Position Description

Director of Foundation Relations
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

The purpose of Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR) is to foster a thriving and engaged community of support for Caltech. By connecting the people who share and support Caltech’s mission and values, we will ensure the Institute receives the necessary resources to achieve Caltech’s aspirations and sustain its excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship in perpetuity. AAR team members embrace and uphold the values of diversity, integrity, respect, focus, and pride.

Within AAR, the Office of Foundation Relations (OFR) facilitates engagement between private foundations and Caltech, fostering partnerships and securing resources to advance Caltech's research and educational mission.

Reporting to the Senior Director of Foundation Relations, the Director of Foundation Relations will be responsible for securing major gifts and grants in the range of $100,000 - $5,000,000 from foundations to support Caltech’s research and educational initiatives. The Director will manage a portfolio of approximately 50-75 local, regional and national funders, including those releasing open calls for proposals and those inviting applications by invitation only. The Director will interface with faculty and Division Chairs from Caltech’s six divisions, as well as campus program leaders to conceptualize and prepare proposals tailored to each opportunity; and will initiate, enhance, and maintain relationships with foundation donors. The position requires pro-active engagement with funders, excellent organizational, analytical, writing, and editing skills, as well as the ability to work in a collaborative and consultative manner with faculty engaged in scientific research.

Job Duties

  • Develop strategies to direct and manage a comprehensive foundation gifts and grants portfolio to support Caltech. Responsible for raising $2 million+ annually. 
  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward foundation prospects and secure gifts and grants at the $100,000 - $5,000,000 level to support Caltech's research and educational priorities.
  • Develop and implement strategies for a portfolio of up to 75 prospects.
  • Represent Caltech in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship visits with foundations.
  • Facilitate relationships between foundations and Caltech's faculty and program leaders.
  • Develop and refine prospect strategies; meet regularly with the Senior Director of Foundation Relations to coordinate on these strategies.
  • Work closely with Foundation Relations staff to optimize stewardship strategies and ensure appropriate reporting to foundation donors.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with individual fundraisers in Academic Divisions and Regions to align activities and identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit foundation prospects to help support Division priorities.
  • Ideate and coordinate proposal strategy and development:
    • Work with key internal and external constituents to identify strategic funding objectives.
    • Test objectives with foundation contacts.
    • Gather and synthesize information to inform proposal content.
    • Write detailed and persuasive foundation proposals for a variety of audiences.
    • Provide framing and editing support for faculty-derived proposals, letters of support, and other donor-facing documents.
    • Guide the preparation and delivery of proposals.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • A bachelor's degree.
  • Foundation fundraising experience in higher education, including a broad knowledge of the principles and practices of foundation fundraising, preferably within a major research university or academic medical center.
  • Knowledge of the foundation grantmaking landscape, and proven ability to critically evaluate foundation interests and their alignment with university initiatives.
  • Ability to work effectively with development/advancement leadership, academic and institute leaders and faculty.
  • Appreciation and understanding of the academic enterprise and the ability to articulate academic values internally and externally.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Well organized, focused and goal-oriented.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as a team member on projects.
  • Occasional travel.
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite and with constituent relationship management (CRM) software.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preference for one or more advanced degrees.
  • Familiarity with the natural sciences and engineering, either via degree or via fundraising experience.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

COVID-19 Vaccine Required for All Employees

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). Upon eligibility, employees are required to receive the COVID-19 booster as part of the vaccine mandate. As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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