Director of Foundation Relations

  • Professional

Director of Foundation Relations

Job description

International Crisis Group seeks a highly adaptable and dynamic leader to join its Development team as a Director of Foundation Relations. Entering a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating work environment, the Director of Foundation Relations is instrumental in expanding foundation support as well as raising the visibility and impact of the organisation’s work to help the organisation grow it’s run rate by 25% in the next 4 years.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer and working closely with the Development team and Programs, the Director of Foundation Relations will create, guide and implement a strategic plan to identify solicit and steward financial support from a portfolio of global institutional foundations. An emphasis will be placed on securing new and transformative grants that not only enable the organisation to save lives through the prevention, mitigation and resolution of deadly conflict but also fund strategic partnerships that shape an international and multi-sector approach to peace and security for maximum human impact.


  • Design, lead and execute a strategic plan for foundation relations and contribute to the development and execution of the annual strategic development plan to provide a platform for programmatic growth that aligns with organisational priorities and proactive development strategies to further expand the organisation’s funding from foundation sources. Successful plan execution will result in new grants, maximising long-term donor revenue, and institutional readiness for large bids. Cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of foundation donors while identifying and qualifying new donors to meet fundraising goals. This involves routinely engaging the support of current board members, senior leadership, program staff and external partners in prospect identification, donor cultivation and solicitation
  • Design and implement highly tailored strategies to ensure donor retention and increase the size and grant terms. Guided by the scope of the donor or prospects’ interests, collaborate across the institution to leverage their full philanthropic potential.
  • With wide consultation across the organisation, write letters of inquiry, proposals, budgets, grant agreements, reports, project updates, and other related materials needed to secure grants, meet donor requirements and steward relationships.
  • In partnership with the Senior Management, Government Relations, and Research teams evaluate and establish the strategic partnership evaluation and M&E capabilities needed to be successful with large bids.
  • Engage donors with program leadership and field staff throughout the year in an effort to involve them in foreign policy, peace and security issues and in the execution of strategic advocacy goals.
  • Keep abreast of any domestic or international policy changes that may impact foundation priorities and any changes to trends in foundation funding by country and region. Monitor and report on any forthcoming changes that could affect Crisis Groups’ funding priorities.
  • Regularly liaise with the Finance team in Brussels to ensure proper reporting of incoming funds, update donor database to ensure data integrity for monitoring and reporting and work collaboratively with the Finance team in the submission of the organisation’s audited financial statements.
  • Supervise the Associate Director of Foundation Relations to achieve his/her goal of securing new sources of institutional support while maintaining strong relationships with our current portfolio of foundation partners worldwide.

Candidates should apply before 26 September 2020.


Requirements include:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree or an advanced degree with 7-10 years of progressive development experience in foundation relations or grant-making experience in a related field.
  • Proven experience designing and leading a strategic fundraising plan
  • Demonstrated success with securing new multi-million dollar foundation grants, particularly in the United States
  • Prior experience in managing fundraising staffKnowledge of trends, practices and priorities of the world’s largest foundations
  • Experience in or knowledge of international affairs.
  • The ability to think critically and quickly gain substantive knowledge and comprehension of the Crisis Group’s mission, programs, projects and activities to effectively pitch projects to current and prospective donors.
  • Inclination towards creative and strategic thinking to design out-of-the-box funding opportunities and partnerships to attract transformative grants
  • Impeccable writing and public speaking skills with the proven ability to successfully conceptualize, write and edit proposals and reports. Must be able to convincingly communicate nuanced programmatic details and contexts.
  • Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and the inclination to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse constituencies.
  • A commitment to working in an environment with shared goals; possessing sound judgment, integrity, willingness to try new approaches, and a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to the mission and objectives of the organisation.
  • Must be self-motivated and possess a strong work ethic, flexible style, and able to work independently as well as a team player to meet ambitious team goals.
  • Attention and commitment to processes and detail a must.
  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or other donor management database desirable.
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally, and work evenings and weekends as needed.