Director of Individual Giving

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Job ID
# of Openings
Posted Date
2 months ago(8/9/2022 10:09 AM)


The American Enterprise Institute seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial, and goal-oriented individual interested in public policy to grow and manage a major gifts program focused on high-dollar individual donors. Responsibilities for this new role include leading a team of fundraisers and support staff who identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward AEI’s donors as well as personally managing a moderate portfolio of major donors, and this position therefore requires high-level interpersonal and relationship-building skills.  This is an excellent position for someone who enjoys building relationships and having a direct impact on an organization committed to strengthening the free enterprise system and building a freer and safer world. 


The successful candidate will be creative and knowledgeable about best practices in philanthropy and interested in developing and executing on tailored strategies for each donor and prospect. Good conversation and listening skills and a knowledge of policy topics of interest to donors are necessary to succeed in this role and a natural curiosity and the ability to fit within the organization’s academic, collegial culture are essential.


AEI’s development department is team-oriented, fast-paced, and mission-driven. Reporting to the Vice President of Development, the Director will be a senior leader in the development department. The successful candidate will mentor and develop team members with regular feedback and coaching conversations and will work daily with other senior members of the team to ensure the strategic relationship building and solicitation of our donor base. As a senior leader, the director will have broad impact within the development department and will interact daily with members of corporate giving team and the foundation giving team to ensure the best possible strategic approaches and solicitation to our donors. This is an excellent position for someone who enjoys building relationships and having a direct impact on an organization committed to strengthening the free enterprise system and building a freer and safer world. 


This is also a role for someone who will arrive ready to help the Vice President of Development and the rest of our development leadership team to build and shape the future of fundraising at AEI. With a few months of experience in this new role, VPD Adam Nance – who brings with him more than 20 years of fundraising experience and more than half a billion dollars raised – has identified several trajectories for revenue growth and several areas where best practices can be better applied to AEI’s fundraising efforts. The team has broad support from throughout the organization, and this position will be key to helping AEI achieve our fundraising vision. For the right person who is comfortable collaborating with ambitious leaders to build the future and helping to grow our immensely talented young staff members, this position will be deeply fulfilling.


The Director of Individual Giving must demonstrate an ability to prioritize activities and execute at a fast pace. Strong writing and verbal skills and an energetic and entrepreneurial spirit are essential. A deep understanding of AEI’s mission and an interest in public policy are also required. A track record (5+ years of experience) of successful, high-level fundraising and face-to-face solicitations is preferred, and knowledge of capital campaign fundraising is a plus.


The Director of Individual Giving will be based in AEI’s Washington, DC office.


How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in this position/AEI’s mission and your salary requirements

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

Questions can be directed to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.


  • Nurturing and cultivating long-term partnerships and relationships with current and prospective donors
  • Expanding the portfolio of donors to be cultivated personally and by AEI’s senior management
  • Traveling regularly to meet with donors and prospects (Approximate travel: 10%)
  • Managing and developing fundraising staff and support staff, creating pathways for growth for team members, and providing regular feedback and coaching
  • Contributing to the development department’s success in supporting AEI’s mission by engaging with colleagues in the department, sharing experiences and ideas, and by having a collegial and can-do approach with others
  • Collaborating frequently with scholars and researchers to stay abreast of the current issues and work that may be of interest to donors. Build relationships to better understand scholars’ work in order to match donor and research interests
  • Synthesizing complex research into clear opportunities for donor investment; success with securing donor support for “ideas” and long-term research is essential


  • Five-plus years of major gift fundraising experience at a large university or nonprofit organization, including personal solicitation of major gifts
  • Three-plus years of management experience
  • An eagerness to delve into AEI’s body of research and demonstrated comprehensive understanding of public policy issues of interest to donors
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Flexible and adaptable style


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