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Grants Management Associate

Carlson Family Foundation
Minnetonka, MN
Salary Range
Posting Date
January 29, 2024
Application Deadline
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Job Description

The Carlson Family Foundation, a Minneapolis/St. Paul-based family foundation, seeks a full-time Grants Management Associate to join its team to support the philanthropic efforts of the Foundation and its clients.


The Carlson Family Foundation was founded by Curtis and Arleen Carlson in 1959. The Foundation’s mission is to work together with the community to create opportunity, hope, and a sense of belonging for every young person. As the Foundation continues to evolve, we aspire to achieve outsized impact and recognize that this requires us to be creative, deeply engaged, and committed to learning. The Foundation’s funding strategies are rooted in youth and community voice, becoming an anti-racist organization, and employing effective grantmaking strategies. Our grantmaking focuses on four main areas: Constellation – surrounding young people with caring adults; Sex Trafficking Prevention - ending sex trafficking and exploitation of young people; and Vibrant Communities – supporting the vibrancy of our local communities, and; elevating the University of Minnesota and the Carlson School of Management.


Guided by our Credo, the Foundation commits to:

  • Engage multiple generations of the Carlson family to work together and alongside community in pursuit of the vision: Ensuring that all youth—particularly youth of color—realize their dreams and potential.
  • Make heartfelt decisions based on a deep understanding of the research, the context and the lived experiences of those we serve.
  • Build trust, keep promises, and deeply engage with partners committed to listening, learning, and driving impact designed by and for community.
  • Demonstrate the courage to lead, say what needs to be said, convene leaders and community, leverage our resources, aspire to systemic change, set measurable goals, deliver on these goals, and always be prepared to adapt as needed.
  • Persevere and recognize that impact takes time, sustained focus and continuous learning.


The Grants Management Associate is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of the Foundation’s operations related to grantmaking, including the intake and processing of grant applications and awards, completing grant and grantee due diligence to ensure adherence to Foundation policies and IRS requirements for private foundations and assisting with the administration of grantmaking technology, systems and tools.

Further, the Grants Management Associate provides customer support to the Carlson Family Foundation as well as private and philanthropic clients and the many community organizations they support. This position reports to the Sr. Grants Manager, and together work in collaboration with the Foundation’s leadership, program team and shared services provider to carry out the grantmaking lifecycle.

This individual will have a growth mindset, with an emphasis on continuous improvement, and an affinity for data systems and operations. Further, this individual will demonstrate a commitment to the community, grounded in equity and anti-racism. We strongly encourage and seek applications from all qualified individuals whose racial, socioeconomic, ability status and other dimensions allow them to bring unique and diverse perspectives.


  • Complete the grant application intake, setup, award, and payment processes for approximately 500 grants annually, including data entry as needed.
  • Conduct a legal review for grantee charitable status.
  • Support the program review and grant decision-making processes in keeping with the Foundation’s due diligence practices and policies.
  • Coordinate the tracking and intake of grantee learning and evaluation reports.
  • Support the administration of the grant management system including system setup and configuration for users, data management projects, and configuration of standard and ad-hoc reports and correspondence templates.
  • Answer questions and respond to inquiries from the community, grantees, staff and clients regarding the Foundation’s grantmaking policies and practices.
  • Ensure the accuracy and completeness of grant records and files, including adherence to the Foundation’s Record Retention Policy.
  • Complete data analysis, reports and dashboards.
  • Assist staff on topics related to grantmaking systems, tools and topics.
  • Work on special projects and other duties as assigned.
  • Actively participate in the Foundation’s anti-racism journey.


  • Minimum of 2-3 years of prior relevant experience, ideally in a philanthropic or nonprofit setting.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field preferred, but not required.
  • Affinity for data management with experience including data entry, queries, reports, and visualizations.
  • Strong attention to detail and high standards of quality.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of grantmaking approaches and processes.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to apply federal regulations for private foundations, particularly charitable status.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with and support individuals at all levels of the organization and in the community.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Blackbaud Grantmaking or other grants management systems.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite applications (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and Adobe Sign (or similar digital signature software). Knowledge of project management software a plus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong project and time management skills; ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, pivot quickly, and thrive while working under deadlines, without sacrificing attention to detail.
  • Willingness to share in both “big picture” thinking and administrative tasks.
  • Skilled problem solver and self-starter.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and team environment, as well as work autonomously on specific projects.
  • Passion for and commitment to Carlson Family Foundation’s mission and values.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: collegial, energetic, and able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, community partners, board, vendors and consultants.
  • Welcomes the opportunity to work with people, organizations and communities with diverse experiences and perspectives.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, team spirit and a sense of humor.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States.


The Foundation office is based in Minnetonka, Minnesota and currently offers a hybrid work environment, requiring time in the office for collaboration, meetings, etc. The Foundation may adopt different hybrid operation practices in the future that could require more in-person work for this position.


While performing the duties of this job, the Grants Management Associate may be sitting for periods of time. The employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit; use hands, and reach with hands and arms. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision. May be required to lift and/or move up to 15 lbs. Some local travel may be required.


Carlson Family Foundation offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, dental, life and disability insurance, retirement contributions, professional development and vacation, sick and holiday leave.


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