Foundations Relations Assistant

PEN America—an organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide—seeks a highly organized and detail oriented individual as a foundations relations assistant.

The foundations relations assistant is a key member of the development department and reports to the senior manager of foundation relations and the Chief Development Officer. Primary duties include providing key proposal and grant reporting support, prospect research, grant tracking, correspondence and other stewardship for current and prospective donors, and supporting the overall efforts of an ambitious development department.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to make a critical difference for a mission-driven organization that is quickly evolving and expanding. The position offers opportunities for increased responsibilities over time, including developing experience in all aspects of donor engagement and fundraising in the nonprofit environment.


Foundation Relations and Grants Management

  • Coordinate writing and timely submission of grant proposals, budgets, and reports
  • Gather data, secure input from programs staff and senior leadership, and conduct prospect research as background for grant proposals
  • Conduct independent research, including grants databases and government publications, to identify new foundation prospects and suggest points of alignment with PEN America’s programmatic objectives
  • Meet regularly with senior leadership to recommend new prospects and strategies for engagement
  • Assist in setting up key internal and some external meetings, preparing advance briefings for senior leadership and supporting materials
  • Develop in-depth prospect research profiles for institutional funders
  • Maintain deadlines, contact information, and other data relevant to grants management in donor database and on organizational grants tracker
  • Qualify foundations prospects for grants tracker; disqualify and archive stale prospects
  • Track all staff interactions with institutional funders; record and enter notes about those communications in donor database
  • Write and edit other proposal copy as needed
  • Update and maintain agency listing in local, national, and state directories (e.g. Guidestar, Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, etc.)
  • Maintain and update passwords, subscriptions, and enrollment in grant-related external systems
  • Coordinate acknowledgments and other correspondence with other Development staff
  • Provide regular updates on progress and activities to senior leadership

Development and Donor Relations

  • Support CEO and CDO with external communications as needed
  • Assist in the creation of follow up strategies and identify prospects from sources such as Authors’ Evenings, cultivation events, wealth screens, and the Literary Gala
  • Assist with donor presentations, research briefings, materials for donors, and other reports and mailings


  • Ability to exercise appropriate level of professionalism and discretion when dealing with information of a highly confidential nature
  • Detail oriented with a proven track record of successful project management and the ability to work independently and efficiently in solving problems within a fast paced and deadline driven environment.
  • Strong organizational skills with ability to successfully manage multiple deadlines and projects at any given time
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Google Calendars, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce, Raiser’s Edge, or other database platform a plus
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Ability to research, compile, and summarize data for reports 


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum one year’s experience in a related field
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Google Calendars, PowerPoint, and Excel

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the position as outlined above and a resume. Please submit the entire application to [email protected]. Please use “Foundations Relations Assistant” with your name as the subject of your email (e.g., Foundations Relations Assistant – Jane Doe). Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.