Job description

The Center for American Ideas “Center” is dedicated to educating federal and state elected officials as  well as the general public about ideas that advance and enhance prosperity through personal  empowerment and limited government. 

The Center is organized under section 501 (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Center is aligned  with the American Excellence Foundation “Foundation” which is organized and operated under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

Position Scope and Responsibilities 

The Development Director is a senior-level position that oversees the vision, strategies and  implementation of the fundraising program for the Center and Foundation. The Development Director  directs a team of fundraising professionals and supports a broader fundraising team of the  organizations’ leadership, board members, consultants and investors. 

The Development Director should have extensive experience with individual, foundational, non-profit  organization, corporate, and digital fundraising programs. The Development Director must be able to set  and meet annual fundraising objectives while also innovating new creative and aggressive approaches to  growing the budget year to year. This position is responsible for the overall management of all  fundraising programs and meeting the team’s fundraising goals. Primary responsibilities include  membership building, major donor cultivation, current donor communication and retention, donor data  management and analysis.  

Our Development Program Values:  

  • Finding joy and fulfillment in fundraising to secure the resources to support the Center and  Foundation’s missions. 
  • Being accountable to our investors. 
  • Deepening relationships to build multi-dimensional and enduring connections with investors.
  • Using a data-driven approach to be responsive to trends and broader shifts in fundraising
  • Having a positive, resourceful and can-do attitude. 
  • Investing in innovation to learn, test, and adapt fundraising methods to meet goals.
  • Knowing the importance of research and networks to improve prospecting results.
  • Exhibiting sound judgment with the ability to prioritize and make decisions.
  • Furnishing organizations’ leadership and boards of directors with regular progress reports 

Objectives of this Role 

  • Lead a fundraising program that integrates the Center and the Foundation fundraising in  accordance with industry best practices and builds a digital fundraising model. 
  • Perform ongoing evaluations of fundraising program to ensure it maintains industry-standard  levels for retention, engagement, donations, etc. 
  • Stay current of political and philanthropic trends, and adopt effective strategies as they emerge.
  • Ensure the Fundraising Team works collaboratively and collegially, and supervise and mentor  fundraising team members. 
  • Generating development materials such as memberships, sponsorships and grant applications. 
  • Manage staff responsible for data entry and gift processing.  
  • Oversee the management and planning of fundraising events, donor receptions and other  fundraising opportunities for both the Center and Foundation. 
  • Set a positive, aggressive tone that fundraising is integral to our educational and political work,  and making the process fun and exciting 
  • Oversee development-related communications and compellingly communicate to various  audiences through various channels how our politics and fundraising model intersect and build  upon one another. 
  • Collaborate closely with the communications team to identify opportunities and execute online  and print campaigns related to fundraising. 
  • Maintain a portfolio of high-capacity major donors, soliciting contributions and stewarding long term relationships with donors for both the Center and the Foundation. 
  • As part of senior leadership, ensure successful execution of the Center and the Foundation’s  priorities, and participate in organization wide strategic planning and stewardship. Participate in  setting weekly priorities with organizations’ leadership and directors of other programs. 
  • Play an active role on the Budget Team, which performs yearly budgeting, financial oversight,  and revisions in collaboration with the Executive Director. 

Required Skills & Experiences 

  • Alignment with the Center’s mission 
  • Prior experience directing a complex fundraising program, including digital fundraising.  Minimum 5 years’ experience preferred.
  • Proven track record in developing and stewarding relationships with high-level donors, including  experience securing six-figure gifts. 
  • A clear understanding of 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) nonprofit relationships and structures.
  • Experience training and mentoring fundraising team members. 
  • Superior project management skills. 
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability and willingness to travel regularly for donor meetings, events, and conferences.
  • Familiarity with Crimson, and IDP and using data for improving fundraising outcomes.
  • Track record raising money for a variety of types of work, including political campaigns, policy  campaigns, educational work, member dues, etc.

Working Conditions 

The Development Director is a full-time, in-person position based at the Center for American Ideas  headquarters in Arlington Virginia. The organization has value-based culture centered on commitment  to the mission, positive attitudes, inclusiveness, goals and rewards for the employees. This position  requires a high level of teamwork and collaboration, yet also requires significant autonomy. Due to  funding and event cycles, programs, special events, and external relations often out of the area, there is  a requirement for the Development Director to work irregular, and sometimes longer, hours.  

The anticipated compensation range for this position has a competitive base salary with a bonus  structure. Employee benefits include health insurance and other benefits; 12 days annual leave  (vacation) per year; 12 sick days per year and scholarships for continuing education  

Application Procedures 

Review of complete applications will begin immediately and candidate materials received by August 10,  2022 will be assured of full consideration. Confidential inquiries may be directed to the Executive  Director, Jessica Curtis, at 

The Center and the Foundation are Equal Employment Opportunity Employers. Neither organization  discriminates on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual  orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Individuals from  traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

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