Senior Grants Specialist

Category: Full-time
Reports to: Grants Manager
Location: Kansas City, MO
Effective: Jan. 11, 2019


844 million people – about one in nine – lack access to safe water. 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are 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 more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.


The Sr. Grants Specialist will join a nimble and high-functioning team to support the procurement and stewardship of major philanthropic gifts. This role will be responsible for leading new grant proposal development, managing a portfolio of secured grants, and supporting internal process optimization and special projects with minimal support from supervisor. The right candidate will be extremely organized and a self-starter who has experience with complex and sophisticated grant opportunities, writing, and project management across departments. This person will work very closely with fundraising, programming, and finance team members to complete their work with integrity and transparency.

Key responsibilities

Strategic Donor Communications and Relationship Management (40%)

  • Develop strong, compelling language for donor materials including, proposals, donor reports, pitch decks, and other necessary materials within your portfolio.
  • Lead cross-departmental coordination for development of donor materials. This includes working closely with program and finance staff to collect necessary information (such as project plans, budgets, etc.) and synthesize in a clear, compelling, and accurate way for donor audiences.
  • Work side by side with fundraising staff to determine communication strategy for current and potential donors. Act as a secondary point of contact with donors, providing updates and programmatic information, and fulfilling other requests as they come in.
  • May act as primary solicitor for small to medium grant opportunities at times. 

Grants Project Management (40%)

  • Maintain oversight of donor deliverables for current grants within your portfolio. This includes communicating deliverables to relevant program and finance team members; tracking timeline and project plans for achieving deliverables; and regularly soliciting progress against deliverables to communicate to fundraising staff and donors in update emails and progress reports.
  • Identify program challenges that necessitate donor notification and/or internal escalation to senior level staff, working closely with program staff to develop appropriate language and materials to communicate such challenges.

Other Support (20%)

  • Lead development of new tools, resources, and workflows to facilitate internal and cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Support special projects related to the strategic direction of Strategic Alliances team.
  • Other duties as assigned or required.

Scope data

  •  This is an individual contributor position.  There is no supervisory responsibility. 
  • Manages multiple grants simultaneously with a focus on multi-million, multi-year international grants.   

Skills and competencies

  • 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.
  • Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Collaborates – Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • 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.
  • Self-development – Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using other formal and informal development channels.
  • 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.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum six years of relevant work experience
  • In-depth and sophisticated understanding of grant management including: principles of grant development and administration; principles of grant accounting and reporting; and organization and management of records
  • Documented success in grant writing and management with a nonprofit, or serving in a critical role to support grant writing activities
  • Experience influencing and managing cross-functional relationships across a globally matrixed organization
  • Strong understanding of the international development space
  • Experience with government grant initiatives a plus
  • Knowledge of the water and sanitation and microfinance sectors a plus
  • International business or philanthropic experience a plus, specifically in Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and/or Africa. 

Travel requirement

  • May require 5-10% infrequent, 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. Salary will be based on education and experience and will coincide with similar nonprofit organizations in international development. is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law.  We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.