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Director of Foundation Relations

Position Summary

The Director of Foundation Relations will organize and implement a development program for the targeted cultivation of foundation prospects and is responsible for executing solicitation strategies that address specific needs and areas of excellence within the University. Building and maintaining close working relationships with the department of sponsored programs and other university partners to cultivate and solicit new foundation prospects in accordance to their alignment with K-State research, academic programs and the strategic plans and needs of the University will be key to the success of the Director of Foundation Relations. She/he will lead a collaborative review of existing foundation partnerships held by K-State and the KSU Foundation working with the constituencies to identify opportunities to advance these relationships and develop the strategies to do so. As an experienced team member, the Director of Foundation Relations will be expected to lead by example and offer assistance, mentorship and training in best practices to new or less experienced members of the team.

This position is highly collaborative with other development colleagues, and works closely with university and foundation leadership. This position also requires extensive public contact with high-level alumni, foundation contacts, and volunteers. The Director of Foundation Relations reports to the Associate Vice President of Universitywide Development Programs.

Core Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Responsible for the initiation, promotion, execution and evaluation of initiatives which enlist foundations to support the University through their contributions.
  2. Build a strategy working within prospect strategy and prospect management guidelines in collaboration with other members of the comprehensive development team to advance foundation partnerships held by K-State.
  3. Develop and implement both annual and long-range goals, objectives and strategies to maximize support of various foundations.
  4. Make effective use of the university’s prospect management database and other institutional resources to ensure appropriate management of foundation contacts, prospects, alumni, and volunteers in coordination with university objectives and foundation’s strategic planning.
  5. Develop and implement an ongoing program of communication with foundation contacts which recognizes past and current commitments and fosters support for future efforts.
  6. Work closely with University administration, faculty and staff to help coordinate fund-raising approaches to foundations.
  7. Travel throughout United States and possibly abroad to call on current and prospective foundation contacts to solicit donations.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years professional transferrable experience in positions that were metricsfocused, required measurable output and relationship building or in a fundraising environment.
  • A minimum of 3 years development experience focused specifically on foundation relations in a nonprofit, higher education or similar fundraising organization with progressive fund raising production strongly preferred.
  • Experience with building cross functional, interdisciplinary and/or intra-institutional partnerships.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively and persuasively with a diverse foundation contact base, university leadership partners, foundation leadership and peers through verbal and written means.
  • Donor-centric approach with the ability to listen and translate the needs of the foundation contact into action for the academy.
  • A valid motor vehicle operator’s license with an acceptable driving record required.


  • Significant travel required.

Physical Demands:

  • Work is primarily sedentary. Must be able to sit for long periods of time. May require occasional physical exertion such as long periods of sitting or standing; recurring bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities.

Desired Skills & Experience:

  • Ability to strategize and organize complex projects and plans to deliver results.
  • Results-orientated, quality-driven and team oriented.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and follow through on projects.
  • Solid understanding of development techniques and systems based on past performance.
  • Passion and enthusiasm for the university, the mission of the foundation and the college unit.
  • Driven and hard working.
  • Previous supervisory experience and/or experience successfully mentoring new or less experienced employees. 
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