Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations

University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management
Minnesota, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Dec 6, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Community Relations & Institutional Outreach, Development & Advancement
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Executive Director will report to the Assistant Dean of Institutional Advancement at the Carlson School of Management and will serve as a member of the Assistant Dean's leadership team. The position serves as the School's primary corporate point of contact and will lead, manage and direct a comprehensive corporate relations program for the School. The success of the program depends on the identification and cultivation of new prospects, as well as the continuation of sustained relationships with existing partners. The Executive Director will focus on maximizing broad corporate engagement across the School with the goal of building/strengthening strategic partnerships and philanthropic as well as non-philanthropic support.

As a member of the Institutional Advancement team, it is expected that those serving in this position will contribute to a constructive work environment through a positive attitude, civility, collaboration with other team members, and a respectful approach towards working relationships across the School and University of Minnesota Foundation.

Commitment to Institutional Advancement’s Mission and Core Values:

The Carlson School of Management strives to have a best-in-class advancement program and be recognized as one of the highest performing fundraising programs in the country.  Central to achieving and sustaining this level of success is an individual commitment to our mission and core values.  We embrace the Carlson School’s commitment to address systemic racism and racial inequality, aligning our work to create a more inclusive culture for alumni, donors and community partners. Our unique value proposition is a belief in not only what we do but how we do it.  The Institutional Advancement team has developed a set of core values for how we conduct our work and, importantly, how we treat each other. 

Our Mission:

Connecting philanthropy, alumni, and friends of the Carlson School to empower students and bring bold ideas to the world.

Our Core Values:

  • We create rather than follow
  • We lead with confidence and humility
  • We trust colleagues to act ethically, work diligently, and support the team
  • We share a belief in our mission, value people as people, and express joy in our work
  • We demonstrate pride in the University of Minnesota and the Carlson School

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree and five years demonstrated ability to successfully solicit major gifts; or experience in marketing, sales, public relations, financial advisement or related field with emphasis on relationship cultivation and solicitation of individuals/businesses.
  • Knowledge of the corporate community, locally or national, or other corporate/foundations relationship management experience will be considered.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; ability to articulate a strong and compelling case for support.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to demonstrated ability to create strong professional relationships with colleagues at the School, Foundation, and University.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively represent the interests and fundraising priorities of the School, while also maintaining a high degree of enterprise perspective by acting in the best interests of the University and Foundation at all times.
  • Strategic, hardworking, and able to work with a high degree of flexibility in a highly-collaborative, fast-paced, and goal-oriented environment.
  • Ability to apply creative and entrepreneurial thinking, while applying sound judgment and conducting oneself with integrity.
  • Ability to effectively work with volunteer boards to assist with corporate, foundation, and donor relationship development and to advance significant philanthropic support for the college.
  • Access to reliable transportation and ability to travel for visits with corporate partners
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as necessary
  • Demonstrated success in major gift cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; with successful closure of six and seven figure gifts. Demonstrated experience in capital campaigns, prospect management/tracking.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Seven or more years of demonstrated, quantifiable success as a major gift fundraiser
  • Five or more years of demonstrated, quantifiable success in engaging companies and securing philanthropic support from corporations and foundations
  • Demonstrated experience soliciting and securing gifts of $1 million and above
  • Supervisory experience, including the selection, training, and performance management of staff.
  • A strong commitment to higher education
  • Experience working at a major, public, land grant research university
  • Experience advancing philanthropic campaigns
  • An advanced degree

Develop and implement a comprehensive annual and long-range strategic plan for increasing corporate philanthropy and investments - 50%

  • Lead the strategic vision, planning, and execution for building a comprehensive and sophisticated corporate philanthropic plan, including the design and execution of a moves management strategy for each corporation under management to ensure timely steps are taken toward gift solicitation and closure of major gifts and other investments.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of corporate partners to solicit direct corporate investment support, with focus on securing gifts of $50,000 and above.
  • At the direction of the Assistant Dean and in alignment with the University of Minnesota Foundation, embrace and support a metric-driven, goal-oriented approach to track and guide overall corporate investment efforts, including contributions other than traditional philanthropy, such as sponsorships, student projects, executive education, etc.
  • Work collaboratively and in partnership with the University of Minnesota Foundation's Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) team to develop and execute multi-unit giving strategies in which the Carlson School is included.
  • Work with the Assistant Dean and to identify, research, and set strategies for new prospects.
  • Develop and implement strategies to ensure corporate support is in alignment with the mission, strategies, and top funding priorities of the School.
  • Help position the Dean and other appropriate Carlson School academic leaders to build and solidify relationships with C-level executives at key organizations for purposes of increasing corporate and foundation investment.
  • Explore and manage/respond to corporate leads provided by Carlson School board members, alumni and other volunteers.
  • Build new and improve existing relationships between the Carlson School and its corporate partners by acting as a central point of contact for companies

Maintain and strengthen Carlson School corporate engagement activities - 30%

  • Oversee corporate engagement opportunities within the Carlson School community, forming strong working relationships with important internal and external constituents.
  • Collaborate with Carlson School leaders to identify and appropriately match Carlson School engagement opportunities with corporate needs, and participate in meetings and events related to the promotion of the Carlson School.
  • Integrate the expertise of the Carlson School’s Benefactor Relations team in corporate and foundation gift strategies and opportunities, as well as in the design and execution of timely corporate stewardship plans and impact reports.
  • Working closely with the Carlson School events team, provide guidance, strategic direction, and collaboration on events with corporate components, including the 1st Tuesday speaker series and Women’s Leadership Conference.
  • Plan and execute corporate site visits and leadership visits to the school.
  • Facilitate connections between advancement fundraising colleagues and individual major gift prospects.
  • Build and expand relationships with companies where the Carlson School has significant professional and research connections and a strong alumni presence.

Corporate Relations Administration - 20%

  • Oversee hiring, training, performance management, and mentorship of corporate relations staff, currently including a Director of Corporate Relations and Associate Director of Corporate Relations.
  • In consultation with Assistant Dean and University of Minnesota Foundation partners, set performance metrics for the corporate relations department and staff.
  • Serve as member of the Assistant Dean's Leadership Team, providing strategic leadership and input toward fulfilling Institutional Advancement's long-term goals and objectives, including specialized School initiatives and fundraising priorities.
  • As directed by Assistant Dean, effectively manage volunteer leaders, including corporate-focused sub-committees of the Carlson School Board of Advisors, for purposes of supporting the key goals of the corporate relations program.
  • Provide structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that meets the needs and expectations of a successful, entrepreneurial and fast-moving corporate community.
  • Work closely and collaboratively across the entire Institutional Advancement team to ensure corporate relations is integrated appropriately with alumni relations, annual giving, and major gifts.

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