Grants Specialist - College Possible

AFP SE WI Administrator
October 30, 2019

Job Title:                    Grants Specialist
Exemption Status:     Exempt
Reports to:                 Development Director     
Location:                    College Possible Milwaukee

College Possible is a growing nonprofit coaching students from low-income backgrounds to and through college to break the cycle of poverty and empower the next generation of leaders. Our model has earned national recognition: the inaugural Evergreen National Education Award recognized our leadership in increasing access to and success in college for students from low-income backgrounds. It also earns top-of-field results: a 2011 Harvard study found that the program more than doubles a student's chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and our students are four times more likely to become college graduates than their low-income peers.

College Possible has a budget of $24 million, more than 140 full-time employees and more than 270 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2019-20 school year, we will reach an estimated 25,000 students in all 50 states, at more than 100 partner high schools and at more than 400 colleges. 

College Possible is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and seeks to build a diverse workforce to create impact in partnership with the communities we serve.  We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants.  For each of its positions, College Possible is mindful about what best serves our students, and seeks to hire staff with relevant experience, skills and aptitude, and a commitment to the power of education.

Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible also operates in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR; and has Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. We're joining forces with colleges to achieve a transformational impact: our goal is to serve more than 100,000 students annually and make a significant contribution to closing the degree divide. 

To learn more, visit

Basic Description

The Grants Specialist is responsible for the coordination and execution of the grant process for the majority of funders and prospects. This includes managing a grant calendar and organizing timelines and deadlines to ensure timely submission of all materials. College Possible Milwaukee has a current revenue goal of $2.8M, with institutional fundraising a majority of the goal. This position will manage and execute 125+ grant proposals and the corresponding reporting requirements annually. The Grants Specialist works closely with the development team, including the Development Manager and the Marketing & Communications Associate, and reports to the Development Director.

Essential Job Functions

Maintain grant calendar to ensure timely submission of documents, proposals and reports: Maintain donor files, including electronic files through Raiser's Edge database. Track all deadlines for proposals and reports to ensure that every grant request and report is completed and submitted on time. Meet with Executive and Development Directors regularly to discuss upcoming deadlines. Collect and manage information relevant to grants and reports.

Develop, write and submit grant proposals: Support achievement of the organization’s revenue needs through superb grant writing for proposals, reports, and letters. Write and submit sponsorship requests as needed.

Donor stewardship: Oversee institutional donor stewardship, creating engaging touchpoints for current donors.

Research and identify grant-making agencies and appropriate funding opportunities: Work with the Development Director to conduct prospect research to identify new funding opportunities to support the organization’s revenue needs.

Database management: Ensure data integrity for Milwaukee constituents in the Raiser’s Edge database. Create and pull queries, exports and mailing lists from Raiser’s Edge as necessary, working with staff at the National office. 

Gift Processing: Work with the National team to process gifts and send out acknowledgment letters in an accurate, timely manner.

Development Team Support: Support the Development and Executive Directors in their work with partner relationship-building. Maintain communication, as directed, with organizational donors (specifically foundation and corporate donors) as well as with prospective donors. Provide written materials necessary for donor stewardship. Organize or assist with the organization of donor site visits. Assist with, and provide support for, fundraising events.

Other duties as assigned.

Professional Requirements (Skills & Qualifications)

In addition to the requirements below, College Possible staff and service members are expected to demonstrate the Idealistic Leader traits of Strive to be Delightful, Energize those in your Presence, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, Challenge Cynicism, Practice Empathy, Learn to be Grateful and Have Fun, as expressed in our organizational value statement, and have a significant commitment to the mission of helping  students from low-income backgrounds earn admission to college and persist toward degree completion.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Related Work Experience:

  • 2 years or more of grant management experience, including writing proposals and reports;
  • Experience interacting with corporate and/or foundation donors;
  • An understanding of budgets as they relate to proposals and grants;
  • Demonstrated research skills in qualifying prospective funders.

Computer/Software Skills:

  • Strong computer skills, including demonstrated proficiency in Word, Excel and experience working with a fundraising database;
  • Raiser’s Edge experience strongly preferred.

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:

  • Exceptionally strong written communication skills and ability to write clear, structured, and persuasive proposals;
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to effectively interpret data and reports;
  • Attention to detail, including proofreading and project follow-through;
  • Strong organization and time-management skills, including the ability to meet deadlines, manage a large workload and multi-task;
  • Willingness to take initiative;
  • Motivated and able to work independently as well as with a team;
  • Able to establish and maintain cooperative professional relationships.


Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits (complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term insurance, 401(k) retirement plan and generous paid time off program).

To Apply
Please apply at:  Include a resume and cover letter.

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