Director, Foundation Relations

The Global FoodBanking Network
  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Feb 16

Position description

In less than four years, GFN has grown from a $2m to a $20m+ organization. During this same time period, the organization’s staff has doubled in size. GFN is seeking an experienced Foundation Relations professional with an entrepreneurial spirit interested in rolling up their sleeves and building foundation partnerships. 

In this next phase of GFN’s expansion, we invite foundations to join us in building a global network of food banks to nourish the world’s hungry through uniting and advancing food banks. To drive this effort, we are looking for a Director, Foundation Relations to grow those partnerships that invest in GFN and its food bank members. This is an externally-facing role for a skilled development professional who enjoys nurturing a shared vision and building long-term, collaborative partnerships.

The Director, Foundation Relations will be charged with primary responsibility for cultivating and growing foundation partnerships with the target to engage with at least five major foundations within a $3+ million portfolio within three years. This position will be forging revenue-generating relationships with partners within a five-person development team led by the Vice President of Development.

This person will help drive the strategy for foundation fundraising efforts, develop high-quality solicitation and grant materials, and ensure that GFN builds lasting relationships with foundation funders and prospects.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Strategy and Relationship Development

  • Develops an overarching foundation multi-year funding strategy, in collaboration with the Viceresident of Development, that aligns with GFN’s mission, future vision, and core program areas;
  • Oversees and implements a new prospecting research and engagement strategy with a global scope to identify and prioritize new leads for foundation funding sources;
  • Conducts face-to-face cultivation, solicitation, and meetings with portfolio.
  • Records all meaningful actions including phone and email correspondence in Salesforce;
  • Keep abreast of any domestic or international policy changes that may impact foundation priorities and any changes to trends in foundation funding by country and region; Monitor and report on any forthcoming changes that could affect GFN funding priorities;
  • Meets annual revenue targets, determined in partnership with the CEO and Vice President of Development and forecast foundation revenue pipeline for the portfolio.

Grant Management

  • Writes, edits, and finalizes high quality and compelling written materials for foundation funders;
  • Creates, edits, and manages grant documents including LOIs, proposals, theory and change and results frameworks, monitoring and evaluation log frames, grant reports, project updates, and related materials.

Prospect Development

·        Proactively design strategic plans for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;

·        Leverage the relationships and ideas of senior management, the GFN Board of Directors, and current partners to make solicitations more effective;

·        Work closely with the Programs team to strengthen foundation partnerships by providing regular updates, tracking progress, ensuring accurate recognition across all aspects of GFN presence and collateral, and arranging site visits as requested.



The candidate will be results-oriented and committed to inspiring new and continuing partners to join the fight against global hunger and food waste. The ideal candidate will thrive on identifying, cultivating, and securing gifts with a demonstrated ability in building transformational relationships for sustainable revenue and impact. A highly adept and fluent communicator, the Director, Foundation Relations will cultivate relationships and introduce GFN’s work to new foundations. The Director, Foundation Relations will bring a strong command of fundraising best practices and tools. Must be program minded with understanding of research, reporting, implementation, and report dissemination. They will have an enthusiasm for raising money. 

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A commitment to the mission of GFN, preferably with programmatic background in food security, food justice, and international development issues;
  • Ten years of professional work experience in foundation fundraising with a track record of foundation growth and experience building a pipeline;
  • A proven track record of successfully securing six-figure and seven-figure multi-year grants;
  • Experience cultivating new foundation relationships with large, private foundations;
  • A strong network of relationships with foundations;
  • Previous experience with prospect research and identification strategies;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written, and the ability to build relationships effectively and comfortably with all levels of foundation and agency staff members, including senior executives;
  • Ability to work independently and in a collaborative team environment across multiple programs and departments;
  • Excels in the areas of strategic thinking, problem solving, and attention to detail;
  • Demonstrated ability for handling multiple, complex fundraising relationships simultaneously in a fast-paced environment;
  • Highly organized, reliable, and able to balance multiple priorities and meet deadlines;
  • Solutions-oriented, self-aware, and self-disciplined;
  • Willingness and ability to travel;
  • Flexible, energetic, positive, and creative;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English – other language proficiencies welcomed.

Position location flexible but reporting into GFN headquarters in Chicago, IL . Staff is working remotely during this health crisis.


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