Director of Foundation Relations

Washington, DC | Institutional Advancement | Full-time


About Equal Justice Works

The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. Equal Justice Works provides a continuum of opportunity that begins with incoming law school students and extends through to the profession.

From advocating for law school programs that instill public service values among students, to creating summer and postgraduate public interest jobs, to addressing the staggering educational debt that blocks lawyers from going into public service, there are many ways we create an impact to further our mission. Join us in inspiring and providing opportunities for the legal community to change lives, make careers, and deliver on the promise of justice for all.


Position Overview

Equal Justice Works seeks a skilled, experienced Director of Foundation Relations to oversee foundation fundraising efforts for the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law.  Working in close partnership with both internal and external stakeholders, the Director of Foundation Relations will develop and execute a comprehensive plan to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors.  Increasing unrestricted foundation support while simultaneously building support for new and underfunded projects and programs, the Director of Foundation Relations will manage an active and growing donor and prospect portfolio, aiming to raise $5M annually in new awards.

The Director of Foundation Relations reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer (Director of Institutional Advancement). The Director supervises the Manager of Foundation Relations.


Specific Responsibilities

  • Develop the strategy and tactics to cultivate, solicit and steward grants from donors and prospects, leading the execution of a comprehensive foundation fundraising program to achieve strategic plan goals.
  • Build a robust pipeline of foundation support.
  • Craft compelling narratives for support of Equal Justice Works and its programs—collaborating closely with department colleagues and program leaders to develop program proposals and reports.
  • Supervise and manage the foundation relations manager.
  • Directly manage a portfolio of foundation funders—including key existing and prospective donors.
  • Work closely with IA staff and program leaders to coordinate with and appropriately leverage the contacts and involvement of the executive staff, Board, and leadership team to engage with foundation prospects.
  • Spearhead foundation prospect research and use of contact management systems and processes to oversee foundation donor stewardship and to track pertinent donor and prospect information, research, and analytic reporting.
  • Oversee the development and monitoring of the annual and longer-term foundation revenue plan—coordinating with program and finance staff on internal and external revenue and budgeting materials.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible, successful development experience, including significant experience in managing a foundation fundraising program, proposal and report writing, and supervising foundation relations staff, preferably at a national social justice, public interest law, or social service organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Fundraising strategist with passion for fundraising for social justice; experience in public interest law and related issues desirable.
  • Proven track record in fostering professional relationships with foundation program officers and staff, managing a dynamic portfolio of foundation donors and prospects and personally implementing cultivation strategies.
  • Superior communicator, with the ability to write in language that is accessible and compelling to foundation donors. Skilled at preparing complex proposals, reports, and related materials. 
  • Expertise in revenue planning, budget development, and expense reporting for foundation funders.
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and engage diverse audiences and to build long-term relationships, including experience leveraging executive-level staff and organization leaders to achieve fundraising success.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage multiple projects, meet deadlines, maintain composure and perform well independently in a fast-paced, deadline-driven setting.


  • Natural collaborator.
  • Skilled at preparing complex proposals, reports, and related materials.
  • Working knowledge of CRM system(s) and prospect research tools. 
  • Sound judgement; high degree of self-motivation, personal discipline, and integrity.

Salary and Benefits

  • Comprehensive and generous benefits package commensurate with education and experience, including loan repayment assistance, full healthcare coverage, dental and 401k.
  • Salary Range - Compensation commensurate with experience


EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, physical or mental handicap, matriculation, or political affiliation.