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Senior Associate, Foundation Development

Job Title: Senior Associate, Foundation Development
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February 17th, 2018
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Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization leading the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through our powerful networks and advocacy, we tackle the world's biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses. 

For more information about Ceres, please visit our web site (www.ceres.org).

Job Summary

The Senior Associate on Ceres' Foundation Team is a strong fit for a highly motivated candidate interested in working in a mission-driven, dynamic and fast-moving organization that has been recognized as one of the most effective environmental NGOs in the world. The ideal candidate will have excellent analytical, writing and personal communication skills, be a fast learner, a team player, and able to manage challenging and competing deadlines. The Senior Associate role is focused on writing proposals to national and regional foundations and interim and final reports that describe the impact achieved with these awards. The Senior Associate will work closely with the Senior Manager, Foundations and program staff for the Water & Food Program to translate programmatic plans into compelling funding proposals and reports that evaluate and document successes and progress towards long-term goals and objectives. 

Reports To

The Senior Associate will report directly to the Senior Manager, Foundation Development, and will work as a member of the Development team.


This full-time position will be based in our Boston office, and includes up to approximately 10% travel. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinate and support a grant portfolio of approximately a dozen grants with $3M in awarded revenue including:
    • Work with program staff to write and prepare letters of inquiry, budgets and proposals for the Water & Food Program and select projects;
    • Coordinate with internal program staff and foundation team and provide writing support to ensure timely development of foundation reports that clearly articulate the activities, outcomes and impact of select Ceres' programs (e.g. – water and food, others TBD);
    • Track, manage and meet foundation reporting deadlines to assure compliance with funder reporting requirements;
    • Process and track awarded grants, including finalizing grants agreements, drafting thank you letters, partnering with program staff on deliverables, and updating Salesforce database with reporting deadlines;
  • Support the cultivation and stewardship of relationships with foundation funders
    • Prepare Ceres' staff for meetings and phone calls with funders and foundation staff and track staff travel schedules;
    • Participate in internal and external meetings, including occasional travel, to capture key points and next steps through writing and distributing notes;
    • Support funder outreach through emails, meetings and calls;
    • Research potential foundation funders and evaluate fit with Ceres' programs.
    • Schedule and coordinate internal meetings with program staff and external meetings and convenings with foundations;
  • Participate in the creation of the annual foundation team goals and workplan, critical to Ceres' growth;
  • Maintain the Foundation Team's contact records in Salesforce database, running reports and analyzing results (e.g., for foundation email blasts and foundation RSVP's to events).
  • Support Development Team events as needed, including activities associated with major Ceres events such as the annual conference
  • Oversee special projects as assigned


  • Bachelor degree required;
  • 4-5 years of work experience;
  • Strong writing skills with demonstrated interest and aptitude in persuasive writing;
  • Two or more years of experience in a relevant field such as foundation fundraising/development desired;
  • Excellent organizational abilities; demonstrated capacity to handle and prioritize multiple tasks, set priorities, meet deadlines, take precise notes, and work well in a fast-paced environment;
  • Knowledge of standard development practices and techniques, proposal writing, and prospect research. Experience in writing grant proposals is a strong plus;
  • Strong verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to work well both independently and collaboratively; 
  • Proficiency with database applications and MS Office Suite;
  • Passion for climate change, water stewardship, environmental and/or sustainability issues;
  • Ability to travel (up to approximately 10%).

How to Apply

We encourage all applicants to review our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying: www.ceres.org.  If you are interested in applying for this position, please go to https://goo.gl/HzBtHp and submit a resume, cover letter, two writing samples, and a list of three references, as well as completing the additional information as instructed. 

Ceres is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate against any individual based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law. 

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Phone: 617.426.2606 | Fax: 617.426.2849
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