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Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
Minnesota, United States
$176,000.00 - $209,000.00
Closing date
May 27, 2023
The Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking will be responsible for providing legal counsel to the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (“MACP”) primarily on matters related to grantmaking, program-related investments, governance and corporate records, and strategic collaborations with other functions at MACP, including Programs, Program Operations, Grants Management, and Finance, among others. This role reports to the General Counsel and is a member of the Legal Team. 


Provide advice and counsel to MACP on legal risks and opportunities:

  • Serve MACP’s mission and goals by providing high-quality and practical legal analysis and counsel to the MACP board, committees, management, and staff.
  • Serve as trusted legal advisor to cross-functional teams by maintaining productive and collaborative relationships.
  • Develop high-quality legal work product to support mission-driven impact.
  • Holistically advise on legal considerations to expand opportunities, solve problems, support effective partnerships, and advance MACP’s mission, vision, priorities, and strategies.
Collaborate with MACP colleagues, grantee partners, and others to advance mission-based impact:

  • Build and maintain strong cross-functional relationships to work cooperatively with cross-functional teams to advance strategies.
  • Provide accurate and practical legal guidance that allows grant program staff to maximize their impact.
  • Independently exercise good judgment, recognize nuances, and navigate ambiguity to support productive and trusting relationships with colleagues and external partners.
  • Maintain an understanding of the emerging developments, concepts, and technical and practical issues involved in philanthropy.
  • Champion MACP’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (“DEIJ”) by demonstrating awareness of systemic racism and other forms of structural injustice and committing to advancing DEIJ through MACP’s legal work.
  • Demonstrate awareness of human biases, and commit to practicing intercultural competency.
Analyze and synthesize non-tax legal developments impacting MACP’s charitable giving:

  • Analyze and make recommendations to address legal considerations related to grants and program-related investments, including managing U.S. trade sanctions and export controls compliance for grant awards, performing and/or managing grant due diligence, managing grant agreement documentation, and partnering with colleagues to nurture trusting relationships with colleagues and grantee partners.
  • Anticipate and take reasonable steps to mitigate liability and legal risk to the organization to uphold charitable duties and fulfill organizational mission, including supporting Program Committees, and Programs and Program Operations staff.
  • Perform or lead legal research and analysis of laws and regulatory requirements related to MACP’s grant-making efforts; coordinate with MACP Tax and Finance Team, and colleagues across the organization, to implement advice for the Philanthropies in practical and risk-appropriate ways.
  • Keep up to date with legal developments impacting non-profit corporations, charitable trusts, and other relevant laws affecting grantmaking and the philanthropic sector generally.
  • Advise on global legal issues relating to grants, including local law compliance, trade sanctions and export controls, anti-bribery laws, and anti-money laundering regulations, among others.
  • Identify legal issues and deliver practical solutions to address grantmaking considerations, such as ensuring statutory compliance and supporting effective contractual relationships.
  • Partner with Program Operations and Grants Management teams to update and maintain preferred terms for grant agreements and support the preparation of contracts, agreements, and other legal documents, as appropriate.
Maintain and implement organizational policies and practices:

  • Develop and/or lead development of or significant revisions to legal policies impacting MACP’s grantmaking in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and coordinate effective implementation.
  • Research, analyze, and make recommendations related to regulatory, legislative, administrative, and judicial actions and decisions that impact the work of the organizations.
  • Advise and educate staff with respect to legal aspects of various matters related to grantmaking, policy compliance, and other issues; lead development of training materials and presentations that keep staff informed of changes to laws, policies, procedures, and strategic priorities as needed.
Participate as an active and engaged member of the MACP legal team:

  • Serve as a member of the MACP legal team by collaboratively cultivating and maintaining productive cross-functional and inter-team relationships.
  • Work cooperatively with other team members to identify legal issues and opportunities early and address them in a risk- and resource-appropriate manner, in service of organizational mission, vision, priorities, and strategies.
  • Work closely with legal team and support progress towards team goals
  • Engage in effective and respectful teamwork and demonstration of MACP values.
  • Support effective collaboration, communication, and legal service delivery
  • Engage with outside counsel by defining appropriate scopes of work, managing legal fees, and coordinating resources to implement advice and recommendations from outside counsel.
  • Proactively mentor and coach teammates by building trusting relationships and providing supportive guidance to advance learning, encourage innovation, and support adaptation through change.
  • Serve as Acting Secretary, as directed.
  • Assist with special projects as needed.

