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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
United States




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Institutional Relations Manager

Position Description

The Manager of Institutional Relations will focus on increasing foundation support for FONA programs, initially focusing on the Washington Youth Garden, then extending to other FONA public programs for which we have historically not solicited much foundation and institutional support. The Manager of Institutional Relations will also play a key role in the development, funding, and fielding of new programs as FONA’s public programs grow in coming years. This is a full-time position.

Day-to-day work will focus on prospecting, researching and writing compelling grant proposals to secure support primarily from private foundations-- as well as pursuing government and corporate opportunities as appropriate. An additional primary responsibility is providing insight and support as FONA develops and launches new public programs.

This position requires extensive collaboration with FONA and USNA staff to maximize the reach of our programs and build a community of support for both USNA and FONA. It’s based in FONA’s office on the grounds of the US National Arboretum in Northeast Washington DC.

Educational & Experience Requirements

This position is for candidates who can have immediate impact and is not a role for candidates looking to make career transitions to new fields. Successful candidates need five or more years of experience in foundation and institutional fundraising; strong interpersonal skills; and proven ability to lead projects in a group setting. While no special horticultural, educational or environmental knowledge or experience is required, it’s definitely a plus. Bachelor’s degree required.

Required Sills

  • Experience in a non-profit environment, particularly one with a rapid growth trajectory;

  • A proven, strategic approach to foundation and similar institutional fundraising;

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build rapport and collaborate with staff at all levels within the organization;

  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills;

  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to work on and track multiple projects in a deadline-oriented environment;

  • Expertise in managing complex organizational partnerships and balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders.

  • Familiarity with grant management systems a plus but not a requirement

Reports To

Executive Director—but responsive to and works closely with the Director of Philanthropy, Director of Washington Youth Garden, other FONA staff and Board of Directors, and senior USNA staff.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Develop and deploy strategies to maximize support from existing and prospective donors—including strengthening relationships with current donors, conducting prospect research, and laying the groundwork for cultivation of new foundation, corporate and government prospects;

  • Write compelling proposals, letters of inquiry and reports to select foundations and corporations in collaboration with Executive Manager and Program Manager(s);

  • Ensure timely submission and tracking of proposals and reports;

  • Support FONA long-term planning and program development initiatives as well as annual planning and budgeting activities;

  • Conduct regular program evaluation and provide periodic financial reports and budget projections;

  • Work with Manager of Philanthropy and others on staff to plan and manage cultivation events for prospective donors, make presentations to potential grantors, and represent FONA at select meetings and events;

  • Perform other duties as needed.


Daily work schedule will be set based on fundraising program needs and individual goals-- some work can be done remotely but considerable office time is required.


Occasional offsite meetings and events in the DC area.


Health, vision, dental, disability and life insurance, retirement, and 4 weeks of annual paid leave are among some of the benefits we offer.


4-year degree


Please send resume, cover letter and work sample to If possible, work sample should be a grant proposal written by the applicant. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter.

Applications will be received on a rolling basis until December 10, 2018. Interviews will take place the week of December 10, 2018. Projected started date is January 14, 2019.