Director of Grants Management

Foundation:               Samueli Foundation

Position Title:           Director of Grants Management

Reports To:               Chief of Staff

Location:                    Corona Del Mar, California; Three Days/Week in Office


The Samueli Foundation is a California-based, Southern California-focused private family foundation that has recently reached several important milestones. These include a significant acceleration in its rate of giving and a stated ambition to accelerate even further; the appointment of a new president to direct and oversee the family’s full philanthropic life including integration with its commercial businesses; creation of a new mission, vision, and values to clarify its focus and drive greater intentionality in grantmaking, organizational culture, and decision-making; and inclusion of next generation involvement leading to important investments in social justice.

Our vision is well-being for all. Our new mission is to make Orange County a thriving mosaic of community well-being by supporting and uniting catalytic forces whose innovations yield a higher quality of life for everyone. Our values are integrity, gratitude, empathy, curiosity, creativity, and trust.

We strive to accomplish our mission through three main approaches:

  • INVEST: Support catalytic forces whose innovations yield a higher quality of life for everyone
  • UNITE: Cultivate multisector cooperation that generates the will and the ways to achieve lasting, equitable community well-being
  • MODEL: Inspire adaptation by other communities to scale the impact of proven programs

As we grow our work, we are also making important investments in our team to ensure we do our work with the utmost professionalism, energy, and excellence we can deliver.


The Director of Grants Management is responsible for providing strategic leadership and operational oversight to the Foundation’s grants management function while ensuring efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in its grantmaking.

Reporting to the Chief of Staff and working closely with Foundation staff, board, and key contacts within the family office, this newly created role sets the groundwork for the Foundation’s anticipated significant growth by taking its grantmaking practices to the next level, implementing new systems that continue the Foundation’s track record of centering grantees while providing insight to further refine the Foundation’s strategic goals.

This role requires significant expertise in grantmaking policies and practices, strong change management skills to strategically align grants management priorities within the Foundation, and the ability to develop and manage a small team.


 Strategy and Leadership

  • Establish and lead the execution of a long-term vision for a strategic grants management function, including managing the team operating budget
  • Develop and implement new approaches to grantmaking that continue to meet the evolving needs of the growing organization
  • Ensure the Foundation’s grantmaking practices are consistent with the Foundation’s values and center the grantee experience, including facilitating engagement and adoption of trust-based grantmaking practices
  • Provide strategic leadership and thought partnership to Foundation staff, other functions, and grantees regarding grantmaking practice and operations
  • Contribute to institutional strategic planning and culture-building efforts
  • Own the institution’s grantmaking system, including managing vendor(s) relationship(s), licensing fees, and appropriately budgeting for enhancements

 Grants Management

  • Oversee all aspects of pre-and post-award grant activities, including supervising and mentoring staff responsible for these activities as they are added to the grants management team over time
  • Develop and maintain grantmaking policies, tools, and guides for staff and grantees, e.g., proposal guidelines, reporting guidelines, award letters/grant agreement templates, institutional policy guides, other reference materials
  • Oversee training of all new and current Foundation staff on grantmaking practices and system, effectively communicating grantmaking practices and changes internally and externally to promote transparency and understanding around the process
  • Collaborate with senior leaders to create programmatic grantmaking budgets and track ongoing commitments and payout projections
  • Liaise with family office finance staff to process grant payments and maintain internal controls
  • Collaborate with legal counsel as needed to ensure resolution of complex grantmaking issues
  • Maintain expert knowledge of current philanthropy trends, practices, and activities and translate them back to the Foundation to further support the Foundation’s mission and values
  • Direct the design and use of the grantmaking system to support the Foundation’s knowledge management efforts as well as its future measurement and evaluation efforts, frequently reviewing coding structures and definitions as well as reviewing grant data for accuracy and integrity
  • Undertake analysis of grants data, and design and produce reports/dashboards for presentation of grant information, including board materials and outward-facing publications that better tell the story of the Foundation’s grantmaking

Team Development and Management

  • Supervise a team of one grants management professional with growth possibilities
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement
  • Establish team goals in alignment with the Foundation’s mission, vision, and values


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Equivalent combinations of work experience and training that provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities will also be considered.

It is critically important that the Director be a highly collaborative and collegial team player who listens and communicates well, while rooted in the confidence that comes with subject matter expertise. A successful candidate will possess a majority of the following professional and personal attributes and competencies:

  • Minimum of eight (8) years of related work experience with at least five (5) years in a grants manager/officer role at a private or family foundation
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to build strong, collaborative relationships at all levels
  • Demonstrated change management skills and the ability to champion a culture of continuous improvement over the long term
  • Proven experience in strategic planning, priority setting, facilitation of meetings, and execution of projects and systems within a complex organization
  • A desire to support all stakeholders in the grantmaking process, including staff, board, grantees, and relevant community members
  • Ability to prioritize projects and meet deadlines
  • Strong systems orientation, with a track record of enhancing existing technologies preferred; familiarity with leading and implementing a grantmaking system strongly preferred
  • Impeccable integrity, flexibility, and desire to both create and execute
  • Proactive and able to move work forward independently
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Actively engaged with grants management peers to connect and share new grantmaking resources and strategies
  • Inherent curiosity, an ability to listen, and a dedication to learning
  • Demonstrates a commitment to creating a positive culture within an evolving organization


The annual base salary range for this position in California is $170,000 to $180,000 per year for the Foundation’s Director of Grants Management. The starting pay for the successful candidate depends on various job-related factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s geographic location, job-related knowledge, skills, experience, education/training, internal value, peer equity, external market demands, and organizational considerations.  We offer a competitive and comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, 401(k), and other great discounts and perks.

Work Location: California is strongly preferred. All staff are currently working in the office three days/week.


We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and team members without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws. We are firm believers that diversity and inclusion among our team members are critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.


Please submit resume and cover letter indicating your interest and your alignment with the candidate requirements listed above to Priority deadline for consideration is Friday, July 28th; however, the recruitment will be open until filled.