SURF Foundation Overview
The South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) has an
exciting career opportunity for a highly skilled fundraising
executive to lead the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF)
Foundation. SURF is a world-leading multidisciplinary science lab
located in Lead, SD and is the deepest underground laboratory in
the United States (https://sanfordlab.org). The SURF
Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports SURF’s mission
to advance world-class science and inspire learning across
generations. Specifically, the SURF Foundation’s mission is to
provide philanthropic revenue to advance SURF’s K-12 STEM
education, public outreach and cultural outreach programs.
The SURF Foundation has developed an ambitious vision to
establish an Institute for Underground Science at SURF (“the
Institute”). The Institute will be a world-leading center for
underground science collaboration and intellectual community and
provide leadership in long-term community planning by engaging with
the global science community in a range of disciplines. The
Institute will serve as the global “hub” for underground science
information. Finally, the Institute will foster close collaboration
and integration with science and outreach programs and establish
world leadership in K-12 education and public outreach
The South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) owns
and operates the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). The
Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) Foundation Director
leads the development and execution of an integrated strategy and
supporting plans to achieve the Foundation’s fundraising objectives
in support of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority
(SDSTA) and SURF. The Director manages all Foundation planning
activities, writing, constituency relations, donor solicitation,
donor research and grants. This is a Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) Exempt-level position.
Line of Authority
The SURF Foundation Director reports to the SDSTA Executive
Director, who serves as the Foundation's Chief Executive Officer.
The Foundation Director also directly supports the SURF Foundation
Board of Directors. The Foundation Director is an employee of the
SDSTA and is functionally assigned to the SURF Foundation.
Functional Responsibilities (include but are not limited
- Leads the development of an integrated Foundation strategy and
supporting plans to achieve the Foundation’s fundraising objectives
in support of the SDSTA and SURF.
- Fundraises successfully at local, regional and national scales
to meet SDSTA and SURF objectives.
- Cultivates and solicits potential donors in giving categories
and geographic areas via personal contact, media contact, public
speaking and other fundraising tactics.
- Supervises and directs direct mail activities. Develops
profiles of major gift prospects utilizing records and public
information and manages donor and prospect “moves” for donor
- Oversees the request and gifting process, including working
directly with accounting staff.
- Organizes and manages special events, including planning and
- Works closely with the Foundation staff to develop grant
requests to the government, foundation and individual sources to
support organizational goals.
- Researches and writes grants for the support of organizational
activities. Oversees grant writing performed by others.
- Supervises day-to-day work activities of Foundation staff
including hiring, goal setting, coaching and conducting performance
- Develops and manages the Foundation’s budget as approved by the
Foundation Board of Directors.
- Supervises the maintenance of constituency and donor computer
files, records and public information.
- Writes and edits the foundation plan annually to include past
results and planning.
- Writes special correspondence to donors from the CEO.
- Works with staff and volunteers to support other
fundraising-related public events.
- Works closely with the Executive Director and marketing agency
to develop messaging and creative materials for various campaigns,
including annual, major gifts and capital campaigns.
The SURF Foundation Director has the following
- To the CEO and SURF Foundation Board for the efficient and
effective management of the Foundation.
- To the SURF Foundation donors for professional service and for
ensuring a safe environment for all Foundation events for donors
and prospective donors.
- To the Foundation staff to create an inclusive culture of
collaboration and mutual respect.
The SURF Foundation has the following authorities:
- To participate as a member of the Foundation team, defining the
strategic goals, objectives and activities for the Foundation in
support of the SDSTA and SURF.
- To execute Foundation strategies and plans and to oversee and
manage the Foundation’s budget.
- A Bachelor’s degree is required.
- A minimum of five (5) years of proven fundraising and
management experience is required.
- Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential or equivalent
- Adaptability—Ability to effectively adjust to changing
priorities and demands; must be able to work independently to solve
problems and keep management informed of progress and status.
Ability to accept criticism and adjust plans as appropriate.
- Collaboration—Commitment to work with constituent groups
including staff, board members, donors and partners.
- Communication— Superior writing and presentation skills.
Communicates effectively and clearly with a wide range of audiences
in both written and oral form. Communicates complex topics for all
- Decision Making—Ability to assess situations, evaluate options,
choose the most appropriate course of action and effectively
communicate decisions to staff.
- Influence—Ability to present and gain support for ideas,
projects and solutions.
- Integrity—Unquestioned ability to maintain confidential
- Mentoring—Ability to advise and instruct staff in the
development of their skills to assist in furthering their abilities
as members of the team.
- Organization—Prioritizes tasks, manages time and has proven
ability to meet deadlines including coordination of priorities for
- Problem-solving—Demonstrated ability to research and analyze
complex information and communicate it effectively and
- Relationship Building—Ability to establish rapport with a
variety of constituents and maintain effective work relationships
with the scientific and education communities as well as local,
national and international media outlets.
- Safety—Ability to learn, understand and comply with SDSTA’s
- Team building—Ability to build an effective team and provide
focus and leadership to instill a strong team environment to lead
the Foundation successfully.
- Proof of a valid driver’s license is required.
- Comply with SDSTA’s safety program.
- Act in accordance with SDSTA’s core values: Safety Focused,
Care for Others, Professionalism and Being a Team Player.
- Perform work in a typical office environment with prolonged
periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
- Perform work in the SURF underground environment at depths up
to 5000 feet.
- Perform limited physical labor and light lifting (up to 30
pounds) including walking up and down flights of stairs.
The South Dakota Science & Technology Authority (SDSTA)
is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to
the development of a diverse workforce. Applicants are invited to
self-identify as an individual with a disability or as a protected
veteran. Forms are available on the website www.sanfordlab.org/careers
or upon request from Human Resources.