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Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Eden Prairie
Salary Range
176,000 - 209,000
Posting Date
May 1, 2023
Application Deadline
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Job Description

About Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) is the umbrella over the grantmaking foundations created by the late Margaret Cargill: Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation. MACP provides meaningful support through long-term relationships with strategic grantee partners across seven program domains: Environment, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Arts & Cultures, Teachers, Animal Welfare, Quality of Life, and Legacy & Opportunity. The collective assets of MACP place it among the 10 largest philanthropies in the United States.

The two foundations have separate boards and investment portfolios but share a common mission of providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts, and the environment.

Margaret A. Cargill Foundation is a private foundation that came into existence upon Ms. Cargill’s death inAugust 2006. At year-end 2021, MACF’s assets are approximately

  • $3.7 billion.

Anne Ray Foundation is a supporting organization, which may make grants only to beneficiary organizationsspecifically named by Ms. Cargill. Year-end 2021, ARF’s

  • assets are approximately $5.3 billion.

MACP’s Philosophy of Grantmaking underscores the values and guiding principles of Margaret A. Cargill by: using education and innovation as a means to achieve core purposes; empowering people to be self-sufficient; maintaining a low profile while meeting the needs of others; supporting programs that could have a broad impact, having socially redeeming values and standards, and that value life; and relieving suffering in times of disaster. As a core element of its philosophy, MACP invests in long-term relationships with key grantee organizations in order to find solutions that are consistent with the values of both parties.

  • In December 2021, we formally adopted a DEIJ Vision Statement to guide our work; view it online here. The motivation and guidance for this diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work is drawn from our mission and vision, our direction from Margaret Cargill, and the caring and compassionate culture we strive for through work with grantees, partners, and each other. Embracing this vision will have a transformational influence on our organization, our partnerships, the work we do, and the impact we ultimately seek.
  • MACP’s DEIJ Vision and the commitments embodied within are a living document, a guidepost, and they will evolve as we learn and grow. This statement is intended as a framework to guide our shared efforts as we develop the action steps and accountability measures necessary for the next phase of our work.

About Our Workplace

Our community of more than 100 employees brings expertise from a variety of professional and personal experiences. We are inspired by a common mission, shared values, and the difference we can make by working together.

We are proud to offer a welcoming workplace that supports our employees’ careers, health, and overallwellbeing. We supplement that environment with activities throughout the year that promote collaboration,learning, and fun. Reflecting our investment in staff wellbeing, we have deepened our commitment to flexible work schedules and have implemented an innovative new approach to work arrangements in 2022. All MACP staff have a reduced workweek, with half-day Fridays, year-round, with the option of working remotely up to two days per week.

MACP’s home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota is a foundational aspect of our identity, reflecting an organizational commitment to sustainability, balance, and collaboration. In spring 2016, MACP completed a major building expansion, and our LEED Platinum certified building features include sustainable materials, outdoor meeting areas, a fitness room, and unique art and keepsakes from Ms. Cargill’s personal collection and others, that reflect our grantmaking and the communities where we work. Our space is a living reminder of our values.

Eden Prairie is part of the Twin Cities metro area including Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have over 3 million residents and together make up one of the metropolitan areas in the country. A unique blend of small town and major cosmopolitan hub, both urban cores boast a thriving business atmosphere.

For more information about MACP, please visit our website:

The Opportunity

The Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking will be responsible for providing legal counsel to the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (“MACP”) primarily on matters related to grantmaking, program-related investments, governance and corporate records, and strategic collaborations with other functions at MACP, including Programs, Program Operations, Grants Management, and Finance, among others. This role reports to the General Counsel and is a member of the Legal Team. 


Provide advice and counsel to MACP on legal risks and opportunities:

  • Serve MACP’s mission and goals by providing high-quality and practical legal analysis and counsel to the MACP board, committees, management, and staff.
  • Serve as trusted legal advisor to cross-functional teams by maintaining productive and collaborative relationships.
  • Develop high-quality legal work product to support mission-driven impact.
  • Holistically advise on legal considerations to expand opportunities, solve problems, support effective partnerships, and advance MACP’s mission, vision, priorities, and strategies.

Collaborate with MACP colleagues, grantee partners, and others to advance mission-based impact:

  • Build and maintain strong cross-functional relationships to work cooperatively with cross-functional teams to advance strategies.
  • Provide accurate and practical legal guidance that allows grant program staff to maximize their impact.
  • Independently exercise good judgment, recognize nuances, and navigate ambiguity to support productive and trusting relationships with colleagues and external partners.
  • Maintain an understanding of the emerging developments, concepts, and technical and practical issues involved in philanthropy.
  • Champion MACP’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (“DEIJ”) by demonstrating awareness of systemic racism and other forms of structural injustice and committing to advancing DEIJ through MACP’s legal work.
  • Demonstrate awareness of human biases, and commit to practicing intercultural competency.

Analyze and synthesize non-tax legal developments impacting MACP’s charitable giving:

  • Analyze and make recommendations to address legal considerations related to grants and program-related investments, including managing U.S. trade sanctions and export controls compliance for grant awards, performing and/or managing grant due diligence, managing grant agreement documentation, and partnering with colleagues to nurture trusting relationships with colleagues and grantee partners.
  • Anticipate and take reasonable steps to mitigate liability and legal risk to the organization to uphold charitable duties and fulfill organizational mission, including supporting Program Committees, and Programs and Program Operations staff.
  • Perform or lead legal research and analysis of laws and regulatory requirements related to MACP’s grant-making efforts; coordinate with MACP Tax and Finance Team, and colleagues across the organization, to implement advice for the Philanthropies in practical and risk-appropriate ways.
  • Keep up to date with legal developments impacting non-profit corporations, charitable trusts, and other relevant laws affecting grantmaking and the philanthropic sector generally.
  • Advise on global legal issues relating to grants, including local law compliance, trade sanctions and export controls, anti-bribery laws, and anti-money laundering regulations, among others.
  • Identify legal issues and deliver practical solutions to address grantmaking considerations, such as ensuring statutory compliance and supporting effective contractual relationships.
  • Partner with Program Operations and Grants Management teams to update and maintain preferred terms for grant agreements and support the preparation of contracts, agreements, and other legal documents, as appropriate.

