Open Position: Senior Grants Manager


The Pahara Institute is dedicated to identifying, strengthening sustaining and connecting diverse, high-integrity, seasoned leaders who are reimagining public education. Pahara’s programs are aimed at improving leadership in education at a crucial point in our country’s history when our goal of a more equitable democratic society as well as our changing economy demand dramatically more from our public schools. Today there is a growing community of education reform leaders and entrepreneurs who are spearheading innovative approaches to better serve all students, especially those in low-income communities.


Located in Napa, California, The Pahara Institute is a partially virtual organization with a small and dynamic team of 18. The Institute was launched in 2012, building upon its flagship program, the Pahara-Aspen Fellowship, which was originally created as the Aspen-NewSchools Fellowship in 2006. Today, Pahara’s programs include the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, the NextGen Fellowship, and regional and topical convenings serving our approximately 700-member alumni network.

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a two-year cohort-based leadership program modeled after the renowned Henry Crown Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. It is focused on increasing both the strength and diversity of leadership for the educational excellence and equity movement by bringing together senior entrepreneurial leaders in education who have been nominated by recognized leaders within the field, and providing them with an opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual work as leaders and change agents.

The NextGen Fellowship is a 12-month leadership development program focused on supporting high potential, emerging senior leaders who bring a diversity of underrepresented perspectives and have the potential to strengthen and shape the future of the educational excellence and equity movement. By identifying individuals who can amplify underrepresented voices, and providing them with high-level leadership development and networking opportunities, this program encourages and supports those who will become senior leaders in the field and helps strengthen the educational equity and excellence movement by engaging more diverse perspectives.

The majority of Pahara’s revenue currently comes from foundations, and the strategy for Pahara’s next growth phase is focused on growing this funding stream with six and seven figure gifts from both existing and prospective foundation donors.


Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the inaugural Senior Grants Manager will serve as a key senior member of the Pahara fundraising team. She/he/they will have a primary focus of working closely with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer to secure the funding necessary to drive Pahara’s growth and impact and be an important contributor to Pahara’s short and long-term funding strategy.

Prospect management will be a secondary theme throughout the Senior Grants Manager role, and will be critical for handling the processes associated with stewarding a foundation portfolio, supporting the administration of all secured grants, and holding a holistic view of all donor progress for the organization. We expect that he/she/they will drive moves management processes and prospect management for all Pahara donors.

This position can be virtual – see below for travel requirements.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

Grant Proposal and Report Writing

  • In partnership with communications team members, produce high impact, high quality, highly relational grant proposals and other materials to secure funding
  • Provide exceptional required reports on or before all required deadlines for all existing Pahara foundation donors 

Foundation Relations/Relationship Management

  • Build and manage portfolio of approximately 50 existing and potential foundation funders aligned with Pahara’s mission and funding strategy
  • Create and implement customized cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for all foundations in Pahara’s portfolio that consistently engage and inspire Pahara donors and result in continued or increased gifts to fund Pahara’s work
  • Leverage Pahara alumni, donor, and board networks to assist with identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of foundations in portfolio
  • Handle all preparation and pre-work for meetings with CEO, COO, Pahara board members, and/or Pahara fellows related to existing and potential foundation donors
  • Ensure all activities and correspondence related to foundation donors are accurately captured in Salesforce, Pahara’s donor database of record 

Foundation Lead Generation and Tracking

  • Proactively identify and research new and promising national, regional, and local foundation funding sources
  • Create detailed research profiles including suggested approach and strategy for promising foundation funders for COO/CEO review
  • Document the processing of donor leads generated using Salesforce

Funding Strategy

  • Participate in the refinement of Pahara’s existing foundation funding strategy in partnership with the CEO and COO

Grants Management/Administration

  • Serve as Pahara’s subject matter expert on all current and potential foundation grants and grant terms
  • Project manage all foundation activities, both internal and external, to both maximize Pahara’s relationships with funders and also best leverage Pahara staff time (in particular, the CEO’s time)
  • Build and maintain positive, collaborative relationships across all Pahara staff members in order to maintain a deep knowledge of Pahara programs and mission as well as facilitate gathering necessary information for foundation needs
  • In collaboration with Pahara’s Chief Program Officer and team, effectively collaborate to define grant requirements at the proposal stage, and communicate grant programming expectations effectively to ensure all promised grant programming occurs in accordance to grant agreements
  • In collaboration with Manager of Operations and COO, create approved budgets for foundation proposals

Prospect Management

  • Share ownership for overall Pahara prospect management with COO, including leading regular cross-functional meetings to drive moves management for all Pahara donors (including both foundations and individuals)
  • Track and project manage all funder-related activity for Pahara using data from Salesforce donor database as well as information from cross-functional meetings


Pahara is a mission-driven organization and our team is made up of professionals with a deep commitment to serving the needs of disadvantaged children through public education. Pahara is a strong fit for professionals who are resourceful, responsible, tenacious, independent, self-confident, who possess strong personal motivation, and demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values. In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • At least 3 years of proven experience in foundation fundraising
  • Outstanding written communication skills with exceptionally low error rates
  • Knowledge of best practices in grant writing and foundation relations
  • Proven ability to identify and/or appropriately assess prospects for funding from foundations
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Proven ability to lead and manage projects including extremely well-developed skills around organization, project planning, collaborating with various stakeholders, balancing multiple priorities, problem-solving and exceptional follow-through
  • Experience leading or co-leading regular cross-functional team meetings
  • Experience creating, implementing, and tracking budgets
  • Strong collaborative skills, including ability to work collegially at all levels of the organization
  • Ability to work independently and virtually in a fast-paced environment
  • Commitment to diversity and a high level of cultural competence
  • An entrepreneurial mindset
  • Exceptional integrity, accountability, and judgment
  • Deep experience with donor databases; Salesforce experience a plus
  • Experience using the Foundation Directory and other foundation sources for research
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Proficiency in Google’s business suite, and Microsoft Office applications. 

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • At least 5 years of proven experience in foundation fundraising, including holding key relationships with foundation staff
  • Significant cross-functional project management experience involving large funders and complex, multi-year grant terms and outcomes
  • Confidence and experience to serve as co-leader for prospect management, including prior experience leading prospect/donor meetings as it relates to moves management and tracking
  • Membership in and/or certification from highly regarded grant writing associations
  • Deep experience with complex budgets
  • Passion for and/or experience in advancing leadership opportunities for people of color and other underrepresented leaders
  • Work experience in education reform space
  • Knowledge of funders with focus on education reform and/or adult learning and leadership development


Pahara provides competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package including full healthcare coverage for employees, and access to 401(k) accounts with a matching contribution policy.


We are a nimble and partially virtual organization by design so that our professionals can work where they have built their lives. In-person meetings may be required up to 4 times per year; these will take place in Napa, California. Occasional travel may also be required for foundation meetings.

To Apply

Pahara is committed to providing equal opportunities. We serve diverse organizations and are committed to nondiscrimination. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are treated equally without regard to age, race, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, expression, gender identity or veteran’s status.

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Complete applications should consist of a cover letter with salary requirements, a current resume, and three examples of related work (successful LOIs, proposals, or grant reports). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to the link below by clicking APPLY HERE:

Pahara Institute

Apply here