Jobs / Senior Manager of Grants and Communication

Senior Manager of Grants and Communication



Pivotal supports young people in and from foster care to realize their educational and career goals and ensure their equitable access to opportunity. We offer a comprehensive set of services designed to connect foster youth, ages 14-24+, to educational and employment success. In high school, we help foster youth develop and stick to a graduation plan. In college, we offer scholarship dollars, academic coaching, and tutoring. At all ages, we connect them to jobs and internships to build critical work experience and professional skills.


Pivotal seeks a strategic, creative, and detail oriented Senior Manager of Grants and Communication to join our dedicated staff. Our ideal candidate is a versatile communications professional with a track record of success managing a portfolio of institutional funders, has exceptional writing skills, solid project management skills, and is a natural collaborator. The role requires someone with a passion for Pivotal’s mission and dedication to improving the lives of foster youth.

The Senior Manager of Grants and Communication is a critical member of the Institutional Advancement team. This 7-person team oversees fundraising, marketing and communications, corporate engagement, and community volunteerism. The Senior Manager will lead all foundation and corporate grant writing and be responsible for developing the content for organization-wide communications materials. We are looking for someone who is resourceful and comfortable in a “roll-up-your-sleeves” environment and thrives on a team that works hard and knows how to have fun! This position reports to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and works closely with the Development Operations Manager to ensure the organization is communicating its vision, mission, and needs appropriately within grant proposals and reports and external marketing materials.


Management of Institutional Funders

  • Manage a portfolio of 20-40 institutional funders with the goal of securing renewals and cultivating new opportunities to raise at least $2 million annually towards current and future needs.
  • Invest in ongoing strategic partnerships with core funders in the portfolio to engage them in our work, ensuring renewals and long-term commitment from foundations.
    Oversee the proposal and report writing process for all funders in the portfolio, including writing drafts and project managing feedback rounds from members of the Program, Enrichment, and Executive teams.
  • Maintain a pipeline of prospective institutional funders to meet scaled revenue goals and smooth income as institutions shift priorities. Carry out funder research, prospecting, and cultivation strategies to grow and advance prospects.
  • Manage a collaborative process for assessing news deals, gathering input from multiple sources in the organization and producing high quality materials that land grants.

Funder Stewardship & Strategy

  • Design a systematized funder engagement strategy that will ensure all our funders get regular and creative touchpoints to experience the organization’s programs and impact.
    Work with the Learning & Evaluation and Program teams to capture program outcomes and results and convey them to partners in timely and engaging ways.
  • Contribute to the Institutional Advancement Team’s overall development plan and track progress towards the plan, including keeping your portfolio of funder records up to date in Salesforce.
  • Collaborate with the Programs and Executive teams to identify gaps that require additional funding and to ensure inbound funding opportunities meet program strategies and staff capacity.

Communications Management

  • As a lead member of the Communications team, develop and execute a strategic external communications plan, focused on donors and volunteers.
  • Create relevant and high-quality content that tells the story of our work to our supporters, for use within e-newsletters, blogs, the annual report, presentation decks, impact reports, event invitations, and other agency marketing materials.
  • Collaborate with the Development Operations Manager to maintain and develop the agency website and serve as a social media thought partner. Write and edit all website content.
  • Partner with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement to develop content for fundraising campaigns, including drafting appeals, case studies, and campaign materials.


Commitment to Pivotal’s mission;

  • 5-7 years of fundraising experience with a background in institutional fundraising and communications in the nonprofit field;
    Bachelor’s degree;
  • A proven track record as a successful fundraiser in the nonprofit field, closing grants of $100,000 or more and managing a dynamic portfolio;
  • Demonstrated track record of writing winning proposals that are clear, structured, and compelling;
  • Strong strategic ability to understand philanthropic trends and translate complex programs for new funder audiences;
  • Detail-oriented and able to anticipate organizational, workflow, and communications needs, and follow through on multiple projects/deadlines with minimal oversight;
  • Ability to bring together staff from different parts/levels of the organization to prepare and produce key deliverables;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and a sense of humor; and
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and experience using CRMs, preferably Salesforce.


The position is full-time with a salary range of $80k-$90K annually, determined by experience and qualifications. Benefits include the following:

  • Full medical, dental, and vision insurance paid for by the organization
  • Employee life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment insurance paid for by the organization
  • 401K plan with annual employee contribution match by the organization
  • Flexible work schedule
  • 15 days per annum paid time off; increases over time with tenure
  • 11 paid holidays
  • Located in the middle of downtown San Jose within walking distance to many restaurants and coffee houses
  • Close to VTA Light Rail (closest stop ½ block away)
  • Agency-provided parking in nearby covered lot
  • Free on-site gym, games room, and indoor bike storage in the building


To apply, please submit the following through our website:

  • A cover letter outlining why you are interested in working for Pivotal and why your experience aligns with the role.
  • Your resume.
  • A 1–3-page writing sample of a proposal, report, or case study, you have personally written in the past.
  • A 1-page newsletter story, blog, or article you have personally written in the past.
  • All applications will be acknowledged, but only complete applications will be reviewed. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled with a start date goal of March 29, 2021.


The Senior Manager of Grants and Communication will spend time sitting and using office equipment and computers which requires the ability to see, stand, bend at the knee, move fingers and hands for typing, filing, and answering the phone. There may be some lifting of office supplies and materials. The incumbent should be able to lift at least 25 pounds.


Janelle Blakely
San Jose, CA