The Akilah Foundation is seeking a Grants Manager who is excited about designing and executing a comprehensive grant application and management strategy to expand our global base of funders. The position entails sourcing and packaging of great written content for a donor and grantor audience and transforming Akilah facts, figures and impact stories into compelling grant submissions, proposals, applications and concept notes.
This position will serve as a key member of our small but mighty development team and work closely with Development, Program, and Finance peers to understand funding needs, research public and private funding sources that align with those needs, prepare and submit proposals and grant applications, maintain grant application schedules and tracking, and keeping Akilah Foundation management informed of grant application status and progress through Salesforce.
Developing and maintaining cordial working relationships with funding source contacts is essential for the role. The work is expected to be done primarily in our Washington, DC office but may entail occasional off-site meetings.
Grant Writing and Management
Serve as the lead writer for grant submissions, proposals, applications, and concept notes – actively collaborating with global team members to collect content and package into compelling cases to support and invest in Akilah.
Ensure these submissions are packaged according to the requirements of the donor or grant-giving organization, showcasing accurate data and appropriate impact stories.
Develop content and copy for major seasonal fundraising appeals and campaigns.
Research and pursue new funding opportunities for both short- and long-term institutional goals.
Oversee the institutional fundraising calendar, ensuring proposals and reports are submitted in a timely manner and prospective and active funders receive ongoing cultivation and stewardship touchpoints
Ensure grant reporting is conducted effectively, packaging data from multiple sources and to the requirements of the grant-issuing organization.
Serve as the lead convener for donor reporting communication, gathering and writing content for publications such as the Annual Report and Scholar’s Circle (top-tier donor) updates.
Contribute content to regular donor-focused communication pieces, including newsletters, blog posts and social media updates.
Update/write templates for “thank you” emails for annual donors, new donors etc. and assist with the development of the donor email marketing strategy
Schedule, write and send out thank you letters, quarterly updates and reports to all foundations Create and package custom-made appeals, presentation decks and similar for donor engagement events and opportunities
Curate the Akilah library of verified and approved facts, statistics and impact stories.
Education & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Non-Profit Management, Public Relations or other course of study that requires strong writing ability
At least 3 years experience writing foundation, corporate and other institutional grants
Required Skills and Qualifications:
Demonstrated experience developing successful foundation, corporate and other institutional grant proposals of at least $500K annually
Willingness to work in an “all hands-on deck” environment and engage in a variety of tasks
Relentless resourcefulness, refusing to be slowed down by anything in your way
Ability to maintain an optimistic and positive working attitude in the face of funder rejection of submitted proposals
Willingness to push to get access to the resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove blocks
Exceptional ability to organize and manage details, while not losing sight of the larger goals - the ability to see the forest AND the trees
Exceptionally motivated by the idea of building a global community of lifelong learners. This is not a 9-to-5 position and we are not a 9-to-5 organization. You are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure success.
An enthusiastic proponent and impeccable user of all systems available to you to continually drive improvements in operational efficiency
Ability to “draw the owl” and complete projects without an exact roadmap for how to get them done
Skilled at cross-functional collaboration and execution
A high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to earn the trust of your peers, donors, grantors and other key partners
Skilled at moving quickly, prioritizing critical tasks with grace and tenacious follow up in a fast-paced startup environment
You approach your work with a commitment to building a positive organizational culture that values continuous learning, excellence, transparency, honest feedback, perseverance, and sense of humor.
Work Environment/Physical Requirements:
No specific physical requirements.
Job Responsibilities Statement:
The above statements reflect the general duties, responsibilities and competencies considered necessary to perform the essential duties & responsibilities of the job and should not be considered as a detailed description of all the work requirements of the position. Akilah may change the specific job duties with or without prior notice based on the needs of the organization.
Equal Employment Opportunity:
Project Akilah, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap, disability, or any other protected class per federal, state, or local law.
Americans with Disabilities Act:
Applicants as well as employees who are or become disabled must be able to perform the essential duties & responsibilities either unaided or with reasonable accommodation. The organization shall determine reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable law.
Additional Salary Information: Benefits include generous vacation and holiday leave, 401(k) match and health insurance.
About Akilah Foundation
The Akilah Foundation, a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is committed to expanding access to high-quality education worldwide by supporting effective programs and learning environments. Since inception, the Akilah Foundation has supported the Akilah Institute, the only college for women in Rwanda and a pioneer of innovative educational products for the African market.
The Akilah Institute prepares students to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a lens of opportunity and sustainability. Since 2010, the institute has built a reputation for delivering high-quality, market-relevant education for women at its campus in Rwanda. Akilah’s unique model leverages technology, competency-based education, and personalized learning to offer a radically different academic experience that puts graduates on the fast track to success. Ninety percent of Akilah alumnae are employed within six months of graduation, and they earn, on average, 12x Rwanda’s national median income.
Akilah opened its doors nearly a decade ago. Now the institute is scaling its proven model globally by increasing enrollment and opening new campuses.
Akilah’s academic pillars (21st-century skills, personalized ...learning, innovation, ethical leadership, and sustainability) will serve as its guiding light during this phase of rapid expansion. They define all of the institute's programs. Akilah is committed to delivering a transformative learning experience that equips students with the knowledge and tools to balance vibrant economies with a healthy environment to create a future of abundance for all.