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Executive Director, Foundation Relations

Company: The Ohio State University
Date Posted: May 11, 2017

Position Overview

Foundation Relations at The Ohio State University has a recently expanded team, fantastic momentum and abundant opportunity. This central service is seeking an Executive Director to maximize the university’s potential in securing philanthropic support from local and national foundations.  A proven, assertive leader who understands foundation fundraising in higher education and is collaborative and strategic while taking an entrepreneurial approach to foundation relations will rise to the top as an applicant. This position will serve as an integral member of the Vice President of Development’s team and position the foundation relations team as a leader amongst the natural university partners for foundations.

This role provides the opportunity to lead a team of seven, be supported in a resource-rich environment and be inspired to action daily by innovation and strategy. The Executive Director will be expected to think in very large picture ways across a complex institution with many layers and moving parts. 

Performance Objectives

  1. During the first 3-6 months:
    1. Build trusting relationships with advancement and academic colleagues across campus as well as university leadership, prospects, donors and volunteers.
    2. Immerse self in the university’s strategic plan, discovery themes and research goals.
    3. Begin work on meeting personal and team performance goals/metrics. 
  2. During the first 6-12 months
    1. Identify, develop and implement comprehensive lead generation and foundation engagement strategies in order to create significant opportunities for transformational philanthropic investment.
    2. Leverage tools and resources to elevate the role of Foundation Relations across campus in an effort to maximize foundation giving opportunities.

Organizational Overview

The Ohio State University recently concluded its But for Ohio State Campaign which raised a record $3 billion to support five priorities:  placing students first, elevating faculty and the academic enterprise, creating modern learning environments, emboldening the research agenda and driving high-impact innovation. Looking towards the future, the university’s 2020 Vision establishes three key pillars for the future:

  1. Access, affordability and excellence
  2. Community engagement
  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 

Experience Requirements

The successful candidate will have impeccable knowledge of foundation relations and a proven track record of success in identifying, cultivating and soliciting foundation gifts, preferably in a higher education environment. Applicants must be strong relationship-builders with interpersonal savvy and possess the ability to navigate a complex environment.

Closing Statement 

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.  

Apply at: 

Please visit to find out more about University Advancement. Questions may be directed to Steph Mizer, Recruitment Manager, at