Full Time Openings

Director of Foundation Relations

Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. The Director of Foundation Relations is a member of the Academy’s fast moving Institutional Advancement team. This position is responsible for meeting the Academy’s annual goals for foundation grants through identifying and cultivating foundation funding sources; developing and carrying out strategies for funding; preparing proposals, reports, and correspondence; and acting as a steward for all foundation contributions. He or she reports to the Vice President.

Key Responsibilities

Provide successful leadership and development experience in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts at all levels from foundations to support the operating needs and priorities of the Academy.

  • Serve as the external face of the Academy to the foundation community, building relationships between the Academy and the local foundation community.

  • Develop and execute donor relation strategies for foundations; identify appropriate party to make initial contact with potential or past funders; help plan and strategize this contact; and ensure appropriate follow-up activities are completed.

  • Prepare highly competitive grant requests, collateral materials, and reports related to foundation funding solicitations for the Academy.

  • Conduct research on prospective funders, maintain accurate records of grant funders in database, and stay current on funding and philanthropic trends.

  • Project monthly and yearly revenue goals and track progress toward reaching those goals, and maintains grants/reports calendar and roster which includes timelines for cultivation/stewardship action steps and deadlines for proposals, reports, and pledge payments.

  • Keep donors apprised of progress on projects and complete progress and final reports for projects.

  • Work with staff across the Academy to identify funding needs and match them with foundation prospects; coordinate closely with Drexel University’s Corporate and Foundation Relations team on all current and prospective solicitations.

  • Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement.


  • Five or more years’ experience in development and grantwriting required.

  • Proven experience and success in securing foundation grants required.

  • Strong organizational skills with demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail required.

  • Familiarity with regional funding community preferred.

  • Prior work in a museum or other cultural institution, and familiarity with natural history and/or scientific research subjects preferred.

  • Experience with the corporate funding community a plus.

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred. 

  • Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends required.

  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills required.

  • Excellent administrative skills required.


Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and is proactively committed to diversity and inclusion in all of its policies, practices and services. We are especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the varied diversity and excellence of the academic community, and all of its complements.  


How to Apply

Please submit your application online at

Director of Major Gifts

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Reports to: Vice President, Institutional Advancement, ANS
Job Classification: Professional/Administrative
Basic Function:
The Director of Major Gifts is a member of the Academy’s fast moving Institutional Advancement team. This position will play a central role in major gift fund raising and contribute to the enhancement of annual support, both unrestricted and restricted. He or she reports to the Vice President. This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.


  1. Secure major gifts and develop future major donors by pursuing the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and stewardship of individual donor prospects with the capacity to give $25,000 or more to the Academy.
  2. Build and manage a dynamic portfolio of 125 or more prospects and suspects who are believed capable of making commitments of $25,000 or more, based on giving patterns, prospect research, and other indicators. This portfolio will evolve steadily as prospects/suspects are brought to closure, referred to other development officers, or dropped from the portfolio for lack of capacity or inclination.
  3. Design and implement individual donor strategies for major donor prospects.
  4. Play a leadership role in implementing a moves management strategy to build donors at the major and principal gifts levels.
  5. Maintain an active schedule of face-to-face meetings with major gift suspects and prospects, averaging fifteen (15) or more such meetings per month.
  6. Assist with staffing the Academy’s President & CEO on principal gift prospect stewardship and solicitation visits.
  7. Devise creative strategies for building individual philanthropic support throughout the Academy.
  8. Assess prospects for receptiveness to planned giving opportunities and work collaboratively with Drexel’s Office of Gift Planning to advise and/or refer prospects.
  9. Steward donors through ongoing communications, recognition activities, invitations to key events, and interaction with beneficiaries of their support.
  10. Work strategically and collaboratively with various departments to advance development goals for the institution.
  11. Work strategically and collaboratively with Academy and Drexel Institutional Advancement staff, Trustees, and volunteers to reach targeted goals.
  12. Serve as a liaison with Drexel Institutional Advancement gift officers by attending weekly meetings.
  13. Attend appropriate Academy cultivation and donor receptions and events.
  14. Participate in training and professional development programs offered through Drexel Institutional Advancement.
  15. Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
  16. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University P a g e | 2


  1. Minimum of 5-6 years experience in development, ideally in a major gifts role in a cultural institution.
  2. Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit, and steward gifts of $25,000 or more from individuals.
  3. Experience with capital campaigns a plus.
  4. Familiarity with planned giving concepts and experience in soliciting planned gifts is a plus.
  5. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree is preferred.
  6. Ability and willingness to travel on a frequent basis required.
  7. Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends required.
  8. Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills required.
  9. Excellent administrative skills required.
  10. Knowledge of prospect management systems preferred.
  11. Knowledge of database fundraising software Raiser’s Edge or CS Advance preferred.

Skills and Behaviors:

  • Results oriented
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Understands breadth and complexity of a major natural history museum
  • Ability to meet deadlines and effectively manage multiple responsibilities
  • Ability to keep on top of details and routine programs, while focused on the “big picture”
  • Inspires cooperation
  • Collaborative and a team player
  • Professional dress/business attire
  • Excellent personal grooming
  • Respectful of others
  • Ability to handle confidential information
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Confidence
  • Enthusiasm
  • Initiative
  • Analytical
  • Sense of humor
  • Listening

Supervision and Evaluation:
The Director of Major Gifts reports to the Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Performance evaluations will be prepared by the Vice President.

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