Senior Director, Foundation Relations

Written December 18, 2015

Reports to: Robert Thompson, Executive Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer
Team: Development
Status: Full Time

The Mission and Vision:
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) improves the lives of one in five of us who struggle with brain-based learning and attention issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, organization and more. As the leading programming, research and advocacy organization for learning and attention issues, NCLD empowers parents and young adults, transforms schools and creates policy and advocacy impact. We envision a society in which every individual who struggles to learn possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life.

NCLD’s flagship program and platform for large-scale change, Understood, was launched in October 2014.  Understood provides an opportunity to take the organization to the next level of impact and, most important, serves as a platform for mobilizing millions of people for the cause.

In addition to Understood, NCLD is a leading learning disability advocate in Washington, DC and operates programs to support schools in serving students with learning and attention issues.

Building NCLD’s programs and field leadership, the organization is poised to make a transformative leap in impact to empower millions more – individuals, families, educators and others who care about learning and attention issues, and is expanding its team to enable this effort.

The Position
The Senior Director, Foundation Relations is responsible for supporting NCLD’s ambition for growth and change through the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of foundation gifts of $100,000 or more.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with the EVP & Chief Philanthropy Officer and the Development Team to implement the strategic fundraising plan, which is part of NCLD’s plan to make a transformative leap in impact
  • Cultivate and solicit a portfolio of foundation donors and prospects, assuming primary responsibility for stewardship, retention and sustainability of funding for NCLD’s major programs.
  • Build strong relationships with the NCLD team to engage them in program design, proposal development and to understand NCLD’s work and strategy at a sufficient level of depth to represent it to partner institutions.
  • Lead the development of strategies to maximize giving from each institutional donor and secure new sources of support, working directly with program, finance and executive leadership.
  • Write and edit requests for funding, such as letters of inquiry, concept papers, proposals, and grant applications, as well as reports and other updates to donors.
  • Meet proposal and report deadlines and ensure timely implementation of donor engagement strategies. Lead discussions with internal stakeholders and with funders to define proposal strategies.
  • Plan and participate in donor visits and other targeted contact with donors and prospects.
  • Collaborate across development to identify comprehensive points of intersection of donors and prospects.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • At least 5 years of foundation fundraising experience, including a demonstrated track record of -developing strong proposals and managing relationships with institutional partners.
  • Demonstrated leadership in developing and implementing effective fundraising strategies and in building constituent relationships that are strategically aligned with the organization’s mission and plans for growth.
  • Demonstrated success in partnering with strategic funders who are outcomes-oriented and place high importance on measurement and evaluation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to effectively interact and collaborate with professional colleagues and partners in a broad range of institutions.
  • Ability to successfully work across a growing national organization and leverage limited resources; strong facilitation, communication and writing skills required
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to manage complex projects from creation to completion, plan and prioritize multiple projects, and coordinate with program leaders to meet deadlines.
  • Integrity and commitment to personal and professional excellence.
  • Interest and commitment to NCLD’s mission.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, work weekends and travel nationally, as needed.
  • Demonstrated experience using CRM or donor databases programs; Raiser’s Edge, a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Equal Opportunity Employer

To apply please send resume and cover letter with subject line “Senior Director, Foundation Relations” to:

By mail:
National Center for Learning Disabilities
c/o: HR
32 Laight Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013