Grants Writing Manager

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 14 February 2020
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Closing on 20 February 2020
  • Current

Job Description

Grants Writing Manager

Reports To: Chief Development Officer (CDO)
Job Type: Full-time
Region: United States
Location: Cambridge, MA
Start Date: Immediately


You’re a leader who can write compelling proposals and manage Root Capital’s grant writing team. You have a broad range of experience writing proposals for grants from public and private institutions. Working closely with the CDO, you will enthusiastically help the Development team achieve Root Capital’s annual and long-term fundraising targets.

This position will have a central role in the department, helping to define our programs while developing complex public and private sector grant proposals. You and your team will bring together various stakeholders from across the organization to ensure proposals and reports accurately reflect Root Capital’s vision and impact.

Mission & History of Root Capital

Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace and preserve vulnerable ecosystems.

We supply these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial training and conservation practices. We work in hard-to-serve geographies where others don’t. To date, we’ve distributed $1.4 billion to improve the lives of over six million people in farming communities.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, and Kenya.


Grant Proposal Writing & Program Development - 50%

  • Assume primary responsibility for the development of complex proposals for new and renewal grants.
  • Manage proposal process including timeline for submissions.
  • Write persuasive proposals and concept papers that align with gaps in Root Capital’s funding.
  • As part of proposal development, lead strategic discussions with donor relationship managers, technical staff, and regional-based staff to build compelling programs and projects that align Root Capitals’ mission and donor interest.
  • Develop strong proposal packages meeting donor requirements, in partnership with program teams, monitoring, evaluation, and impact teams, finance and accounting, and donor relationship managers in Cambridge and regional offices.
  • Translate emerging strategies into compelling, cohesive narratives about Root Capital’s growth. Develop best in class messaging and content to substantiate our vision and strategy.
  • Gather necessary financial and impact data from Root Capital program and operations teams for use in proposal submissions.
  • Manage team workflow, editing, approval, and packaging and submission of proposals.
  • Coach junior team members on planning and project management concerning proposal and reporting deadlines. Provide coaching and editorial/review support to newer writers.

Team Management - 30%

  • Collaborate with donor relationship managers, and finance and program staff, to maintain a sustainable and scalable grant solicitation and reporting program.
  • Manage the grant writing and reporting team with sensitivity and humor, ensuring equitable workloads across the team, timely performance feedback, and career development plans.
  • Oversee the production and review of proposals and reports that meet both internal and external requirements and deadlines.
  • Establish a plan for periodic peak reporting periods when maximum team coordination is required.
  • Build consensus with both internal stakeholders and funders to refine proposal and report templates, messaging, and framing.
  • Ensure that information is shared effectively across the development team. This includes developing collateral materials to support external-facing staff.
  • Develop and continuously improve grant management processes to enhance the team’s efficiency and well-being.
  • Maintain detailed records of the proposal and grant reporting process.

Grant Reporting - 20%

  • Be responsible for your team’s production of high-quality grant reports according to specifications and timing established in donor contracts.
  • Mentor team members on developing strong report writing and strategic messaging skills.
  • Developing strategic messaging around Root Capital impact, lessons learned, and forward-looking strategies.
  • Coordinate gathering of information on program implementation across Root Capital teams and regions.
  • Manage third-party vendor relationships with respect to grant research and report writing support.
Skills & Experience
  • 4-6 years of work experience in fundraising, donor engagement, or related programmatic experience, including specialized knowledge of foundation fundraising best practices and proposal development.
  • At least 3 years’ experience managing staff in grant programs.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills. Ability to explain complex programs effectively in clear, persuasive language.
  • Superlative organization, attention to detail, and project management skills.
  • Manage complex projects from start to finish while navigating information gaps and uncertainty.
  • Collaborate effectively with colleagues in different departments and regions.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, juggle multiple priorities and adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and professional maturity; able to work independently, yet know when to seek support.
  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, business or nonprofit management, or other relevant discipline.
  • Experience developing public sector grants (USAID preferred).
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred.

Commensurate with experience.


More information about Root Capital is available at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply using the form below as soon as possible, making sure to include a resume and cover letter that describes your interest, qualifications, language abilities, salary requirements, and how you learned of the position. Finalist candidates will be required to provide at least three work-related references.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency.

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