Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), our mission is to understand the ocean for our planet and our future.  In pursuit of this aspiration are some of the most world’s most talented ocean scientists and engineers who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge about the ocean to reveal its impacts on our planet and our lives.  If you would like to support the people who go to impossible places to do impossible things, you can be part of making a difference.  We are looking for a strategic, organized, proactive, team-oriented, problem-solving development professional to join our talented Advancement team as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations . This is a regular, full-time, exempt position and is eligible for benefits.


Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), and working closely with WHOI’s principal investigators (PIs) and administrative leadership, this position is responsible for leading institutional philanthropy through the creative engagement of foundations and corporations. The Director sets the strategic direction and then executes a comprehensive annual plan for the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) to achieve an annual eight figure fundraising goal.


The position manages all aspects of corporate and foundation philanthropic relationships, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding CFR prospects of the Institution; participates in the implementation of solicitation strategies, ensures compliance with foundation guidelines, including required reporting procedures and financial monitoring of grants. In addition to overseeing their own portfolios, it is important that the CFR team members conduct research to identify new opportunities that leverage broad scale investment in WHOI’s priority programs and initiatives within funder guidelines.


Essential Functions

  • Responsible for identification and research of prospective (non-governmental) local and national corporations and foundations for institution-wide support.
  • In addition to writing grants, this position is responsible for writing multiple project narratives and several in depth stewardship projects annually.

  • Works to expand and broaden corporate and foundation prospect pipeline and actively manages pipeline of ~100 prospects with an increase of revenue between $8M to $12M annually.
  • Participates in the cultivation of foundation and corporate program officers and implementation of solicitation strategies. Provides detailed information on prospective foundations to support solicitation activities of WHOI’s President and Director, Deputy Director and Vice President for Science and Engineering, Vice President for Academic Programs and scientific staff.
  • Works with Principal Investigators (PIs) to develop and write proposals requesting support for priority projects and initiatives. Provides guidance and writing support for the full spectrum of the proposal development process--from letter of inquiry through submission. Includes proposal development and writing, copy-editing, proofreading, and assisting staff with hard copy and online submissions.
  • Partners with Department Chairs and PIs to craft compelling cases for support. Initiates opportunities for senior leadership and scientific and technical staff to engage with foundation leadership. Builds alignment between stakeholders to drive projects forward and garner foundation interest.
  • Conducts frequent meetings with scientists across institution to identify funding needs and learn about the science.
  • With Deputy Director and VP for Science and Engineering, coordinates institution-wide foundation approaches to ensure a consistent approach and avoid conflicting solicitations.
  • Prepares personal annual revenue goals, as well as personal goals for internal and external meetings, and number of proposals to be sent.
  • Maintains and monitors schedule of foundation proposal deadlines.
  • Responsible for ensuring all corporate or foundation donors receive appropriate follow-up reports and stewardship. Monitors timely reporting on foundation grants by Institution personnel to assure compliance with foundation guidelines. Maintains a master calendar for foundation renewals, deliverables and stewardship reports.
  • Supervises the daily operations of the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, including budget oversight and staff as assigned. Develops goals, plans and performance measures for the team. Monitors activity and progress toward goals.
  • As a team member, serves as a supportive collaborator across Advancement, the Directorate and the broader WHOI community.
  • All other assignments as the VP of Advancement and CDO deem appropriate.


  • Performs other duties as necessary

Education & Experience

  • 7 years of experience in corporate and foundation development is required.  10+ years of experience in corporate and foundation development, related systems, scientific research, general development or related field highly desirable. Understanding of the process for research funding strongly desired. 
  • Bachelor’s degree is required.  Advanced degree is preferred.
  • Capital Campaign experience at a research institution is a plus.
  • Proven experience having led projects successfully from inception through completion.
  • Proven ability in providing strategic guidance on organizational and people matters
  • Must exhibit excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Able to establish relationships in all levels of an organization, while gaining and maintaining credibility
  • Must be highly computer literate and able to learn new software. Familiararity with computer tracking systems is required.
  • Maintain a sense of urgency and sense of commitment to tasks, projects, the team and the organization
  • Attention to detail is critical
  • Must be known as a proactive individual who takes initiative and successfully contributes to help create a positive team environment
  • Must prioritize work, work effectively under pressure, successfully handle sensitive situations with a high level of professionalism, and manage multiple duties simultaneously




Special Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident status as well as pass a background check to satisfy the requirements set by the U.S. Department of State to serve as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the Institution’s Exchange Visitor Program
  • WHOI is a federal contractor required to comply with Executive Order 14042. As such, WHOI has enacted a Mandated COVID19 vaccination policy effective December 8, 2021 where you must register your vaccination status in order to begin your employment. The registration process entails confidentially submitting a vaccination card and/or your vaccination status or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.  

Physical Requirements


Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to: occasional standing and/or walking along with being mostly and continuously sedentary.  Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Physical duties are subject to change.



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