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Director of Foundation Relations

Department: NGA Development
Location: Washington, DC

TITLE: Director of Foundation Relations
ORGANIZATION: National Governors Association
LOCATION: Washington, DC (onsite)
COMPENSATION: A competitive compensation package will be made to the qualified candidate
REPORTS TO: Chief Development Officer


Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is the bipartisan organization of Governors from the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGAís mission is to share best practices, address issues of national and state interest, and drive innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

NGAís Center for Best Practices is the policy and research arm that helps Governors develop and implement solutions to public policy challenges. NGAís Government Relations group assists in ensuring the voice of Governors are heard in Congress, and the Executive Branch and NGAís Communications team collaborates with Governorsí offices to amplify bipartisan messaging and strategy.

Throughout the year, NGA convenes Governors and senior advisors for meaningful discourse, problem-solving and thought leadership.


Working with the Chief Development Officer and leadership within the Center for Best Practices, the Director of Foundation Relations will manage the organizationís philanthropic relationships (in collaboration with NGA Center for Best Practices policy staff) through stewardship, creative engagement, and proposal discussion and development. This role involves strategic planning, grant management, and building and nurturing relationships with key foundation donors to support organizational goals.

Other important responsibilities of the Director of Foundation Relations include:

Funder Identification/Cultivation/ Solicitation

  • Create strategies, tailored cultivation, and stewardship plans to retain current donors and maximize giving potential;
  • Develop and implement strategies for identifying and cultivating new funding opportunities;
  • Support a portfolio of current and potential funders;
  • Secure funding by developing new relationships with foundations and building deeper relationships with existing partners through targeted outreach, networking events, and meetings;
  • Utilize databases and other research tools to gather information on individuals, corporations, and foundations;
  • Track and maintain records of funder interactions, proposals, grants and reporting using Grantseeker and CRM;
  • Collaborate with program staff to develop funding proposals and grant applications aligned with the Organizationís mission and funders priorities;
  • Prepare and present proposals and presentations to solicit financial support from potential funding sources;
  • Identify opportunities to engage with potential funders through email, events, and outreach efforts.

Funder Stewardship

  • Support the growth of philanthropy partnerships by playing an active role in managing day-to-day stewardship of philanthropy deliverables and programs;
  • Design and create a personalized stewardship plan tailored to the needs, goals, and communication style of each funder;
  • Serve as primary point of contact providing regular communication, impact updates, engagement opportunities, thank you notes, and acknowledgement letters;
  • Collaborate with Development team, NGA leadership, and Center leadership to strategize techniques to play an effective role in stewarding existing foundations relationships to yield increased participation and giving;
  • Analyze and report on the effectiveness of foundation fundraising activities, making data-driven decisions to enhance future strategies; and
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Development Officer.

Ideal candidates should have a bachelorís degree with five plus years working in areas of foundation fundraising and grant management, as well as a track record of cultivating relationships. Experience working with Governors, working in federal or state agencies or a non-profit membership organization is preferred.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated ability to:

  • Effectively represent NGA under a variety of circumstances, including interactions and meetings with funders and networking opportunities at meetings, and events;
  • Effectively represent NGA under a variety of circumstances including interactions with Governors, Governorsí spouses and partners and Governorsí senior staff;
  • Strong leadership skills with experience in team dynamics and strategic planning in a fundraising context;
  • Successfully solicit, secure, and steward grants and partnerships and have a proven track record of meeting or exceeding fundraising goals;
  • Understand fundraising priorities and translate them into giving opportunities;
  • Understand donor motivations to effectively engage with funders;
  • Collaborate with program staff to ensure that proposals align with the organization's mission and objectives;
  • Have excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills;
  • Have an existing portfolio of relationships with funders interested in nonprofit leadership;
  • Have an optimistic outlook and a flexible, innovative approach to problem-solving;
  • Successfully utilized customer relationship management systems;
  • Manage multiple projects;
  • Understand and effectively use the Microsoft Office suite; and
  • Travel, as necessary.

Interested candidates should apply online through NGAís career site. NGA uses Clear Company and all information is kept strictly confidential. An application is considered when all required fields are completed. Please include:

  • Your resume highlighting your education, experience, and direct transferable skills
  • A portfolio of your best work (attach to your candidate profile via Clear Company)

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. NGA is committed to providing a productive and safe environment. To achieve that goal, we conduct background and reference check investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment.

NGA staff proudly serve our nationís Governors daily and itís our mission to ensure we offer a
comprehensive, competitive benefits package designed to support the needs of NGA employees.

NGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/D/F/V). NGA is committed to fostering an energetic, collaborative, diverse and inclusive workforce. We promote diversity and provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, or any other legally protected factor. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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