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Director, Foundation Relations

  • Reports to: Interim Chief Development Officer
    Staff reporting to this position: None
    Department: Development
    Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 7
    Minimum compensation: $92,000
    Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


    American Progress is seeking a self-starter with strong communications skills and the ability to multitask to join a growing team with a successful fundraising record as the organization’s Director of Foundation Relations. This individual will be responsible for a grant-seeking portfolio that generates $7 million to $15 million in annual revenue for American Progress. They will pursue and capitalize on emerging opportunities for foundation funding and will help produce written communications for the organization. Reporting to the Interim Chief Development Officer, the Director of Foundation Relations will work closely with American Progress’ executive and senior leadership. They will drive a robust foundation fundraising program designed to increase the amount of support from the organization’s constituency over the next several years.

    This position is ideal for a deadline-driven, detail-oriented, and well-organized development professional who is committed to a progressive policy agenda and American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. In addition, this position will support American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:

    • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
    • Building an economy for all
    • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
    • Advancing racial equity and justice
    • Restoring social trust in democracy

    The Foundation Relations team works with program staff at both the Center for American Progress, a 501(c)(3) organization, and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, to make the case for support for various programs; conduct ongoing research to identify foundation funding opportunities; collaborate on strategies for approaching foundation prospects; and track all foundation activity and deadlines.


    • Independently generate $7 million to $15 million in revenue on an annual basis.
    • Design and implement strategies and activities to increase support from existing foundation funders and identify new potential foundation support, working closely with the Interim Chief Development Officer and executive and senior leadership to drive fundraising strategy.
    • Lead cross-functional collaborations to secure less restricted and more flexible support for multidisciplinary projects led by executive and senior leadership.
    • Ensure high-quality stewardship of these collaborative grants by facilitating intra-organizational planning and coordination to meet grant deliverables.
    • Research the giving interests of foundation funders and stay abreast of philanthropic trends and recent foundation giving.
    • Identify new opportunities for funding that align with American Progress’ programs through prospect research, working closely with the Foundation Relations Coordinator.
    • Prepare foundation materials—including but not limited to proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, agreements, emails, presentations, and acknowledgment letters—by drafting original copy, editing, and formatting as needed.
    • Lead the planning and execution of meetings with foundation staff; research and draft briefings for executive leadership in advance of foundation meetings; and prepare senior staff for foundation meetings and phone calls.
    • Partner with American Progress’ program staff to cultivate relationships with both current and prospective donors and support foundation fundraising on behalf of American Progress’ Executive team.
    • Track grant requirements and deadlines as well as contact between American Progress and funders.
    • Liaise with program and finance staff to monitor grant spending.
    • Perform other duties as assigned or needed to move forward American Progress’ foundation relations portfolio.

    Requirements and qualifications:

    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • Seven to 10 years of professional experience—including four years of foundation relations experience or comparable work with foundations, preferably at a nonprofit advocacy or policy-oriented organization—is required.
    • Demonstrated success managing a seven-figure portfolio of foundation donors and managing relationships with both program officers and internal colleagues to create the conditions for success.
    • Demonstrated success in soliciting and renewing contributions from foundations by articulating a compelling case for support through multiple communication tools, such as written grant proposals, reports, and budget documents or verbal and visual presentations, among others.
    • Knowledge of various progressive philanthropic sectors, including racial equity, rights, and justice; international affairs; public health; education; or democracy is desirable.
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
    • Strong written and oral communication skills.
    • Strong analytical and prospect research skills.
    • Strong interpersonal, mediation, and facilitation skills.
    • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
    • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
    • Knowledge of the Salesforce database is desirable.
    • Familiarity with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) regulations is a plus.
    • Ability to work additional hours as needed to meet deadlines and manage workflow.
    • Support for American Progress’s mission and commitment to a broad progressive agenda.

    American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The budgeted salary for this position is $96,000.

    We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

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