Development Officer, Foundations and Grants

Location: Washington, D.C.
Reports To: Sr. Vice President, External Affairs & Vice President, GlobalConnect

Meridian International Center is a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and the arts.  Established in 1960 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Meridian offers a wide array of outreach, exchange, and arts programs.  We promote dialogue among people of all ages about global issues, connect professionals from different countries and enrich the cultural perspectives of audiences across the United States and abroad.

Meridian’s External Affairs office is responsible for maintaining relationships with Meridian’s external audiences, organizational communications, cultivating development opportunities, cultural diplomacy programs, and for the maintenance and renovations of Meridian’s historic buildings. The Development team within External Affairs is responsible for raising funds to support Meridian's global leadership activities, cultural diplomacy programs, and for the maintenance and renovations of Meridian’s historic buildings. These goals are achieved through annual fundraising campaigns, memberships in Meridian Councils, and public events and forums. Support comes from individual donors, corporations, and foundations. The Development team also spearheads the annual Meridian Ball, a signature event in Washington, DC, and Meridian’s largest fundraiser.

The GlobalConnect division was established in 2001 to pursue new business opportunities for the organization.  Our projects have involved the development and implementation of exchange programs for professionals and university and high-school students, sponsored by U.S. embassies around the world, USG agencies and private-sector firms. Our programs cover a wide array of issues—some recent topics include US foreign policy, youth leadership, empowering women entrepreneurs, human rights, journalism training, women as political leaders, interfaith issues and the US election process.

Purpose and Description

Meridian is actively recruiting a Development Officer, Foundations and Grants who can serve as the proposal lead to support the External Affairs and GlobalConnect divisions in a full-time capacity. Individual should demonstrate forward-looking experience in business development outreach to foundations and the private sector that align with the organization’s programmatic capacity; demonstrate an understanding of CSR and philanthropic sectors; developing and submitting winning proposals for cooperative agreements/grants to the US government (including familiarity with the process of responding requests solicited by U.S. State Department, regional bureaus, and U.S. Embassies); experience with graphic design related to proposals; and experience working with technical teams for proposal development.

Essential Functions

Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Proactively work with External Affairs office to identify and follow through with opportunities for support from foundations and private sector organizations.
  • Coordinates technical inputs with program and development teams within GlobalConnect and External Affairs divisions.
  • Determines proposal concept by identifying and clarifying opportunities and needs; studying requests for proposal (RFPs); attending strategy meetings.
  • Meets proposal deadline by establishing priorities and target dates for information gathering, writing, review, and approval; entering and monitoring tracking data; coordinating requirements with contributors; contributing proposal status information to review meetings; transmitting proposals.
  • Gathers proposal information by identifying sources of information; coordinating submissions and collections; identifying and communicating risks associated with proposals.
  • Develops proposal by assembling information including project nature, objectives/outcomes/deliverables, implementation, methods, timetable, staffing, budget, standards of performance, and evaluation; writing, revising, and editing drafts including executive summaries, conclusions, and organization credentials.
  • Maintains quality results by using templates; following proposal-writing standards including readability, consistency, and tone; maintaining proposal support databases.
  • Obtains approvals by reviewing proposal with key providers and project managers.

Minimum Qualifications


The candidate should have 4-5 years of experience soliciting and developing winning proposals from the foundation and private sectors, and with delivering technical proposals in response to Department of State (DoS) and other USG offices’ funding solicitations. S/he should possess a clear understanding of best practices, evidence-based designs, and innovations in the field that will lead to successful proposal designs. Knowledge of USG/foundation/private sector trends in spending, technical direction, and overarching goals in the field of interest is desired. The candidate should have first-hand experience designing and writing winning proposals.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to proactively seek support from foundations and other private sector organizations that align with Meridian’s mission and core strengths
  • Ability to design and write winning proposals responding to grant solicitations and other funding opportunities
  • Experience developing proposals for youth, academic and/or professional exchange programs, foundations and private sector organizations
  • Possess collaborative work style
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Capacity to achieve success in a fast-paced work environment while managing several projects simultaneously
  • Ability to generate creative solutions and translate concepts into images and text
  • Possess exceptional customer service towards potential and current supporters and clients
  • Experience with leading proposal design teams across divisions and drawing out the expertise and strengths from team members

Physical Effort and Dexterity

  • Not applicable

Visual Acuity, Hearing, and Speaking

Excellent verbal and written command of the English language

Environment and Scheduling

  • Interest in working with an international not-for-profit professional exchange organization
  • Interest in working within a diverse work environment

This position is classified FLSA exempt.

Employer’s Statement and Rights

This position posting does not list all the duties of the job. If an offer is made, you will be presented with a detailed job description. Applicants will be evaluated based upon their demonstrated ability to perform the tasks listed above, and their education and experience. The employer has the right to revise this posting at any time. Neither this posting nor the job description is a contract for employment. Meridian is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Qualified candidates should apply by e-mail only to Subject line should read "Development Officer" only and a cover letter, with salary expectations, and resume should be attached. Only candidates being considered for this position will be contacted. Submissions which do not follow the above instructions will not be considered as applicants. NO PHONE CALLS in reference to this position will be accepted.