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Associate Director, Foundation Relations

Drexel University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 12, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Salary Band
Commensurate with Experience
Employment Type
Full Time
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About Drexel 

Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top 10 private employers, a comprehensive global research university and a major engine for economic development in the region. With over 24,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic.

Drexel’s Office of Institutional Advancement (IA) supports the University’s mission and strategic priorities by generating philanthropic engagement and by building and strengthening relationships among alumni, students, faculty, staff, civic leaders, friends, and foundation and corporate partners. We aspire to create a sustainable and lasting culture of philanthropy at Drexel University by cultivating the next generation of leadership through volunteer initiatives and alumni engagement.

In alignment with Drexel University’s values and priorities, IA is committed to maintaining a flexible and dynamic work environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion; professional and career development; and collaboration and innovation across all our departments.

Job Summary 

The Associate Director, Foundation Relations leads the implementation and execution of foundation fundraising strategies for the Office of University-Community Partnerships, the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and the School of Education. As a writer, prospect researcher, and fundraiser, this individual will partner with the aforementioned units to develop innovative approaches for submitting cutting-edge proposals that increase revenue. The Associate Director will report directly to the Executive Director, Foundation and Corporate Relations and will work closely with other Institutional Advancement (IA) colleagues and campus partners including the Associate Director of Corporate Engagement, lead development officers, Foundation and Corporate Relations (FCR) colleagues, leaders in specific colleges and schools, and key faculty and staff.

Essential Functions 

  • Plan, organize, and implement strategies to secure foundation and corporate funds for the assigned offices, schools, and colleges. This will be accomplished by pursuing the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of foundations, and deepening relationships with and knowledge of faculty and staff in all units.
  • Serve as relationship manager for Drexel’s external consulting firm, leading strategies to advance fundraising in the areas of community partnerships and civic engagement
  • Participate in FCR internal education activities, which aim to:
  • Ensure that constituents across Drexel are informed about the responsibilities, procedures, and priorities of FCR as a service unit to the entire University.
  • Develop, streamline, and maintain effective procedures, systems, and strategies to support researchers, center directors, and administrators.
  • Develop   strategic   approaches   to   foundations   aligned   with schools, colleges, departments, and projects in the individual’s portfolio.
  • Write, edit, and assemble letters of inquiry, proposals, stewardship reports, thank you letters, and supporting documentation to foundations and maintain electronic correspondence with faculty/staff in need of support.
  • Work independently and collegially across Institutional Advancement to research and review foundation prospects and develop strategies for significant funding proposals that are responsive to both University and grantor priorities.
  • Make direct contact with grantors to arrange exploratory conversations, gather information, answer questions or provide other assistance that increases the likelihood of new or renewed investment in Drexel.
  • Track deadlines for submitting proposals and stewardship reports for funded projects by preparing and submitting required materials on a timely basis and responding to grantor requests for information.
  • Collaborate closely with the lead development officers of assigned schools/colleges/programs to develop strategies towards annual and campaign goals and seek out opportunities to maximize fundraising progress.
  • Provide high-level customer service to Deans and Senior Staff as appropriate. Understand the priorities of the Deans of assigned colleges/schools/programs to ensure foundation proposals match well with college/school/institute vision and strategic plan.  
  • Follow IA procedures regarding prospect management and contact documentation, including responsibility for oversight and submission of all related fundraising reports, statistics, projections, and publications. Enter reports of contacts within Advance in a timely manner for documentation and reporting purposes. Maintain a robust proposal pipeline and work within IA procedures and protocols for tracking progress to goals as an individual, for the portfolio of schools/colleges/programs assigned, and in line with Institutional Advancement’s overall financial goals.
  • Create annual goals for oneself that align well with the schools/colleges/department’s fundraising goals, as well as peers within FCR. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned and adhere to performance goals and standards as specified under IA guidelines.
  • Required Qualifications 

    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Five or more years of professional writing and editing experience in higher education, non- profit fund development work.
    • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy and the ability to work independently required.
    • Ability to handle high volume of specific and increasingly complex proposals as well as other writing assignments required.
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively 

    Preferred Qualifications 

    • Experience with community programs and arts/humanities preferred.
    • Knowledge of proposal development as well as corporate and foundation fundraising preferred.
    • Excellent administrative skills preferred.
    • Knowledge of database fundraising software programs desirable.
    • Ability and willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends is a plus.

    Physical Demands 

    • Typically sitting at a desk/table
    • Typically standing, walking 


    Remote/University City, Philadelphia, PA 

    Additional Information 

    This position is classified as Exempt with a salary grade of L. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure,  

    Special Instructions to the Applicant 

    Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application. 

    Review of applicants will continue until a suitable candidate pool is identified. 

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