The Brookings Institution

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Senior Director of Development, FP

Senior Director of Development, FP

Foreign Policy
Job Function 
Posted Date 
Job ID 
Commensurate with experience.

More information about this job


The Senior Director of Development plays a critical role in the Foreign Policy (FP) program, the largest research program at Brookings with over 10 Centers and Initiatives and an annual budget of approximately $20M+. A member of FP’s senior management team, the Senior Director of Development plans and executes the program’s overall fundraising strategy in collaboration with the Vice President & Director of FP; establishes, develops, and maintains relationships with current and potential donors, the Program Leadership Committee (PLC), and the Board of Trustees; and builds and leads a professional fundraising team with responsibility for meeting annual revenue targets.


Strategic Planning and Fundraising (65%)

  • Establish strong working relationship with FP Vice President and Director (FP VP), and partner with him to set fundraising goals and to create and implement strategies for fundraising from foundations, corporations, individuals and governments.
  • Lead FP Development office (FP DEV) in meeting fundraising targets in both cash and commitments.
  • Direct Development team in identifying and building relationships with prospects including a high volume of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities that engage FP VP and scholars with an emphasis on face-to-face visits.
  • Maintain relationships with donors to FP, including frequent communication and outreach on FP and Brookings activities, priorities, and developments.
  • Conduct and manage communication with and implement programs for the Program Leadership Committee (PLC), a group of high-profile contributors with significant institutional relationships.
  • Represent FP in meetings, at events, and other fora with current and prospective donors.
  • Manage preparation for and follow-up from donor meetings with FP VP and scholars.
  • Develop proposals, reports, and solicitation strategies with scholars; coordinate submissions process to ensure quality, readability, consistent voice, and adherence to guidelines, interests, and programs of both donors and Brookings.
  • In coordination with FP VP, FP DEV, and other staff, oversee the writing and editing of all donor proposals, solicitation letters, concept notes, and reports.
  • In coordination with the FP Communications team, oversee development of marketing materials.
  • Lead FP DEV in scheduling and participating in meetings as necessary with FP Center directors and staff to discuss programmatic direction and to report on key fundraising activities.
  • Collaborate with Brookings central Development and development staff in other research programs to develop and integrate FP fundraising activities into institutional strategies.
  • Engage in the intellectual life of Brookings in order to articulate the priorities of FP and Brookings research and to stay abreast of major developments.

Management (35%)

  • Direct and manage day-to-day activities of the FP development team, including delegation of responsibilities among the team, promotion of efficient communication within the team, and recruitment, training, mentoring, and retention of staff.
  • Guide staff in identification and research for new prospects in order to expand FP’s donor pool and account for donor attrition.
  • Oversee FP DEV maintenance of complete files on donors, including all correspondence proposals and reports.
  • Oversee tracking of existing and potential commitments in conjunction with program management team; oversee tracking and coordination of fundraising efforts and contacts undertaken by FP VP and individual FP scholars.
  • Lead FP DEV staff to develop fundraising reports for FP VP and other Brookings staff as needed.
  • Coordinate or delegate the review and approval of funding proposals with Brookings offices of Grants Administration, Accounting, and central DEV.
  • In collaboration with program communications staff, devise and implement outreach strategies for current and prospective donors regarding FP events and publications to ensure maximum fundraising impact.
  • Provide FP VP and Brookings President and Executive Vice President with donor information and briefings as needed or requested.
  • In collaboration with the FP Finance team, manage the FP DEV budget.
  • Maintain familiarity with philanthropic, social, and educational trends as well as fundraising best practices.


Education/Experience Requirements:


A Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree in non-profit management, international relations, political science, history, or a related field is preferred. Ten years of proven major gift fundraising experience and leadership is required. Proven team management experience is also required.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Proven ability to raise six-figure gifts from individuals, corporations and/or foundations is a prerequisite. Candidates must be proactive and goal-oriented, with entrepreneurial spirit. Discretion and mature judgment are critical for the successful candidate. Outstanding written and oral communication skills and ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines are required, along with strategic thinking and excellent management skills. Superior interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with various constituencies - including immediate team members, high net-worth individuals, corporate leaders, foundation staff, Board members, scholars, and other institutional colleagues - are a necessity. The position requires some travel, and current authorization to work for any employer in the U.S. Foreign policy interest and experience, and familiarity with foreign policy issues and international relations, are preferred. Budget management experience is preferred. Knowledge of key academic, business, foundation, and/or community leaders is preferred. Familiarity with utilizing an electronic relationship management system is required, experience with Raiser’s Edge is preferred.


Additional Information:


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.