J.D. and license to practice law in the state of Minnesota, or an ability and willingness to sit for the bar exam in Minnesota, or eligibility for immediate admission as registered in-house counsel is required.

  • Minimum of 8 years of experience practicing law in private practice, in-house, government, clerking, or other equivalent experience.
  • Preference for experience in charitable giving matters, particularly advising foundations, non-profit organizations, corporate philanthropies, or equivalent experience in other government, private practice, or in-house counsel roles.
  • Familiarity with charitable trust laws, fiduciary duties, non-profit corporation law, and legal considerations for global grantmaking (such as U.S. trade sanctions, anti-bribery, and anti-money laundering laws).
  • Demonstrated interest in being part of a mission-driven organization.
  • High level of professionalism and poise to represent the organization well.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must have the ability to work in diverse teams with shared responsibilities and accountability.
  • Highly developed research, writing, and drafting skills, and the ability to communicate complex legal points in a clear manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment, develop collaborative partnerships, and build effective and values-based relationships.
  • Proven analytical skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Proven ability to maintain the highest level of integrity and confidentiality in both internal and external relationships.
  • Experience managing a wide range of multiple projects, clients, and issues simultaneously in a role requiring a broad base of knowledge and being able to respond timely to multiple requests.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated adaptability to address ambiguous legal issues in a dynamic environment.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently and collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Appreciation for a friendly and collegial work environment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, PowerPoint) and Web-based legal research.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS MACP has identified a salary range of $176,000- $209,000 for this role. Actual starting salary of candidate will be commensurate with years, breadth, and depth of relevant experience, education, certifications, credentials, special skills, accomplishments, and other factors relevant to the position.

MACP benefits are generous and include:

  • Competitive compensation, including relocation support.
  • Strong medical, dental, and vision benefits for staff and their dependents with competitive monthly premiums and flexible spending accounts.
  • Reduced work week for all staff, with half-day closures on Fridays, year-round.
  • Minimum of four weeks of paid time off, in addition to a week-long year-end office closure.
  • Retirement programs, including 401(k) matching at 5%, with access to employer-paid financial planning resources:
    • In addition, the Organization may provide a discretionary contribution to employees’401(k) plan that vests over a five-year period.
  • Matching gift program for charitable donations.
  • Additional benefits such as an employee assistance plan, an onsite fitness room, paid parental leave, and tuition reimbursement.

Anticipated less than 20%


  • The work environment is an office setting with a designated workspace at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and optional remote work up to 2 days per week. 
  • This position is primarily a sedentary role with an adjustable sit/stand desk.
  • This position requires regular use of a computer to complete work responsibilities. It also includes regularly working with other office equipment and communication technology, such as a videoconferencing, telephone, copy machine, and printer.
  • The person in this position needs to occasionally move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office equipment, attend meetings or events, etc.
  • This role also frequently performs multiple tasks simultaneously and works closely with others as part of a team. Occasionally, the person in this role may be required to adjust to time pressures and frequent changes. This role may require an irregular schedule or overtime.
  • Occasional or intermittent physical activities will include bending, reaching, twisting, stooping, climbing.
The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Equal Opportunity, and Accessibility

We know that engaging, building trust, and making a difference relies on the collective wisdom and strength of a truly diverse organization. With this in mind, we strongly welcome the interest of people who bring a variety of lived experiences, including people of color, all gender identities, people from the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and others who are excited to contribute their skills to our work.

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer, and we consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

MACP is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.

Learn more about MACP’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

Application Process Steven John & Associates, LLC is a boutique executive search firm partnering with clients at the intersection of law and philanthropy. Our firm has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Interested, qualified attorneys should submit an electronic copy of their letter of interest and their resume to the following search consultants:

Steve John


(415) 505-6685

Jason Snyder


(415) 505-6687 

On behalf of the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, we thank you for your interest in the Associate General Counsel, Grantmaking opportunity.

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