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Senior Development Manager - J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America at MIT
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Closing date
Jul 21, 2022

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Focus Areas
Education, Science / Technology
Job Function
Development / Fundraising
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level
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Job Details

About J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America, a research center within the Economics department at MIT, seeks a Senior Development Manager to join its team and contribute to its mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL North America conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. As a regional office of the global Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, J-PAL North America leverages research by affiliated professors from universities across the world to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to address the complex causes and consequences of poverty. To advance our mission, J-PAL North America must draw on diverse experiences from our staff and affiliated researchers in order to ask better questions and identify better solutions. We are working to increase the limited representation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in the economics profession. Our organization is implementing strategies to attract, develop, and advance a diverse staff and building a pipeline to increase diversity among economic researchers. We are committed to engaging in self-reflection, learning, and dialogue to nurture understanding across differences. Together, we will build an equitable, inclusive culture where everyone is respected, empowered, and heard.

To learn more about our work and team culture, see our Join Our Team brochure or visit

Opportunity Overview

As a member of the J-PAL North America team, you’ll be part of a Nobel-prize winning scientific movement that can transform US policy making. Working closely with our Co-Executive Directors, our Senior Development Manager will develop and implement strategic fundraising plans for J-PAL North America to raise funds, support, and awareness from individuals, corporations, governments and foundations. The Senior Development Manager will serve as a fundraising strategist and a front line fundraiser with current and prospective donors and will manage a donor portfolio. The Senior Development Manager will manage the Senior Administrative Associate and any future development staff in conducting donor research, managing the donor pipeline, assisting with grant writing and proposal development, securing gifts from donors, tracking fundraising activities, coordinating logistics and outreach, generating reports, and providing any additional support needed for J-PAL North America’s fundraising efforts. The Senior Development Manager will also help to build the capacity of other J-PAL North America frontline fundraisers by helping to identify prospective donors, assisting with the development of donor cultivation strategies, reviewing and providing feedback on proposals and fundraising collateral materials and providing coaching and training to colleagues on the fundamentals of fundraising.

For our Senior Development Manager position, we are looking for candidates with at least 5 years of experience in development, including a successful track record in building relationships and securing funding; a strong understanding of development strategies, tools, processes and systems; and, familiarity with the funding landscape for poverty alleviation or social policy. Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate enthusiastically and persuasively about our work are also important to this role.  We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds and welcome candidates with lived or direct experience with the social policy issues that J-PAL North America aims to address through its work.  


  • In close collaboration with the Co-Executive directors, develops and implements a strategic development plan to secure grants, gifts and/or other revenue from foundations, major donors, governments and corporations and oversees efforts to build a culture of fundraising within J-PAL North America. 
  • Works collaboratively with J-PAL North America colleagues, broader MIT fundraising staff, and academic leadership to create, develop, and execute donor relations and stewardship strategies to identify prospects; arranges and leads or participates as needed in donor meetings for cultivation and solicitation.
  • Manages a portfolio of key donor prospects and identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards current and potential donors.
  • Initiates and drives work with colleagues and academic leadership to draft proposals from concept through submission. 
  • Identifies and executes new fundraising strategies (e.g., donor campaigns, special events) to cultivate prospective donors and acknowledge current major donors.
  • Oversees the production and distribution of communication materials that support development efforts.
  • Oversees preparation of prospect research briefings and background materials.
  • Effectively records and utilizes donor data, including ensuring the timely and confidential tracking of donor data; overseeing development of contact and research reports; analyzing giving trends and recommending targeted strategies for increasing support; and, regularly reporting on progress against goals, and/or potential funding shortfalls.
  • Develops a deep understanding of the broad range of research and policy work conducted within J-PAL North America for the purpose of matching this work with potential donors and speaking articulately to prospective donors about the work.
  • Travels and works nights and weekends as required (5-10%).

Compensation & Benefits

This full-time, exempt position is classified by MIT as a grade 11 salary level. Current MIT salary levels are publicly available at This is a fixed market-based salary range that is based on experience.

