Jobs and Internships

The Institute for Policy Studies is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. We believe progress occurs when people and movements come together to act on powerful ideas based on equity, peace, and the protection of our planet. Since 1963, we have been challenging corrupt power structures that undermine a true democracy. Today, we are uniting people and movements around real, transformational change through independent research, networking across issues, and visionary platforms.

IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.

Open Jobs

Director of Development

Director of Development

Salary: $80,000-$100,000

Position DescriptionThe IPS Director of Development is responsible for managing the IPS Development Team and overseeing the Development Plan. The Director will lead foundation relations, donor communications, and development operations. This work includes prospecting for potential donors, developing, managing and deepening relationships with institutional and individual donors, and strengthening communications with supporters, activists, advocates and movement partners to expand funding opportunities.

Duties and ResponsibilitiesThe Director of Development is tasked with the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Manage the Development Team.
  • Prepare, oversee, and adapt IPS’s Development Plan.
  • Direct the development program including institutional, major donor and small donor fundraising work in compliance with 501c(3) regulations.
  • Oversee all grant seeking efforts, including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements.
  • Coordinate closely with other program staff including finance and communications team members to advance development program goals.
  • Support development training and mentoring of staff throughout the organization
  • Serve as a member of the organization’s leadership team, helping to set and advance the organization’s strategic vision and priorities.
  • Partner with the Communications team to create an engaging donor communication plan including fundraising toolkit, mailers and social media efforts.
  • Support the fundraising efforts of the Executive Director, including develop effective pitches, updates, and report-outs to funders.
  • Prepare leadership team and key program staff for meetings with donors and prospects, developing background/briefing materials, planning, coordinating and participating in meetings.
  • Schedule and track all foundation and individual engagements and online donor interactions in integrated constituent relationship management systems, overseeing vendors to ensure that databases and other fundraising tools (prospect research, email marketing, printing, etc.) are properly implemented to track donor and prospect interactions, schedule future engagement, and adhere to best practices in privacy and data hygiene.
  • Oversee general development operations systems and collaborate with staff on workflows for proposals, reports and donor-oriented communications, regularly informing and updating Executive Director and Deputy Director on development operations workflows and systems.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Key RelationshipsThe Director of Development will report directly to the Executive Director and Deputy Director, and collaborate with other senior staff in fundraising activities and work collaboratively with all staff to strengthen the relationship of development functions to all aspects of organizational development. S/he will also work closely with the Director of Communications, the Project Directors, and other management and program staff as needed.

General Requirements

  • Passion for the mission of IPS and the progressive movement, with a full understanding of its policy priorities.
    7 to 10 years of relevant nonprofit development management experience with a demonstrated track record of successfully meeting fundraising goals through diverse funding streams for organizations with $2M-$6M operating budgets.
  • Capacity to communicate persuasively and compellingly with diverse funder audiences, with awareness of nuance in funder tendencies and language.
  • Demonstrated track record of cultivating and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, program officers and donors.
  • Demonstrated experience providing effective, supportive supervision to staff and supporting teams in working collaboratively to meet ambitious goals.
  • Proficiency in donor management software.
  • Detail-oriented and well organized; outstanding time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, provide direct feedback, and model resolving conflicts with integrity and openness to learning and growth.
  • Capacity to work independently and on a team.
  • Relationships with individual donors and foundations in progressive spaces.
  • Ability to write effectively and compellingly about IPS’s work and to oversee proposals, reports and related materials, as well as in appeals, social media, and web communications focused on engaging and motivating donors
  • Desire and ability to build and maintain successful relationships with foundations and individual donors, to influence and engage diverse audiences and to build long-term relationships to achieve fundraising success
  • Collaborative style, combined with the ability and desire to work in a team-based environment.
  • Sound judgment and ability to exercise discretion when dealing with confidential information regarding donors and operations.

Commitment to Diversity
IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our staff and board, and we actively welcome applications from people of color, women, LGBTQ candidates, and candidates who hold other historically marginalized identities.

Salary and Benefits
$80,000 – $100,000, depending on experience. The Director of Development will also receive excellent benefits including full health insurance for the employee’s family, generous vacation benefits, paid holidays, a 403(b) match, and life insurance.

The Development Director should live in the DC metro area, and is expected to work out of IPS’s DC headquarters. Currently, IPS is working on a hybrid model, and all DC employees are working two or more days a week in the DC office.

To Apply:
Please send the following materials to with “Director of Development” in the subject line:

  • Your resume.
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in this work and any related experience
  • Two to three writing samples demonstrating your ability to write persuasively in a range of mediums for a general audience about public policy (an op-ed, LTE, speech, talking points or something similar)
  • Three References, including at least two previous supervisors

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants moving on to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. No phone calls, please.

Open Internships

We have several summer internships open for application through our Next Leaders Program, our paid professional development program designed to develop the skills and knowledge of young activists who seek a long-term career in social change.

Next Leaders Summer Internships

Our Next Leaders internship is a 10-week program that offers young activists training in public scholarship, that is, the connection between policy research, advocacy, and grassroots activism. Through its workshop and events series and individualized mentorship, Next Leaders looks to sharpen young scholar-activists’ voices and hone their skills. In addition to hands-on experience, each cohort will leave the program with a more nuanced understanding of environmental, racial, economic, gender, and peace justice.

Learn more and apply.

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