Director of Foundation and Corporate Philanthropy

Job description

Director of Foundation and Corporate Philanthropy

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Department: Foundation and Corporate Philanthropy

Position Status: Administrative Exempt Positions

Basic Function:
Responsible for planning and implementing comprehensive program to cultivate and solicit philanthropic grants from private foundations and corporations for WPI. Philanthropic grants involve interaction with local, regional, national, and international foundations and corporations to request support for ongoing and special priorities of the University. The fundraising focus will be on strategic capital and programmatic projects that support WPI's activities and priorities, including Campaign-related initiatives when applicable, that align with the guidelines or mission of the foundations and corporations. The Director seeks to establish long term, productive relationships and strengthen existing partnerships between WPI and these constituencies and will work collaboratively with Academic and Corporate Engagement, Office of Sponsored Programs, Advancement colleagues, and other faculty and staff when appropriate.


  • Must understand the complex nature of foundations and corporations and their philanthropic missions, and proactively promote WPI activities and priorities of principal interest to this sector.
  • Project manage major proposal submissions to foundations and corporations. Identify and engage key internal stakeholders to develop proposal content and budgets. Oversee the process such that all proposals meet written guidelines, if such exist, and are submitted within established deadlines.
  • Determine the best modes and strategies to maximize and grow existing relationships. Actively steward such relationships, according to guidelines, by generating required reports. To the extent possible establish personal relationships with key external contacts (program officers, presidents, community relations staff) and maintain ongoing contact.
  • Continually engage faculty and academic administrators and understand faculty/departmental/program capabilities to assess fundraising priorities and departmental needs. Engage and regularly monitor areas of foundation and corporation interests, seeking matches to WPI’s mission. Initiate opportunities for faculty, administrators, and deans to interact with foundation and corporate prospects, and interpret foundation and corporate interests to university constituencies.
  • Proactively identify and research new foundations and corporations which have no giving history with WPI but have guidelines or missions that align with WPI priorities. Strategically engage new prospective funders through direct outreach and meetings as appropriate. Engage the WPI senior management, including the VP of University Advancement and others, and Trustees or alumni in these activities as warranted.
  • Plan and execute a development program of continuous cultivation and stewardship of select foundations and corporations with primary interests compatible with WPI’s priorities.
  • Work with major gift prospects and the major gift team particularly in the overlap between institutional and individual prospects. Work collaboratively to develop and make accessible content and proposal templates for multiple purposes.
  • Identify, cultivate and solicit corporations for in-kind gifts that relieve the university’s need to purchase such goods or services.
  • Host campus visits, travel and arrange travel with key foundation and corporate prospects and funders, and assume responsibility for the generation of cultivation, fund-raising and stewardship materials related to philanthropic giving.
  • Responsible for oversight of the network of foundation and corporate contacts related to philanthropy in Salesforce.
  • Must work effectively with both internal and external constituents including foundation officials and corporate leaders, WPI faculty, administration, Advancement colleagues, alumni, parents and friends of the University.
  • Work with the University Advancement Vice President and senior management team in setting priorities and goals for foundation and corporate funding.
  • Work individually with stakeholders, advisory board members, alumni and others to initiate and improve constituent relationships.
  • Work closely with WPI offices where interaction can help to promote foundation and corporate philanthropic support. Close coordination and collaboration is expected with WPI’s Division of Academic and Corporate Engagement on relationships and activities associated with corporate foundations or corporations, in general.
  • Coordinate the diverse interactions and relationships among WPI faculty and foundations and corporations in order to increase the likelihood of significant support.
  • Prepare major university proposals for philanthropic support, and assist faculty and administration in solicitations for departmental and programmatic support. Provide oversight and direction for research on local, regional and national foundations and corporations.
  • Responsible for the management of information resources for foundations, including data management, research, preparation of briefings and reports; information services to faculty and administration; and, the compilation of information from across campus on existing relationships.
  • Supervise daily operations , including budget and office staff.
  • Serve on campus committees and boards as appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned.

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree in a related field preferred with 5-7 years of significant experience in foundation and corporate fundraising, preferably in higher education (or a comparably complex organization).
  • Demonstrated record of success in generating significant commitments from foundations and/or corporations.
  • Knowledge of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and techniques, particularly in the area of foundation and corporate fundraising techniques, required.
  • Strong interpersonal and time management skills. Genuine interest and a commitment to advancing collaboration and teamwork. Excellent organizational, interpersonal and networking skills, with large groups as well as with individuals, are essential.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of poise and professionalism in all circumstances.
  • Excellent writing/editing skills and strong interpersonal and oral communication abilities.
  • Strategic project management skills and ability to drive a complex process to a successful conclusion.
  • High degree of motivation and the ability to be successful with minimal supervision.
  • Travel is required.

    Posting Date: 08/31/2018

    Close Date:

    Open Until Filled: Yes

    Special Instructions to Applicants:

    EEO Information:
    WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.

    Criminal Background Check Statement:
    A pre-employment criminal records check is required.

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    Job No:
    Posted: 9/5/2018
    Application Due: 11/4/2019
    Work Type: