The Manager of Grants and Foundation Relations oversees and develops a portfolio of current and potential funders under the guidance of the Assistant Director of Foundation and Government Relations. This includes developing a strategy for and maintaining on-going stewardship communications with funders; managing current grant activity records and grant archives; and supervising the coordinator of grant writing and research. The manager also develops and writes new grant requests, proposals and reports with a focus on foundations and government opportunities; and researches potential foundation and government funders. As requested, the manager writes proposals and reports supporting all Development department needs. The manager develops and maintains a comprehensive knowledge of aquarium programs and operations and a companion library of proposals. As needed, the manager will coordinate and participate in site visits and tours for donors and prospects.
Duties & Responsibilities:
Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.
Manage portfolio of government and foundation funders, work with and guide the coordinator of grant writing and research to ensure the effective utilization of the portfolio. This includes timely and well-written submissions, creative stewardship strategies and documenting grant activities and archives.
Prepare proposals and reports, annual solicitation letters, briefing packets, stewardship reports, letters, research backgrounders and other written materials for foundation and government programs. Maintain high standards of accuracy, quality and writing style when relating aquarium information and statistics.
Request and document information from Finance (grant budgets and financial reports) and programmers (specific program information including content, audiences served and impact) as needed. Adhere to all other aspects of the grants process.
Research foundation and government funding sources for conservation, education, animal care, exhibits and operations.
Write proposals and reports supporting all Development department needs.
Develop and maintain an updated library of program descriptions and statistics about the Aquarium’s collection, programs, demographics, attendance and budget. Develop a comprehensive knowledge of aquarium programs, goals, needs and projects and research topics and perform literature reviews as needed.
Respond to compliance requests from funders including required forms, statistics and/or additional requested information. Maintain familiarity with a variety of submission formats such as grants.gov.
Maintain an annual solicitation calendar for foundation and government proposals in conjunction with the foundation and government relations director.
Participate on departmental and other Aquarium task forces and teams.
As needed and requested, assist in staffing after hours special events hosted by the Development Department, including the annual Gala, BLU, holiday breakfast, member and donor events. Participate in tours as requested.
Assist with the planning for donor site visits including working with the aquarium’s special events managers and booking meeting rooms.
Other duties as assigned.
Bachelor's degree minimum educational credential.
Ability to effectively manage staff, providing on-going feedback and support of performance
Ability to delegate tasks as appropriate to achieve division goals.
Three years of experience in government and foundation grant writing or fundraising.
Strong and versatile writing background, with ability to prepare a variety of materials; has to enjoy writing
Experience in researching funding sources.
Excellent computer skills, specifically word processing and donor database systems. Familiarity with and ability to effectively navigate complex on-line grantor submissions, especially those from government funding sources.
Strong interpersonal skills.
Ability to work independently and under tight deadline; ability to multi-task and work on several projects simultaneously
Ability to work as part of a team
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.
If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).