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Director of Foundation Relations - University Development

Apply now Job no: 493340
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Grand Rapids
Categories: Development/Alumni Relations

Summary: This position plans and implements a comprehensive strategy of foundation relations to support the university’s strategic goals and priorities, including fundraising as well as developing, researching, and writing content for campaigns, projects, and university priorities. This position reports directly to the Assistant Vice President for Community Giving.

Required Qualifications and Education:

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Three to five years of experience in fundraising or corporate and foundation relations, including experience in writing persuasive content for campaigns or proposals. Excellent verbal, written, and administrative skills; availability to travel; and experience working with senior level executives and professionals.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure in a goal-oriented and complex environment, solve problems and tolerate ambiguity to prioritize and balance multiple projects simultaneously, while meeting deadlines.
  • Proven ability to support and effectively communicate with diverse internal and external constituencies, such as academic leadership, trustees, alumni, development staff, and community, corporate, and foundation leadership.
  • Self-motivated and driven with a capacity for hard work within an intensely goal-oriented and complex environment.
  • Ability to contribute to a work environment in which integrity, collaboration, respect, and a strong work ethic are valued.

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

  • Prior experience working in complex environment on multiple diverse projects either in academic, corporate, or private foundation setting.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

  • Strategically plan and implement all aspects of philanthropic foundation giving within the university to support capital, academic, and special project priorities.
    • Identify, manage, and secure philanthropic gifts from private and public foundations.
    • Provide leadership for identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major foundation donors to increase gifts to the university.
    • Write, review, and edit proposals and letters of intent for foundations and other potential donors following funding guidelines, parameters, and procedures.
    • Work to establish long-term partnerships and strengthen existing relations with foundation sector.
    • Expand foundation base by giving special attention to garnering support from national, regional, and local foundations.
    • Meet with prospective and current foundation donors, and/or coordinate meetings for the University’s president, vice president, or board members with foundation decision makers as appropriate.
    • Manage a portfolio of foundation donors and prospects.
    • Research and prepare final proposals and reports to foundation donors.
  • Prepare and oversee the drafts of research and case statements, talking points, and other materials that are required for special campaigns, academic projects, and other university initiatives.
    • Responsible for all cover letters for president and other university leaders’ signature for major foundation requests.
    • Solid understanding of budgets as they relate to proposals/requests.
    • Work closely with the President’s Office, the Office of Sponsored Programs, deans, faculty, directors, and other university leadership in overseeing proper protocol for gifts and grants from foundations.
    • Ability to work with wide variety of internal and external audiences on multiple concurrent projects.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Department/Division: University Development

Campus: Grand Rapids

Application Deadline: February 25, 2020

How To Apply: Apply online at and select “Apply now”. Please include a cover letter and resume. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail address for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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