approach to client service.
Spark Point Fundraising is a woman-owned firm. Our team includes people of different ages, races, and sexual orientations. We are committed to building a team that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, and we actively encourage people of diverse backgrounds to apply for this position. We recognize that nonprofit fundraising, as a field, is predominantly White, and that many structural barriers limit opportunity for people of color. As a part of our commitment to racial justice, we strongly encourage candidates with skills, talent, and drive to apply, even if your experience does not match the ideal candidate description listed here. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.
Spark Point Fundraising LLC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Spark Point Fundraising LLC also complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in Washington, DC.