Senior Foundation Relations and Grants Manager

PEN America, a nonprofit organization standing at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide, seeks an experienced, persuasive, and highly organized senior foundation relations and grants manager (SFGM) with exceptional writing skills and a proven record of success to work in a fast-paced growing organization. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters and requires an in-office presence.

The SFGM will be responsible for grants management, which includes identifying, collecting, verifying, and reporting on grant deliverables and data; tracking all documents and program information required by funders; identifying, managing, and submitting Letters of Interest (LOIs); and writing and tracking grant proposals and reports. The SFGM will work collaboratively with the senior staff and program staff to coordinate cultivation and solicitation efforts with government and foundation donors, and ensure excellent relations with existing funders and donors. 

The successful candidate will be able to write outstanding grant proposals by capably utilizing dexterity with language and the ability to convey our organizational vision and programmatic plans insightfully. This individual should be able to grasp and extrapolate on the wide range of PEN America activities in response to funding opportunities. The ability to manage multiple deadlines while building key partnerships is crucial to success in this role.

The grants manager will work with the foundations relations assistant, with the oversight of the chief development officer. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Prepare LOIs, grant proposals, grant reports, and acknowledgements to current and potential funders, including developing clear, concise, and compelling content; copy-editing; and formatting text
  • Manage grant deliverables, and provide information to the senior and program staff on requirements, deliverables, and their status
  • Maintain up-to-date information on grant status; including proposals in development, proposals submitted to funders, and proposals that have been issued or canceled
  • Draft fundraising-related text for contribution to board reports, and other materials as needed
  • Generate reports for donor analysis, strategy, decision-making, and submission
  • Prospect for new foundation funding opportunities
  • Communicate regularly with staff about funded projects, and participate in discussion with other staff to develop ideas and strategies for developing new prospects, program designs, and activities
  • Coordinate with program and finance staff to compile written grant reports with narrative and financial reports and other required documentation

Working with the foundation relations assistant, the SFGM will:

  • Develop and maintain a thorough understanding of grant agreements and maintain donor files
  • Coordinate contacts and maintain donor database with responsibility for tracking deadlines, communications, awards, contact information, follow-up tasks, and reporting requirements, using donor database (CRM)
  • Manage grant processing and write acknowledgment letters:
    • Develop and maintain professional working relationships with contractors, funders, donors, foundation staff, and government agencies
    • Coordinate correspondence with funders, and handle inquiries regarding submission dates and guidelines
    • Review government and funding proposals to ensure compliance and regulatory requirements
    • Manage department tracking tools including calendar and income projections spreadsheets


  • Exceptional writing skills, with demonstrated ability to prepare dynamic, persuasive proposals and other funder communications that are calibrated to be responsive to the funding opportunity
  • A minimum of four years of professional experience with a proven track record of successful proposals securing six-figure-plus awards from foundations and other grant-makers
  • Highly organized with excellent attention to detail and accuracy is a must, as well as the ability to multitask in a fast and changing environment, and excellent time-management skills
  • Ability to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects in a high volume environment
  • Solid communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with staff and be able to present data in a clear and concise manner
  • An understanding of, and commitment to, PEN America’s mission

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the position as outlined above, a resume, an unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to [email protected]. One PDF is preferred. Please use “Senior Foundation Relations and Grants Manager” with your name as the subject of your email (e.g., Senior Foundation Relations and Grants Manager – 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.