Director, Institutional Giving & Special Initiatives – Princeton, NJ

Position: Director, Institutional Giving & Special Initiatives

Department: Financial Development

Location: Princeton, NJ

Reports to: VP, Philanthropy

Position Type: Regular Full Time, Exempt

Purpose of the Position: Lead and manage a self-sufficient team that successfully completes department objectives, metrics, and revenue goals. Responsible for leading the acquisition of new and/or expanded Foundation and Corporate Foundation relationships that support growth in innovation, scale and capacity of Learning Ally programs and services.  

Oversee timely proposal development and reporting on the use and impact of grants as well as cross functional training on workflow associated with proposal and report development. Provide day-to-day management of the foundation and organizational grant process, aimed at optimizing grant writing and internal processes for successful grant submission and reporting.  Ensure a grant administration process that follows industry standards/practices is established and followed across the organization. Provide development leadership on any government agency funding partners.

Collaborate with the Learning Ally executive team members to design and execute a foundation-oriented philanthropic strategy to fund special initiatives to advance the mission and meet revenue goals.

Responsible for identifying and developing foundation strategies for $100,000+ leadership gifts to Learning Ally.   Align strategies with community building and engagement within specific geographies. Lead and support special assignments that seek to generate key stakeholder relationships, raise organizational profile and additional philanthropic revenue for Learning Ally.

Primary Position Objectives:

  1. Lead strategizing/planning for the development of institutional funders and funding prospects. Effectively manage the process of a high volume foundation grant program with the assistance of the Foundation Relations Associate, grant writer(s), and collaboration with fellow Financial Development team members. 
  2. In consultation with Learning Ally leadership, develop strategies for exposure to proposal invitation and solicitation of transformational foundation and organizational gifts with an emphasis on multi-year $100,000+ prospects. Participate in external meetings to bring the strategies to life for national foundations with the goal of securing investment in Learning Ally.
  3. Collaborate with cross functional teams to ensure there is alignment between foundation/ organizational gift and community engagement strategies within specific geographies.
  4. Lead integration efforts across departments in the organization to ensure effective grant agreement development and ensure compliance with regard to grant fulfillment and reporting requirements.
  5. Ensure that Learning Ally strategic objectives, operations, and strategies are applied in proposal development to increase the likelihood of securing renewed and prospective funding that supports organizational priorities and growth.  Gather data for proposals as required, troubleshoot where needed.
  6. In consultation with FD team and in partnership with program managers and others as needed, manage the process and staffing of developing proposal content, reports, concept papers, letters and supporting materials to apply for renewed and prospective funding from foundations and organizations.
  7. Work with the FD team to manage the analysis, evaluation and strategy execution of foundation cultivation, solicitation and relationship development.
  8. Work with the Foundation Relations Associate and other staff to manage the implementation, and maintenance of a high quality stewardship process for active foundation and organizational prospects and donors.  Ensure that stewardship and reporting requirements are met to sustain successful partnerships by maintaining detailed records of solicitation activities.  
  9. Under the direction of VP of Philanthropy, and/or the CEO, lead special initiatives or participate in task forces representing specific assignments that help to generate stakeholder influence/exposure and/or additional revenue for Learning Ally and potentially cultivate and engage donors.  
  10. Assist the VP for Philanthropy as needed in long-range planning, strategy and goal setting for the Institutional Giving program and the organization’s philanthropy plan.
  11. Responsible for ensuring organizational goals, departmental priorities and performance expectations are clearly communicated. All reporting staff understands and is working effectively toward business goals, and individual objectives, and development plans are focused on these priorities.
  12. Responsible for selecting, managing, coaching, evaluating and developing staff to meet individual, departmental and organizational goals. Implement ongoing staff engagement activities, and ensure clear communication channels are in place.
  13. Foster a working environment that supports Learning Ally’s cultural values. Act as a role model and engage in discussions and feedback to ensure the intent of the culture statement is integrated into day-to-day activities, planning and communications. 
  14. Participate in other Learning Ally activities as required to achieve organizational goals.
  15. Job Requirements


    Bachelor's degree

    Supervisory experience

    Proven experience in managing developing, coaching and motivating staff
    Ability to lead peers and professionals in successful team project execution
    Ability to assume leadership role in FD department
    Ability to inspire staff and help them succeed

    Work experience

    5+ years’ experience in philanthropy and non-profit environments with demonstrated success in seeking and securing significant institutional investments
    Proven track record of writing proposals that result in six-figure gifts
    Well versed in evidence-based outcomes

    Specific Skills/Knowledge

    • Proven experience in building and sustaining relationships with donors 
    • Demonstrated record of successful foundation and organizational giving solicitations, including the design and execution of identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies
    • Possess excellent written and presentation skills
    • Strong computer skills with proficiency in FD data bases required
    • Well organized, resourceful and able to manage multiple concurrent projects and meet deadlines.
    • Able to positively and constructively work with stakeholders and administrators to successfully manage and grow funding relationships
    • Committed to and able to communicate the vision and mission of Learning Ally
    • Talent for providing solutions and understanding their impact
    • Capacity to take ownership and drive toward achieving personal goals 
    • Drive to continuously improve personally and to maximize processes and systems
    • Demonstrated good judgment, attention to detail and follow through
    • Ability to work with a sense of urgency within an environment of change
    • Highly motivated, innovative and adaptable
    • Capable of delivering exceptional internal and external customer service
    • Strong collaboration skills to facilitate group success
    • Ability to communicate openly, honestly and respectfully
    • Knowledge of disabilities and education