Senior Director, Institutional Development

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Apply for our Senior Director, Institutional Development role.

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies, and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future.
For more information about Ceres, please visit our web site (
Here at Ceres, we value integrity, equity, belonging, compassion, and respect. We demonstrate those values through how we communicate and collaborate with our colleagues and external partners; and embody them in our decision making and advocacy efforts to create a more just and sustainable future.

About the Institutional Development Team
The Institutional Development Team raises more than $25 million per year primarily from foundation and government sources, comprising about 70% of the organization’s revenue. The Institutional Development team is a primary engine for the Ceres enterprise. There are currently nine staff on this highly collaborative, high-performance team.

About You
You are highly motivated by the opportunity to fundraise for some of the most powerful strategies in the world for addressing the climate change emergency. You have significant experience with foundation development. You have excellent internal and external relationship management skills, analytical and persuasive writing and oral communication skills, staff management skills, project management skills, and demonstrated capacity to manage challenging and competing deadlines.

About the Role
The Senior Director will lead a team of four (4) staff that will steward approximately 25 foundations, service approximately 40 grants that these foundations currently provide, and engage with cultivated prospects to bring on more funders.
The Senior Director will work closely with program staff across the organization to develop and articulate nuanced and high-impact strategies, communicate impact to funders, and engage funders as participants and partners in Ceres’ programs.

This role is a full-time position that may work remotely or in the Boston, MA office or San Francisco, CA office. Candidates must be flexible to work with employees in all US time zones. This position reports to the Vice President, Institutional Development.

Specific duties include but are not limited to the following:
Develop an in-depth understanding of selected Ceres programs, including those that (i) harness investor influence to accelerate the transition to net zero GHG emissions by the transportation, oil & gas, electric utility, and banking sectors; (ii) organize company advocacy for climate-related policies at state and federal levels; (iii) advocate for financial regulations related to climate change that will have market-wide impact.
Steward a portfolio of foundation funders
  • Oversee completion of all aspects of proposal development for renewed and new scopes of work. This includes learning the evolving interests of funders; framing and editing proposals to meet funders' interests; strategically connecting scopes of work that span multiple program teams; facilitating internal decisions about proposing new scopes of work outside the annual planning cycle; guiding program leaders on how to present their work.
  • Monitor progress after grants are awarded; anticipate and seize opportunities for providing funders with real-time updates.
  • Oversee all aspects of progress reports to funders.
  • Actively steward relationships with relevant staff of existing funders including in-person meetings, event invitations, phone calls, and off-cycle programmatic updates by email.
  • Track, manage, and meet deadlines for funders in the portfolio and assure compliance with foundation requirements.
  • Maintain careful records including managing foundation records in Salesforce database while delegating data entry tasks as needed.
  • Work with program leaders and Finance Team to develop grant proposal budgets and review financial reports.
Lead generation and pipeline development
  • As a front-line fundraiser, build a pipeline of new foundation and corporate funders, vet and prioritize leads, and develop strategies to cultivate relationships with new funders or restart relationships with lapsed funders.
  • Advise and plan the involvement of program and executive staff as needed in the cultivation process.
Participate in team operations and management
  • Forecast revenue from current and prospective funders, reporting as needed to Ceres’ leadership (the Chief Development Officer and Chief Financial Administrative Officer, and Ceres Board Development Committee).
  • Monitor the expenditure of foundation team effort within the foundation portfolio and recommend reallocation of workload and responsibilities within the team if necessary.
  • Advise on future staffing needs.
  • Supervise staff members, including staff development, performance reviews, hiring, and termination. Play key mentoring role with junior staff on the team.
  • Other projects as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant discipline or commensurate experience required.
  • Minimum of twelve (12) years in a relevant field such as foundation fundraising, program management, or foundation operations required. A minimum of five years in fundraising from foundations highly preferred.
  • Experience hiring, training, and supervising staff and supporting professional development of others preferred.
  • Demonstrating leadership and progressive growth.
  • Proven experience securing six and seven-figure grants.
  • Highly developed writing skills and strong oral presentation skills.
  • Knowledge of, or experience with, environmental and social sustainability issues.
  • Passion for Ceres’ goals and theories of change.
  • Strong strategic decision-making, organizational, and time management skills with keen attention to detail.
  • Excellent research and problem-solving capabilities, sound judgment, a high degree of integrity and professionalism, with an ability to maintain discretion, diplomacy, and courtesy in all contacts.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Effective and inclusive collaborator with proven ability to perform all duties while ensuring equity, being diplomatic and flexible and while treating all persons with dignity and respect.
  • Strong emotional intelligence, an ability to lead with empathy and inquiry, experience developing trusting relationships with colleagues.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and standard e-mail computer applications.
  • Experience with or willingness to learn specific Ceres’ applications necessary for success including Salesforce and Microsoft Teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to support Ceres’ Commitment to Inclusion and Equity.
  • Willingness to travel as needed.
Compensation and Benefits
The hiring salary is $137,000 to $155,000 paired with competitive benefits. Ceres offers fantastic benefits including opportunities for hybrid and remote work; 82% or 85% (depending on your coverage election) employer paid health insurance and 90% employer paid dental insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with a generous match that starts on day one; generous allowances for commuter and work from home expenses; flexible spending accounts to set aside money on a pre-tax basis for eligible expenses; 10 holidays, generous vacation, and additional paid time off including a week-long winter break, summer Fridays, and sick, personal, and parental leave.

Ceres Culture
Everyone has a role to play in the movement towards a more just and sustainable world. At Ceres, we are committed to intentionally and carefully curating, engaging, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. We endeavor to create a supportive environment that sparks innovation, fosters respect, and allows Ceres employees, in all roles at all levels, to come together equally to be fulfilled, successful, and to thrive.

Ceres is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified candidates, and we do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law.

If you have questions related to the above statement or need a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact our ADA Coordinator at Please note, this email address is for ADA inquiries only.

To Apply
We encourage all applicants to review our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying: Please submit a resume and cover letter through our online application. Professional references may be requested during the selection process.