Institutional Giving Officer

Prison University Project Overview

The mission of the Prison University Project is to provide excellent higher education to people incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, to support increased access to higher education for incarcerated people, and to stimulate public awareness about higher education access and criminal justice. The Prison University Project is a national leader in providing quality higher education opportunities to incarcerated people and in expanding access to higher education within California’s prison system and nationwide. In recognition of our work the organization was awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Obama.

The Prison University Project is currently in a period of tremendous growth. After twenty years of operating a robust, high-quality higher education degree program at San Quentin, the organization is seeking independent accreditation. This new college will be the first of its kind, a world-class college based at San Quentin, designed solely for incarcerated students. The Prison University Project is in the early stages of a multi-year fundraising campaign that will allow the organization to grow from a budget of $2.5 million to $4.5 million as it seeks accreditation and builds out the infrastructure to operate as a college. The Institutional Giving Officer will be instrumental in supporting this growth campaign.

We are seeking a strategic, results-driven development professional with a track-record of success in cultivating relationships with corporate, foundation, and government partners who is excited about supporting the fundraising capacity of a well-established organization as it grows rapidly.

Position Description

Reporting to the Development and Communications Director, and as a member of a 5-person Development and Communications team, the Institutional Giving Officer will oversee the institutional giving program — identifying and articulating the Prison University Project’s goals and objectives and translating those into fundraising opportunities. The Institutional Giving Officer will raise roughly 65% of our organizational budget through gifts from corporations, foundations and public funding sources, and participate in a $20 million growth campaign launching in 2019, stewarding gifts from $5,000-$5,000,000. This position holds responsibility for all stages of the grants pipeline — including actively researching and identifying prospects, writing narrative, building relationships with foundation contacts, and forming overall strategy for each institutional relationship and approach. The role is 60% writing, 15% prospect research, 15% relationship building, and 10% project management and administrative tasks, including managing the calendars, pipeline, and data related to grants activities, program deliverables, and fiscal responsibilities of each grant.


-Implement and manage a comprehensive institutional fundraising plan to meet goals
-Write, prepare, and submit formal fundraising proposals to institutional prospects and bring proposals to successful closure
-Working in partnership with the Development and Communications Director, the Program Team, and the Executive Director, write narrative for an array of purposes in support of the organization’s strategic plan and goals
-Both independently and in collaboration with the Director of Development and Communications, identify, cultivate and solicit new foundation support
-Develop strategies and timelines for the stewardship cycle of new and existing corporations and foundations -Monitor progress towards fundraising goals; intervene to adjust strategies or implement new strategies as needed
-Liaise with the Program Team for timely and accurate grant reporting
-Work with CFO and other staff to develop and monitor budgets for project-based grants
-Regularly monitor philanthropic news sources and overall landscape for new prospects, funding trends and opportunities
Supervise the Development and Communications Associate in support of the administrative functions of institutional giving

Qualifications, Education, Skills & Abilities

-Passion for Prison University Project’s mission
-Bachelors’ degree and a minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in the advancement field especially in institutional giving
-Superior written communication skills
-Ability to think strategically, anticipate complexities and plan or adjust accordingly, while communicating effectively with team and any stakeholders -Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills
-Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both the Development team and the Prison University Project staff culture as a whole
-Demonstrated operational leadership skills, including ability to develop, implement and realize goals and objectives
-Established relationships with foundation program officers and/or higher education funders a plus CFRE, AFP, or other extended learning and/or fundraising certifications preferred

Statement of Non-discrimination

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, the Prison University Project strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals including people of color, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. No employee or applicant will face discrimination/harassment based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status.

Compensation and Benefits

The Prison University Project offers competitive compensation, flexible work policies, and a collaborative work environment. Our excellent benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, and the full cost of each plan is covered by the Prison University Project. We also offer generous vacation time and holiday pay, as well as opportunities for professional development.

How to Apply

Please send your résumé, cover letter, and 3 writing samples to [email protected] Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


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