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Grants Manager

San Francisco or Los Angeles

About the Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s vision is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $2.2 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2021 with more than $3.8 billion in assets and provided $128.9 million in grants. There are about 80 staff across the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. The Irvine Foundation is committed, internally and externally, to the values of accountability, curiosity, empathy, equity, nimbleness, partnership, and transparency.

About the role

The James Irvine Foundation is looking to expand its Grants Administration team and hire a dynamic and collaborative Grants professional. Reporting to the Director of Grants Administration (Kelly Martin), the Grants Manager (one of two, the other being Kim Canfield) contributes to the efficient and effective management and implementation of the Foundation’s policies and procedures related to grants administration. Our Grants Managers are the point persons for grant pipeline management, orientation and training, and support for Program staff. The Grants Managers oversee various aspects of the department, such as the grantmaking platform and online grant application system, including tracking of all proposals and the processing of grants. This role regularly manages several projects within the Grants Administration department and may also lead other interdepartmental efforts for Irvine. In addition, the Grants Manager works closely with the entire department to ensure that information is exchanged and procedures are followed, as necessary, to facilitate responsible and efficient grantmaking across the Foundation.

Your responsibilities will include

  1. Policies and Procedures
    • Assist with the establishment, comprehensive documentation, and implementation of Grants Administration policies and procedures
    • Responsible for data integrity, data management, and information flow in Salesforce
    • In conjunction with the Grants Administration team, develop and execute training for new staff
    • Provide ongoing guidance and training to Program Associates, individually and at monthly meetings
    • Serve as part of the team working to integrate racial equity into our grantmaking processes
  2. Grants Processing
    • Manage the processing of grants, such as the Director and Staff Discretionary Grants, Flex Grants, and Memberships/Sponsorships
    • Manage the pipeline of grantmaking from intake and review through approval and closeout
    • Serve as the Grants Administration point person for several Initiatives or bodies of work within the Foundation’s portfolio
  3. Legal Compliance
    • Maintain familiarity with IRS rules and regulations, as they pertain to the grantmaking process, both for private foundations and for grantees
    • Review all grant materials for compliance with IRS rules and the Irvine trust restrictions within their portfolio
    • Assist with the annual audit, tax preparation, and internal audits, as needed
  4. Grants Database and Online Application System
    • Oversee the utilization and maintenance of the grantmaking platform (Salesforce) and online application system (which tracks all inquiries, proposals, grants, and contacts), including related staff training
    • Work with the Director of Grants Administration and the Senior Technical Architect to execute enhancements and upgrades to Salesforce and the online portal
    • Serve as lead Project Manager for process improvement and enhancements to systems and processes as assigned by the Director of Grants Administration

Who you are

  • A Team Player. Nothing is beneath or above you. You are quick to always lend a hand, or two. You are able to earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects and large strategic goals.
  • A Strategic Thinker. You are analytical and structured in your thinking. You love to build and maintain well-oiled systems and processes. You are a quick study, synthesizing diverse sources of information and able to discern from them a recommended course of action. You are aware of all mission-critical projects and able to connect the dots across the organization.
  • Emotionally Intelligent. You are self-aware and perceptive. You nurture relationships and can work and communicate well with all kinds of people. You are optimistic, empathetic, flexible, curious, and well-respected by all who work with you, irrespective of title. You are able to handle stressful situations professionally.
  • A Collaborator. Working across cultural lines on a dispersed team, you easily gain trust and set others up for success. You know you don’t have all the answers and take pride in knowing everyone’s sweet spots, bringing them in at just the right time.
  • Mission Driven. A strong desire to contribute to the mission of The James Irvine Foundation, an understanding of issues impacting low-income communities, and a personal commitment to racial equity.

What you’ll need

  • Relevant Experience. 3-5 years of grants management/administration experience.
  • Technical Abilities. Experienced Salesforce user, preferably as an Administrator; or significant experience with similar grants management software.
  • Grants Expertise. Knowledge of federal, state, and local government laws and regulations regarding grant agreements and administration, including tax laws governing private foundation grantmaking.
  • An Operations Mindset. A combination of experience and passion for operations, with the ability to think big picture while holding the details front and center. You experience joy from improving processes that further organizational impact, leveraging a design-thinking mindset that balances operational effectiveness with a positive user experience.
  • An Abundance Mindset. You believe that we are living in a world of abundant resources and that the right team of partners can make incredible things happen. You bring relentless curiosity and creativity to every task, project, and engagement.
  • A Learning Mindset. A desire for continuous improvement and a foundation of self-awareness that provides space for learning and growth.
  • A Demonstrated Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. You’re always asking: “whose voice is not at the table?” You have experience working with diverse teams and successfully navigating cross-cultural communication in either local or global contexts, and you deeply value creating a workplace that is supportive of difference.

Compensation and location

The James Irvine Foundation’s compensation philosophy is reflected in its Talent Advancement Program, which was created to assure equity in staff compensation. While every staff member is assigned a Tier based on demonstration of competencies, the Foundation looks to outcomes as criteria for advancement through the program’s Tiers.

The salary for this position is $110,000 non-negotiable, plus benefits.

The James Irvine Foundation offers an attractive benefits package, highlights include comprehensive insurance coverage, 5+ months of paid family leave for new parents, and a very generous 401K contribution (10%).

This position is full-time, and you must be already based in, or be willing to relocate to either, Los Angeles or the Bay Area. The expectation for this role will be in the office 40% of the time. More details on our hybrid work arrangement can be found here. Since we are living through a global pandemic, we can be flexible on relocation timelines and may be able to offer a small amount of relocation assistance. At this point, all staff are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

The application process

The James Irvine Foundation has engaged Equitable Hiring Group to support this hiring process. To apply, please complete the short form at Equitable Hiring Group’s website.

Individuals who apply by Tuesday, October 25 will be given priority; therefore, we encourage you to submit yours soon.

When you apply, we kindly ask you to remove your schools from your resume. There is no need to reformat your resume and leave your degree as is; simplify it to “B.A. Economics” for example. Just remember to remove any undergraduate and graduate school name references where possible. This “bias-reduced” process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments instead of resume proxies (e.g., where you went to school).

This evaluation process will follow practices shown to reduce bias in decision-making and may be different from other application processes you have experienced.

The overall evaluation process will look to follow this anticipated timeline:

  • Late October: Select candidates asked to complete short answer questions
  • Early November: Initial interview with Foundation staff
  • Mid-November: Finalist candidates will be asked to complete a timed trial assignment
  • Late November: Finalists will participate in a multi-team member panel interview
  • Candidate references will also be checked at this step
  • Early December: Offer extended


If you have any questions about the opportunity, please feel free to email

Position Details

Reports to: Director of Grants Administration

Location: San Francisco or Los Angeles

Status: Exempt

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled