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Grant Writer

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.


Position Overview 

We are seeking a dynamic Grant Writer to serve in a vital position to advance the Brennan Center’s mission. You will join a high-performing Development department of 14 charged with raising $35+ million annually from a diverse base of supporters.

This position requires prior experience writing and producing materials that showcase public policy, legal advocacy, or other social justice work (e.g., grants, journalism, policy advocacy work). The successful candidate will possess exceptional writing and editing skills; intrepid resourcefulness to gather programmatic and institutional information; and the ability to persuasively describe the goals and activities of our mission-driven organizations. We seek candidates able to work productively with a team of skilled professionals. The position requires the ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Outstanding organizational and analytical skills, with attention to details and follow-through, are critical.

This role directly reports to and closely works with the Director, Foundation Relations and will be part of a three-person Foundations team. The position also will collaborate regularly with programmatic leaders and staff, as well as other members of the Development Department. 


Key Responsibilities

The Grant Writer will serve a critical role in raising funding from institutional foundations and philanthropies. The full foundations portfolio brings in approximately $8 million annually and consists of more than 40 active grants, around 70 percent of which are at the six or seven-figure level. This represents 25 percent of the organization’s overall annual revenues.

To reach these revenue goals, the Grant Writer will work closely with the Director, Foundation Relations to produce impeccable, persuasive grant proposals and reports that secure renewed or increased support from existing and prospective funders. Key responsibilities include:

  • Draft compelling, clear, and accurate narrative grant proposals and reports, framed for each funder’s interests and fulfilling funder guidelines and deadlines
    • Work with program staff and colleagues to obtain program updates and information
    • Track and monitor programmatic advances and activities, as well as the social and political landscape in which we do our work
    • Research and analyze funders’ interests and approaches
  • Produce full grant submissions: draft and/or edit budgets, financial information, and other institutional information per each foundation’s requirements
    • Work with and guide finance staff and other organizational leaders and staff to obtain institutional information
    • Analyze data and information and adapt/edit them for grant presentations   
  • Coordinate internal review of grant proposal and report materials, and incorporate feedback in a timely manner
  • Upload and submit proposals and reports to funders’ online grantee portals as applicable.
  • Conduct ongoing prospect research to identify potential funders
  • Maintain and organize files and track deadlines
  • Write and coordinate the distribution of general donor correspondence, including grant acknowledgment letters, event invitations, general emails, and mailings.
  • Ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Foundation team’s data and communication systems, including complete contact information and donor/prospect lists in the Salesforce database


Key Qualifications 

  • Bachelors degree, and at least 2-3 years related and transferable work experience
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills, with proficiency for describing policy and legal advocacy work for various audiences
    • Able to analyze voluminous and technical information and convert it into compelling narratives
  • Exceptional attention to detail and accuracy – commitment to high quality work product that is thorough, complete, and polished 
  • Proficiency with using foundation/grant submission technology platforms and portals, as well as Salesforce and other essential office technology
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Self-starter with ability to coordinate and effectively communicate with staff and leadership at all levels in a deadline-driven environment
  • Team player with highly mature interpersonal skills – including ability to respond productively to direction and feedback
  • Generosity, flexibility, and kindness to nurture a highly collaborative environment 
  • Sound judgment and discretion to maintain privacy and confidentiality
  • Demonstrable commitment to the Brennan Center’s mission and goals

The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace.  We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true-self and feel a strong sense of belonging.   As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion.  In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.

Position Start Date: No sooner than October 4th, 2021

Salary:  The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience. A generous benefits package is available as well. 


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until a qualified candidate is identified. To apply, please visit and upload.  Please upload as one document (where it says “attach resume”) the following application materials: resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references. No phone calls or faxes. Please reference where you saw this posting in your cover letter.

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Grant Writer" in the subject line, after registering in the online system. An online application, however, is strongly preferred to ensure your application is reviewed.

Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors.  As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and 

  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.
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