Director of Foundation Relations, University Development at The Ohio State University

Director of Foundation Relations, University Development at The Ohio State University

Job Type
Posting Date
June 12, 2018
Location of Position

Columbus, OH

Company Summary

For 144 years, The Ohio State University's campus in Columbus has been the stage for academic achievement and a laboratory for innovation. It's where friendships are forged. It's where rivalries and revelry are born.

The university's main campus is one of America's largest and most comprehensive. As Ohio's best and one of the nation's top-20 public universities, Ohio State is further recognized by a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. As a land-grant university, Ohio State has a physical presence throughout the state, with campuses and research centers located around Ohio.

Organizational Overview

Ohio State is a land grant university and thrives as a large, complex research institution, including 15 colleges and an academic medical center with 7 health science colleges on main campus. The university recently concluded its But for Ohio State Campaign, which raised a record $3 billion. Our academic strengths and initiatives are best illustrated by our Discovery Themes, including:

  • Sustainable and Resilient Economy
  • Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation
  • Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability
  • Personalized Food/Nutritional Metabolomics for Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Translational Data Analytics
  • Humanities and the Arts
  • Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Brain Injury

Looking towards the future, the University’s 2020 Vision establishes three key pillars for the future: 1) access, affordability and excellence; 2) community engagement; and 3) diversity and inclusion.

“As we approach the university’s 150th birthday, we must re-envision our land-grant role in the modern light of the 21st century.” – President Michael V. Drake, MD

Duties and Responsibilities

Position Overview

The Ohio State University is seeking a skilled fundraising professional versed in grantsmanship to join our Foundation Relations team.  A highly self-motivated individual with exceptional interpersonal skills and strong writing, editing, and demonstrated project management abilities will thrive in this role.  This position plays an important role in supporting an inclusive organizational culture grounded in trust and accountability.  Our team of five front-line fundraisers and one project coordinator aspire to be nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of one another, our academic and medical center constituents, and our advancement colleagues.  The Director of Foundation Relations will report to the Executive Director of Foundation Relations and will be supported by a resource-rich environment and inspired to action by innovative and strategic priorities articulated in the university’s strategic plan and comprehensive campaign plan.


The diversity of funding opportunities at Ohio State needs to be met with creative solutions paired with an intimate knowledge of the foundation relations world.  It’s the perfect chance to take strong external networks to the next level.

The Director of Foundation Relations will raise academic leadership’s sights in the foundation fundraising space and help them in setting strategic priorities and goals that best align to investment priorities of private foundations.  During the first year, the successful candidate will focus on the following core objectives:

First Three Months

  • Participate in Advancement Onboarding program, including getting to know the Foundation Relations team and colleagues from across the organization.
  • Begin building relationships with each assigned unit, working with Chief Advancement Officers and development colleagues to navigate the culture and landscape of each unit.
  • Establish rapport with academic leaders, faculty, and/or physicians.
  • Become versed in the priorities of each prospect held within your fundraising portfolio.
  • Establish goals for current FY and begin working to achieve them.

During first 3-6 months

  • Establish cultivation strategies for high value foundation prospects.
  • Lead solicitation plans/strategies that aim to advance research priorities of assigned constituent units.
  • Continue work towards meeting team and individual performance goals/metrics.

During first 6-12 months

  • Continue cultivation and solicitation plans aimed at meeting priorities within assigned units.
  • Assist in creating stewardship plans for each assigned prospect within your portfolio.
Position Requirements

Experience Requirements

A proven professional who understands foundation fundraising in higher education and is collaborative, innovative and driven to continuous improvement will rise to the top as an applicant. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience leading the proposal development process and a proven record of accomplishment in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and closing foundation gifts, preferably in a large, complex higher education or medical center environment.

Required Experience

Apply Here

Two writing samples are required.  Preferably, a one-page Letter of Inquiry and a two-page excerpt from a grant proposal.
Questions may be directed to Greg Bright, Recruiter, at  

Please visit to find out more about University Advancement.

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.