Senior Manager, Foundations Development

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Apply for our Senior Manager, Foundations Development role.

About Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization leading the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles 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 website (
Here at Ceres, we value integrity, equity, belonging, compassion, and respect. We demonstrate those values through how we communicate and collaborate with our colleagues and external partners; and embody them in our decision making and advocacy efforts to create a more just and sustainable future.

About the Development Team
The Development department cultivates, secures, and stewards relationships with donors and funders who support Ceres' programs and operations. Relationship management and reporting to these private and corporate entities are cornerstones of both the Individual Giving and Foundation Development teams’ responsibilities.

About the Position
Ceres is soliciting applications for the position of Senior Manager, Foundations Development. This is an exciting opportunity for a person with program management experience now seeking to work at the nexus of program management and development. The Senior Manager will carry out key leadership functions at the hub of one of the world’s most important and powerful global collaborations to address climate change—Climate Action 100+—as well as with other major global collaborations.

The Senior Manager is a crucial member of Ceres’ Foundations Team, which raises and manages grants totaling more than $30 million annually, accounting for upwards of 70 percent of the organization’s annual revenue.

The ideal candidate will have experience with multi-partner initiatives, grants and/or budget management, and institutional fundraising.

Key competencies to thrive in this role include excellent internal and external relationship management skills, analytical and persuasive writing and oral communication skills, project management skills, budget development and budget management skills, and demonstrated capacity to manage challenging and competing deadlines. The Senior Manager will work closely with program staff both at Ceres and at our partnering/subgrantee organizations to steward relationships with some of the world’s leading climate funders, successfully secure new grant revenue for Ceres’ multi-partner programs, communicate impact to funders, and engage funders as participants and partners in Ceres’ programs. The Senior Manager will play a leading role managing a portfolio that includes funders making seven- and low eight-figure grants to Ceres’ global initiatives. The Senior Manager will also provide oversight to A-level staff on the Foundations team who will assist with writing foundation reports and proposals, and scheduling meetings. The Senior Manager will be expected to carry out responsibilities with a significant degree of independence, requiring less supervisory support than other team members.

The position will require travel (approx. 5-10% of time), including required travel to Ceres’ Boston office if the Senior Manager is not based in Greater Boston. For remote candidates, being based in the U.S. Eastern time zone is strongly preferred, as the role will involve a significant amount of interaction with Europe-based partners and additional global stakeholders, with some virtual meetings beginning at 7 or 8 am Eastern Time and in rare cases, as early as 6 am.

The position is full-time and reports to the Director, Foundations Development.
Primary duties include but are not limited to:

Coordinate Development Activities for Multi-Partner Initiatives
  • Play a leading role in stewardship of Ceres’ current grants for key multi-partner initiatives, including Climate Action 100+ and The Investor Agenda.
  • Coordinate closely with program staff within Ceres as well as development and program staff counterparts at Ceres’ partnering/subgrantee organizations to drive successful fundraising outcomes and strengthen relationships with Ceres’ funders and prospects.
  • Play a key role in program development and budget development for these initiatives, collaborating with Ceres’ program and finance teams as well as staff counterparts at partnering organizations.
Manage a Portfolio of Foundation Funders
  • Develop deep expertise in select program areas (Climate Action 100+, The Investor Agenda, additional programs as assigned) and work with program leaders in those areas to secure and renew foundation funding.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 10-15 funders and prospects, mostly in the $100,000 - $2,000,000 range but including a few critical funders providing grants between $5,000,000 and $10,000,000 or more (divided among Ceres and its partners). Develop and implement a strategy for each funder that will include in-person meetings, involvement in Ceres events, phone and email communications. Oversee completion of all aspects of the donor cycle (prospecting, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, engagement, etc.).
  • Actively steward relationships with relevant staff of existing funders, including in-person meetings, event invitations, phone calls, and off-cycle programmatic updates by email.
  • Track, manage, and meet deadlines for funders in the portfolio, and assure compliance with all donor requirements.
  • Maintain and grow a pipeline of leads and prospects for new foundation and corporate funders, vetting and prioritizing leads from prospect research, and developing strategies to cultivate relationships with new funders and/or restart relationships with lapsed funders.
  • Maintain careful records, including managing foundation records in Ceres’ Salesforce database, delegating recordkeeping, and donor information management tasks to supporting Foundations team members as needed.
  • Work with program leaders and finance team staff to develop project budgets, create sub-grant agreements, monitor spending, and review financial reports to funders.
Strengthen Foundations Team Operations and Management
  • Serve as a foundations development liaison with Ceres’ finance team, and design and help implement systems to coordinate program budgeting with grant development.
  • Support team operations, including annual and multi-year foundation revenue forecasting and tracking, reporting as needed to Ceres’ senior leadership (e.g., Chief Development Officer, Chief Financial Officer, the Development Committee of Ceres’ Board of Directors).
  • As needed, supervise junior staff members and/or interns, including staff development, performance reviews, hiring, and termination. Play a key mentoring role for junior staff on the team.
  • Bachelor’s degree or commensurate education required; Masters’ degree preferred.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience required; 5-8 years of experience in a relevant field such as program management, foundation fundraising/development preferred.
  • Substantive experience in project management and/or relationship management and/or budget management for multi-partner initiatives strongly preferred; international partnerships experience preferred.
  • Passion for climate change, environmental and/or sustainability issues; multiple years of relevant background with these issues preferred.
  • Have a detailed understanding and communicate team’s work, all Ceres’ program work, and Ceres’ Theory of Change.
  • Highly developed writing skills, strong oral presentation skills, demonstrated interest and aptitude in persuasive writing.
  • Strong communication skills, ability to communicate effectively with external audiences and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge and experience with standard development techniques and practices, including foundation proposal writing and prospect research.
  • Excellent organizational abilities; demonstrated capacity to handle and prioritize multiple tasks, set priorities, meet deadlines, and work well in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Sound judgment, a high degree of integrity and professionalism, with an ability to maintain discretion, diplomacy, and courtesy in all contacts.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), other database applications, teleconference and webinar systems and standard e-mail computer applications.
  • Familiarity with Salesforce, Bloomberg, and other applications highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to support Ceres’ Commitment to Inclusion and Equity.
  • Willingness to travel on a regular basis (approximately 5-10% travel).
Compensation and Benefits
The hiring salary is $86,500 to $92,000 paired with competitive benefits. Ceres offers fantastic benefits including opportunities for hybrid and remote work; 82% or 85% (depending on your coverage election) employer paid health insurance and 90% employer paid dental insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with a generous match that starts on day one; generous allowances for commuter and work from home expenses; flexible spending accounts to set aside money on a pre-tax basis for eligible expenses; 10 holidays, generous vacation, and additional paid time off including a week-long winter break, summer Fridays, and sick, personal, and parental leave.

Ceres Culture
Everyone has a role to play in the movement towards a more just and sustainable world.

At Ceres, we are committed to intentionally and carefully curating, engaging, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. We endeavor to create a supportive environment that sparks innovation, fosters respect, and allows Ceres employees, in all roles at all levels, to come together equally to be fulfilled, successful, and to thrive.

Ceres is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified candidates, and we do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law.

If you have questions related to the above statement or need a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA Coordinator at Please note, this email address is for ADA inquiries only.

To Apply
We encourage all applicants to check out our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying: Please submit a resume and cover letter through our online application. Professional references may be requested during the selection process.