Director of Development, Foundations, Economic Studies (Job ID: 2020-2464)

Posted Date 5 months ago(1/7/2021 1:23 PM)
Economic Studies
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


This search is being managed by Lindauer Global, please send resumes to:

Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


About Economic Studies: The Economic Studies program analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world and, based on that research, provides innovative, practical policy recommendations. ES’s work covers a broad array of economic issues, including the labor market, regulation, health policy, and fiscal and monetary policy. Economic Studies scholars influence key economic policies by conducting rigorous and relevant research and then disseminating and communicating their findings to the policy community and to the broader public.


Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms. We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, and first generation college goers. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.


Please note: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office. In response to COVID-19, Brookings staff are temporarily teleworking. The person hired for this position must be willing to move to or currently reside in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia by their start date. 


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Director of Development, Foundations is a key member of the Economic Studies (ES) development team whose principal responsibilities focus on meeting with and identifying new foundation prospects, writing and communications, and overseeing all aspects of foundation fundraising under the direction of the Senior Development Director (SDD). In collaboration with the SDD, ES’s scholars, projects, and centers, they will lead ES efforts to identify and cultivate funding prospects, write grant proposals and reports, and steward relationships with existing and prospective funders. In addition, the Director of Development, Foundations will work closely with the SDD on program-wide development strategy and systems.


Foundation Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship (80%) 

  • Represent ES fundraising and programmatic priorities to Foundation and Government funders. Leads the preparation of letters of inquiry, concept papers, proposals, and reports, as well as development materials, in collaboration with various ES scholars and staff.
  • Actively manage the proposal and renewal process, coordinating efforts with ES staff and following up with donor representatives. Frequent travel to donor meetings expected, with and without program staff.
  • Ensure high-quality, readability and consistent voice in development materials, including adherence to individual funder guidelines, interests, and programs.
  • Oversee annual endowment report process and work with scholars as needed to ensure completion.
  • Manage an active pipeline of approximately 70 institutional donors and prospects.
  • Work closely with development research staff to identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit new funding prospects.
  • Takes initiative to present new funding opportunities to program staff, identifying new prospects and suggesting how their interests and priorities match Brookings scholars work.
  • With SDD’s guidance, plan and implement a comprehensive stewardship strategy for donor portfolio, including customized outreach, event invitations, and special projects.
  • Serve as ES’s primary development contact for donors in portfolio.
  • Help to develop a system that ensures reporting requirements and key deliverables for donors are met, working collaboratively with various ES scholar’s staff.
  • Prepare the SDD, program VP, scholars or other program leadership for donor and prospect visits and interactions, including producing briefings and cultivation materials.
  • Stay current on foundation news, trends and priorities and inform key staff as needed.


Development Strategy and Operations (20%)

  • Assist the SDD with developing and executing a development strategy for the program to support VP priorities and scholar research agendas, particularly concerning foundation and grant-related strategies, including setting and meeting annual fundraising goals and strategizing around future financial risks and shortfalls.
  • Report to SDD and program leadership on key fundraising activities and status.
  • Maintain understanding of ES scholars and their research agendas and fundraising needs.
  • Maintain understanding of economic issues and developments and how they may affect and provide fundraising and cultivation opportunities for Economic Studies; monitor philanthropic trends as they relate to ES work.
  • Collaborate with colleagues from other research programs on fundraising efforts, including producing institution-wide proposals.
  • Along with ES Development team, orient new scholars to ES and Brookings-wide development processes, provide guidance on fundraising activities.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of eight years of relevant development experience required. Demonstrated experience writing grant proposals and funder reports required. Working knowledge of development systems, including experience in grant writing and management; familiarity with economics and domestic social policy a plus. Experience working with a variety of donors and internal constituents, especially foundation and government funders. Familiarity with research-oriented work environments preferred. Experience working in a public policy organization or non-profit in Washington helpful but not required. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Superior oral and written communication skills required. Strong analytical, organizational and planning skills and the ability to synthesize abstract concepts into clear and accessible language. Must possess excellent organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines in a fast-paced environment; high initiative; discretion; mature judgment; entrepreneurial spirit; ability to work independently and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders. Strong computer skills and knowledge of fundraising software such as Raiser’s Edge. Ability to conceptualize, plan, and implement a strategic approach to building relationships and securing philanthropic support; setting realistic goals, developing strategies for prospects, prioritizing activities, soliciting gifts and orchestrating the involvement of volunteers and program leadership. Decisive and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities in an appropriate manner. A collegial style and an appreciation for the work of Brookings scholars and the vital national and international policy questions their work addresses. Energetic and willing to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of fundraising activities ranging from the routine to the highly creative and visible.



Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Please note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you should add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.


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


Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms.  We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.



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