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Senior Director of Grantmaking

MADRE is an international women's human rights organization and feminist fund that partners with community-based women's and girls’ groups in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East who face war and disaster. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; resources are shared equitably and sustainably; women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives. 

MADRE offers a comprehensive model of support to our grassroots partners using three interconnected strategies—grantmaking, organizational strengthening, and legal advocacy—to meet urgent needs and create opportunities for women and girls in marginalized communities to assert their agency and voice. 

Using these strategies, MADRE provides long-term and flexible financial and direct service support to community-based women’s and girls’ groups who are largely under the radar of traditional philanthropy and/or where conflict or disaster have rendered them difficult to fund and challenging to reach. We work at the intersection of three program areas—Ending Gender Violence, Advancing Climate Justice, and Building a Just Peace—and across five priority communities who are disproportionately marginalized: young women and girls, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, LGBTIQ people, and people with disabilities

The first grantmaker to hundreds of organizations across the globe, in MADRE’s nearly 40-year history, we have disbursed over $56 million in grants and in-kind support. 

The Position 

Reporting to MADRE’s Executive Director and in collaboration with the executive and grantmaking teams, the Senior Director of Grantmaking will provide mentorship and leadership to create a unified and coherent vision and direction for MADRE’s grantmaking and partner-focused organizational strengthening work. This position will lead the refinement, implementation and evaluation of MADRE’s feminist and trust-based approach to grantmaking. As a member of MADRE’s executive leadership team, the Senior Director of Grantmaking will lead a collaborative process to develop a departmental strategic plan, iterative reflection and evaluation of programs and programmatic strategies. This role will contribute to honing programmatic work under each pillar of grantmaking, organizational development, policy and legal advocacy, while playing a key role in shaping MADRE’s broader long-term strategy. In addition, the Senior Director of Grantmaking will oversee the implementation of a knowledge management/Learning and Evaluation system that tracks MADRE’s impact and supports organizational learning. The Senior Director of Grantmaking will also be an active leader, contributor and collaborator in MADRE’s broader communications, engagement and development strategies. 

Central to the overall vision, leadership and grantmaking strategy, is centering equity and anti-oppression in all its forms. MADRE embraces intersectional feminism as part of a wider struggle for social justice. Rooting our feminism in social justice, MADRE particularly supports Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Global South and East movements and leadership, with an emphasis on decolonizing philanthropy. This position will be responsible for ensuring that these values and principles are embedded within MADRE’s grantmaking, organizational strengthening and philanthropic advocacy programs, as well as our internal culture. 

Management and Organizational Leadership: The Senior Director of Grantmaking will be responsible for overseeing and leading a team of skilled and passionate program staff who bring a depth of experience and understanding of the movements MADRE resources through its grantmaking. As such, the Senior Director of Grantmaking must be an astute manager of people and successful in developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with grantees, partners and funders. The Senior Director of Grantmaking will oversee team goals, activities, operations, and performance and development of direct and indirect reports; oversee the Grantmaking team budget; and cultivate and maintain an inclusive and equitable culture. This position will also represent along with other program staff MADRE’s programming and impact to external audiences, including funding partners, donors and the board of directors. 

Strategy and Vision: The Senior Director of Grantmaking will be responsible for collaboratively developing and implementing a vision for program evolution, aligned with MADRE’s feminist funding principles, and must be able to engage in critical thinking, innovate and influence how changes occur. The Senior Director of Grantmaking must also be able to effectively communicate program vision and strategies and have the ability to create a Learning and Evaluation strategy within a decolonizing framework. Additional responsibilities include networking peers in the field to stay connected with emerging opportunities and maintaining current knowledge about trends, movements and policy developments across all areas of grantmaking. 

The ideal candidate has demonstrated success in leading program strategy and related budgeting processes, experience managing remote and global teams, and is committed to nurturing a collaborative, values-aligned and vibrant work environment. 

Required Skills and Experience 

  • The successful candidate must have the following: 
  • International perspective and lived experience in the Global South and/or East
  • Minimum 12 years of progressively responsible experience in nonprofits or public or private philanthropy, ideally as a Senior Program Officer, Associate Director, or Director of Grantmaking, supporting grassroots organizations 
  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of grantmaking priorities, systems and policies within a decolonizing framework 
  • Experience with learning and evaluation to enable strategic and programmatic growth with partners and within MADRE 
  • A strong track record of providing visionary leadership and effective management
  • Experience managing institutional growth and transformation 
  • Strong decision-making ability; organizational team-building skill 
  • Minimum 12 years of management and supervision experience, an inclusive leadership style, a commitment to distributive and feminist leadership, the ability to motivate and develop direct reports, and build collaborative and accountable relationships 
  • Ability to effectively resolve problems. Balances multiple needs, priorities and interests
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment and creates an environment of trust, actively soliciting feedback from all MADRE staff members
  • Broad knowledge and strong understanding of racial and social justice, including the needs and realities of women’s movements around the world, especially in the geographic areas where MADRE works 
  • Deep, authentic knowledge of racial, economic, disability and gender justice, and experience applying these equity practices to programs and management 
  • Strong writing skills; able to produce publication-quality written materials
  • Strong communication skills, both internal and external 
  • Knowledge of feminist leadership and funding principles 
  • An understanding of the fiscal and donor reporting requirements associated with global grassroots grantmaking 
  • A deep and nuanced understanding of the realities of grassroots groups, collectives, and organizing 
  • A critical thinker of how to resource local groups facing war and disaster
  • Experience working transnationally and overseeing global programs 

This role requires eligibility to work in the U.S. While this job may be remote anywhere inside the US it will require occasional in-person meetings at MADRE’s headquarters in New York City. International and domestic travel may be required when the pandemic subsides. 

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume and three references to srdrgrantmaking@madre.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

Salary is $150,000 

MADRE is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ people, and women are all especially encouraged to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion.