Grants Assistant

The Commonwealth Fund
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Sep 06

Position description

The Commonwealth Fund — among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist, Anna M. Harkness — was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Today, the mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, and people of color. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.



The grants management office provides administrative and financial management support for all of the Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking activities. Grants management is centralized with many of the administrative responsibilities shared with the program staff who support each program area. The grants management department, comprised of three staff members, is engaged in all aspects of the Fund’s grant making process, including budget planning, program planning, project development, financial and compliance monitoring, completed grant reporting and evaluation, and historical archiving of completed grant materials.



Reporting to the Vice President, Grants Management, the Grants Assistant works and cross-trains with the Grants and System Administrator to support efficient and effective grantmaking operations at the Fund. The Grants Assistant shares responsibility with the counterpart for administration of the Fund’s grants management system, FoundationConnect, an application built on the platform. 



Candidates for a grants position should be excited about using technology as a tool to streamline processes and improve organizational performance. There is great opportunity to take initiative and serve as an internal consultant to other departments, and to build additional CRM (customer related management) system programming and management skills.




Grants Management Office

·        Responds to general inquiries from the public and from prospective grantees which come in via online portal, email, mail, and telephone.

·        Schedules and coordinates the board cycle and small grant meetings and distributes all related materials in advance of the meetings. 

·        Conducts due diligence on potential grantee organizations, including compliance and legal review, with support from the vice president.

·        Records discussion notes at Small and Board grant meetings. Also ensures that grant records are coded correctly.

·        Prepares and distributes the draft Board Book, in coordination with communications staff, for executive management team review prior to each Board meeting.

·        Ensures that each electronic grant record is complete, with all required documentation throughout the grant period and when ready to archive as a completed grant.

  • Following board and small grant approval, prepares award letters and agreements, coordinating with program staff on payment and reporting schedules.

·        Manages the Fund’s Completed Grant Reporting process for annual executive management team review and rating. 

·        Closes out grant records according to established procedures when the funded project is completed and all narrative and financial reporting requirements have been met.

·        Serves as a resource to Fund staff, providing technical assistance proactively and as needed. 


Controller’s Office

·        Support bi-weekly grant check request and processing, including preparation of related correspondence.

  • Processes grant checks on a bi-weekly basis. 

·        Reconciles grants management grant balances in FoundationConnect with Controller’s office balances from the general ledger. Prepares annual overview of grant transactions in preparation for the Fund’s annual audit.

·        Prepares Annual Report grants list for publication on the Commonwealth Fund website, as well as the expenditure responsibility statements for the Commonwealth Fund tax return.


Electronic Records Management and System Administration

·        Assists the Vice President with long-range planning, task analysis, procedures development, maintenance and implementation of FoundationConnect system.

·        Works with the grants management team and Rockefeller Archive Center staff to help develop new procedures for archiving digital grant records as digital archiving practices evolve.

·        Works with and trains teams from different departments to expand the use and functionality of the database. Examples include the publications tracking system and the online international fellowship applications. There will be numerous opportunities for the Grants Assistant to be involved in development and project management of new CRM functionality.

·        Maintains integrity of electronic grant records, including having primary responsibility for quality control and data integrity. This work will include utilizing software tools as well as developing guidelines for maintaining information electronically whenever appropriate.


Other Responsibilities

·        Takes on and completes special projects as assigned by the Vice President, Grants Management.

·        Cross-trains with the Grants and System Administrator in the Grants Management Office and may be asked to provide program assistance to program officers as needed due to staffing transitions.


The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance in the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.

Application instructions

Send resume and cover letter by applying below.

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