Development Consultant, Metcalf Institute
The URI Foundation & Alumni Engagement (URIFAE) is seeking an innovative and experienced fundraising professional with a passion for the environment and science communication to serve as a full-time, term-based development consultant for Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island. Based in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS), Metcalf Institute is an internationally recognized resource that fosters informed public conversations about science and the environment. Established in 1997 and named in honor of Michael P. Metcalf, the late publisher of The Providence Journal, Metcalf Institute provides training and support to journalists, scientists and science communicators to engage diverse audiences and ultimately advance public engagement with the complex and pressing environmental issues facing our world today. Metcalf Institute has taken a national leadership role in advancing the movement for inclusive and equitable approaches to science communication by launching the Inclusive SciComm Symposium.
Reporting to the URIFAE managing director of development, with other relationships noted below, the development consultant will work to expand Metcalf’s fundraising capacity while securing donations from new individuals and organizations over and above what is typically raised for the Institute in a given year. This position is funded for 12 months with support from a small group of donors who are intent on scaling-up Metcalf’s mission-based impact through the additional financial resources the development consultant will be expected to raise. After 12 months, the consultancy may be converted into a permanent, benefits-eligible URIFAE staff position provided that annual fundraising goals are met as part of a three-year, $1 million campaign for the Metcalf Impact Accelerator Fund. Over this three-year period, and ideally beyond, the position will be financially sustained entirely by charitable gifts that this person raises in support of Metcalf Institute.
This is an exciting opportunity for a talented and collaborative professional to contribute to the ascending growth of the Metcalf Institute, while optimizing the philanthropic potential of the University’s friends as part of an ambitious, university-wide $250 million campaign.
The development consultant’s role is to expand Metcalf Institute’s donor base and secure new sources of funding primarily for the Metcalf Impact Accelerator Fund, in support of the Institute’s strategic goals. The consultant will assess the philanthropic market, write a comprehensive fundraising plan, and build/manage a portfolio of donors/prospective donors who have the inclination and capacity to advance Metcalf Institute with individual and institutional current-use support of $5,000 and above, with a focus on five and six-figure gifts.
Given the highly entrepreneurial nature of this position, the consultant will focus a significant amount of time and energy seeking out new prospect relationships for the Institute from outside the URI community.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Reports directly to the managing director of development, URIFAE
- Indirect reporting relationship with Metcalf Institute executive director
- Communicates frequently with the CELS director of development
- Works collaboratively with Metcalf Institute administrative team, especially the donor engagement manager, and Metcalf Advisory Board.
- Works collaboratively with URIFAE RhodyNow (annual giving) team and Metcalf Institute on all Metcalf-related mass appeals and existing constituent relationships.
- Has access to URIFAE constituent database and seamless interaction with URIFAE advancement services and will be trained in URIFAE systems, policies, and procedures.
- Works collaboratively with URIFAE corporate and foundation relations team, as guided by the corporate and foundation relations executive director, regarding interaction with all institutional relationships.
- Review and analyze the currently identified prospect pool to assess accuracy of research and amend and expand as appropriate.
- Develop a comprehensive market analysis of individuals and institutions that may be interested in supporting Metcalf Institute.
- Leverage existing relationships with Metcalf Institute board members and donors to identify and discover new prospects for Metcalf from outside the traditional university community.
- Identify new prospects and develop and implement comprehensive cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies that result in new and sustained gifts and pledges. Work both independently and in concert with other colleagues and volunteers to implement strategies leading to direct solicitation of gifts to raise $300,000 per year over three years.
- Schedule appointments and oversee the preparation of necessary materials, including funding proposals, briefings for senior officers and board members when necessary, and scheduled stewardship reports, for all assigned prospects. Identify prospects to participate in specific events, committees, or other programs that promote the cultivation process.
- Respond quickly and effectively to strategic opportunities for increased prospect engagement, including travel to relevant conferences and public forums.
- Participate in meetings and activities for the volunteer Metcalf Advisory Board, promoting positive engagement opportunities and providing support, guidance and information to build trust and ensure a solid fundraising partnership.
- Collaborate closely with the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and URIFAE colleagues to ensure communications and events are well coordinated and relevant to fundraising initiatives that support the strategic development priorities for CELS and Metcalf.
The ideal consultant is passionate about the environment, science, and/or science communication. They will be self-motivated, driven, highly organized, technologically savvy, and entrepreneurial. The consultant has demonstrated leadership and an ability to take initiative, problem solve, act both independently and within a team, successfully collaborate, prioritize, and handle multiple simultaneous tasks. They must demonstrate strategic thinking, good judgment, maturity, personal integrity, strong interpersonal skills, accuracy, and attention to detail. They must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to present complex information concisely and effectively. Currently, this is a hybrid work model position with remote work complemented by periodic in-person meetings as needed. Business travel to geographic regions where donors reside and work is required, with occasional weekend and evening work. Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office suite, including Powerpoint and Excel, as well as Gmail and video conferencing is also necessary.
- A bachelor’s degree is required. Ideal candidates will have a minimum of five to eight years of development experience including a proven track record closing leadership annual and major gifts ($100,000 or more) from a wide range of advocates and organizations. Experience in non-profit fundraising desired.
Forward letter of interest and resume to:
URI Foundation & Alumni Engagement
Attn: Leo Perrone, Director of Human Resources
79 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881