Donor Relations Manager (Job ID: 2021-2672)

Posted Date 1 month ago(8/12/2021 3:55 PM)
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


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.


The Office of Development manages the Trustees, institutional partnerships, leadership giving, the International Advisory Council, the Brookings Council, the Brookings Society, and overall fundraising strategies for the Executive Office and Institution at large.


Brookings Central Development Vision Statement: In Brookings Central Development, we aim to:

  • Build and nurture relationships with donors and prospects to raise critical financial resources in support of the institution’s fiscal health and advance the mission of Brookings.
  • Safeguard Brookings’s institutional values of Quality, Independence, and Impact.
  • Support our Board of Trustees in carrying out its fiduciary and governance responsibilities to protect and sustain the institution.
  • Amplify the impact of our scholars’ research through compelling and innovative programming for our donors and associated groups.
  • Collaborate closely with our colleagues across Brookings by providing best practice development counsel and services to benefit Central and all research programs.
  • In everything we do, strive for excellence, act with integrity, communicate with honesty, show respect and collegiality, be proactive, collaborative, creative, and solutions oriented.


Please note

Position Location: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office. The person hired for this position must be willing to move to or currently reside in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia by their date of hire.  


Operating status: Brookings eligible employees are currently authorized to work remotely but will be moving towards a hybrid plan later this year, which will require working both in the office and remotely. All vaccinated Brookings employees who wish to work from the office can do so. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.  


Vaccine Policy: Brookings has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, Brookings recently announced that staff on Brookings campus this fall are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Brookings will require all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.  


As a visitor and/or a new employee at Brookings, you will be required to comply with the vaccination policy. Individuals invited for an in-person job interview or hired as an employee that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Donor Relations Manager in Brookings Central Development reports to the Managing Director, works closely with the Vice President of Development, and plays a crucial role in connecting key donor and prospect strategies to implementation and results. The Manager is responsible for developing, maintaining, and tracking a stewardship plan for Brookings Central Development donors in close partnership with fundraisers and drafting compelling and meaningful stewardship and impact donor reports on behalf of the President, VP of Development, and other institutional leaders. S/he will also write development correspondence for the President and VP of Development, including Board of Trustees and International Advisory Board communications and solicitation letters and individual donor and prospect correspondence, and meeting follow up. S/he will prepare donor and prospect meeting briefings for the President and VP of Development in collaboration with colleagues in Development Research. 


Development Writing (70%)

  • Write compelling donor stewardship reports with effective storytelling that demonstrates policy impact. Collaborate with research program development directors and communications directors as well as scholars and other content experts to collect relevant information and anecdotes.
  • Draft sophisticated donor correspondence for the President of Brookings and Vice President of Development in close consultation with the VP. Master each principal’s voice and style and communicate deep understanding of the institution, its scholarship and priorities, and the donor or prospect relationship.
  • Draft, proofread, and distribute donor/prospect briefings for the President and Vice President to key stakeholders, collaborating with development research for bio information.
  • Manage and track writing projects and briefings and closely collaborate with the Director of Development Communications and Special Advisor and Speechwriter to the President on all Presidential development communications and correspondence to ensure rigorous process of reviews and vetting and high-quality output.
  • Make timely updates to Raisers Edge database to log development correspondence.
  • Work with the Special Assistant to the VP to track donor/prospect visit or call follow up.
  • In regular Central Development team meetings, review calendar of briefings, project statuses, workflow, and priorities.
  • Draft and project manage other writing assignments as needed including donor/prospect gift and grant proposals.


Management and Execution of Stewardship Strategy and Process (30%)

  • Create, maintain, and track a comprehensive and tailored stewardship plan for Brookings Central Development donors across gift scales commensurate with giving and industry best practice. Partner closely with fundraisers, Donor Engagement and Events, and other colleagues to ensure strong coordination and timely execution. Track all milestones in Raisers Edge.
  • Coordinate with the Donor Communications and Engagement teams to help create materials and opportunities tailored to specific donor interests and to develop a range of strategic external communications that result in high level, meaningful stewardship and demonstrates the impact of Brookings and furthers engagement.
  • Collaborate effectively with the Development Services team to collect donor/prospect data, background information, and wealth ratings to inform strategy discussions.



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 required. Minimum of four years related work experience including three years of development or fundraising experience in a non-profit organization is required. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

The Donor Relations Manager will be a proactive and diplomatic individual, possessing high emotional intelligence, professional maturity, credibility, patience, good judgment, honesty, and integrity. Must have a commitment to teamwork, accountability, and collaborative decision-making. An affinity for the mission of Brookings with the ability to serve as a compelling ambassador for the Institution.

Technical skills: Superior writing and editing skills are required, including proven ability to ghostwrite effectively and conceive and write gift and grant proposals in clear, precise, and compelling language. Professional experience in philanthropy and non-profit fundraising and knowledge of donor and prospect management and strategy are required. Experience staffing development leaders is required. Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word is required; familiarity with Raiser’s Edge is preferred.

Project management skills: Superior project management skills and attention to detail are required. Candidates must demonstrate ability to proactively manage multiple projects and stakeholders and meet deadlines in a fast- paced environment. Successful management includes all stages of a project from conception to completion and with a keen eye for accuracy and quality and adherence to timelines. A strong sense of initiative, discretion, mature judgment, and entrepreneurial spirit is required.

Interpersonal skills: Excellent oral communication skills; excellent administrative and organizational skills; ability to work well in a fast-paced environment and engage effectively with internal stakeholders at all levels of seniority.


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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