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Associate Director of Development, Discovery Partners Institute

University of Illinois Foundation
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 9, 2022

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Associate Director of Development, Discovery Partners Institute

The University of Illinois Foundation (Foundation) is the official fundraising and private gift-receiving organization of the University of Illinois (University).  It works closely with alumni and friends, faculty and staff, corporations, and foundations, as well as campus development professionals to create fundraising programs and opportunities that benefit the University.

The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) empowers people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with some of the world's top research institutions, DPI does three things centered around economic development: tech talent development for high-demand tech jobs; applied research and development; and building a stronger tech ecosystem. DPI prepares students and workers to step into high-demand tech jobs. It also builds research teams and matches them with new funding. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer and keep them here.


 PRIMARY FUNCTION:  Serves as a major gifts fundraiser and donor relations professional with corporations and foundations for the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI;, a tech talent development, applied research and development, and business-building institute led by the University of Illinois System, its three universities and partners.  DPI is a member of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), which drives innovation along with economic and workforce development across Illinois. 



  1. Develop major gift fundraising strategies for corporations and foundations, to support DPI programs in alignment with the DPI business plan. Develop fundraising major gift strategies for individuals, as necessary.
  2. Identify, qualify, cultivate, and solicit a portfolio of prospective corporate and foundation donors for major gifts ($25,000+) for DPI with a focus on six-figure gifts and above including writing grant proposals as needed.


  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with a portfolio of 20-30 foundations while developing a deep understanding of the national private foundation landscape.

  • Assist Director of Development in executing all aspects of the fundraising plan, including engagement of prospective donors, civic leaders, and volunteers, as well as event management and annual planning, among other activities.
  • Work with DPI marketing and communications staff and program staff to develop and produce fundraising communications materials (print and digital), including but not limited to: foundation grants, corporate sponsorship applications, major gift proposals, and internal development materials.
  • Act as liaison to corporate and foundation relations colleagues at the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) and at the Universities of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield to ensure coordinated efforts for maximum long-term support of the University as a whole and DPI specifically.
  • Manage a portfolio of major gift and qualifications plans primarily with organizational prospects and, after the first full year on the job, successfully close a minimum of 12 major gifts per year.
  • Work with the Director of Development for DPI and stewardship colleagues at each of the three System universities, to develop and manage stewardship plans for major donors of all types to DPI.
  • Report on fundraising activity in accordance with University system guidelines.


    • Bachelor’s degree required or equivalent work experience
    • Minimum of five years successful corporate and/or foundation relations or related career experience with a preference for experience in research universities or other large, complex organizations.
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated grant-writing success.
    • The ideal candidate should possess a high degree of independence and self-motivation, while also being collaborative with internal and external colleagues.
    • Willingness to travel as needed



    • Demonstrated knowledge of Corporate and Foundation philanthropic landscape in the state of Illinois

    Competitive benefit package and compensation commensurate with experience.  Comprehensive background check including but not limited to a criminal conviction and credit check will be conducted.

    Application Deadline: May 31st, 2022

    Application Process: For full consideration for the role, all candidates must complete an online application and include a resume and cover letter.  Candidates may create a profile through  For further information regarding application procedures, contact Foundation Human Resources at

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