Director of Corporate Relations

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Job ID
# of Openings
Posted Date
2 months ago(8/9/2022 10:20 AM)


The American Enterprise Institute seeks an outgoing, entrepreneurial, goal-oriented individual with a long-standing interest in public policy matters to grow and manage a strong major gifts program focused on corporate donors. Responsibilities include managing cultivation and solicitation strategies for more than 70 current corporate donors who contribute a total of more than $5M annually. Responsibilities also include increasing the number corporate donors and the amount of funding they provide. AEI is committed to investing in the right candidate with the support they need to be successful.


This position requires high-level interpersonal and relationship-building skills—especially an understanding of how to leverage networks and connections among people. The successful candidate will be creative and knowledgeable about best practices in philanthropy and interested in customizing best practices to specific, tailored strategies for each donor and prospect.


The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to the mission and principles of AEI and the ability to speak confidently on free market economics, foreign policy, and domestic policy research topics. They will have a genuine interest in AEI’s work, have an interest in increasing their knowledge of AEI scholars’ research, and a desire to share this knowledge with others. Good conversation and listening skills and having something to say on topics of interest to donors are of tantamount importance. A natural curiosity and the ability to fit within the organization’s academic and collegial culture are essential. Because AEI values scholarly independence, we do not perform contract research or accept government funding. And we do not take institutional positions.


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. As a senior leader, the Director will have a broad impact within the development department and will interact daily with other senior members of the team to ensure the best possible strategic approaches and solicitation to our corporate 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 Corporate Relations 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, the work of its scholars, 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, experience working directly with corporate donors is a plus.


The Director of Corporate Relations 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 relationships with current and prospective donors
  • Expanding the portfolio of corporations to be cultivated personally and by AEI’s senior management
  • 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
  • Demonstrating an eagerness to delve into AEI’s body of research and demonstrating conversant knowledge on public policy issues of interest to donors
  • 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
  • Traveling regularly to meet with donors and prospects (Approximate travel: 10%)
  • Managing support staff


  • Five-plus years of major gift fundraising experience at a large university or nonprofit organization; an interest in and familiarity with corporate fundraising is essential, but specific responsibility managing a corporate donor program is less essential than the ability to understand donors’ interests and translate those interests into meaningful partnership
  • The ability to make “the ask” and deliver results
  • A passion for and comprehensive understanding of AEI’s mission and research
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Flexible and adaptable style


Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed

Need help finding the right job?

We can recommend jobs specifically for you! Click here to get started.