28 days old

Senior Director of Development, Foundation Relations (Office of Development)

The Urban Institute
Washington, DC 20004
  • Job Code

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urbans greatest asset is our people.We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community. Our employees drive Urbans mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation. Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes.

The Urban Institutes Development Office works to increase Urbans support from philanthropy. Over the last 5 years, the Urban Institute has invested in new resources and systems to facilitate a transition to a diversified fundraising program. Urban is working to strengthen and solidify foundation relationships in the midst of shifting foundation priorities and many new players while growing its corporate and individual funder base. A strong executive leadership team, an engaged Board, and cutting-edge researchers are collaborating to develop programs that accelerate solutions to achieve equity, upward mobility, and racial justice.

How youll contribute:

Reporting to the Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships, the Senior Director of Development, Foundation Relations will be key partners in the continued transformation of fundraising for the organization and expansion of the Development team. The Senior Director will: coach and collaborate with a diverse group of researchers, policy analysts, and technical experts to articulate value propositions for current and prospective institutional donors; support the development of multi-million-dollar initiatives aligned with Urbans strategic priorities; and serve as ambassadors for the Institutes research and reputation, establishing and sustaining relationship with foundation executives and program officers to advance fundraising goals. In addition, the Senior Director will serve on a small team of senior strategists and fundraisers to shape the direction of the Urban Institute and elevate its influence.


  • Help position the Urban Institute effectively with current and potential funders across an array of interest areas.

  • Identify new revenue sources, developing and implementing cultivation strategies to establish relationships with foundation officers.

  • Contribute to the creation of compelling concept papers, grant proposals, stewardship communications, and other documents that convey the impact of Urbans work.

  • Collaborate with colleagues on Urbans development team to develop and execute fundraising plans and help achieve ambitious team goals for revenue growth and funder diversification.

  • Work with senior staff to prepare for and follow up on meetings with high-capacity funders.

  • Become a trusted partner with researchers, coaching them in foundation fundraising practices and tactics, and working closely with them to translate technical research ideas into fundable proposals.

  • Act as an ambassador for the Institutes research and reputation, establishing and sustaining relationships with institutional funders to advance fundraising goals.

  • Work collaboratively with the development team and increase its capacity.

What youll bring:

You are a fundraising professional at the top of your game. You understand the philanthropic landscape, are an exceptional listener and persuasive communicator and embrace Urban Institutes mission and perspective. You know how to manage relationships both internally working with stellar researchers, managing multiple clients efficiently, mentoring early-career colleaguesand externallydeveloping and maintaining strong connections to program officers. You have the full skill set required to secure major institutional donations, from identifying prospects aligned with Urbans work to facilitating clear and compelling proposals. You are intellectually curious, eager to learn about the range of the Urban Institutes research, ambitious to pursue significant new funding for it, and entrepreneurial in approach, with an eye toward developing new ideas for generating revenue and expanding the development teams capacities. You will have:

  • More than 12 years of progressively responsible experience in institutional fundraising, including at least 5 years in a large, complex institution.

  • Bachelors degree is required.

  • Deep experience with major foundations, including establishing relationships, cultivating, and stewarding program officers.

  • Existing relationships with program officers and proven capacity to maintain funder relationships over time and across periods of transition.

  • Proven experience in developing fundraising strategies that increased the number of foundation grants and grant revenue.

  • Experience working closely with senior leaders to develop multi-million-dollar initiatives, forming creative cultivation and stewardship strategies.

  • Ability to become a trusted partner of researchers, facilitating and guiding their engagement in the development process.

  • Ability to advance multiple projects while managing deadlines.

  • Exceptional writing skills, with substantial experience developing a range of funder communications materials.

  • Desire to be a collaborative member of a close-knit, intellectually curious team.

  • Experience supervising and mentoring staff is preferred.

  • Ability to engage with people from all backgrounds with maturity, respect, and integrity.

  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting an equitable and inclusive team environment.

What youll experience:

Working in the Nations Capital, the epicenter of public policy among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters, and enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage. Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan and reimbursable commuting expense program.

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

Posted: 2021-11-11 Expires: 2021-12-10
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Senior Director of Development, Foundation Relations (Office of Development)

The Urban Institute
Washington, DC 20004

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