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Foundation Relations Manager/Grant Writer


San Jose, CA, USA

Foundation Relations Manager/Grant Writer

Position Summary

The Foundation Relations Manager/Grant Writer at The Tech Museum of Innovation helps advance the organization’s mission to inspire the innovator in everyone through relationships with foundations. Working in close collaboration with other members of the development team, this position raises funds to support museum programs, the general operating fund, the field trip scholarship fund, exhibits, and other initiatives through a proactive process of identifying, initiating, developing and managing relationships with foundations.  

The Foundation Relations Manager/Grant Writer is focused on building and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships with foundations in support of the mission of The Tech. Reporting to the Foundation Relations Director, this position identifies, analyzes and profiles prospective foundation partners; manages a portfolio of foundation relationships to formulate and execute cultivation and solicitation strategies; and stewards gifts and grants. Most duties include writing, including producing letters of intent, proposals and reports.


Key Responsibilities

  • Manage portfolios through all phases of the foundation relationship cycle, including identification of opportunities, discovery meetings with foundation officers, strategy development, cultivation meetings with foundation officers, proposal preparation/writing/editing, negotiation of grant terms/conditions, closing awards, stewardship and renewals.

  • Understand a foundation’s capacity for support, existing foundation relationships with The Tech, and alignment of The Tech’s and the foundation’s priorities.

  • Work closely with foundation staff/leadership, The Tech’s Board of Directors, and The Tech’s staff/leadership to develop projects to bring to foundations.

  • Initiate visits with foundation personnel at their location and at the museum – usually involves coordinating and preparing briefings for these visits for appropriate Tech staff and volunteers (such as the president/VPs/program staff), and debriefing and following up after such visits.

  • Work independently as well as in partnership with staff to compose, edit and/or coordinate written materials, including proposals and budgets.

  • Ensure appropriate stewardship in connection with awards.

  • Work closely with the development team to meet The Tech’s overall contributed revenue needs.

  • Work evenings or weekends as needed to meet proposal deadlines.

  • Help troubleshoot issues that arise in the administration of grants in consultation with various departments and staff. Provide guidance to staff when problems arise.

  • Collaborate with the Corporate Relations Director as needed on submitting online corporate requests.  


Key Qualifications

  • At least three years of proposal writing or similar experience and a proven track record of success in fundraising.

  • Pre-existing relationships with individuals at private, community and corporate foundations preferred.

  • Experience and success with state and federal proposals a strong plus.

  • Knowledge of leading STEM-focused foundations and current trends in foundation funding.  

  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic, proactive relationships with foundations.

  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with various departments to shape internal and external priorities into winning fundraising proposals.

  • Understanding of program design, evaluation needs and detailed budget development/justification for proposals.

  • Must be able to provide portfolio of writing samples.


Additional Qualifications

  • A proactive approach to relationship-building, including the ability to initiate conversations with foundation officers and faculty.

  • Strong personal initiative and self-motivation skills.

  • Ability to thrive in a complex and dynamic environment, and to manage competing priorities.

  • Ability to work quickly on deadline.

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.

  • Polished networking skills.

  • Excellent judgment and tact, especially when working with board members and foundation officers.

  • Strong organizational, strategic, analytical and project management skills.


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