Associate Director of Development

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Dec 23, 2020
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
Job Description Summary:

The Associate Director of Development will work with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Director of Development, NAE senior leadership, and Office of Development colleagues to plan, implement, and coordinate effective strategies and approaches to identify, cultivate, solicit, and close major and leadership gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Associate Director will collaborate with the Director of Development to set annual fundraising plans; manage a portfolio of major gift prospects including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, via face to face meetings, phone calls, and emails; travel locally and nationally to visit prospects; prepare and review fundraising letters, proposals, and other materials; and liaise and coordinate with NAE membership and executive offices as well as development colleagues to plan and deliver fundraising goals for NAE.

The Associate Director will actively participate in building a culture of philanthropy and will work collaboratively with senior program colleagues across a decentralized development office and multi-tiered institution. The Associate Director will provide innovative solutions to complex problems that impact the office’s success as well as establish processes and procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the fundraising function.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. Their work helps shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine. The National Academies believe that their people make them unique, so they ensure that their employees feel fulfilled in what they do, and, at the same time, enjoy work-life balance. The National Academies offer a world-class benefits package that includes health, retirement, and transportation benefits.

In addition to its role as advisor to the federal government, the National Academy of Engineering conducts independent studies, hosts symposia, and carries out other activities to examine important topics pertaining to engineering and technology. These activities are carried out both independently by the NAE Program Office and jointly with other units of the National Academies in order to address relevant public policies and issues related to engineering and technology including, but not limited to, engineering education (pre K-12, STEM, college and graduate, diversity, quantity, etc.), and other workforce issues; public understanding of engineering; healthcare; engineering ethics and practice; the economy and society; engineering and the environment, energy, information technology; national security and crime prevention; and public policy and program reviews.



  • In collaboration with Director of Development, supports the President, Vice President, Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer in fundraising activities. Develops strategies to qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects.
  • Actively manages a portfolio of prospective major donors via face-to-face meetings as well as written and telephone contact throughout the donor life cycle. Travels as needed for donor meetings and events.
  • Works with the Director of Development in planning fundraising activities to deliver against goals and objectives as needed including strategic planning, assisting in identifying funding sources and opportunities.
  • Pro-actively identifies new prospective donors to be added to the portfolio. Communicates with members, donors, their representatives, and others as necessary to facilitate and nurture prospect relationships and gifts.
  • Drafts and edits correspondence, proposals, briefings, donor stories, collateral fundraising materials as appropriate.
  • Liaises with Academy membership, program and development colleagues in planning and delivery of annual appeals, acknowledgements, communications, corporate and foundation relations, stewardship and events.
  • As applicable, proactively works with program staff on pursuing corporate and foundation sources of support for their programs and activities. Advises program staff on prospect identification and strategic matching of foundations to NAE program areas.
  • Participates as needed in the general activities of the Development Office and National Academy of Engineering including support of other staff and special projects as needed.
  • Actively participates in building a culture of teamwork, collaboration, creativity and high performance with employees of the Development Office, Academy membership, Program and Executive Office, employees of the Academies, volunteers, donors, and members of the Academies
  • Represents the Development Office in conferences, seminars and other public and private events to advance the goals of the organization. 
  • Remains current and fully informed of laws, techniques, and advancements in the fundraising profession.


  • Related duties and special projects as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:  Appreciation of the importance of sciences, engineering and medicine and the mission of the Academies and the National Academy of Engineering. Thorough understanding of philanthropy and professional trends.  Knowledge and understanding of sophisticated fundraising practices, annual giving, planned giving techniques, and essential functions of a pro-active and innovative fundraising organization.  Ability to conceptualize, plan, and implement a programmatic approach to building relationships and securing philanthropic support including setting ambitious goals, developing strategies for cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, prioritizing activities, planning and delivering events, and orchestrating the involvement of volunteers and organization leadership.  Ability to prioritize work and the flexibility to change directions as the job dictates.  Ability to solve problems and think creatively.   Ability to operate with some latitude for independent judgment and action.  Ability to work successfully in a team environment.  Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness.  Ability to develop relationships with members, donors, co-workers and employees in other departments through effective communication and interaction.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.  Proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of donors, employees, and external constituents is essential. Proven track record with exceptional attention to detail and planning. High standards of customer service.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements:  Bachelor’s Degree in related field, or equivalent knowledge.                                                                                                

Minimum Experience:  Five years of successful major gift fundraising or related experience. Ideal candidate will have experience working with individual as well as corporate donors.

Physical Capabilities:  Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel.

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration:  None.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:  Reports to Director, Development.  General direction is provided.

Work Environment:  Office environment with frequent travel between National Academies’ facilities and to off-site locations. Frequent travel to meet donors and external constituents. 


Any qualification to be considered equivalent, in lieu of stated minimum, requires the prior approval of the Office of Human Resources.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified. Some functions in this description may be specific to a particular unit of the National Academies and not applicable to other units.

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