Administration Manager

Locations: San Diego, CA or remote
Reports To: Executive Director
Status: Full-time / Exempt
Salary:$70,000 – $90,000 DOE/NEG

Our Story

Our mission: Be a catalyst for improved literacy, broadly conceived, through strategic partnerships and investments. Founded in 1958 by celebrated author Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), the Dr. Seuss Foundation has gifted more than $300 million to philanthropic causes to-date. In so doing, we seek to honor, preserve, and fulfill the power and promise of Ted Geisel’s work. Our focus is on improving literacy and learning, as these are essential to succeeding in the multi-layered worlds of the arts and humanities, health and well-being, animal welfare, and the environment. Based in San Diego, the Foundation processes approximately 400 funding requests annually, investing in nonprofit organizations and literacy initiatives across the country. We are supported by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the licensing company behind the literary and artistic content of Dr. Seuss. While our history dates back over 60 years, we have recently embarked on an organizational transformation that will establish and scale the Foundation for the future. Our first full-time Executive Director was hired in 2020 and has assembled a strong team of national contractors and consultants to support our operations.

Position Summary

This is an exciting opportunity to join a young, fast-growing philanthropic organization working at the national level.  As our second full-time position, the Administration Manager will play a central role in laying the foundation that will support our vision and programs for the next 5-10 years. Working closely with the ED, this position will manage all the administrative and programmatic aspects of the organization. The Administration Manager will also serve as a thought partner and sounding board to the ED, leading our continuous improvement efforts to help us innovate, improve, and grow in everything we do. They will staff Board and committee meetings, take minutes, prepare board packets and other materials, conduct research and analysis, develop reports for management decision-making and other special projects. The Administration Manager will serve as an extension of the ED, anticipating his needs and standing in on his behalf from time-to-time. The role requires flexibility and a growth mindset, as the position will likely evolve and expand over time we continue developing as an organization.

The Director of Administration works with a wide array of internal and external stakeholders, including:

  • Executive Director
  • Nonprofit organizations (grantees and applicants)
  • The San Diego Foundation and other program partners
  • Accounting Manager
  • HR Consultant
  • Strategy Consultant
  • Board of Directors
  • Financial Institutions
  • Vendors and professional service providers

Priorities for this position within the first 12 months include:

  • Grant making support:learn our grants management system and ensure we are leveraging all of its capabilities.
  • Communications:assist in honing our messaging and communications strategy to attract grantees that align with the Foundation’s targeted giving areas.
  • SOPs:Create a process and procedures “manual” to ensure the ED and board will always have access to the information they need; implement policies around record keeping and confidentiality requirements.
  • Governance:assist in implementing our newly revised bylaws, policies, and procedures.
  • Integration:assist in strengthening the relationship and alignment between the Foundation and Dr. Seuss Enterprises to ensure both organizations support each other’s growth and success.
  • Systems:finish setting up the organization’s back office and ensure backups are in place.
  • Board Support: assist in onboarding new board members.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Executive Director Support

  • Serve as the primary conduit to the Executive Director, maximizing his time and efficiency according to shifting priorities.
  • Manage communication with various constituencies such as the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and the public.
  • Manage the ED’s calendar, making appointments and prioritizing the most sensitive matters.
  • Facilitate the decision-making process by serving as a sounding board and thought partner for the ED; serve as a close confidant in a wide variety of matters.
  • Assist the ED with board growth and development initiatives.
  • Manage special projects and other duties as assigned.

Organizational Support

  • Provide general administrative support across the organization for the ED, Board, consultants, grantees, and other stakeholders.
  • Prioritize projects to keep multiple initiatives moving forward in a timely manner.
  • Proactively look for ways to ease the administrative load on both the ED and consultant team.
  • Organize and manage meetings including schedules, agendas, reminders, meeting minutes, catering, IT/technical support, travel, and other meeting logistics.
  • Create and distribute board packets and other informational items in advance of meetings.
  • Assist with development and routing of reports.
  • Assist in holding everyone in the organization accountable, ensuring adherence to deadlines and deliverables.
  • Oversee the record keeping and grants management systems, ensuring acceptance and denial letters go out on time and grant reports are received, reviewed, and recorded.
  • Serve as the initial point of contact for nonprofit grantees and applicants.
  • Assist us to continue growing and developing as an organization by asking questions and applying a continuous improvement mindset / critical eye.

Candidate Profile

  • Professional:strong communication skills across all mediums (in-person, phone, email and virtual); demonstrates judgment, tact, and diplomacy in all settings.
  • Strategic:ability to see across the entire organization, with an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all the various people and functional areas; grasps “the big picture”.
  • Organized:incredible attention to detail, with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously; someone who naturally checks and rechecks their own work.
  • Confident:brings a “can-do” attitude, remaining calm and focused under pressure, self-assured in their skills and abilities; not afraid to push back and have the difficult conversations; skilled in both giving and receiving feedback.
  • Responsive:highly accessible and completes tasks quickly and efficiently.
  • Flexible:embraces change and easily adapts to shifting priorities and timelines; a team player who is ready to jump in and assist with any task, no matter how large or small.
  • Hands-on:someone who enjoys being on the front line and making things happen.
  • Proactive:constantly looking ahead, anticipating potential changes, and proposing new solutions and alternatives.
  • Positive:maintains an upbeat attitude, even under pressure; reflects positive energy, optimism, enthusiasm, and creativity.
  • Charismatic:warm and friendly with the ability to quickly build relationships yet maintain appropriate and clear boundaries between personal and professional dynamics.
  • Tech-savvy:skilled user across all the standard business software platforms, including MS Office, internet, iPhone and comfortable operating audio/video equipment for meetings, webinars, conferences, and presentations. Capable of assisting with basic technology support and troubleshooting.
  • Patient:ability to empathize and meet the needs of volunteers and a wide range of additional stakeholders who are important to our work.
  • Growth Mindset:ability to be creative and apply solutions-based thinking to challenges and opportunities; applies a continuous improvement lens to everything they do; capable of growing and evolving with the position.
  • Collaborative:enjoys working in a small, close-knit organization; stands ready to jump in and assist colleagues as needed.
  • Self-actualized:ability to work with minimal supervision, someone who enjoys “figuring it out” and who is comfortable working in a largely remote environment.
  • Ethical:possess the highest ethical standards; ability to exercise discretion, professionalism, and uncompromising integrity and make/recommend decisions based on what is best for the Foundation.
  • Tactful: constantly keeping an eye out for boundaries and potential conflicts of interest; ability to work with sensitive/confidential information.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated administrative and project management experience.
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
  • High degree of maturity and discretion: able to exercise good judgement in a variety of situations.
  • Comfortable working with a diverse array of people and personalities.
  • Superior organizational skills with acute attention to detail.
  • Ability to balance multiple, and sometimes conflicting, priorities and deadlines.
  • Capable of working independently on projects from conception to completion.
  • Capacity to grow with the organization and take on additional responsibilities.
  • Ability to triage projects and accommodate shifting priorities and deadlines.
  • Strong MS Office skills, particularly Excel.
  • Prior nonprofit/philanthropy sector experience extremely desirable.
  • Experience with grants management systems a plus.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Tia Anzellotti, Director
1855 First Ave., Suite 300,
San Diego, CA 92101