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Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (Extended)

Northern Illinois University
Illinois, United States
$110,000.00 - $110,000.00
Closing date
Oct 27, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Other Fundraising
Employment Type
Full Time
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Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Position Number 34821

University Advancement

Northern Illinois University


Department, University, and Community description


The Division of University Advancement houses the Northern Illinois University Foundation, which is also an independent 501c3 fundraising organization. We have a dynamic, deeply engaged, thoughtful and fun team who are devoted to ensuring successful fundraising to benefit Northern Illinois University, and to create sustainable revenue streams ensuring the continued success of the Foundation.


At Northern Illinois University Foundation, our vision is to develop, support and encourage a culture of giving throughout the NIU community that will allow it to flourish and accomplish NIU’s goal of becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest.


The Gift Planning team strives to be a high ROI team that provides the most fulfilling donor experience possible.


The ideal candidate is self-motivated, metrics driven, and has a demonstrated track record of high performance. The Senior Director will live our value of helping donors discover the joy in making a difference through their philanthropy while making an everlasting impact at Northern Illinois University.


NIU is a university that has diversity, equity, and inclusion as one its primary core values. We seek and are strengthened by the diverse perspectives and experiences of our university community members, and we appreciate and respect every member of our community. Being a part of the NIU Huskie family means being an advocate for diversity and embracing inclusive principles.


Primary Function

The role of the Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations is to significantly grow philanthropic grant and sponsorship revenue from private foundations as well as corporations and their foundations. The position is responsible for executing a foundation relations, corporate giving and corporate sponsorship strategy designed to build and strengthen partnerships, sponsorships and other forms of support for overall advancement of the university’s mission, outreach and engagement activities. This includes, securing funding for the Office of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development (OERD) and the Strategic Development Team (SDT), as well as developing mutually beneficial relationships between the university and the wide range of businesses, industries and corporations in the NIU region. The Senior Director of Corporate and Foundations Relations oversees the Director of Advancement for Institutional and Regional Initiatives and reports to the Executive Director of Advancement. As a member of the NIU Foundation giving team, this individual is charged with setting the direction, implementing and ensuring the success of the corporate and foundation fundraising program.


Duties and Responsibilities (generally)

The Senior Director will be responsible for development and oversight of a team charged with the identification of work and opportunities that might attract external support, and also for responding to opportunities for external support (through RFPs, foundation guidelines, etc.).  Generally, the Senior Director is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of gifts to the NIU Foundation from corporations and foundations. In addition, the Senior Director manages the overall growth of the corporate and foundation program from creating a robust annual donor base to creating strategies for securing major gift commitments. This position works closely with the Office of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development, the Strategic Development Team, NIU’s Alumni Association, and key members of the NIU Foundation including Directors of Advancement for the colleges and programs, and the Stewardship team. To be successful, the Senior Director will need to collaborate with administrators, faculty and staff across NIU. The fundraising goal for this position will begin at $2M annually and grow to $5M+ annually.


Education and Experience Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Seven (7) to ten (10) years of corporate and foundation fundraising experience, or equivalent experience in a grant-making organization.
  3. Five (5) years of experience in development and alumni relations fields.
  4. Five (5) years of experience working within a matrixed organizational structure where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different divisions.


Preferred Education and Experience

  1. Advanced degree.
  2. Capital campaign experience in higher education is highly desirable. 
  3. Program development experience


List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the performance of this position

  1. Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
  2. Deep, personal commitment to diversity in all forms, the recognition of all individuals to mutual respect, and the acceptance of others without biases. Demonstrable commitment to leading by example, modeling diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the university.
  3. Excellent interpersonal skills to relate to donors, volunteers, colleagues and university leadership.
  4. Self-motivated (a “self-starter”); innovative with an entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to work with considerable independence within the context of a team environment and a network of relationships.
  5. Superior written and oral communication, negotiating, organizational, analytical and fundraising skills, including the ability to interpret financial information and manage data.
  6. Familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws and planned giving vehicles and methods.
  7. Knowledge of not-for-profit higher education as well as university governance, academic administrative and financial policies and guidelines.
  8. Ability and desire to engage in face-to-face relationship activities, primarily through the scheduling of one-on-one appointments with corporate and foundation prospects who have never been engaged with NIU. Must be able to travel frequently and as needed to manage portfolio of corporate and foundation prospects; some international travel may be required.
  9. This position requires the handling of highly sensitive and confidential information and requires an exemplary track record of professionalism, maturity and discretion.
  10. Willingness to commit to and articulate the mission and goals of Northern Illinois University and the NIU
  11. Familiarity with donor databases and gift planning tools (e.g. Millennium, The Raiser’s Edge, PG Calc), Microsoft Office software and computerized systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and donors.
  12. The ability to think critically and strategically; capable of taking responsibility for specific goals within designated time frames. Capable of coordinating multi-task initiatives to successful conclusion.
  13. A flexible attitude and ability to modify and adapt as situations and conditions change, as well as a resilience with regard to the rigors of public higher education and the increasing pressure of resource constraints.
  14. The ability to effectively work in and manage within a group/team environment and assist in intra-divisional initiatives.
  15. A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in trust and integrity.



Salary range: $9,166.68/month ($110,000.16/year); Actual hiring rate is commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity; position includes a robust benefits package to eligible applicants.


Application Materials and Process:


  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter that speaks to the following aspects of experience, as listed in the education and experience requirements:
    1. Years of experience with successful corporate and foundation fundraising or grant-making experience.
    2. Years of experience in development and alumni relations fields.
    3. Developing diverse engagement strategies, populations and philanthropic planning.
    4. Working within a matrixed organizational structure.
    5. Management experience.
  • List of three references
  • Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)


For full consideration, please upload and submit application materials at by October 31, 2021. Interviews may occur before the priority review date, however all applications received by the priority review date will receive full consideration. Applications received after the priority review date will be considered as needed. For questions, please contact Melissa Nigro,

Northern Illinois University is an AA/EEO institution. Pre-employment background check and verification of eligibility to work in the United States is required.

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