Maintain and implement organizational policies and practices:

  • Develop and/or lead development of or significant revisions to legal policies impacting MACP’s grantmaking in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and coordinate effective implementation.
  • Research, analyze, and make recommendations related to regulatory, legislative, administrative, and judicial actions and decisions that impact the work of the organizations.
  • Advise and educate staff with respect to legal aspects of various matters related to grantmaking, policy compliance, and other issues; lead development of training materials and presentations that keep staff informed of changes to laws, policies, procedures, and strategic priorities as needed.

Participate as an active and engaged member of the MACP legal team:

  • Serve as a member of the MACP legal team by collaboratively cultivating and maintaining productive cross-functional and inter-team relationships.
  • Work cooperatively with other team members to identify legal issues and opportunities early and address them in a risk- and resource-appropriate manner, in service of organizational mission, vision, priorities, and strategies.
  • Work closely with legal team and support progress towards team goals
  • Engage in effective and respectful teamwork and demonstration of MACP values.
  • Support effective collaboration, communication, and legal service delivery
  • Engage with outside counsel by defining appropriate scopes of work, managing legal fees, and coordinating resources to implement advice and recommendations from outside counsel.
  • Proactively mentor and coach teammates by building trusting relationships and providing supportive guidance to advance learning, encourage innovation, and support adaptation through change.
  • Serve as Acting Secretary, as directed.
  • Assist with special projects as needed.


J.D. and license to practice law in the state of Minnesota, or an ability and willingness to sit for the bar exam in Minnesota, or eligibility for immediate admission as registered in-house counsel is required.

  • Minimum of 8 years of experience practicing law in private practice, in-house, government, clerking, or other equivalent experience.
  • Preference for experience in charitable giving matters, particularly advising foundations, non-profit organizations, corporate philanthropies, or equivalent experience in other government, private practice, or in-house counsel roles.
  • Familiarity with charitable trust laws, fiduciary duties, non-profit corporation law, and legal considerations for global grantmaking (such as U.S. trade sanctions, anti-bribery, and anti-money laundering laws).
  • Demonstrated interest in being part of a mission-driven organization.
  • High level of professionalism and poise to represent the organization well.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must have the ability to work in diverse teams with shared responsibilities and accountability.
  • Highly developed research, writing, and drafting skills, and the ability to communicate complex legal points in a clear manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment, develop collaborative partnerships, and build effective and values-based relationships.
  • Proven analytical skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Proven ability to maintain the highest level of integrity and confidentiality in both internal and external relationships.
  • Experience managing a wide range of multiple projects, clients, and issues simultaneously in a role requiring a broad base of knowledge and being able to respond timely to multiple requests.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated adaptability to address ambiguous legal issues in a dynamic environment.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently and collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Appreciation for a friendly and collegial work environment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, PowerPoint) and Web-based legal research.


MACP has identified a salary range of $176,000- $209,000 for this role. Actual starting salary of candidate will be commensurate with years, breadth, and depth of relevant experience, education, certifications, credentials, special skills, accomplishments, and other factors relevant to the position.

MACP benefits are generous and include:

  • Competitive compensation, including relocation support.
  • Strong medical, dental, and vision benefits for staff and their dependents with competitive monthly premiums and flexible spending accounts.
  • Reduced work week for all staff, with half-day closures on Fridays, year-round.
  • Minimum of four weeks of paid time off, in addition to a week-long year-end office closure.
  • Retirement programs, including 401(k) matching at 5%, with access to employer-paid financial planning resources:
    • In addition, the Organization may provide a discretionary contribution to employees’401(k) plan that vests over a five-year period.
  • Matching gift program for charitable donations.
  • Additional benefits such as an employee assistance plan, an onsite fitness room, paid parental leave, and tuition reimbursement.


Anticipated less than 20%


  • The work environment is an office setting with a designated workspace at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and optional remote work up to 2 days per week. 
  • This position is primarily a sedentary role with an adjustable sit/stand desk.
  • This position requires regular use of a computer to complete work responsibilities. It also includes regularly working with other office equipment and communication technology, such as a videoconferencing, telephone, copy machine, and printer.
  • The person in this position needs to occasionally move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office equipment, attend meetings or events, etc.
  • This role also frequently performs multiple tasks simultaneously and works closely with others as part of a team. Occasionally, the person in this role may be required to adjust to time pressures and frequent changes. This role may require an irregular schedule or overtime.
  • Occasional or intermittent physical activities will include bending, reaching, twisting, stooping, climbing.

The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Equal Opportunity, and Accessibility

We know that engaging, building trust, and making a difference relies on the collective wisdom and strength of a truly diverse organization. With this in mind, we strongly welcome the interest of people who bring a variety of lived experiences, including people of color, all gender identities, people from the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and others who are excited to contribute their skills to our work.

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer, and we consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

MACP is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.

Learn more about MACP’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

Application Process

Steven John & Associates, LLC is a boutique executive search firm partnering with clients at the intersection of law and philanthropy. Our firm has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Interested, qualified attorneys should submit an electronic copy of their letter of interest and their resume to the following search consultants:

Steve John


(415) 505-6685

Jason Snyder


(415) 505-6687

On behalf of the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, we thank you for your interest in the Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking opportunity.

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