Development Research Manager (Job ID: 2023-3315)

Job Function
Posted Date
2 months ago(10/10/2023 12:46 PM)
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.


Position Location:This position is hybrid. Hybrid positions combine regular in-person presence at our Washington, DC, office with the option of at least two days of remote work each week.


Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.  


Individuals 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. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.     ​


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Development Research Manager conducts, manages, and coordinates philanthropic research for the Institution. The Manager responds to research requests from the Office of the President, the Vice President and Chief Development Officer (CDO), and development staff across the Institution. They support the fundraising efforts of the Institution by identifying and evaluating donor and prospect philanthropic interests and capacity including individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Manager works closely with other development researchers and the frontline fundraisers in Central and program Development by continually recommending new prospects for qualification and cultivation to build the giving pipeline. The Manager oversees a portfolio of fundraisers, projects, programs, and funding initiatives that require research services. They also compile current bio and news on donors and prospects for visit/call briefings for senior leadership.


The Manager will also proactively identify potential prospects within the guidelines of federal, state, and local laws and institutional policies and procedures. Reports to the Associate Director of Development Research.


Prospect Identification and Research  (50%)

  • Develops research profiles, creates prospect lists, determines philanthropic capacity, pathways, networks, and interests, working closely with Central Development fundraisers. 
  • Compiles and analyzes biographical, wealth, and philanthropic information from all available resources to identify new prospects for Brookings donor groups, special projects, or core needs support for the programs in their portfolio.
  • Ensures that all suspects, prospects, and donors are researched and assigned capacity ratings using best practice methods and those ratings are updated regularly. 
  • Ensures that prospect research activities meet the needs of their portfolio of fundraisers in support of their individual, corporate, and foundation revenue goals. 
  • Plans and organizes regular meetings with the fundraising team in their portfolio to assign prospects; monitors timely movement through the pipeline; develops and enhances strategies in close partnership with fundraisers to convert prospects to donors. 
  • Other research projects as needed.


Research/Data Management and Strategy  (25%)

  • Works with the development research team on the assignment and tracking of suspects and prospects for initiatives across the institution.
  • Tracks suspects and prospects as they are moved through the pipeline from qualification to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. 
  • Responsible for the biographical, wealth, capacity and philanthropic data for the Principal Giving process, coordinating closely with other Development colleagues. 

Coordination  (25%)

  • Oversees the research components—biographical information, wealth and philanthropic information, and recent news/media updates—of the meetings briefing process, coordinating closely with the Associate Director, Assistant Director, Development Coordinators, and other key development staff.




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; a minimum of two years of experience researching prospects in a development setting.  Experience in a related institution and/or familiarity with public policy organizations is highly desirable. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Research proficiency, including solid knowledge of research and media resources. Strong analytical and evaluative skills with attention to detail.  Ability to extract information from a database and organize, analyze, and present it in Microsoft Excel or other formats for optimal utility. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and submit work products accurately and quickly.  Capacity to exercise independent initiative and judgment. Excellent oral and written communication skills.  Self-starter with a demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.  Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information appropriately. 


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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