1918 Grants Disbursement Specialist

Washington, District of Columbia, United States Full-time

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally funded, private, nonprofit grant making organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Grants Disbursement Specialist to join the Finance team. This position is based in Washington, D.C.


Position Summary:


The Grants Disbursement Specialist is an integral part of the Finance team’s daily disbursement activities, supporting NED’s international grantmaking program and working closely with the Grants team.  Responsibilities include: initiating payments for approved disbursement requests via domestic and international wire transfers, ACH and check; acting as a liaison with NED’s banking partners to quickly resolve any issues with international payment delivery; maintaining electronic records and performing invoice transaction entry in the accounting and grantmaking systems; maintaining banking instructions in several online financial institution platforms; and general financial recordkeeping duties.




  • Daily processing for grantee payments includes verification of supporting documents, updating the banking/vendor electronic records, and initiation of daily wire and ACH transfers using the several online banking systems.
  • Ensures payments are processed timely by actively problem-solving any payment issues encountered.
  • Interacts and communicates with financial institutions, NED grants officers and other team members as needed to research and resolve all banking issues related to delayed, rejected or returned wires and ACH transfers (i.e. either outgoing or incoming) in a timely manner.
  • Alerts the Finance and Grants team to any internal or external issues that may arise, and proactively addresses the root cause to avoid similar situations with other grantees receiving similar payments in the same country or currency, local banking institution, etc.
  • Enters transactions into the Serenic Navigator accounting system’s purchasing module, either by direct invoice entry and/or preparing a purchase invoice summary import template for upload.
  • Updates the GIFTS Alta grant management platform with applicable payment data to inform grantmaking staff of grant payment status.
  • Reconciles daily grantee payments between Serenic Navigator and GIFTS Alta grants management systems, as well as with the cash requirements for funds drawn from the federal government to cover disbursements.
  • Maintains the organization and completeness of grantee file documents, including performing scanning and record retention duties, as well as providing general assistance with records filing and archiving as may be required.
  • Cross-trained in the general accounts payable area for providing backstopping responsibilities as may be needed for non-grant payments (e.g. trade vendors, consultants, employees, etc.).
  • Assists with retrieving disbursement documentation necessary for audit preparation and response.
  • Acts as the backup to the petty cash custodian for the Finance department, ensuring availability of funds for employees and the physical security of the funds while maintaining perpetual reconciliation.
  • Performs other duties as may be assigned.





  • Knowledge/Experience:
    • Bachelor’s degree with major in Accounting preferred, with 3+ years of relevant experience. Non-degreed applicants with 5+ years of relevant experience will also be considered.
    • Strong working knowledge of electronic funds transfer management, to include international transfers and domestic ACH and wires.
    • Demonstrated experience with use of various online banking systems. Experience with WUBS Global Pay and/or Edge platforms a plus.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of robust double-entry accounting systems, specifically related to purchasing and payables, with Serenic Navigator experience a plus.
    • Experience with GIFTS Alta grants management system a plus.
    • Efficient in use of Microsoft Office products including Outlook, Excel, and Word.


  • Other Qualifications:
    • Strong communication skills with ability to effectively convey financial and banking matters both verbally and in writing to non-financial staff.
    • Proven analysis skills for effective problem-solving.
    • Solid documentation skills, ensuring proper audit trail.
    • Fluency in spoken and written English.
    • Authorized to work in the United States.


  • Competencies:
    • Keen attention to details and accuracy in all work products;
    • Paramount professional integrity, honesty, initiative, confidentiality and dependability;
    • Commitment and ability to excel in a fast-paced environment; works effectively under time pressure and meets deadlines.
    • Highly professional demeanor, with strong interpersonal and customer service skills to effectively interact with all levels of staff;
    • Ability to translate financial terms to effectively train finance and non-finance personnel;
    • Employs team-building, mentoring approach to supervision and working style;
    • Confidence in addressing policy and procedure compliance questions;
    • Solid analytical, problem-solving and financial troubleshooting skills;
    • Ability to quickly learn new systems, processes and procedures;
    • Flexibility in approach to work processes and tasks;
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
    • Demonstrated ability to work in a team.

Applications must include a cover letter, resume, salary history and requirements, and contact information for three professional references.   Please, no phone calls; direct inquiries to careers@ned.org  with 1918  GDS – YOUR NAME in the subject line.

The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org