Director of Foundation Relations


The Illinois Policy Institute is seeking an entrepreneurial Director of Foundation Relations to maintain existing relationships and cultivate new relationships with aligned philanthropic foundations. A primary focus will be capitalizing on the recent founding of our Center for Poverty Solutions, finding and securing new funding and grants for this program in target states as well as for other projects as needed.

This position is based in Chicago. You will report to the vice president of external relations.


  • Oversee and manage a personal portfolio of foundations and grant-making organizations.
  • Craft compelling grant proposals and letters of intent.
  • Monitor and document the performance metrics of various grants received by the Illinois Policy Institute.
  • Generate impact and outcome reports for previous grant recipients.
  • Identify and engage with state-based and local foundations interested in the initiatives of the institute’s new Center for Poverty Solutions.
  • Participate in both virtual and in-person meetings with prospective and current foundation partners.
  • Maintain a strong understanding of state policy priorities and the Illinois Policy Institute’s work, with a dedicated interest in advancing these efforts.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Minimum of six years of professional experience in fundraising and writing.
  • Strong alignment with the mission of the Illinois Policy Institute and a passion for its goals.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce efficient, persuasive, and high-quality work.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and strong organizational skills.
  • Persistent in follow-up actions and proactive in approach.
  • Excellent communication skills, with clarity in both written and verbal interactions.
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Superior networking abilities.
  • Experience with customer relationship management systems, preferably Salesforce.
  • Willingness to travel approximately 20% of the time for meetings and professional development opportunities.
  • Proven track record of effectively communicating complex ideas to high-level stakeholders in a compelling manner.
  • Outstanding skills in public speaking, presentation, and writing.


Range of $90,000 to $140,000 base salary, commensurate with experience. Performance-based annual bonus on top of base salary. Compensation package includes health (medical and dental plans with employer-paid share), 401(k), flexible spending benefits, and vacation and sick days.


The Director of Foundation Relations will work in our Chicago office. The Illinois Policy Institute has a hybrid work policy where employees can work from home up to three days each week.

To Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing:
    • Your interest in this position
    • Why the mission of the Illinois Policy Institute resonates with you
    • Your salary requirements
  • A sample appeal letter for a prospective donor
  • Apply here