Careers >> Director of Foundation Relations
Director of Foundation Relations
Title:Director of Foundation Relations
Department/State Office:Development
Campaign Start Date:05/09/2018
Location:National Office - Washington, DC

We are seeking an experienced, committed and dynamic Director of Foundation Relations to join the Children's Defense Fund’s Development team and help us raise funds for programs that make a difference in the lives of children. We are a national non-profit organization that is passionate about making a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable population. This position reports to the Chief Development Officer.

Mission of the Children's Defense Fund

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.


Position Overview


Working closely with the CDO and various department and state office staff, the Director of Foundation Relations is responsible for overseeing CDF’s national foundation grant efforts. The Director will cultivate and steward relationships with foundation donors, generate funding proposals and work to implement CDF priorities at the national, state and local levels. The Director of Foundation Relations will work with the development team and program staff to ensure a smooth and successful implementation of development and program implementation plans and ensure accurate and timely submission of proposals and reports.



  1. Manage and coordinate in close coordination with the CDO foundation grant solicitation and relationship development with respect to support for CDF’s national programs and priorities..

  2. Develop and implement strategies for approaching foundation donors for renewed or increased funding, including tracking and meeting deadlines for proposals and reports to donors.

  3. Develop and implement strategies for researching, qualifying and cultivating first-time foundation funders in coordination with the CDO and where appropriate staff from other departments or state offices.

  4. Draft and edit proposals, correspondence, supporting materials, and narrative reports.

  5. Customize request letters and proposal packets for foundation donors and prospects.

  6. Complete application forms, including requested financial information.

  7. Conduct prospect research and help to identify best approaches for cultivating foundation donors.

  8. Maintain electronic and paper copies of proposals and correspondence for donor files.

  9. Track progress of solicitations to prospective new foundation donors, working to implement a growing and diverse development plan including public, private, corporate foundations and government grants.

  10. Provide up-to-date progress reports on key metrics for CDF’s national foundation grant annual goals.

  11. Manage and complete additional assignments from the CDO and from CDF’s President, and assist when appropriate and possible with other Development team initiatives and projects.



  • At least ten years of experience in foundation fundraising.

  • Demonstrated passion for CDF’s mission;

  • Demonstrated experience and success in relationship cultivation by phone and email;

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and skills in writing succinctly with excellent grammar, spelling and proof-reading. Excellent writing and attention to detail is imperative;

  • Experience in policy advocacy and program implementation work strongly preferred;

  • Ability to produce and manipulate computer-generated documents utilizing Microsoft Office including proficiency with Word and Excel;

  • Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising;

  • Ability to communicate with a variety of audiences, including foundation staff, corporate donors, community stakeholders, board members and program staff;

  • A self-starter, capable of working independently and under tight and sometimes competing deadlines;

  • Ability to manage multiple conflicting deadlines and maintain disciplined adherence to individual and team goals;

  • Ability to work effectively and maintain positive relationships with internal staff members and external constituents;

  • Ability to travel occasionally;

  • Experience and proficiency in working with donor database software, preferably Raiser's Edge preferred;

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree, Master’s preferred.


Salary commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package.

To apply submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement.




This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications