Executive Director of Development, Foundation Relations
University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

This job has expired.

In preparation for the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in the University's history, the University of Denver is building an advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact through our relationships with DU's remarkable students, dedicated donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends. DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we implement the DU IMPACT 2025 vision and prepare for a fundraising campaign with a bold and courageous goal.

The University of Denver and DU Advancement deeply value inclusive excellence, recognizing that its success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes the rich diversity of constituents. You can learn more about inclusive excellence at the University of Denver by visiting the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to grow a team of inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent advancement professionals who possess deep mutual respect for one another and for our shared profession.

Position Summary

The University of Denver is seeking an experienced, driven, and passionate fundraising leader to join our Advancement team as the Executive Director to lead the foundation relations office. The primary focus of the office is to provide strategic partnership in the planning and execution of compelling institutional philanthropic gifts and grants. This is a unique opportunity for a seasoned professional to join a dynamic, growing, and purposeful enterprise united around a compelling mission charted by Chancellor Jeremy Haefner and Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement Val Otten. The foundation relations team will work with a community of talented professionals united to advance this mission and inspire philanthropy toward the highest priorities.

The Executive Director of Foundation Relations reports directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and leads a team consisting of a Senior Director, a Director, and an Assistant Director of Development who is focused on stewardship, foundation prospect research, sharing out funding opportunities, as well lend support to facutly with smaller funding opportunites. The team will provide sustainable, best-practice foundation relations strategies, as well as informative and compelling outreach to internal and external audiences in alignment with the university's top priorities. Foundation relations is expected to contribute a significant portion of fundraising annually and will be responsible for a large portion of DU's campaign. The Executive Director is also responsible for managing their own portfolio of foundations, which will include qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing, and stewarding philanthropic gifts from foundations.

Essential Functions


  • Develop meaningful and long-term relationships with a portfolio of foundations.
  • Secure philanthropic support for campus-wide priorities from institutional funders.
  • At a steady state, individually raise funds in the $3-8M range annually.
  • Collaborate with other development professionals across campus to effectively design and execute foundation relations strategies.
  • Provide comprehensive leadership of the foundation relations team. This includes supporting the day-to-day functionality of the team, as well as facilitating their recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluation, and professional development.
  • At a steady state, lead the team to consistently raise funds in the $7-15M+ range.
  • Oversee foundation relations' successful participation in DU's comprehensive campaign in alignment with Advancement Leadership.
  • As a leader in DU Advancement, provide strategy, guidance, and direction in support of the mission, vision, values, and goals of the University of Denver.
  • In partnership with the Assistant Vice Chancellor, engage in the advancement goal-setting process for foundation relations fundraising metrics.
  • Effectively manage the foundation relations operating budget, including monitoring transactions and assisting in budget modeling and forecasting processes.
  • Provide leadership and active participation in support of a foundation relations feasibility study for the upcoming campaign.
Grant/Proposal Management
  • Serve as a partner for compelling and strategic grant development, assisting with pre-proposal and proposal design, writing, editing, budget preparation, and generation of proposal collateral for the university's top priorities.
  • Ensure that there is a strong and productive partnership between Advancement and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).
  • Effectively monitor and manage awards across multiple units and divisions to fulfill requirements and to help secure larger awards.
University Citizenship
  • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to central and unit-based advancement functions and other campus colleagues, to foster strategic, effective, and collaborative fundraising practices.
  • Model "One DU" leadership.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the current landscape of foundation relations and the academic environment at a R1 institution.
  • Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000+) and principal gifts ($5 million+) in a relationship-based culture.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills that can represent the priorities of the University of Denver in a variety of capacities.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of independence, maintain confidentiality, prioritize assignments, and manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to foster and maintain effective relationships and effectively interact with diverse groups of people.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic partners towards closure of transformational gifts.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • 7 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full spectrum of development, including cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • 5 years of direct experience in foundation relations.
  • Supervision of professional fundraising staff.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Graduate degree.
  • Experience working in higher education or a similar complex setting.
  • Supervision of foundation relations professionals.
Working Environment

Standard office environment
Noise level is quiet to moderate
Ability to travel periodically each year
Eligible for hybrid work

Physical Activities

Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period
Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs. with assistance

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., some nights and weekends as required; Eligible for hybrid work

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) June 5, 2023.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through jobs.du.edu to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 16.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $135,000-$175,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate's sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non-discrimination-statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Advertised: April 26, 2023
Applications close:

This job has expired.

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