Job Description:

Vice President, Foundation & Government Development

Department: Foundation and Government Development

Supervisor: Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Status: Full time, Exempt

The Vice President, Foundation & Government Development will lead WETA’s Foundation and Government Development department, which is responsible for securing unrestricted revenue in support of WETA’s general operations and restricted revenue in support of WETA’s local and national projects.   In 2020, WETA received funds from a sizable list of national foundations, local foundations and governmental organizations.  Please see the Annual Report on WETA’s website for an inclusive list.

As a member of the senior management team, the Vice President, Foundation and Government Development will add value across the organization, helping to shape the vision for WETA’s funding strategies in the Greater Washington area, regionally, and nationally.  Additionally, this role will drive effective collaboration, innovative and strategic thinking while supporting that vision.  The Vice President, Foundation and Government Development will lead a team of six staff who are responsible for all aspects of grant solicitation, development, and reporting. 

WETA operates four digital television channels, Classical WETA 90.9 FM, innovative literacy websites, and educational content for learners of all ages. WETA is also the second-largest station producer of content for the public television system; productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour; Washington Week; documentaries with Ken Burns, history and genealogy series with scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; and performance and arts specials from the nation’s leading cultural venues including the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress. WETA, licensed to the District of Columbia to serve the Greater Washington community, operates on an annual budget of over $100 million with over 300 staff and headquarters and production studios in Arlington, Virginia.



  • Lead and direct the activities of the Foundation & Government Development staff, including prospect research, proposal writing, client cultivation and stewardship, funder recognition and grant reporting.
  • Develop fundraising strategies to meet annual unrestricted and restricted goals.
  • Develop a strategy to identify and engage new foundations and funders.
  • Learn how WETA works so that he/she can manage the portfolio of funding needs (unrestricted, national restricted, local restricted, etc.) that exist at any point in time. 

Solicitation/Relationship Development

  • Increase engagement with direct solicitation of new and existing prospects.
  • Evaluate new prospective projects and provide informed and objective advice to WETA CEO and management regarding their fundability.
  • Manage efforts and follow-up for key fundraisers at WETA.  Support the CEO (WETA’s Chief Fundraiser) in all things related to foundations.
  • Monitor programmatic developments at relevant foundations. 


  • Actively cultivate and maintain personal relationships with the key staff (program officers, leadership, etc.) of foundations and government agencies.
  • Support additional capital requests if needed and opportunities exist.
  • Look for ways to support the fundraising activities of other departments, including Major Giving, Corporate Sponsorship, Membership, Local WETA (TV and FM), Learning Media, and WETA’s National Productions (NewsHour, Washington Week, others, etc.).


  • Serve on Management Council and the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC).
  • Serve as department liaison with WETA Board of Trustees. Attend Development & Marketing Committee meetings. Prepare reports for the Board. Participate in Board orientation sessions.
  • Manage inter-departmental relationships, including Finance and all program areas.


  • Keep abreast of developments in the foundation and government funding marketplace, and report on opportunities, changes and trends.
  • Lead and manage a team to success in fundraising through good communication, development of staff, and promoting the core values of WETA. 
  • Oversee administrative and budgetary responsibilities of the department.
  • Perform related special projects or other duties as assigned.


  • Knowledge of foundation and government fundraising.
  • Knowledge of public broadcasting and public service media.
  • Knowledge of philanthropic community, particularly the foundation world, is preferred.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal and communication skills.  Ability to interact with a wide variety of people using diplomacy, tact and discretion.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively organize, lead, and manage staff and their work. Ability to collaborate effectively, and work as part of a team.
  • Excellent research, organizational, project planning, presentation and time management skills with careful attention to detail needed.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively, both independently and in a team environment, in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities, and deadline pressures.
  • Operating skills such as organizing, planning, delegation and team development are crucial to success.
  • Strong understanding and application of computer technology to efficiently accomplish work, using Microsoft Office Suite, email, Internet, and database management software.


  • Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in a related field.
  • Minimum ten years of progressively responsible experience and a proven track record in foundation and government fundraising and stewardship.  Experience must include securing and managing six and seven figure grants.
  • Experience must include at least five years as a manager/supervisor.
  • Or equivalent combination of education and experience.

WETA is an equal employment opportunity employer.  WETA does not discriminate against employees or applications on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, citizenship status, disability, medical condition, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state or federal law.

Job Location: 
Arlington, VA
United States
Job Category: 
Job Type: 
Full time
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