Public Funding Specialist- Full-time

Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and growing trees locally and globally. We are seeking a talented administrator to advance grant seeking efforts across the Arboretum.  A successful candidate should be organized, detail-oriented, customer service-minded, and enjoy collaborating with colleagues. You’ll be part of a great team working together to make the Arboretum exceptional.

Position Summary: Manage the Arboretum’s public funding grants program by identifying sources, managing internal processes, and editing grants and reports to grow the Arboretum’s grants portfolio. Responsible for providing specialized assistance regarding pre- and post-award administration and coordination of grant proposals, subawards, subcontracts, awards, and reports. As part of an interdepartmental grants team, work closely with colleagues who write and submit grants on behalf of their work at the Arboretum, through processes and ensure Arboretum compliance.

Essential Functions: 

  • Provide expertise on federal agency opportunities, guidelines and procedures; stay current on changes and updates; interpret and communicate updates to project managers and assist in navigating changes. 
  • Serve as account administrator for all government grant digital platforms, assign roles and manage staff account permissions, and provide support and troubleshooting.
  • Guide project managers through the pre-award process, answer questions, and provide needed resources. Check in on the project status, deadlines, and milestones and provide support throughout the process.
  • Monitor and support post-award activities with project managers such as special requirements, interim reports, and final grant reports. Collaborate with the business office to ensure timely compliance reporting.
  • Manage the internal review and approval process for all contracts, subcontracts, subawards, agreements and recommend process modifications and improvements.
  • Train project managers on current internal policies and procedures; update and maintain the “Grant Toolkit” for project managers.
  • Liaise with the business office and department staff and program grant seekers, to review budget documents in preparation for proposals and ensure grant administrative processes are performed in accordance with Arboretum and funder procedures and requirements. 
  • Maintain strong relationships with internal program managers to understand mission programs and projects in order to find new funding opportunities and effectively communicate with grant funders.
  • Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning, and make the Arboretum exceptional.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in related field required. 3+ years related experience required. Demonstrated expertise of federal rules and regulations relating to research grant and/or contract activity required. Effective team and cross-functional workgroup management experience required. Excellent oral and written communication skills required. Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office, and proficiency with Google applications is beneficial. Experience using database systems and project management software strongly preferred.

Success Factors: Understanding of federal government grant portals best practices and functionality. Willingness to continually learn about Arboretum programs with a drive to match projects with new funding opportunities. Highly organized. Ability to manage multiple projects. Customer service oriented with effective communication skills with internal customers and vendors. Ability to handle confidential records with discretion is essential. 


Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics 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 these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: May require occasional travel around the Arboretum grounds and to local conferences.
  • Work Environment: Office environment, with prolonged periods in front of a computer screen. 
  • Equipment: General office equipment.

For full consideration, please include a resume and cover letter

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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