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Job Posting
Will lead the development of an integrated plan and manage all Foundation planning activities, writing, constituency relations, donor solicitation, donor research and grantsmanship
Open until filled.

Position Summary

The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) Foundation Director leads the development of an integrated plan to achieve the Foundation’s fundraising objectives in support of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) and SURF. The Director manages all Foundation planning activities, writing, constituency relations, donor solicitation, donor research, and grantsmanship. The SURF Foundation Director reports to the SDSTA Executive Director who serves as the Foundation Chief Executive Officer. The Foundation Director will be an employee of the SDSTA and will be functionally assigned to the SURF Foundation.

Functional Responsibilities  (include but are not limited to):

  • Cultivates and solicits potential donors in giving categories and geographic areas via personal contact, media contact, public speaking, and other fundraising tactics.
  • Supervises and directs direct mail activities. Develops profiles of major gift prospects utilizing records and public information and manages donor and prospect “moves” for donor relations.
  • Oversees the request and gifting process including working directly with accounting staff.
  • Organizes and manages special events, including planning and implementation aspects.
  • Works closely with the Foundation staff to develop grant requests to the government, foundation, and individual sources to support organizational goals.  
  • Researches and writes grants for the support of organizational activities.
  • Supervises day-to-day work activities of Foundation staff including hiring, goal setting, coaching, and conducting performance reviews. Develops and manages the Foundation’s fiscal budget as approved by the Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Supervises the maintenance of constituency and donor computer files, records, and public information. 
  • Writes and edits the foundation plan on an annual basis to include past results and planning.
  • Writes special correspondence to donors from the President/CEO.
  • Works with staff and volunteers to support other fundraising-related public events.
  • Works closely with the Executive Director and marketing agency to develop messaging and creative materials for various campaigns, including annual, major gifts, and capital campaigns.


A Bachelor’s degree is required. A minimum of 5 years of proven fundraising and management experience is required. Requires leadership and presentation skills, tact and diplomacy, effective oral and written communication skills, and organizational ability. Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential or equivalent preferred.


  • Communication: superior writing and speaking skills.
  • Relationship building: ability to establish rapport with a variety of constituents and maintain effective work relationships with the scientific and education communities as well as local, national and international media outlets. 
  • Organization: ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and meet deadlines; coordination of priorities for department staff.
  • Decision making: ability to assess situations, evaluate options, choose the most appropriate course of action, and effectively communicate decisions to staff.
  • Adaptability: ability to effectively adjust to changing priorities and demands; must be able to work independently to solve problems and keep management informed of progress and status. Ability to accept criticism and to adjust plans as appropriate.
  • Influence: ability to present and gain support for ideas, projects, and solutions.
  • Mentoring: ability to advise and instruct staff in the development of their skills to assist in furthering their abilities as members of the team.
  • Team building: ability to build an effective team and provide focus and leadership to instill a strong team environment to successfully lead the Foundation.
  • Collaboration: commitment to work with constituent groups including staff, board members, donors and partners.
  • Integrity: unquestioned ability to maintain confidential information.
  • Safety: ability to learn, understand and comply with Sanford Lab’s safety program.
  • Problem solving: demonstrated ability to research and analyze complex information and communicate it effectively and accurately.

Work Requirements

  • Sit, stand, and walk the majority of the work period.
  • Lift and carry items weighing up to 30 pounds. 
  • Work evenings and weekends as scheduled.
  • Able to effectively receive and express detailed information through oral communication, visual acuity, and the ability to read and understand written directions.
  • Able to productively work independently.
  • Travel for work related activities.
  • Provide proof of a valid driver’s license.

The South Dakota Science & Technology Authority (SDSTA) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to the development of a diverse workforce. Applicants are invited to self-identify as an individual with a disability or as a protected veteran. Forms are available on the website or upon request from Human Resources.