Under direction of the Grants Development and External Funds Director, the Proposal Submission Specialist / Grant Writer researches and explores potential funding sources to support the work of all City departments and municipal programs and activities; manages all electronic grant proposal submissions and assists with the development and writing of proposals, in tandem with department staff; and manages the Department’s online accounts with grantors and other entity registrations. This staffer supports the work of departments and disciplines across the City of Somerville, from Somerville Public Library and the Council on Aging, to the Office of Sustainability and Environment and the Capital Projects Department, enhancing their capacity to secure resources for new and innovative or existing and enhanced projects and programs.
In collaboration with departmental staff and other city staff, the Proposal Submission Specialist will be responsible for writing a variety of proposal materials, including narrative content; support letters from the Mayor's office and other department heads, City Council members, and community partners; budgets; and additional proposal materials, and ensuring these materials are prepared and submitted according to the funder’s requirements.
This individual will also be responsible for oversight of the City’s online grants presence and web-based profiles. The Proposal Specialist will seek out and assess opportunities that align with the Mayor’s strategic, departmental, and other citywide goals, and liaise with a variety of departments to review and determine whether to pursue those opportunities.
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
• Oversee online grant submissions, completing all online forms and gathering supporting documentation as needed, and navigate online or web-based grant and grantor forms and related proposal documents;
• Monitor and maintain the City’s registrations on federal and state websites, including Grants.gov, SAM.gov, and COMMBUYS, and ensure Somerville’s profiles for online grant submissions remain active and current;
• Analyze requests for proposals, funding notices, and proposal requirements to determine proposal needs and complexity and assess the City’s viability as a candidate;
• Draft narrative content for grant proposals, with the ultimate goal of translating complex or high-level ideas into concise and accurate descriptions that are persuasive and competitive; assist in the development and creation of attachments and letters of support to accompany grant proposals
• Gather relevant information from city staff and additional key stakeholders from the community as needed; this may include outreach to staff at Somerville Public Schools, local nonprofits or community-based organizations, area universities, and local business owners;
• Participate in proposal planning meetings about new projects and initiatives and assist with logistics planning; • Conduct extensive research related to programs and ideas proposed in grant applications and specific to city department needs; gather statistics concerning the community and comparative state and national data;
• Utilize data of past grant awards to provide summary reports on departmental achievements and dollars received, and conduct additional analysis of department success;
• Research potential funding sources to identify how the City of Somerville can most effectively position itself to attract new and continuing revenues;
• Assist with or manage independently other departmental projects or initiatives as assigned.
Recommended Minimum Qualifications
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s Degree and three to five (3-5) years’ experience in grant writing or proposal development work; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Experience with Microsoft Excel is required. Experience with municipal procedures and organization and with the federal and national nonprofit funding landscape is preferred.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill:
Knowledge of municipal government; standard goals and objectives of the major departments of function within municipalities and standard office practices, procedures, equipment and techniques; knowledge of adult learning techniques.
Ability to work with multiple parties diplomatically; ability to work independently and handle tasks without constant supervision; ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing; ability to operate a computer; ability to maintain confidential information; ability to maintain, manage, and organize records; ability to think strategically and problem solve; ability to listen well, follow directions and synthesize multiple ideas into a cohesive proposal; ability to collaborate and deal appropriately with City employees, City officials, and funding agencies.
Excellent organizational, writing and editing skills; data and word processing proficiency in the use of personal computers and office software, databases, internet and spreadsheet applications; data analysis, interpretation, and presentation skills.
Salary: $1,434.66 paid weekly + benefits
Physical and Mental Requirements:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.
Physical Skills: Little or no physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as ledgers or photocopy and computer paper (up to 30lbs.).
Motor Skills: Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone system, computer and/or most other office equipment, typing and/or word processing, filing, and sorting of materials.
Visual Demands: Routinely reads documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.