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Rutgers University Foundation Director of Foundation Relations in New Brunswick, New Jersey

The Rutgers University Foundation (RUF) seeks an entrepreneurial and creative fundraising professional to serve as its next Director of Foundation Relations in the Office of Foundation Relations. The Director of Foundation Relations will provide service and leadership to the Rutgers University community at large and act as a strategic partner in developing, managing, and sustaining the university’s relationship with key external foundation partners. With an upcoming multi-billion dollar campaign commencing July 2019, the Director will join a five person team and contribute to the implementation a strategic vision for a highly effective Foundation giving program. With an increased emphasis on Foundation giving and with some of the largest gifts to RUF coming from Foundations, it will be the Director’s priority to identify the greatest areas of opportunity for funding that support the Rutgers University mission.

Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Foundation Relations, the Director of Foundation Relations serves as a member of a team of seasoned professionals charged with leading the Rutgers University’s foundation fundraising program. In this university-wide role, the Director works with university leadership and faculty to identify areas of excellence and cross-disciplinary initiatives that align with the interests of high capacity donors. The Director is responsible for building strategies and developing solicitations for a portfolio 20-30 key foundations.

Office of Foundation Relations

The Foundation Relations office’s mission it to secure philanthropic support from private foundations. The Office is responsible for university-wide engagement with foundations. Over the last five years support from foundations has contributed to over 24% of total fundraising revenue for the university.

Rutgers University Foundation

Created in 1973, the Rutgers University Foundation advances Rutgers’ pursuit of excellence in education, research, and public service. The Foundation provides the bridge between donors and the universities, schools, programs, faculty, and students that make up the University. The Foundation helps to match caring people with satisfying and meaningful opportunities to make gifts that have an impact on Rutgers. Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the eighth oldest institution of higher education in the nation. Today, Rutgers-New Brunswick is a member of the Association of American Universities, is New Jersey’s premier public research institution and flagship state university. More than 100 majors offer students vast opportunities. On July 1, 2014, Rutgers University joined The Big Ten Conference of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. The Foundation is a 501© (3) tax-exempt organization with the sole mission of supporting Rutgers University. The organization includes the areas of Alumni Relations, Development and related Communications. Led by Foundation President Nevin E. Kessler and his senior cabinet – the Executive Leadership Group (ELG) – the Foundation successfully completed a $1 billion campaign in 2014 and is preparing for another multi-billion dollar campaign in the near future.

More info on the Foundation can be found on:


Specific Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Collaborate with university leadership, deans, directors, key faculty and administrators in order to develop solicitation and stewardship strategies for select foundations. Meet with faculty and university leadership regularly to map core institutional capabilities that are of interest to foundations. Must be able to collaborate with a broad range of University deans, directors, and faculty across all disciplines and campuses. Must be able to effectively resolve and navigate institutional complexity.

  • Secure, design and execute visits with foundations showcasing novel programs and core capabilities. Ability to translate faculty research and academic programs into clear and effective presentations.

  • Serve as primary point of contact both internally and externally with key foundations leading the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship processes, involving university leadership, faculty, deans, University and Rutgers University Foundation senior administrations and staff, as needed.

  • Proactively work to build consensus on solicitation strategies including driving decision-making, navigating complex organizational systems in order to produce positive outcomes; manage existing and identify new foundation prospects that reflect the changing landscape of philanthropy;

  • Provide leadership and departmental representation on fundraising committees and cross-functional initiatives. Organize and manage information from multiple internal and external sources to prepare rationale and recommendations.

  • The individual must keep abreast of the complex and dynamic external environmental and must be able to adjust priorities and approach accordingly. An array of research, prospect management, and fundraising tools must be mastered. The individual represents Foundation Relations and, at times, the Rutgers University Foundation at professional forums.

  • Provide guidance and insights that contribute to strategic direction of foundation fundraising; ability to motivate, support and manage multiple priorities in a positive, collaborative manner. Effectively communicate and translate (in verbal and written terms) complex concepts into laymen’s terms;

  • Other duties as assigned

Qualities of the Ideal Candidate

The Director can be expected to have the following personal characteristics and professional qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree plus at least seven years of relevant foundation fundraising experience, preferably in a higher education or other large non-profits that receive robust foundation funding. Master’s degree preferred.

  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and strategic direction; ability to motivate, guide, support and manage multiple priorities in a positive, collaborative environment. An understanding of and appreciation for higher education and a commitment to the values and role of a public research university; ability to translate and create interest in University programs, research, and priorities to external constituencies

  • Ability to work collaboratively with multiple University departments, schools, colleges and their faculty, deans and development staff. Ability to understand and translate (in verbal and written terms) technology, technical projects, and health-related research for potential funders. Demonstrated ability to achieve goals and strong work ethic and superior written and oral communications skills.