Manager, Foundation Relations

Start Early
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 30, 2020
Nov 28, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) is an energized, future-focused organization devoted to providing quality early learning and care across the country. 

Our desire to close the opportunity gap and create more equitable early learning experiences for our youngest learners guides everything we do. As a leader in early learning and care, we scale our deep expertise across program, policy and research through partnerships across the country. 

We are recruiting individuals who want to join us in this mission and share a commitment to our core values of appreciation & respect, empowerment, diversity, excellence, learning and communication


Become part of our rewarding, mission-driven culture. We want our employees to feel empowered, motivated, energized, and passionate about the work they do. 

Working on the Development team, you will build strong donor management and relations, including acquisition, cultivation and stewardship strategies, in order to secure private revenue to resource Start Early’s strategic priorities.


Reporting to the Assistant Director, Foundation Relations you will:

  • Be primarily responsible for securing and stewarding Foundation funding under the guidance of the Assistant Director, Foundation Relations and in partnership with the Foundation Relations Team
  • Partner with Development colleagues and Start Early leadership to develop and execute an overall cultivation strategy for current funders and prospects.
  • Oversee the development and submission of grant proposals and reports (and attachments/supporting materials) to foundations for Start Early programs and priorities, and track grant deliverables.
  • Establish and maintain funder contacts, develop background research and meeting prep sheets, and prepare other fundraising materials. 
  • Proactively develop and execute funder stewardship/engagement plans and other key touchpoints to strengthen funder relationships for assigned portfolio and to position Start Early for renewed and increased giving with existing funders
  • Support leadership in developing external framing and positioning of Start Early’s overall work.
  • Build effective internal and external relationships to support the stewardship of complex funder relationships. 
  • Collaborate with Finance & Program staff to develop and manage budgets, expenditure reports, and accompanying financial narratives needed for grant proposals and reports
  • Proactively manage internal monitoring of project budgets to inform reports to funders 


  • Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, Journalism, Social Science, Business Administration or a related field.
  • At least three years of experience in non-profit fundraising and grant management 
  • Advanced grant writing and editing skills with exceptional attention to detail, and an ability to synthesize complex outcomes and outputs related to large systemic issues. 
  • Advanced project management skills, with the ability to balance multiple large-scale projects and deadlines simultaneously. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences and maintain strong relationships within a highly collaborative work environment. 
  • Basic knowledge of early childhood development and education, with the desire and ability to learn about issues relevant to infants, children, and families. 
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office products, fundraising databases (Salesforce preferred), and the ability to learn new technology and software programs as needed. 
  • Ability to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities

Our generous benefit plan includes: 

Comprehensive Health Plans, Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Holistic Wellness Program, Professional Development Program, 401k Contribution, Paid Volunteer Days, 6 months paid parental leave and much more. 

Start Early is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to our core values by creating an inclusive environment for all staff.

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