J-PAL North America staff are MIT employees, which means they are eligible for a wide array of institutional benefits. Some of these MIT benefits include comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match up to 5% of salary plus a pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance up to $5,250 per calendar year, commuter benefits, access to MyLifeServices, a generous vacation policy (3 weeks of paid vacation in your first year, and 4 weeks every year after that, plus an additional 12+ paid Institute-wide holidays per year), paid leave for sick time, maternity and parental leave, back-up child care benefits and much more.

Professional Development

J-PAL North America supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly seminars, engage in small-group discussions with other J-PAL staff, participate in workshops, and take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program. 


Commitment to Mission & Values:  Cares personally and deeply about policy that has the potential to reduce poverty and the rigorous research that informs it. Demonstrates interest in poverty alleviation in the North American (primarily the United States) context in particular. Demonstrates a commitment to J-PAL North America’s values.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required.

Experience: A minimum of 5 years of experience in development, including experience identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding foundation grants required. Some experience securing high capacity individual or corporate donations preferred. Strong understanding of the funding landscape and familiarity with donors in fields related to J-PAL North America's work, including poverty alleviation or social policy and/or in one of J-PAL North America's core focus areas, such as education, health, labor, housing and homelessness, and social inclusion. Some familiarity with basic concepts related to impact evaluation is preferred.  

Technical Skills: Strong understanding of development strategies, tools, processes and systems. Ability to work closely with financial staff to develop fundraising projections and create accurate proposal budgets. Ability to speak accurately and effectively with prospective donors about the basics of impact evaluation, J-PAL’s methodological approach, and research projects. Technical proficiency with learning and using computer applications, including Asana, Excel and Salesforce. 

Strategic Planning and Analysis Skills: Effectively identifies strategic opportunities for fundraising and is able to develop plans for how to approach prospective donors to fund both existing and new areas of work. Ability to accurately analyze, synthesize and effectively present complex sensitive, financial, and technical information.  

Ownership:  Takes responsibility for work being completed on time and professionally/accurately/at the level of quality needed. Demonstrates ability to successfully navigate situations where there is uncertainty around next steps. Demonstrates tact and good judgment in handling confidential information. 

External Stakeholder Management: Proactively identifies, executes, and sustains new engagements with high-level external partners and donors, including the ability to systematically identify new strategic partners and actively build and sustain relationships.

Task & Project Management Skills: Excellent project management skills. Ability to anticipate, plan, prioritize and meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, manage numerous requests from various parties, and effectively manage a high volume of work. Must be able to understand and influence the big picture, while also able and willing to keep track of details and implement solutions.

Oral and Written Communication Skills: Ability to persuasively and accurately describe our work orally and in writing in a manner that builds enthusiasm and motivates others to want to partner with us and fund our work. Outstanding writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders. Strong grant writing abilities and demonstrated track record in conveying impact through persuasive writing. Exceptional attention to detail and accuracy related to preparation of materials and presentations. 

Problem solving/Decision making Skills: Adept at analyzing facts, good judgment, and strong decision-making ability.   Identifies and responds to problems, issues, and opportunities, and identifies relevant constraints. Seeks to identify a solution or response. 

People Management Skills: Effective in leading, inspiring and supervising direct reports or teams. Develops ambitious and achievable goals and strategies, sets clear expectations and provides direction in outlining the tasks and schedules necessary to achieve individual and team goals. Provides timely feedback. Works proactively to foster an inclusive work environment that respects differences, fosters belonging and provides opportunities for all direct reports to succeed.


The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of 224 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.

J-PAL North America, based at MIT, leads J-PAL’s work in the North America region. J-PAL North America conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs.

Our work spans a wide range of sectors including health care, housing, criminal justice, education, and economic mobility. We leverage research by affiliated professors from universities across the continent and a full-time staff of researchers, policy experts, and administrative professionals to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why.

Find Us
1 617 253 7109
400 Main Street E19-201
United States
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