New York, NY

Grants Associate, 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 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 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. The grants management team includes the Vice President, Grants Management, a Grants and System Administrator, two Grants Assistants (one part time and one full time), and a consulting Matching Gifts Administrator.



Reporting to the Vice President, Grants Management, the Grants Associate works on the administration and management of Commonwealth Fund grants. The Grants Associate is responsible for providing comprehensive grants management, critical thinking on the Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking, and fostering good working relationships, both internally and externally. The position requires a high degree of organizational skills, attention to detail, the ability to provide proactive support, complete independent projects, as well as to work in a team environment.

Candidates for a grants position should be committed to the Commonwealth Fund’s Vision and Pledge to Promote Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and excited about using technology as a tool to streamline processes and improve organizational performance. The position has opportunities for growth within the department, across the organization, and within the foundation and nonprofit sector through engagement with the Fund’s sector partner organizations.


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, coordinates, and leads board cycle and other grant review 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 grant review meetings. Also ensures that grant records are coded correctly.

·       Prepares and distributes materials for the Board, 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 all grant approvals, 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. This includes assisting with the Completed Grants Memo that is circulated to the Board.

·       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.

·       Assists in the development and management of Requests for Proposals. Reviews and edits calls for proposals, responds to questions for applicants, and manages the review process of Letters of Inquiry.

·       Coordinates Grants Management Office work on the Fund’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion implementation plan, and also co-leads the ongoing DEI and Grantmaking Audit, collaborating with the VP Grants Management, the EVP of Programs and program staff.


Controller’s Office

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

  • Processes grant payments on a bi-weekly basis.

·       Reconciles grants management grant balances in Salesforce 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 Salesforce grants management system (with Grants and System Administrator).

·       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. There will be numerous opportunities for the Grants Associate to be involved in development and project management of new Salesforce 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 members of the grants management team and may be asked to provide program assistance to program officers as needed due to staffing transitions.

·       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 required, Master’s degree in public health or public administration preferred.
  • Three to five years minimum of relevant work experience
  • Strong technical skills, including proficient use of databases and Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint)
  • Meeting management experience
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and follow through to effectively manage work and meet multiple tight deadlines. Exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Good judgment and the ability to act independently within standard guidelines
  • Flexibility and skill in working as a team member

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.


This position will be based out of our NYC location. The Commonwealth Fund offers flexible working arrangements. As of September 2022, the Commonwealth Fund staff are free to work from home up to three days per workweek.

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.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately, we are hoping to fill the role in an expedient manner.  Please apply using this link.

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