G R A N T S   A S S O C I A T E


Grants Associate

About the Foundation

The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation is a private family foundation based in Walnut Creek, California whose mission is to enhance the vibrancy and quality of life for the residents of Contra Costa County.  Established in 1989, the Foundation has three priority areas in which it funds:  Education; Children and Families; and Arts & Culture.  With an emphasis on strengthening the capacity of the nonprofit community in Contra Costa County through grantmaking in support of programmatic, operating and capital needs, the Foundation distributes approximately $4 million in grants annually.

Position Overview

The Grants Associate will play a critical role as part of the foundation’s small, hard-working, impact-oriented team.  The position is responsible for coordination of the foundation’s grantmaking program, analyzes and conducts topical research on key issues in priority grantmaking areas and handles general office administrative functions.  The Grants Associate is a new position in the organization with professional growth opportunities.  This full-time position reports to the Executive Director and works closely with the Senior Program Officer/Director of Operations.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinates the grantmaking cycle including processing grant applications, coordinating site visits, preparing grant agreements, award and payment letters, processing grant reports, managing payment schedules, and responding to applicant inquires by phone and email.
  • Utilizes electronic grants management system to maintain grant database and ensure that all grant documentation is complete, accurate and current.
  • Assists Executive Director in grants portfolio monitoring, including participating in grantee site visits and reviewing and analyzing grantee reports.
  • Conducts program research, analysis and planning for key foundation priorities and initiatives. Develops landscape assessments and researches and identifies best practices and emerging issues.
  • Assists the Executive Director in planning and conducting convenings of grantees, topical experts and key stakeholders on strategic program initiatives.
  • Performs routine and ad hoc reporting to track, reflect and analyze the Foundation’s grant-making portfolio.
  • Plans and coordinates monthly foundation Board meetings, including preparing drafts and distributing meeting agendas and Board packet materials, arranging catering, meeting logistics, and drafting Board minutes.
  • Provides general administrative support for the office, including answering phones, handling mail, managing office supplies, scheduling meetings and conference calls, file management and copying.
  • Participates in special projects related to continuous learning and improvement of Foundation grant operations and administration.
  • Develops communications content for the website and other communications mediums.
  • Participates on team that provides coordination and support for foundation-sponsored annual speakers series.


  • At least three years experience in program services delivery, program coordination, grants management or nonprofit administration. Master’s degree may substitute for two years experience.  Experience in a nonprofit or philanthropic organization preferred.
  • Strong analytical, applied research, critical thinking and writing skills. Creative thinker who can focus simultaneously on specifics of an issue or initiative and the larger context.
  • Excellent project management skills, including proven ability to keep organized, prioritize, manage time effectively and meet deadlines. Demonstrated capability to work independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative, team and customer-oriented approach, as well as discretion, sound professional judgment and tact.
  • Experience and desire to work within a team environment with an emphasis on learning, improvement and focus on the mission.
  • Motivated by and committed to the Foundation’s mission.
  • High integrity, honesty and commitment to high quality work.
  • Comfortable working in small office environment.
  • Demonstrated capability in MS Office required and familiarity with electronic grants management systems desired.
  • Familiarity with Contra Costa County a plus.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required. Master’s degree a plus.

Interested candidates should email a résumé and cover letter to:  Melissa Stafford Jones, Executive Director, at resume@lesherfoundation.org with Grants Associate in the subject line or submit résumé below. No faxes or phone calls please.  Applications will be considered until the position is filled.  The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

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