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Foundation Manager

Posted: Jan 1, 2018
The Heartland Institute’s Foundation Manager has primary responsibility for meeting The Heartland Institute’s goals for raising funds from foundations and collaborating with the entire fundraising team.
To apply: Please send your resume and related materials to
  • The Position

    The position reports to the Director of Development and collaborates with four other members of the Development Department.

    The Foundation Manager must understand and communicate Heartland’s position on a broad range of public policy issues. He or she must also manage the grant-making process – from the initial research of prospects to meeting with foundation executives and staff to “closing” funding requests. The Foundation Manager must be adept at making phone calls, building relationships, writing letters of inquiry, comprehending application guidelines, keeping track of deadlines for reports and applications for funding, and writing and updating proposals.

    The Heartland Institute is a 33-year-old national nonprofit research and education organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near Chicago. It has a full-time staff of 39, an annual budget of approximately $6 million, and a nationwide donor base.

    The Development Department

    The Foundation Manager is responsible for meeting the goals and objectives of the Development Department, a group of six individuals devoted to fundraising:

    President: Tim Huelskamp
    CEO: Joseph L. Bast
    Director of Development: Gwendalyn Carver
    Editor and Eastern Region Representative: Aaron Stover
    Foundation Manger: <vacant>
    Development Assistant: Brittney Jones

  • Background

    The Heartland Institute is a 33-year-old national nonprofit research and education organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, about 30 minutes from O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago. It has a full-time staff of 39, our 2017 annual budget is about $6 million, and we have a nationwide donor base of approximately 5,000 supporters.

    Heartland is a libertarian “think tank” whose mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Specifically, it hopes to encourage more legislators to embrace the following five free-market ideas:

    ■    Tax and expenditure limitation, either by constitutional or statutory law, including welfare reform at the state level and Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare reforms at the national level.

    ■    Expansion of school choice programs, in particular school vouchers, so every child can attend a high-quality school regardless of his or her parents’ wealth, race, or creed.

    ■    Expansion of consumer-directed health care reforms, such as health savings accounts, and opposition to heavy-handed state regulation and single-payer proposals.

    ■    Reform of environmental regulations, especially those addressing the possibility of man-made climate change, based on sound economics and science.

    ■    Promoting constitutional reform, especially efforts to support a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution, so that the size and power of the national government can be more easily reined in.

    Thanks to its monthly publications, marketing, communications, and government relations programs, The Heartland Institute is among the best known and most respected think tanks in the world. It is especially well-known among state elected officials and increasingly among national and local officials; 82 percent of state elected officials say they read at least one Heartland publication “sometimes” or “always,” and more than 200 legislators have joined Heartland’s Legislative Forum, an advisory board.

    Heartland is the only free-market think tank that targets the nation’s 7,300 state elected officials and 535 national elected officials as its principal audience, sending them a publication on average once every week. It is also the only free-market think tank that focuses on effectively marketing the work of other free-market groups (not only its own research) through publications, a website tailored for elected officials, and a staff of legislative specialists who work directly with elected officials.

  • Objectives

    The most important output of the Development Department is revenue raised. To achieve department goals, the Foundation Manager must understand The Heartland Institute’s institutional history, mission, and programs. He or she must raise funds by contacting and soliciting gifts from foundations by performing the following duties:

    ■    Conduct research on current and potential foundation donors.

    ■    Help write and update proposals.

    ■    Place calls, submit letters of inquiry, apply for support following the guidelines of each foundation, and follow up with potential donors, including visiting donors, if necessary.

    ■    Maintain a timeline of when foundation donors need progress reports and renewal requests and ensure letters, calls, or face-to-face meetings are made as needed.

    ■    Maintain files, digitally as well as physical files, to ensure donors are frequently contacted with updates, performance reports, and additional funding requests.

    ■    Track the number of grants submitted per week, per month, and per quarter; quantify the close rate and revenue per solicitation; and determine how the fundraising process could be improved.

  • Required Skills

    ■    Strong written communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive proposals.

    ■    Ability to make a positive contribution to meetings with donors and potential donors.

    ■    Attention to detail, including ability to follow complicated grant application instructions.

    ■    Ability to meet deadlines.

    ■    Knowledge of fundraising information sources.

    ■    Experience with proposal writing and institutional donors.

    ■    Strong contributor in team environments.

  • Salary & Benefits

    Salary. Starting salary negotiable and commensurate with skills and experience. Performance reviews are conducted semi-annually; salary reviews are conducted annually.

    Hours and location of work. The Foundation Manager position is a salaried full-time position requiring 40+ hours per week. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with occasional overtime if a given project demands it. Office is located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

    Benefits: Health insurance currently provided by Aetna available to full-time employees. The employer pays 60 percent of premiums and offers a choice of two plans, a low-deductible plan and a high-deductible plan with health savings accounts (HSAs). Employees who choose high-deductible plans also receive annual cash deposits into their HSAs of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families.

    Employer pays for life and disability insurance and fees for a 401(k) plan. Employer does not match employee contributions to 401(k) plans at this time.

    During the first year of employment, full-time employees earn 10 paid days off after their 90-day probationary period. During years two and three, employees earn 12 paid days off each year. During years four, five, and six, employees earn 15 paid days off. During years seven, eight, and nine, employees earn 17 paid days off. During year 10 and above, employees earn 20 paid days off each year.

General Careers Information 

Join a full-time staff of 35 dedicated men and women discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems!

Please read our Reply to Critics for the truth about our funding, tactics, and positions on controversial issues.

This position requires adherence to The Heartland Institute's Quality Standards for Heartland Publications.

We actively recruit graduates of colleges and universities that receive a grade of “A” from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).


For questions about applying for this opening, please contact 

2016 By the Numbers

See what sets Heartland apart:
82% of state elected officials read Heartland publications
of state elected officials read one or more Heartland newspapers "sometimes" or "always."
45% of elected officials say Heartland led to a change in policy
of state elected officials say a Heartland publication influenced their opinions or led to a change in public policy.
“The Heartland Institute [is] the world’s most prominent thinktank supporting skepticism about man-made climate change.”
The Economist
May 26, 2012
2.4 Million
the number of times Heartland's six podcasts were downloaded in 2017
184 issues
of weekly e-newsletters sent to subscribers across the country
91 events
that Heartland hosted, attended, or spoke at, reaching 14,711 guests
100,000 fans
on Facebook posting and reposting over 1 million times a week