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Development Officer (US major donors)

International Institute for Strategic Studies - Americas
District of Columbia, United States
$115,000.00 - $130,000.00
Closing date
Feb 14, 2024

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The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a world-leading think tank on global security, political risk and military conflict with offices in London, Berlin, Manama, Singapore, and Washington, DC. The IISS-Americas office in Washington, DC is an active and important base for the IISS in the US and elsewhere in the Americas, promoting the Institute and its research to relevant constituencies, servicing the individual and corporate membership and initiating events for local audiences consistent with the IISS international reach.   

 Job Description: 

The IISS-Americas office seeks an experienced development professional with a proven track record in major donor fundraising to develop and implement an aggressive, high-calibre fundraising operation within the US; this will include research, cultivation, solicitation, engagement, stewardship, and other required functions focused primarily on individual giving though supporting broader efforts as appropriate.  

This is a new position and will be responsible for building an individual donor program in the US from the bottom up. Reporting to the Managing Director of IISS-Americas, the position will work closely with the London External Relations and Development team and other senior management and researchers throughout the Institute.  

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:  

 Strategic Planning and Donor Management in the US:  

  • Lead development of IISS-Americas individual donor fundraising strategy and goals in collaboration with the senior management team and research staff. 
  • Advise leadership on development strategy and policies and on specific fundraising opportunities relevant to IISS research and activities.  
  • Identify fundraising opportunities and create and oversee a prospect research strategy.  
  • Build relationships with US-based donors and generate visibility in the US for the IISS and its activities.  
  • Maintain awareness of current IISS research topics as a lever for potential fundraising opportunities. Monitor philanthropic trends in donor circles to make logical connections to the Institute’s work. 
  • Represent IISS and/or its researchers in meetings with prospects and donors. 
  • Work closely across the IISS to identify research ideas and projects that will excite and engage high value donors, both individual and possibly corporates and foundations, in the US. 

Implementation and Coordination of Fundraising Efforts: 

  • Develop and maintain an up-to-date list of prioritized potential funding opportunities. 
  • Ensure careful coordination of fundraising strategy, prospect research, cultivation and solicitation, and donor stewardship with IISS leadership. 
  • Collaborate across IISS with Directors and heads of research programs to build two-way communication of fundraising priorities and research needs.  
  • Working with leadership and researchers, write, edit and submit concept notes, solicitation letters, and fundraising proposals. Ensure all proposals are fully coordinated within IISS and obtain relevant concurrence/approval prior to submission.  
  • Engage with administrative, external relations, and global communications staff to develop promotional materials and other products needed for effective outreach.  
  • Coordinate with global engagement/communications staff to ensure that major events and publications are promoted to prospective or current donors for maximum fundraising impact.  
  • Oversee donor database information on IISS CRM and maintain comprehensive donor profiles. 


  • Bachelor’s degree required.  
  • Relevant fundraising experience, including recent responsibilities working with senior leadership.  
  • Proven track record of success in prospect identification, relationship building and solicitation and closing of five- to seven-figure gifts.  
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.   
  • Ability to think strategically; Sound judgment and discretion with strong influencing skills. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a high degree of adaptability, ease in working with senior leaders and HNWI. Ability to engage effectively and build strong relationships. 
  • Strong time management, organization, and project management skills, including the ability to work independently and meet deadlines. Able to work in a fast-paced environment and to successfully juggle tasks and deadlines. 
  • An entrepreneurial spirit with evidence of a range of innovative ideas and thinking that complements and extends beyond traditional fundraising. 
  • Interest in geopolitics along with a passion for international relations is highly desired. 


Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience and will attract a full benefits package including healthcare, retirement and vacation.  


Candidates should submit their applications by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ blue button on the IISS careers webpage and following the instructions to submit two documents:  

  • A cover letter outlining what skills and experience they can bring to the role, as well as salary expectations.  
  • A full resume, including details of two references. 

Candidates must be eligible to work in the USA. Unfortunately, we will be unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position. Due to the expected volume of applications, only those selected for interview will be contacted.  


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