Assistant Director, Corporate + Foundation Relations

Posted on 08/08/2022

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design is seeking an Assistant Director, Corporate + Foundation Relations to join Institutional Advancement (IA). This department cultivates relationships from a variety of sources to support the priorities of the college. IA understands that art and design drive human progress and produce innovations that shape our world. It is deeply committed to building an inclusive community enlivened by a determination to address the most important challenges of our time, and that includes Corporate + Foundations Relations. The ideal candidate for this role must be a culturally competent candidate who thrives in a campus environment that advances principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities, and who recognizes diversity and inclusion as central to excellence.

The Assistant Director, Corporate + Foundation Relations (CFR) in Institutional Advancement (IA) works closely with the Executive Director of CFR to build and grow RISD’s corporate and foundation philanthropy program. The Assistant Director actively identifies and cultivates relationships with and solicits potential donors. This position will write, edit and review submissions of institutional funding proposals and will work with the Executive Director and the Donor Relations team to effectively steward donors.

Essential Functions: 

  • In partnership with the Executive Director of CFR, develop strategies for foundation and corporate engagement including maintaining a solicitation pipeline, tracking submission deadlines and maintaining a library of supporting materials and data for submissions.
  • Manage a portfolio of 25+ prospective and current foundation and corporate donors.
  • Research potential funding opportunities through identifying and cultivating relationships and stay current on the philanthropic landscape in higher education and in the art and design industry.
  • Identify academic programs or institutional projects that may qualify for corporate and/or foundation funding and develop fundraising strategies for those programs.
  • Engage with colleagues across campus (i.e., finance, admissions, academic departments, Continuing Education) to gather information required for proposal budgets and narratives, and stewardship reports.
  • Write, review and edit corporate and foundation grant proposals and stewardship reports in collaboration with the Executive Director of CFR.
  • Organize and attend campus visits for representatives of potential donors.
  • Update the Advancement Communications team regarding Corporate and Foundation donors to develop and maintain an effective and timely CFR web presence.
  • When appropriate, represent the CFR office in internal meetings with faculty and other departments to develop solicitation and relationship building strategies.
  • Develop and maintain a donor stewardship calendar, prepare and submit assigned stewardship reports for corporate and foundation gifts, and prepare CFR donor acknowledgement letters.
  • Maintain CFR files in the IA shared drive and track key correspondence with foundation and corporate representatives in the Raiser’s Edge donor management platform.
  • Maintain accurate corporate and foundation contact information, proposals and funding data so that the Advancement Services team can do so in Raiser’s Edge.

Additional Functions: 

  • Support and staff on-campus events, including, but not exclusive to, RISD’s Commencement + Reunion Weekend.
  • The Assistant Director is expected to engage in the academic life of the college as appropriate; for example, attending student art exhibitions and/or faculty lectures.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • A minimum of three years of proposal writing experience is required.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of divisional and institutional colleagues, within an environment that values diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, organizational skills, and research and analytical skills required.
  • Progressive experience focusing on corporate and foundation fundraising, preferably in a higher education environment.
  • Ability to meet multiple and sometimes concurrent external proposal and report deadlines while factoring in competing priorities and deadlines of colleagues in other offices and departments is critical.
  • Flexible workstyle and ability and desire to work as part of a growing team and program.
  • Experience and proven success with budget and project management.
  • Willingness to travel and work weekends and evenings as needed.
  • Must be able to handle confidential data and information with discretion.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the use of Microsoft Office, Adobe, CRM/database (such as Raiser’s Edge, Advance) and Google Apps (G Suite); as well as in the use of prospecting databases (such as Foundation Search, GrantForward, SPIN).

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience in a non-profit or academic institution desired.

Work Schedule: 

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Documents Needed to Apply: 

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

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