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Job ID: 188919

Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives (0462U), School of Optometry Dean - 36479
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Jul. 5, 2022
Title Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives (0462U), School of Optometry Dean - 36479
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Institutional Advancement

Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives (0462U), School of Optometry Dean - 36479

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Departmental Overview

At the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley, we have long lived by defining principles that guide us and differentiate us. As a part of a world-renowned university that embraces excellence and access, we foster an environment of trust and mutual respect, free expression and inquiry, and personal resilience and achievement. We are strongly committed to diversity, respect for cultural differences, and promoting social justice. These principles serve us daily in our reasonings and actions and aid us in our decision making. We educate an estimated 320 students annually. Our O.D. program is a 4-year program with clinical training provided at 2 campus clinics, 10 satellite clinics (community care), 7 VA clinics, and 24 external clinics across the country. Our one-year post-graduate residency programs provide advanced clinical education in specialty areas of optometry to 18 residents with placement on and off campus, and our Vision Science program consists of 40 PhD students.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: June 8, 2022.


Fundraising Proposals and Reporting

  • Identify foundation grant opportunities and develop strategic partnerships for these grants.
  • Perform direct contact cultivation, solicitation, and relationship management with prospective funders.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the OD and Vision Science program as well as the school's strategic priorities to ensure integrity and quality of proposal writing.
  • Writes proposals for solicitation of individual, corporate, and/or foundation prospects. Close major grants with a special emphasis on transformational grants of $250,000 to $5,000,000.
  • Engage with faculty, program directors, and leadership to identify programs and projects that align with the school's priorities and that are in need of funding.
  • Working in partnership with the Dean and AD, DAR, the Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives will assist in the planning and implementation of school-wide strategic initiatives with a focus on opportunities for transformational giving including the strategic solicitation of funding to support the research and education mission of the school.
  • Develop a portfolio of foundation proposals.
  • Collaborate with faculty and academic administrators in program development.
  • Facilitate all required stewardship activities, including but not limited to acknowledgment and reporting to foundation donors.
  • Primary campus expert on foundation relations and act as a central point for requested access and matching of capabilities and interests with the programs and priorities of the school.
  • Develop gift strategies that leverage foundation partnerships with on-campus activities.
  • In conjunction with the Dean and AD, DAR, travel to meet face-to-face with foundation representatives when appropriate.

Stewardship and Impact Reporting

  • Support the growth of donor contribution by managing elements of the stewardship program.
  • The stewardship program includes producing tailored acknowledgment letters, impact, and annual and financial reports.
  • Create and manage individualized donor stewardship plans, comprehensive stewardship reports, and ad hoc stewardship requests.
  • Maximize the effectiveness of stewardship communications by building templates, tools, and guides to ensure efficiency and consistency.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Annual Fund and Director of Leadership Giving, manage initiatives aimed at elevating the experience for foundation, corporate, and leadership donors.
  • Work with campus colleagues to coordinate stewardship and endowment reports.
  • Evaluate stewardship and donor reporting activities to ensure they are well received by our stakeholders.
  • Research and develop tools for analyzing the efficacy and impact of stewardship initiatives to demonstrate ROI.
  • Leverage on-campus events and campus resources as opportunities for donor engagement and stewardship.
  • Contribute to regular brainstorming on innovative, unique, and personalized stewardship communications and experiences.
  • Collaborate with DAR colleagues on the creation and implementation of individualized stewardship plans.

Advancement Communications

  • Oversee Advancement communications and collateral in concert with the school's MarComm and leadership team.
  • In conjunction with the Assistant Dean and the DAR team, the Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives will manage our suite of communications tools, both digital and physical, experiential engagement, both content-specific and general.
  • In collaboration with the Assistant Dean, create case statements and coordinate production of campaign brochures, proposals, and collateral materials.
  • Create content that will educate, engage, inspire and thank donors for their generosity.
  • In conjunction with the Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and the Director of Marketing and Communications, the Director of Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives will write articles for the Berkeley Optometry Alumni quarterly eNewsletter.
  • Produce Campaign Performance Tracking and analysis for annual and board reports.
  • Assist the Assistant Dean and the Dean in providing support to the Advisory Board in the form of correspondence, minutes, and reporting.
  • Craft written communications such as briefings, event scripts, talking points, and stakeholder reports.
  • Oversee communications, engagement strategy, recognition, and VIP communications.
  • Design and conduct opportunities for internal and external input/feedback to ensure that benefits and experiences offered by the DAR office are meaningful and serve as incentives and engagement tools for continued support.
  • Plan and implement communication for special initiatives and campaigns.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced knowledge of all aspects of fundraising, donor relations, and public relations concepts, principles, procedures, and techniques.
  • Advanced working knowledge of and/or ability to learn all aspects of the location, including current issues of concern for both the campus and / or throughout higher education / healthcare generally.
  • Advanced working knowledge of and/or ability to learn the location, its vision, mission, goals, objectives, achievements and infrastructure.
  • Advanced knowledge of applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, etc.
  • Advanced written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, including political acumen, to establish and maintain good working relationships throughout the organization and with outside constituencies.
  • Ability to make persuasive and compelling presentations of goals and objectives for a location in order to secure gifts.
  • Advanced organizational, analytical and critical thinking skills, including skill in creative and effective decision-making and problem identification / avoidance / resolution, and strong project management skills.
  • Very strong skills in maintaining confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated experience writing effective proposals.
  • Proven track record (3 years or more) of developing successful proposals and receiving five-, six- and seven-figure corporate and foundation grants, preferably in an academic setting.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Significant previous experience developing engagement strategies and securing corporate and foundation support.
  • Demonstrated, recent experience creating and sustaining successful relationships with private funders.


  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

Salary & Benefits

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. Please upload the document in the Resume section, then skip the (optional) Cover Letter upload section.

Other Information

  • This is a hybrid position, with 20% remote work eligibility.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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