Grant Writer

Communications & Partnerships · Oakland/Los Angeles, California
Department Communications & Partnerships
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation $70,000 - $75,000

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved onesand include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender non-conforming (gnc) people, elders, and young people. 

Building a sustainable grassroots institution that can be leveraged in the fight for a Black Feminist future is a priority at Essie. Through the development of thoughtful organizing models, a vibrant organizational culture, and scalable structure our aim is to break the isolation of the 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy through the leadership of women with loved ones behind bars. After seven years building an active membership across California, Essie is waging ever more ambitious campaigns to divest from state-sponsored punitive control and invest in structures that support the self-determination, freedom, and dignity of Black women and gender non-conforming (gnc) people. In the midst of significant organizational growth, we are seeking a proactive, impact-driven, and creative Grant Writer to join our team. 

At Essie, our funder and partnership program shines a light on the mission and work of our team and membership through grants and reports that inspire growing support for the movement. The Grant Writer is a highly methodical and skilled communicator with outstanding writing skills who approaches their organizational responsibilities with thoughtfulness and consistency, enabling our teams to operate from a well-resourced foundation. This role is for someone who, above all, deeply believes in the work of ending systems of mass incarceration and embraces the teamwork required to achieve that goal. 

Start date: January 10, 2022. 

Core Responsibilities

Institutional Grants Management - Keep our current funders in the know about what we’re doing at Essie and where we’re going; attract new funders to Essie through well-written, tailored, and persuasive grant materials. 

  • Articulate our organizational accomplishments and aspirations in grant applications and reports.
  • Manage all deadlines and workflows for LOIs, grant applications, and reports including internal deadlines for collection of information from other staff ensuring on-time submission and high rate of successful funding requests.
  • Maintain an accurate calendar of deadlines and process of collecting materials as needed from other staff. 
  • Draft correspondence on behalf of the organization to grant partners. 
  • Maintain relationship management systems that increase our capacity to attract, develop, and maintain meaningful relationships with grant partners and philanthropists.
  • Prepare materials to communicate with supporters including thank you letters, event reports, and annual reports.
  • Maintain all files related to grants in digital and hardcopy files, including utilizing Essie’s Salesforce instance.
  • Research new funding opportunities and make recommendations. 

Donor Stewardship - Provide support for funder touchpoints that thank and inspire our supporters to join us in our fight to end mass incarceration to bring our loved ones home. 

  • Assemble impact reports on key Essie programs.
  • Craft compelling content for Annual Report that communicates how donations fuel Essie’s programs and campaigns. 
  • Assemble content for special project donor touchpoints as assigned. 

Who We’re Looking For 

Ideal Qualifications

  • 2+ years experience in grants writing with proven success. 
  • Track record as a collaborative team member who excels in coordinating multiple projects, and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment. 
  • Impeccable attention to detail and effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Preference will be given for experience and familiarity writing about gender justice, race justice and mass incarceration. 
  • Experience with Mac operating systems, Google Suite, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel and Word).
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie with a demonstrated passion for progressive politics, specifically in gender justice, race justice and ending mass incarceration.


  • A uniquely skilled, empathetic communicator. You are someone who uses your highly developed sense of empathy to tap into what motivates others to act. Because of your belief that everyone benefits from the type of future for which our membership fights, you find ways to make meaningful connections to our work for individuals who may not have had any direct experience with poverty, incarceration, or race, gender, or heteronormative bias. You hold central the humanity of funders, donors, media and other potential Essie partners, while carrying a healthy dose of awareness of the complexities of approaching philanthropy to fund and media to amplify movement work.   
  • Immaculately organized in approach. You understand that coordinating multiple projects with complex data necessitates an efficient process. You feel comfortable creating and utilizing project management systems that ensure deadlines and details aren’t missed.  
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy. 
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The Grant Writer is a full time salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Partnerships Manager. The salary for this position is between $70,000 - $75,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California. Essie has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.

To Apply

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming (gnc), and gender fluid people. 

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Essie is Great Place to Work-Certified™ and a recognized leader in Black feminist institution building.

Learn more at

Thank You

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  • Location
    Oakland/Los Angeles, California
  • Department
    Communications & Partnerships
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation
    $70,000 - $75,000