Director of Philanthropic Partnerships

Washington D.C.
Feb 05, 2019
Mar 01, 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Opportunity:                Director of Philanthropic Partnerships

Anticipated Start:        Spring 2019

Location:                      Washington D.C. or New York, Boston (negotiable)

Compensation:             Competitive within the non-profit industry; Qualifies for loan forgiveness based on 501(c)3 status

Work Authorization:    Candidates must already be authorized to work in the United States

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2019

Who We Are

ideas42 is the world’s first and largest non-profit focused on solving social problems using a scientific innovation approach grounded in Behavioral Science. We work on a wide range of issues such as breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, cracking the United States’ college completion crisis, eliminating unnecessary imprisonment, maximizing the effect of international cash transfer programs on extreme poverty, helping those on unemployment find and maintain a job, increasing access to and take-up of family planning and reproductive health services, and reducing the effects of climate change. We do this by using our unique experience at the forefront of applied behavioral science, which is the study of how and why people make decisions and take action (or not) in the real world. Working closely with our partners from government, foundations, NGOs and companies, we have more than 100 active projects in the United States and 30+ countries around the world.

Incubated at Harvard University, we continue to work with the world’s leading behavioral scientists and have over 80+ affiliated academic advisors.

Example projects include:

  • Partnering with public universities to design and test behavioral strategies to help students enroll in and complete college successfully.
  • Partnering with financial service providers to help people save more and build financial resilience. 
  • Partnering with governments at the federal, state, and local levels to help policymakers and agencies improve how they serve constituents. Projects range from increasing flu vaccine uptake to increasing SNAP recertification rates. Under the previous administration ideas42 helped found and operate the White House's Social & Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST).
  • Working with local service and technical assistance providers to improve the quality of family planning and reproductive health services in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Partnering with governments in Costa Rica and South Africa to conserve natural resources through a reduction in consumption of water and electricity.

ideas42 is a 501(c)3 non-profit, but we run ourselves as a self-sustaining business that must deliver value to its funders and to the people we are ultimately trying to help. Our team is composed of over 90 people based largely in New York City and Washington D.C., with smaller offices in Boston and San Francisco. We also have team members and project managers in six countries outside the U.S. (Chile, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Zambia). In 2017, our revenue exceeded $14 million, 70% of which came from world’s largest philanthropic foundations (e.g. the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, etc.), 25% which comes from governments, 4% from private companies, and less than 1% from individuals.


The Role

ideas42 is looking for a seasoned fundraising professional to join its senior team in the newly created role of Director of Philanthropic Partnerships. The Director will both report to and work closely and collaboratively with the Executive Director. This new role will take charge of the fundraising efforts that are critical to ideas42’s future growth and ability to achieve its social mission, with the goal of increasing the share of funding ideas42 receives from individual donors from 1% to 10-15% over the course of five years.

ideas42 currently operates entirely under a fee-for-service business model. Our five-year growth goal is to double in size and increase the scale of our impact by 10x. This rapid growth will require us to retool the service delivery side of our operations as well as the business model that sustains it, at a philanthropic growth capital cost of $10 million, to be spent over the next 5 years. This growth capital campaign will serve to jump-start our broader fundraising program for major donors. The newly created Director role will be instrumental in launching and executing a successful campaign, while building the foundation for ongoing major giving.

The role will be responsible for building and managing new philanthropic partnerships at the organization. From identification to cultivation to solicitation to stewardship, the Director will build relationships with prospective donors who have the capacity to make significant investments in ideas42. This will allow ideas42 to build additional ongoing resources for the organization, diversify our funding base, and add the flexibility necessary to create innovative solutions and get them to scale. The Director of Philanthropic Partnerships should be adept at building relationships with high net worth individuals and demonstrate experience effectively stewarding them over the long term.

The role will also collaborate with the Director of Communications and members of our Operations Team. The Director of Philanthropic Partnerships will provide direct oversight for the Development Manager, whose responsibilities include CRM management, prospect research, and pipeline development, and own relationships with external consultants as needed. Additional team members and resources can be added based on what is required to deliver success.

The Director of Philanthropic Partnerships will work with ideas42 Executive Director, Chief Innovation Officer, senior leadership and Board of Directors to determine the direction of major giving programs, identify potential donor networks, and execute on a comprehensive fundraising strategy. This includes:

  • Working with consultants and Communications team to develop the case for support, translating our issue areas into concise, donor-friendly narratives and articulating need for and impact of capacity-building enterprise grants.
  • Identifying individual donors and philanthropic institutions aligned with that case for support.
  • Developing and executing engagement and solicitation strategies for all prospective donors, by aligning donor priorities with ideas42 programmatic and growth goals.
  • Partnering with the Executive Director and volunteers in the execution of donor engagement and solicitation strategies
  • Build and manage a portfolio of major gift prospects
  • Setting measurable financial and activity targets and milestones to track progress on achieving fundraising goals, and reporting to relevant stakeholders (senior team, board, etc.).
  • Designing an effective major gift donor stewardship program.
  • Studying and becoming an expert in ideas42’s broad portfolio of work, as well as becoming informed and articulate about our approach to problem solving using behavioral science innovations.
  • Supervising Development Manager on:
    • Prospect research and major gift prospect qualification.
    • Internal CRM creation, organization-wide roll-out, and day-to-day maintenance and management.
    • Planning and executing major donor stewardship and cultivation of events as required, including budgeting and vendor procurement.
  • Coaching Executive Director on donor engagement and solicitation.


What Are We Looking For?

We hire resourceful, analytical and entrepreneurial individuals. The successful candidate will be comfortable working both independently and across the team, advising and being part of senior leadership within the organization, and thinking critically. A passion for unorthodox problem-solving and promoting social good is crucial. Specific qualifications include:

  • Proven fundraising track record as solicitor of gifts of six-figures or more.
  • Excellent project management, communications, and collaboration skills with both internal and external partners.
  • Bachelor’s degree plus minimum of 8 years of full-time experience with major donor fundraising, or other relevant experience, in an in-house or agency setting.
  • Exceptional relationship-building skills.
  • At least 3 years of direct experience managing team members.
  • A passion for and ability to inspire donors to support our mission of solving some of the world’s toughest problems using an evidence-based approach.
  • High level of discretion and comfort working closely with C-Suite level business leaders, prominent philanthropists, influencers, and academics.
  • Persuasive storyteller with excellent written and verbal communication skills and a commitment to high-quality output.
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office, prospect research tools and relationship management software required.
  • Mission-aligned, self-starter, and able to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • ideas42’s culture demands that all team members be generous teammates with a low-ego mentality focused on getting high-quality work accomplished.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs