Regional Grants Specialist - Africa
Reports to: Regional Director, Africa
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
1 in 9 people around the world lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For 30 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.
The Regional Grants Specialist for Africa will join a nimble and high-functioning team to support the procurement and stewardship of major philanthropic grants and other sources of funding for country, regional, and global programs that include Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. This dynamic role will be critical to professionalizing country-level grants management and contributing to strategic decision making and compliance necessary for organizational integrity. This position will have full oversight of the alignment between country and regional level interventions and various funding sources, understand the nuances and compliance of each, and be able to contribute strategic insight into how to balance execution activities within those guardrails.
This role will be responsible for playing a lead role in proposal writing and coordination, report writing for a portfolio of secured grants and supporting internal process optimization and special projects with minimal support from the supervisor. The right candidate will be extremely organized and a self-starter, comfortable communicating across geographies, including with US-based headquarters staff, and with various levels of staff, experienced with complex and sophisticated grant opportunities, writing, and some systems and/or project management experience.
Regional Grants Specialists are key team members that manage the complexities and quality of grant proposals and active grants management at the country and regional level. Their primary responsibilities are detailed below.
- Support management of the country pipeline funding opportunities and process in Water.org’s internal database WaterPortal (and/or a future XRM system).
- Ensure country team ‘Pipeline Champions’ are inputting complete data per deadlines and facilitate discussions as needed between country/regional teams, Strategic Alliances (fundraising team) and the Global Impact Practice Teams.
- Partner with Strategic Alliances, Business Solutions, Finance, Country teams, and other Reginal Grants Specialists to put forward compelling proposals and prepare budgets. This includes grant-writing in English and acting as the lead coordinator across multiple teams, departments, and countries.
- Review and edit grant proposals and budgets, and other donor communications requested by Strategic Alliances to ensure they are high quality and meet internal and external deadlines.
- Respond to donor questions, feedback and revise proposals as needed.
Active Grant Monitoring
- Maintain oversight of a comprehensive portfolio of grants across the Africa region. This includes prompting grant kick-offs and having a deep understanding of grant deliverables, deadlines, and agreement terms, as well as partnering closely with Grant Champions/POCs to ensure active management of grants and progress towards deliverables is achieved.
- Manage a calendar of grant report deadlines and coordinate across team members to ensure grant reports meet internal and external deadlines.
- Review, write and edit grant reports, and other donor communications requested by SA to ensure they are high quality and compelling to donors. This includes assembling program data, case studies and stories from the field for donor reporting.
- Ensure that the country team Grant POCs are reviewing grant financial reports in the financial databases (e.g. Adaptive) and grant dashboards.
- Provide overall project management support and close coordination with country leadership, Strategic Alliances, Finance, and Business Solutions when changes are needed to a grant’s scope, budget, or activities.
Grants Management Performance & Tracking
- Drives grants management process implementation, evolution, and improvements in collaboration with HQ/Business Solutions team. This work includes communicating changes to the country teams and facilitating any needed tool or system development.
- Identify gaps in grants management processes and skillsets and support the development and execution of trainings and capacity building efforts.
- Track grants management key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide analysis to HQ across the above workstreams on a regular basis
Skills and Competencies
- Customer Focus – Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
- Nimble Learning – Actively learning through experimentation when tackling problems, using both successes and failures as learning fodder.
- Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
- Collaborates – Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
- Self-development – Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using other formal and informal development channels.
- Optimize Work Processes – Knowing the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
- Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
- Instills Trust – Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
- Financial Stewardship – Demonstrates fiscally responsible decision making as applicable to one’s role.
- Master’s degree preferred, Bachelor’s degree required
- Minimum seven (7) years of relevant work experience
- In-depth and sophisticated understanding of grants management including: donor communication, grant proposal development, donor grant reporting
- Documented success in grant writing and management with a nonprofit, or serving in a critical role to support grant writing activities
- Strong understanding of the international development space, specifically in Africa
- Knowledge of the water and sanitation and microfinance sectors a plus
- Strong interest and skillset in identifying gaps and executing training to various audiences
- Commitment and proactive approach to continuous improvement
- Fluency in English language, verbal and writing skills
May require 5 - 10% domestic or international travel
Salary and Benefits
This position offers full-time benefits, including medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program and periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement.