Vice President, Foundation Relations

  • Executive-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 8 October 2018
  • Arlington, Virginia, United States
  • Closing on 7 November 2018
  • Current

Job Description

Rare seeks a highly skilled strategist, fundraiser, and leader to serve as Vice President, Foundations Relations. Working from our headquarters in Arlington, VA, the Vice President serves as a key member of the Development departmental leadership team, working with colleagues on joint strategies to support a collaborative, holistic and cohesive fundraising environment.

Core Responsibilities

The Vice President, Foundations Relations creates and implements successful foundation fundraising strategies to meet annual fundraising goals. The Vice President is responsible for oversight of $10M annual goal and is expected to grow proportionately as the organization’s budget grows. The Vice President develops and maintains relationships with key funders and identifies and seeks out new funding opportunities; personally handles a portfolio of key foundations and prospects; leads a team of two; assists Development Department leadership with strategic planning and departmental administration; and works closely with the CEO, Chief Development Officer, program staff, communications staff, and board members to develop and implement strategies for meeting revenue goals.

Strategic Direction, Management and Administration:

Strategic Direction

  • Set goals for and direct a centralized grants program to increase foundation support for Rare’s programs.
  • Participate in program strategy groups and develop goals, objectives, and strategies for cultivating foundation supporters.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Trustees, Council, President, Senior Leadership, program staff, development officers, and foundation staff to deepen and expand relationships with key foundations.
  • Develop strategies as well as policies and procedures in collaboration with development directors.
  • Collaborate with interdepartmental teams on goal development and work products.


  • Supervise a team of two to ensure high-quality proposals and budgets, provide training to the foundations team, and ensure that open lines of communication exist between foundations, writing staff, and program staff.
  • Recruit and hire qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.
  • Set clear team direction that aligns with Rare’s strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develop staff by providing career development opportunities with appropriate training, encouragement, and supervision.
  • Provide staff with performance feedback and act as a coach and mentor.
  • Promote inclusive work environment for team and model inclusive behavior.


  • Develop and track annual work plan for the Foundations Relations teams.
  • Project grant income for budgeting purposes, monitor grant revenue, and revise fundraising strategies as necessary to meet revenue goals.
  • Ensure that internal information systems are kept up to date and accurate; develop new ways to use information management systems as needed to support foundation fundraising.
  • Share writing and information on programs and projects with development staff.
  • Write regular reports on foundation fundraising for Board of Trustees.
  • Reconcile revenue reports with Finance Department.
  • Lead hiring for vacancies within the Foundations Relations team and serve on hiring committees for open positions within the organization.

Foundation Solicitation and Relationship Development:

Manage portfolio of foundation grants including

  • Monitor programmatic developments at relevant foundations.
  • Actively engage in personal contact with foundation staff to cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors; coordinate appropriate program staff involvement at each stage.
  • Partner with staff at other conservation organizations to solicit joint grants.
  • Collaborate with development staff on various cultivation activities, special events, site visits, and solicitations.
  • Develop letters of intent, proposals, and reports.
  • Develop budgets and financial reports in coordination with program and finance staff.
  • Ability to travel on average 30% of the time to support fundraising and engagement efforts.

Experience & Education

The successful candidate will have a minimum of ten years of successful grant-seeking experience, with progressively greater responsibilities. S/he will have a minimum of three years of management experience, supervising, mentoring and empowering the work of others in a high performing institution or organization with a reputation for quality and excellence.

Other essential qualifications and attributes include:

  • Ability to identify and build relationships with key foundation leadership and staff.
  • Ability to collaborate closely with Rare’s Senior Leadership and program staff to deepen engagement with foundations.
  • Excellent creative writing and editing skills, including the ability to develop successful proposals and other materials.
  • Ability to synthesize complex material, interpret and understand programmatic goals, and translate into readable and engaging prose for intended audiences (e.g. funders).
  • Outstanding verbal and interpersonal communication.
  • Ability to construct and manage a budget.
  • Conservation background and knowledge of foundations that emphasize environmental giving preferred.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive.
  • Ability to manage and lead a diverse team in a diverse environment with emotional intelligence and cultural.
  • Has self-awareness and understands the impact of behaviors and emotional intelligence in the Also understands team’s strengths and areas for development.
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Rare is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply; EOE/M/F/D/V

Rare has retained the services of Jobplex, Inc, a DHR International company. To apply, please send your expression of interest, resume and compensation requirements to

About the Organization

Rare is a $25 million fast-growing, international conservation organization. We believe conservation comes down to people—their behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. Rare’s culture is results-oriented and entrepreneurial.

We are working toward ambitious goals and creating measurable social change. With initiatives such as Fish Forever, Watersheds Protection, Sustainable Agriculture, Blended Finance, and Center for Behavior & the Environment, Rare is on a mission to “inspire change so people and nature thrive”.

To learn more, please visit

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