New York City

Grants Assistant, The Commonwealth Fund

The Organization

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.

Position Overview


The grants management office provides administrative and financial management support for 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 Assistant will join the grants management department team, comprised of three full-time and two part-time staff members. The Grants Assistant will be 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 collaboratively with the Grants Associate and Grants and System Administrator to support efficient and effective grantmaking operations at the Fund.  The Grants Assistant will have an active role in using and maintaining the Fund’s grants management system 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 other grant review meetings. Helps to prepare and distribute 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 grant review meetings along with any follow-up.

·         Supports preparation and distribution of Board materials, in coordination with communications staff.

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

  • Following grant approvals, prepares award letters and agreements for assigned program areas, coordinating with program staff on payment and reporting schedules.

·         Supports the Fund’s Completed Grant Reporting process.

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


Grant Payments and Finance

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

  • Processes grant payments on a bi-weekly basis.

·         Cross-trains with the Grants Associate on reconciliation of grant balances in Salesforce with Controller’s office balances from the general ledger.

·         Prepares Annual Report grants list for publication on the Commonwealth Fund website, assists with audit preparation, and the expenditure responsibility statements for the Commonwealth Fund tax return.

Electronic Records Management and System Administration

·         Assists the team with long-range planning, task analysis, procedures development, maintenance and implementation of the Fund’s grants management system.

·         Works with the grants management team and Rockefeller Archive Center staff to implement the Fund’s records retention and digital archiving system.

·         Supports administration of Salesforce grants management system.

·         Maintains integrity of electronic grant records with 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

·         General administrative support for the Vice President and the Grants Management department including scheduling of meetings, completing expense reports, and processing vendor payments.

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

·         Cross-trains with the department staff and may be asked to provide program assistance to program officers as needed due to staffing transitions.

·         Co-leads grants management training and onboarding for new staff members.

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.


Bachelor’s Degree and one year of work experience or some equivalent combination of undergraduate work and office experience are required. Excellent written and oral communication skills are necessary. Strong computer skills are expected and required. Microsoft Excel skills and knowledge of the database are a plus. Candidate must be detail-oriented and have demonstrated strong organizational and administrative skills. Candidate must be able to work on multiple tasks, work with schedules and work under tight deadlines. Candidate must have good judgment and the ability to act independently within standard guidelines. Flexibility and skill in working as a team member are a must as this is a highly demanding, multiple-task environment with changing priorities.

The Fund has a relatively small staff, and judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size, where teamwork is essential to effectiveness. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and grants programs are key qualifications.


Position is based in our NYC location. As of January 2022, the Commonwealth Fund Staff will be working in a hybrid environment, with the expectation of at least two days a week working in the office.


Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line: “Grants Assistant – [Your Name]” to: Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted through Friday, October 29, 2021.


Commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package.


Employment at The Commonwealth Fund is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, medical condition, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.


Please send cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume with the subject line: “Grants Assistant – [Your Name]” to: Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted through Friday, October 29, 2021.

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