Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

October 2022 | Woods Hole, MA
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution seeks a strategic, proactive, and team-oriented Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to join their talented Advancement team

About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

two researchers diving into deep blue ocean waterFounded in 1930, the mission of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is to understand the ocean for our planet and our future. At WHOI, some of the most world’s most talented ocean scientists and engineers are pursuing this aspiration by pushing the boundaries of knowledge about the ocean to reveal its impacts on our planet and our lives.

Today, the WHOI community includes 1,000 scientific and technical staff, ships’ crew and administrative support staff, as well as about 130 Joint Program students. All of these individuals contribute to a common goal: to help advance research and understanding of the ocean and its role in shaping the planet and in sustaining life on Earth.

To guide the Institution into the next decade and beyond, WHOI leadership crafted an ambitious plan, Vision 2030, that focuses on three strategic actions: Investing in Inclusive Excellence, Leading Innovation, and Engaging the World. It is guided by a set of core values that frame how WHOI views itself and looks at the world, and how the scientific community, policymakers, funders, industry, and the public will be engaged in its work. These core values include:

  • A passion for innovation and discovery
  • The capacity to take on challenges of extraordinary scale and complexity
  • An enduring commitment to rigorous, independent, and trusted science
  • Distinctive capabilities in ocean science and engineering, exploration, education, and marine
    operations
  • A close-knit community of distinguished, committed, and entrepreneurial staff

bright red octopus grabbing onto steel structureIn addition, WHOI has embraced diversity, equity, and inclusion principles that will develop a more welcoming and supportive environment in which the voices of all people are fully represented and fully heard. Earth and ocean sciences are among the least diverse of the natural and physical sciences, so WHOI leadership will lead a community-wide effort to recruit and retain new generations of scientists and engineers from diverse backgrounds and to better reflect the larger society it serves. WHOI is proud of this commitment and believes it is essential to its future, its science, and its larger engagement with society.

For more information about Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, please visit: https://www.whoi.edu/

About Philanthropy at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

WHOI has a strong history of fundraising from a broad base of supporters, and the cultivation of philanthropic giving from individuals, corporations, and foundations has been instrumental to advancing the mission of understanding of the ocean. Private philanthropy in particular has been an integral part of WHOI’s success since it was founded in 1930, and charitable organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation helped establish the Institution’s endowment, funded the construction of new buildings and research vessels, and provided preliminary operating expenses. Today, private funding continues to support innovative ideas, technologies, and scientific discoveries.

two divers swimming through an ocean cavernWith a collaborative 20-person development team, WHOI has been named a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for 10 consecutive years, a distinction achieved by only two percent of U.S. charities. Support for WHOI from donors reached $35M in 2021, and results are projected to exceed $90M in 2022 (including a $25M gift from an anonymous foundation), 40% of which is anticipated to come from corporate and foundation partners.

WHOI is in the early phase of a comprehensive campaign and the new Director will play a significant role in the success of the campaign through the careful stewardship of WHOI’s current supporters and ambitious identification and solicitation of new prospects and funding partners.

About the Position

The Director of Corporate Foundation Relations will report to the Chief Development Officer (CDO) and will work closely with WHOI’s principal investigators (PIs) and dynamic and visionary new leadership, to lead institutional philanthropy through the creative engagement of foundations and corporations. The position manages the Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and will set the strategic direction for, and then execute, a comprehensive annual plan for the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) to achieve an annual eight-figure fundraising goal.

aerial view of woods hole oceanographic institutionThe position also manages all aspects of corporate and foundation philanthropic relationships, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding CFR prospects, and participates in the implementation of solicitation strategies, ensuring compliance with foundation guidelines, including required reporting procedures and financial monitoring of grants. In addition to overseeing their own portfolio, the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations will also conduct research to identify new opportunities that leverage broad-scale investment in WHOI’s priority programs and initiatives within funder guidelines.

Key Responsibilities

  • Identify, research, and solicit prospective (non-governmental) local and national corporations and foundations for institution-wide support.
  • Manage the annual CFR solicitation and stewardship process which includes the writing of grant proposals, project narratives, and in-depth stewardship reports.
  • Work to expand and broaden the corporate and foundation prospect pipeline and actively manage pipeline of ~100 prospects with an annual revenue of between $8 to $12 million.
  • Participate in the cultivation of foundation and corporate program officers and implementation of solicitation strategies. Provide detailed information on prospective foundations to support solicitation activities of WHOI’s President and Director, Deputy Director and Vice President for Science and Engineering, Vice President for Academic Programs and scientific staff.
  • Work with Principal Investigators (PIs) to develop and write proposals requesting support for priority projects and initiatives. Provide guidance and writing support for the full spectrum of the proposal development process, from letter of inquiry through submission. This includes proposal development and writing, copy-editing, proofreading, and assisting staff with hard copy and online submissions.
  • Partner with Department Chairs and PIs to craft compelling cases for support, initiate opportunities for senior leadership and scientific and technical staff to engage with foundation leadership and build alignment between stakeholders to drive projects forward and garner foundation interest.
  • Conduct frequent meetings with scientists across the institution to learn about their work, identify funding needs and uncover opportunities for growth.
  • With Deputy Director and VP for Science and Engineering, coordinate institution-wide foundation approaches to ensure consistency and avoid conflicting solicitations.
  • Prepare personal annual revenue goals, as well as individual goals for internal and external meetings, and number of proposals to be sent.
  • sea turtle amongst bright coral and reefsMaintain and monitor the schedule of foundation proposal deadlines.
  • Ensure all corporate or foundation donors receive appropriate follow-up reports and stewardship, monitor timely reporting on foundation grants by Institution personnel to assure compliance with foundation guidelines, and maintain a master calendar for foundation renewals, deliverables and stewardship reports.
  • Supervise the daily operations of the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, including budget oversight and staff as assigned, develop goals, plans and performance measures for the team, and monitor activity and progress toward goals.
  • As a team member, serve as a supportive collaborator across Advancement, the Directorate and the broader WHOI community.
  • Complete all other assignments as the VP of Advancement and CDO deem appropriate.

Key Qualifications

  • 7 years of experience in corporate and foundation development required. 10+ years of experience in corporate and foundation development, related systems, scientific research, general development or related field desired.
  • Solid track record of securing grants at the six-figure level; seven-figure experience a plus.
  • Deep understanding of the process of research funding and reporting.
  • Solid track record of partnerships with faculty a plus.
  • Successful project management experience from inception through completion.
  • Proven ability to provide strategic guidance on organizational and employee matters.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to establish relationships and to gain and maintain credibility in all levels of an organization.
  • Must be highly computer literate and able to learn new software. Familiarity with donor and funder tracking systems is required.
  • Ability to manage projects and project teams in order to meet tight deadlines
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to be proactive, take initiative, and successfully contribute to a positive team environment
  • Ability to set priorities, work effectively under pressure, successfully handle sensitive situations with a high level of professionalism, and manage multiple duties simultaneously.
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Previous capital campaign experience at a research institution is a plus.

Special Requirements

  • WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status (vaccination plus booster) in order to begin employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident status as well as pass a background check to satisfy the requirements set by the U.S. Department of State to serve as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the Institution’s Exchange Visitor Program.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to: WHOI@developmentguild.com

Tracy Marshall

Senior Vice President, Principal

Development Guild DDI

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