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Boston University ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FOUNDATION RELATIONS, Development & Alumni Relations in BOSTON, Massachusetts

Our Mission

We in Boston University Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) harness the power of philanthropy to make an excellent education accessible and welcoming to all, and to advance BU’s global leadership in research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice. To support our work, we have built—and are continuing to build—an outstanding team of dynamic, mission-driven advancement professionals who constantly strive to create an environment where everyone belongs. Where it’s not just about a job, but a career and a community.

Now, our Foundation Relations team is looking for an Assistant Director who will increase funding for the University via foundation relationships with a focus on supporting, as assigned, specific colleges, schools, and/or initiatives located on the Charles River Campus.

Foundation Relations at Boston University

Foundations provide invaluable support to Boston University. One of the largest private universities in the country and a leading global research and teaching institution, BU uses the contributions of private philanthropic foundations (and organizations, associations, and societies) to advance scholarly and scientific research, educational initiatives, and community outreach. University-wide, foundations typically contribute $70 million annually.

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director of Foundation Relations reports to the Associate Director of Foundation Relations for the Charles River Campus (CRC) and plays a key role in increasing funding for the University via foundation relationships with a focus on supporting, as assigned, specific colleges, schools, and/or initiatives located on the CRC. This position identifies, cultivates, and solicits leadership and major-gift level foundation prospects and works with faculty to prepare requests for funding and associated documentation and reports. Works with interdisciplinary teams across the CRC to maximize the University's fundraising efforts by responding to recurring Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and new funding opportunities.

This position is expected to work in a collaborative fashion within the CRC Foundation Relations team as well as with other groups within the larger Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) team. In addition, this position will work collaboratively with the medical campus Foundation Relations and DAR colleagues, when appropriate.

Essential Functions:

  • Assist the academic leadership, faculty, associate director and director to respond to foundation RFPs, nominations for research awards, and other similar funding opportunities as appropriate. This will include, but not be limited to: (1) identifying local, national, and international foundation prospects for projects that have been approved by chairs, directors, and deans, including University-wide priorities and multidisciplinary initiatives, (2) formulating and implementing strategies for engaging prospects in relationships that lead to funding and funding opportunities, (3) preparing formal and informal letters of inquiry (LOIs), proposals, and all associated pre- and post-award documentation and (4) collaborating with DAR’s Prospect Information Strategies team and drawing on personal academic training to apply data analytic approaches—including the use and development of existing data analytics around precursor awards that sometimes signal competitive advantage for more prestigious awards—to better align faculty with funding opportunities. Focus on, but not limited to, faculty in the natural, physical, and computational sciences. Establish trust and cultivate regular rapport and long-term relationships with portfolio area faculty through regular individual, group meetings, and periodic departmental presentations to understand their academic niche, funding aspirations, and how their scholarship aligns with the strategic priorities of the department, school/college, and University writ large.

  • Assist the associate director and director to: (1) manage a portfolio of University foundation prospects focused on the schools and initiatives on the CRC; (2) build and manage a portfolio of foundation relationships, including initiating, designing, and executing strategies based on capacity of the prospects to provide support, their existing relationships with the University, and the alignment of their priorities with the University; (3) arrange, coordinate, and participate in cultivation meetings remotely, on campus, or at foundation offices with foundation officials; (4) prepare briefings for visits for appropriate University representatives, including the president, provost, deans, and faculty; debrief and follow-up on visits and meetings, and (5) organize periodic “Meet the Funder” webinars in partnership with funders, Development, and University colleagues as appropriate to help acquaint faculty with foundation program staff and vice versa.

  • Keep current with trends in the foundation community by using the web and other database listings, noting grant opportunities, and attending foundation webinars/information sessions. Formulate and communicate the annual foundation plan/goals with a variety of internal stakeholders. Ability to learn University proprietary development software and databases and similar industry tools.

Required Skills

A cover letter is required for consideration.

  • Bachelor's Degree in STEM discipline, Master's in STEM preferred.

  • 5+ years of relevant experience

  • Very strong organizational, analytic, writing, and speaking skills required.

  • Willingness to roll up your sleeves and have an entrepreneurial mindset, along with a willingness to get to know faculty and understand their programmatic and research needs; likewise, this position will research and learn about funders’ objectives, strategic goals, and funding targets (both from a personal and an organizational perspective) to match faculty and funder needs.

  • Knowledge of how academic departments are structured and work is preferred.

    But that’s not all we’re looking for; we want someone who embodies our values:

  • Teamwork, transparency, and mutual respect, because we value every member’s contributions and know that leadership can come from anywhere.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a commitment to ensuring that each of us knows we belong here.

  • Integrity in how we work and how we treat one another.

  • Strategic thinking and curiosity in the relentless pursuit of fresh approaches and measurable results.

  • Continuous growth and improvement, both as individuals and as a team.

  • Joy and shared appreciation for working hard toward goals that matter.

    If this resonates with you and you want to help us in our ambitious next campaign—and maybe do some of your best work as an advancement professional— we encourage you to apply. If you are hesitant to apply because you have not previously performed every responsibility listed in the description, but you do possess transferable skills and the defined qualifications, we still want to hear from you and welcome your application as well.

    To learn more about Development & Alumni Relations at Boston University, and other job opportunities, please stop by the DAR Talent website:

    We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

    If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the employment application process, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 617-358-1796.

Required Experience