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Director of Foundation Relations

Apply now Job no: 523300
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Development, Research/Scientific/Grants

Department: University Advancement
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: $85,000 - $100,000 per year
Compensation Band: OS-OA10-Fiscal Year 2018-2019
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins
December 12, 2018; position open until filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
Please submit a cover letter and resume.

Department Summary
University Advancement is responsible for strategically positioning the UO with its various constituents and securing resources to further its aims. The division consists of approximately 200 employees primarily working out of Eugene, with offices in Portland and Bend. Departments within University Advancement include UO Alumni Association, Development, Principal and International Gifts, Advancement Operations, Federal Affairs, and State and Community Affairs.

Development in University Advancement is a comprehensive fundraising department supporting the entire university campus with an overall mission to sustain and enhance excellence at the University of Oregon. University Development supports the entire university campus by coordinating fundraising priorities and goals; collaborating in the preparation of annual goals and plans, and providing recommendations and counsel for implementing development activities university-wide.

The University of Oregon’s Strategic Initiatives, Research and Innovation (SIRI) team is a comprehensive fundraising unit within University Advancement that is responsible for leading and coordinating all private giving efforts in support of strategic initiatives and engaging alumni and friends to inspire major gift investment in research at the University. In addition, SIRI functions as the lead fundraising unit for the strategic priorities set forth by the university President and Provost. Within University Advancement, SIRI operates as a collaborative partner with school/college-based development teams seeking support from private foundations, engaging corporate partners and aligning unit-based donor opportunities with centralized priorities. Within the Office of Research and Innovation, SIRI actively collaborates with units such as Research Development Services as well as faculty to find alignment between federally funded projects/programs and private support.

Position Summary
The Director of Foundation Relations serves as the University’s primary staff liaison to leadership and staff of private foundations. The Director is a member of the SIRI team and is responsible for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of private foundation grants and gifts that can positively impact multiple schools, units, and programs at the University. This position will concentrate on grants in the major gift ($100k+) range. This position is field-oriented, requiring frequent travel and direct contact with foundations and grant-maker prospects. The Director works collaboratively with colleagues in SIRI, Development, and across the University to identify new prospects and strategically cultivate alumni, university leadership and friends that could help strengthen connections with private foundations with whom there might be shared connections.

The Director will manage the development and execution of a comprehensive cultivation and fundraising plan for private foundations. Reporting to the Senior Director of Development for SIRI within Development in University Advancement, this position will identify strategic methods to align the priorities and goals of private foundations with funding opportunities for key university initiatives. In addition, the Director will manage an associate director and be the primary resource for academic leadership in the development of effective funding proposals. This position will have a significant role in securing private resources in support of university priorities. The Director will be responsible for meeting fundraising goals and expectations as they relate to the strategic needs of the University. Performance, as measured against these goals, will be evaluated annually. Travel within Oregon as well as to cities in other states up to 50% of the time is an essential expectation of this position.

Minimum Requirements
• Bachelor’s degree.
• Five years of experience in development, with significant experience working with private foundations in higher education.

Professional Competencies
• Extensive knowledge of foundation and grant prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation with a demonstrated ability to build relationships with donors and prospects, including those who are hard-to-engage or not well connected to the university.
• Ability to maximize grant potential, educate internal stakeholders on foundation philanthropy, and leverage campus connections towards giving.
• Ability to identify top prospects and strategies for a portfolio, including leveraging data and analysis tools to optimize activity and portfolio makeup; prioritize prospects and regions while fully engaging with a robust portfolio, and provide constructive feedback on prospect management systems and structures.
• Ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships with faculty, staff, and others as appropriate and contribute ideas in interactions and discussions with management, peers, and campus partners. This includes actively collaborating and sharing credit with colleagues as well as communicating in a positive and proactive manner with fellow development officers, leadership, and research and analytics staff.
• Ability to represent the university history, mission, demographics, faculty, current programs, departments, and culture, persuasively articulate how the UO distinguishes itself from peer institutions. Competence in connecting mission and objectives across departments into donor strategies, and extensive knowledge of best practices, trends, current strategies, and other information relevant to philanthropy in higher education major gifts.
• Demonstrated ability managing people and/or programs, including recognizing and leveraging strengths of individual team members; navigating performance concerns and workplace conflict; setting metrics and goals; and customizing onboarding, expectations, and career planning for all team members.
• Strong ability to use natural inclinations and abilities of deans and faculty members to draft and secure grants, focus fundraising activity to meet metrics and engage foundations over multiple years, and ensure academic leaders understand the role of development. Ability to identify and work with the most appropriate academic partners for a given prospect, encourage academic partners to focus their efforts on top prospects, and exercise high-level judgment to maximize the impact of partnerships on giving. Skilled in establishing confidence with academic leadership to lead strategy and represent the interests of the program as well as delivering post-meeting feedback and reflection.
• Ability to communicate and articulate how individual initiatives and programmatic direction fit into overall advancement strategy, as well as use 12-month and multi-year projections and strategic planning tools to reach goals and anticipate trends, gaps, and priorities.
• Commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Ability to interact, communicate, and work effectively with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
• Ability to travel.

Preferred Qualifications
• At least seven years in development, the majority working with private foundations in higher education.
• Strong understanding of a research university.
• Experience working at the University of Oregon and a strong understanding of research strengths within UO.
• Experience in supervision and direct management of both administrative and fundraising staff.

FLSA Exempt: Yes

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

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