Director, Grants

Tides Foundation
  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 03

Position description

As part of the Tides mission to accelerate the pace of social change, the Director, Grants is responsible for leading the strategy and oversight of grants management at Tides. The position will also manage a team of grants administrators and specialists, ensuring regulatory compliance and streamlined processing for all aspects of Tides’ grantmaking process.

The Director’s responsibilities fall into four broad competency areas, each of which is central to the role:

Values Alignment and Commitment to the Mission

  • Demonstrate a shared commitment to the Tides Foundation’s mission and values ensuring a deep respect for genuine relationships, passion for social justice and valuing of diverse leadership styles
  • Employ tenacity and creativity to generate new solutions to problems and to develop successful partnerships
  • Take bold risks and embrace change and interconnectivity to create impact

Team Leadership and Management

  • Drive strategic and operational planning to establish annual department plans and budget in connection with the organization’s strategic goals
  • Manage a team of 5-6 grants specialists and administrators to achieve organizational objectives. Establish goals, delegate responsibility, and provide leadership within and on behalf of the team
  • Support the development of team members; identify opportunities for team members to build skills and knowledge that contribute their successful performance and professional growth
  • Analyze, synthesize and report on internal grantmaking data and external trends and propose recommendations to Executive Leadership Team on how Tides can best position itself in the field

Grantmaking Systems, Process and Policy Development

  • Oversee the processing and compliance of approximately 5,000 domestic and international grants including grant review and approval processes, maintenance of support documents, and responsive support and troubleshooting as issues arise
  • Stay abreast of, and ensure compliance with, relevant grantmaking regulations. Collaborate with the Legal team to ensure resolution of compliance inquiries
  • Spearhead on-going efforts to optimize grant processes and policies, to streamline grantmaking operations, and to contribute strategic insights to organizational improvements.
  • Work with cross-departmental teams to manage year-end planning and grants flow, ensure accurate IRS reporting, and identify special projects that respond to organizational needs.
  • Design, implement, and improve upon a grants management system that aligns with current and future programmatic and operational needs

Client Services

  • Ensure high quality and timely client support services are provided to internal clients and external grantmaking partners. Works closely with the Strategic Partnerships team to ensure consistent and streamlined client on-boarding
  • Identify new and improved service offerings that would benefit Tides and its partners
  • Design and oversee training on grants administration and compliance and provides client consultations on the development of grantmaking programs and best practices
  • Oversee and manage responses to external data requests


The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • A minimum of 10 years professional work experience, with at least 5 years in a comparable role, preferably in the nonprofit sector
  • Deep grants administration experience, ideally in a philanthropic or other grant-making institution
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with donor advised funds and international grantmaking strongly preferred
  • Knowledge and application of best practices in grantmaking, including rules and regulations, Expenditure Responsibility, lobbying, and electoral issues
  • Exceptional people management and team leadership skills. Ability to manage, support and develop team members, to foster an atmosphere that respects cultural and individual differences, and motivates and maintains a close-knit and high functioning team
  • Ability to effectively communicate technical and process-related information in ways that can be understood by a variety of audiences
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with grants management software and relational databases required. Salesforce experience strongly preferred. Advanced knowledge of Excel and other Microsoft Office programs also required
  • Thrives in a fast-paced environment using exceptional planning, time management and organizational skills and careful attention to detail
  • Track record working with a variety of clients and partners, including corporations, grassroots organizers, foundations, and others
  • Ability to work collaboratively, while maintaining leadership and ownership of the Grants function. Balances flexibility and openness to change with holding self and others accountable for high-quality, performance and results

Compensation & Benefits

Tides offers a competitive annual salary for this role commensurate with qualifications and experience. Tides also offers a generous benefits package including comprehensive healthcare, paid time off, life and disability insurances, and confidential counseling and life balance resources designed to support the passion and energy they look for in team members.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter