Director of Grant Operations

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation located in Detroit, Michigan,is a 20-year spend down grant making organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. 

Do you enjoy working in an environment that promotes innovation, teamwork, and outcomes? Do you value community

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. believed to make effective change,efforts should make an impact from the start yet carry long into the future. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation team is proud, humbled, and excited to be stewards of the foundational change that reflects Mr. Wilson’s spirit and wishes. To learn more about the Foundation and its work, go to  

The Director of Grant Operations will be a critical organizational link between the grant program team and the administrative and operational team.  This new position will work collaboratively in the development of innovative grants carried out through efficient and accessible processes. This includes grant processing, compliance, risk management, data management, and ownership of the foundations’ technology tools.  Reporting to the Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Director will contribute to organizational strategy and drive growth and continuous improvement in the organization’s systems striving to create a center of excellence in grants management. 


Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with senior leadership, interpret evolving needs of a growing organization, develop efforts to continuously optimize grant processes and policies,  and streamline grantmaking operations;
  • Assure compliance with grantmaking policies and procedures for the organization to ensure adherence to federal and state legal and tax requirements and alignment with the organization’s best interests;
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the Foundation’s programs and priority funding areas;
  • 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;
  • Serve as a leader and guide in grantmaking processes and procedures, facilitating engagement and adoption of best practices across the organization;
  • Supervise and mentor an experienced grants management team;
  • Advance a robust data and analytics program that provides timely and relevant data to stakeholders across the organization to promote learning, reduce grant processing time, and systemize internal communications;
  • Oversee all aspects of pre- and post-award grant activities, including supervising and supporting staff responsible for these activities;
  • Lead on the provision of training to staff and support of grantees as required;
  • Serve as final approver for release of all grant payments to Finance Review;
  • Own the establishment and evolution of the grants management system;
  • Support oversight of the Matching Gifts and Trustee Designated Grant program;
  • Stay informed of trends, best practices, and activities in the philanthropic sector and among peer funders and translate them back to the organization as appropriate;
  • Other duties and/or projects as assigned under the direction of the Vice President of Administration and Finance.



It is critically important that the Director be a highly collaborative and collegial team player who listens and communicates well. Confident and knowledgeable, they will bring a high level of intellect, curiosity, judgment, and interpersonal skills to the role. They will possess a majority of the following professional and personal attributes and competencies:

  • Minimum of ten years of related work; experience in private philanthropy is strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to build strong, collaborative relationships at all levels;
  • Proven manager of people;
  • Proven experience in priority setting, facilitation of meetings, and execution of projects and systems within a complex organization;
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage team workload, prioritize projects, meet deadlines, and maintain team culture within a changing fast-paced environment;
  • Ability to move work forward independently and think big picture while applying a keen eye to detail;
  • Strong systems orientation, with a track record of managing and enhancing existing technologies and an understanding of IT networks;
  • Familiarity with leading and implementing a grants management system strongly preferred; experience with the Fluxx platform a plus;
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office, data visualization;
  • Strong financial and analytical skills and experience in utilizing data to drive process change and improvement;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and the ability to make compelling, cogent presentations on complex topics;
  • Inherent curiosity, an ability to listen, and a dedication to learning;
  • Flexibility, creativity, and drive and the ability to thrive in a complex environment;
  • Sound judgment, integrity, humility, and respect for confidentiality.

Salary & Benefits: 

Salary Range $110,000 – $130,000 per year.  Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation offers a comprehensive benefit package. 

How To Apply: 

To apply send your resume and a cover letter to by May 1, 2022.

Hiring Organization: 

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation



Director of Grant Operations

City and State: 

Detroit, Michigan

Hiring Deadline: 


The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.