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Opening: Vice President, External Relations

Publication date: 
July, 2023
Position: Vice President, External Relations
Organization: Indiana Philanthropy Alliance
Location: Indianapolis, IN


Find a rewarding career with Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), the largest network serving philanthropy in Indiana. We are a community of foundations, companies, and other social investors working together to lead change, increase impact, and improve outcomes for Hoosiers. As a nonprofit membership association (also referred to as a philanthropy serving organization, or PSO) of and for Indiana's grantmaking community, IPA connects members to what they need to grow their impact by providing networking, educational, advocacy, and technical support. Through investing in the state’s charitable organizations, convening local leaders, collaborating on critical issues, seeking innovative solutions, sharing knowledge, and advocating; we leverage our collective voice to increase the impact of Indiana philanthropy. IPA supports grantmakers in all 92 Indiana counties. Indiana’s over 1,200 foundations collectively award more than $2 billion in grants each year.

About This Position

You will be responsible for all aspects of IPA’s interface with stakeholders outside the philanthropic community and collaborations between those stakeholders and IPA members. In close consultation with the CEO, you will lead public policy efforts, fundraising, earned media strategy, and cross-sector issue collaboratives. You are responsible for key activities to expand and retain membership size and diversity, including member services and Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute. You will plan and execute new, growing, and adapting strategic initiatives.

Principle Responsibilities & Essential Job Functions

  1. Work on IPA public policy activities. These include monitoring/analyzing state and federal legislation and policy development of interest to the organized philanthropy sector.
  2. Ensure timely communication to members of pending legislation and regulatory changes affecting the sector.
  3. Plan and implement legislative advocacy events such as funder/legislative lunches, IPA Statehouse Day, and the annual Foundations on the Hill (FOTH).
  4. Work to engage IPA members in state and federal advocacy activities.
  5. Work to ensure IPA is the recognized voice in Indiana philanthropy by maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders and delivering events and programs important to them. 
  6. Collaborate with IPA staff to identify strategic activities to advance the mission of IPA and execute the implementation of the resulting projects.
  7. Develop and execute an annual fundraising strategy.
  8. Maintain relationships with current and potential IPA sponsors and grant sources.
  9. Grow IPA’s gross revenue over time and diversify the sources of that revenue.
  10. Establish and maintain relationships with the media and ensure their familiarity with philanthropy.
  11. Create and maintain IPA’s earned media strategy. 
  12. Responsible for increasing IPA’s public profile and public understanding of the importance of philanthropy.
  13. Oversee IPA’s member services operation, including new member recruitment, ongoing member satisfaction, and retention.
  14. Develop and implement Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute.
  15. Manage operations manager and assigned interns/fellows/VISTAs/etc.
  16. Manage budget-related program budgets.
  17. Continually seek opportunities and develop strategies to grow the influence and impact of IPA and its members.
  18. Serve on IPA’s executive team.
  19. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, philanthropy, business, or related areas required. Master’s Degree in relevant field preferred.
  • 5+ years of project management experience, including experience with project management systems to create and manage project plans and workflow.
  • 5+ year record of sound event and training planning and management.
  • Successful public policy, advocacy, or related experience.
  • Proven performance in stakeholder relationship building.
  • Successful background in developing and managing leadership programs is strongly preferred.
  • A proven fundraising producer is a must.

Essential Skills & Experience to be Successful

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to catalyze individuals with disparate views to coalesce and take action.
  • Proven customer service ethic (internal and external) and high expectations for quality.
  • An understanding of the critical issues and trends in philanthropy.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, oral and written.
  • Unwavering commitment to IPA values and mission.
  • Time management—strong ability to organize and manage multiple priorities.
  • Flexibility—the ability to effectively adapt to schedule and priority changes.
  • Proven “whatever it takes” attitude and approach to work.
  • Ability to work well within a team environment.

Physical Requirements

  • The job is located inside IPA’s Indianapolis office.
  • Evening and weekend work.
  • Regular use of a keyboard.
  • Ability to lift up to 20 pounds, bend, and stoop.
  • Ability to drive or travel statewide 20% of the time.
  • Consistent sitting for many hours at one time.


Salary is competitive and benefits include:

  • Paid time off
  • Employer-sponsored retirement plan
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability coverage
  • Health savings & flexible spending accounts
  • Free downtown parking

How to Apply

Send your resume to Claudia Cummings at

This job description does not represent an inclusive list of all duties encompassed in this position but serves as a tool to assist the employee. The existence of this job description, or any other job description, does not in any way negate Indiana Philanthropy Alliance’s “at-will” employment status.

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