Union of Concerned Scientists
Director of Foundation Relations
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) — a nonprofit partnership of scientists and citizens combining rigorous scientific analysis, innovative policy development and effective citizen advocacy to achieve practical solutions — seeks a Director of Foundation Relations (DFR) to lead its strong foundations program and elevate it to new levels of success. Reporting to UCS’ Chief Development Officer, the DFR will be a member of the development senior leadership team and oversee a staff of four. The new DFR will partner with the President, Executive Director, other senior leadership and program staff to develop successful funder strategies and craft winning proposals that secure five-, six- and seven-figure gifts.
UCS promotes a strong culture of collaboration, respect and entrepreneurship in a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating advocacy environment. This is a wonderful opportunity to join a widely respected, gold-standard, science-based organization that has been an outstanding advocate for our planet and its inhabitants for over 40 years. For more information about UCS and the critical role it plays in solving some of society’s most pressing concerns, please visit: www.ucsusa.org.
About the Union of Concerned Scientists
Established in 1969 by MIT scientists and students, UCS is dedicated to promoting science in the public interest. UCS was founded on the belief that science plays an essential role in informing and driving public policy. As such, it seeks to ensure that all people have access to clean air, energy and transportation, as well as food produced in a safe and sustainable manner. UCS strives for a future that is free from the threats of global warming and nuclear war, and a planet that supports a rich diversity of life. Sound science guides UCS’ efforts to effect changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices that will protect and improve the health of our environment globally, nationally, and in communities throughout the United States. UCS is headquartered in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with offices in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, CA, and Chicago, IL.
While UCS provides research integral to the efforts of the environmental, arms control, sustainable agriculture and scientific integrity communities, its know-how extends well beyond research and technical analysis. With its commitment to compelling communication and translation of complex scientific and technical issues, UCS has helped frame the debate on a broad range of issues. Its scientists and policy experts are the go-to sources for the media, with regular appearances in print and broadcast media– from the New York Times to 60 Minutes. Members of Congress and their staffs, regardless of political party, have come to rely on UCS, while UCS’ precedent-setting campaigns educate the public and mobilize millions to act. Because UCS effectively mobilizes scientists and combines their voices with those of experienced advocates, educators, business people, and other concerned citizens, UCS has achieved extensive and important results.
In June of 2013, UCS’ president, Kevin Knobloch, was appointed Chief of Staff to the United States Department of Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz. During his ten-year tenure as president, Knobloch grew UCS’ budget from $8.5M to $24M, financial reserves from $3M to $29M and staff from 80 to 140. During the presidential search, UCS’ Executive Director, Dr. Kathleen Rest, long a close partner of Knobloch’s, is leading the organization, ensuing that UCS continues its outstanding work during this time of transition. While the new president will have broad areas of responsibility, fundraising is a key requirement.
About the Opportunity
In executing its strategic plan, UCS continues its trajectory of steady growth, ensuring successful implementation of its current goals and positioning itself to address future challenges. In fiscal year 2012, UCS raised nearly $25 million in private philanthropic revenue, reflecting a substantial increase from 2000 when it raised just $6 million. In 2012, nearly $5M was secured from private foundations with the remainder from major gifts and membership. UCS does not accept government funding and accepts limited support from corporations.
UCS’ successful foundation relations program is a well-managed and effective fundraising vehicle. It enjoys deep relationships with many foundations as it seeks to expand the foundation prospect base through ongoing research as well as by leveraging existing relationships with foundations, program directors and senior staff to increase giving from current funders. Under the leadership of the new Director of Foundation Relations, UCS has ambitious revenue goals potentially seeking to double its foundation revenue within the next five years.
UCS is proud of its scientific integrity, policy successes, and extraordinary growth. It possesses a unique culture that promotes collegial interactions, entrepreneurship, thoughtful dialogue and planning, and exceptional work-life quality. The new DFR will appreciate UCS’ strong sense of community and its intellectually stimulating environment.
About the Position
Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the DFR will join the existing senior development leadership team of three directors (Deputy Director of Development, Director of Major Gifts and Membership Director) who also report to the CDO. As a senior development leader, the DFR will provide strategic advice and counsel across the organization in matters relating to foundation support. S/he will oversee a high-performing staff of three foundation officers and a foundation associate. In this position, the DFR will take a leadership role in partnering with the president, senior staff and program directors to identify, cultivate and solicit foundation donors and prospects. The DFR will formulate strategies that lead to productive dialogue and effective solutions to funding challenges, ensuring both donor and institutional needs are met and that substantive and timely gift stewardship occurs. Essential to the success of the DFR will be strong collegial working relationships with the president, senior leadership and program directors who, in most cases, hold foundation relationships.
The DFR and foundation officers are deployed among UCS’ five programmatic areas and each carries his/her own portfolio of foundation funders. The DFR will facilitate close staff partnerships with program directors to ensure in-depth understanding of the range of UCS’ issues and opportunities, along with the knowledge to craft powerful proposals. In most instances, the assigned foundation officer will take the lead in writing proposals, working closely with program directors for content, and with finance and administration for budgets. The DFR also oversees a foundations associate who actively researches prospective foundations.
The DFR will develop foundation fundraising plans and goals which will be essential for continued growth. S/he will partner with the CDO in the development of annual plans and strategies to identify and secure grants from new prospects that include goal setting and revenue forecasting.
The successful candidate will be a collegial and collaborative leader who is passionate about UCS’ mission and work and who embodies its values, especially a sense of integrity and purpose. S/he will be far-sighted about UCS’ foundation support potential and will initiate creative plans and activities to achieve this potential.
Candidates must be highly strategic thinkers and leaders with a strong aptitude for grantsmanship and the ability to align funder’s needs with those of UCS’. Superb writing skills are essential (e.g., proposals, letters of inquiry, stewardship reports) along with a demonstrated ability to secure 5- and 6-figure grants. S/he will capably articulate the organization’s mission, goals, and work in a way that inspires potential donors in a clear and compelling manner.
Exceptional supervisory skills that seek to motivate staff, enhance their professional development and provide strong leadership and trust are essential.
The ideal candidate will possess:
- A strong aptitude for strategic grantsmanship;
- A proven track record of writing well-crafted proposals that secure 5- and 6- figure grants;
- Exceptional writing and verbal skills;
- Solid experience managing and mentoring a development team by fostering a culture of trust and collegiality along with a commitment to professional development in an open and transparent management style;
- Outstanding experience as a fundraising strategist and manager;
- Demonstrated success managing foundation programs;
- Ability to establish cross-organizational partnerships and work collaboratively with the president, program directors, senior staff, and development colleagues;
- Strong problem-solving and analytic skills, including an ability to translate ideas into clear, actionable steps;
- Intellectual curiosity about scientific issues along with an understanding of and enthusiasm for the scholarly and advocacy work of UCS;
- Working knowledge of fundraising databases – Raiser’s Edge is preferred; and
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Experience working for an advocacy organization is a plus, particularly if it is science-based, but is not required.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is an equal opportunity employer, continually seeking to diversify its staff. UCS offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a rewarding work environment.
Email resume and cover letter in confidence to:
Lisa Gell, SPHR