Grants Specialist at Land O’Lakes Venture37 April, 2020

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Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.

Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries.

Project Description:

USAID Feed the Future Orora Wihaze Activity targets the transformation of poultry, fish, pig and goat value chains and will cultivate local demand for animal source foods. Venture37 leads a consortium of four firms that operate as a project team to deliver results using an innovative market systems development approach and aiming to empower micro, small, and medium enterprises. The Activity will use and offer grants and contracts or other contractual mechanisms to create incentives for private businesses and supporting organizations to address gaps and barriers or to seize opportunities in the marketplace for animal source foods. Orora Wihaze will solicit concept notes on a rolling basis for innovative and impactful ideas that contribute to the achievement of Activity Objectives. After evaluation of the concept notes and where appropriate a grant or contract will be awarded to successful applicants to address high priority issues; target smallholder households, women, youth and PWD in target districts; be highly feasible; and have the potential for scale and replication by other market actors.

Position Summary and Primary Responsibilities:

The Grants Specialist is responsible for grants and contract management and record-keeping. He/She implements the administrative and operational aspects of the Activity’s grant-making and contracting. The Grants Specialist works with colleagues to ensure grants, contracts, or other agreements are made in accordance with Venture37’s organizational policies and systems and implements the established Orora Wihaze processes and procedures. The incumbent is accountable for maintaining complete documentation about all contracts and grants for the Activity and will use a contract management software system. The Grants Specialist provides guidance to the project team on USAID compliance questions as needed.

In addition, this position oversees grant compliance. He/She ensures the completeness and quality of agreements, foundational documentation, grantee and partner information, vetting, approvals, and tracks and monitors authorized grant expenditures. The Grants Specialist coordinates all process for soliciting concept notes and supports the evaluation and selection of enterprises or organizations awarded grants or contracts. The Grants Specialist also helps the recipients of grants and contracts to manage and comply with the terms of the agreement and communicates and follows-up with partners to secure reports, cost-share documentation, and/or to get general updates. The Grants Specialist reports to the Senior Finance and Admin Manager.

The main responsibilities include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Help prepare, review, update, or adapt the Orora Wihaze Grants Plan to forecast and track the development of partnerships, the award of grants or contracts, funds expended, and achievement of the sub-objectives detailed in agreements.
  • Conduct the due diligence of applicants to determine their eligibility
  • Work in coordination with Market Systems, Nutrition and Behavior Change, Policy Teams to design, promote, and distribute solicitations for concept notes. And, then, participate in the review and evaluation process, leading in the documentation of the scoring and selection.  Assess grant submissions for technical and budget soundness and compliance with USAID regulations, recommending award actions to the team.
  • Support the Chief of Party and Senior Finance and Administrative Manager to submit subawards and grants to the donor for review and approval and help to respond to questions from USAID’s Contracts Office.
  • Develop grant packages and coordinate the issuance of awards.  Maintain grant and sub-award documentation, fully utilizing and managing information in the Cobblestone contract and grant management database and document management system.
  • Oversee and structure regular grantee and subaward reporting on an agreed (quarterly) timeline. Monitor and track cost-share contributions, performance reports, and compliance with award conditions.  Communicate and collaborate with MEL, Finance, and Technical Teams to gather data and share information.
  • Communicate as necessary with project grantees, assisting and training the partners to complete reports requirements and maintain compliance with the terms of grant and sub-award agreements.

Reporting & Supervision:

This position reports to the Senior Finance and Admin Manager

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, business, management, or other related fields.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in managing and administering grants program.  Experience with grants management in a USAID-funded project preferred.
  • Familiarity with USAID and U.S. Government regulations and rules. Experience monitoring compliance with terms of sub-award or grant agreements, including developing tools and tracking schedules.
  • Experience with on-line grants management platforms for documentation management, compliance tracking and audit, and system for managing each stage in a grant cycle and utilizing template documents.
  • Proven attention to detail throughout work history, including managing and organizing electronic and hard copy files that are subject to review or audit.  Experience with writing and reviewing clear and deliverable-based program descriptions for sub-awards and grants.
  • Ability to work independently.  Experience collaborating on work teams to achieve project results.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) language. Demonstrated capability and history producing high-quality, formal written documents and agreements.

Essential Competencies/Behaviors: 

  • Proven ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • Establishing a course of action for self and others to ensure that work is completed effectively.
  • Identifying and understanding issues and opportunities; using effective approaches for developing appropriate solutions, taking action that is consistent with available facts and probable consequences.
  • Proven ability to work with team members towards a common vision and objectives.


Closing Date : 15th April, 2020.


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