Director, Institutional Advancement

Title: Director, Institutional Advancement

Employment Status: Exempt

Salary: $120,000

Supervisor Title: Senior Director, Institutional Advancement

Date Revised: JULY 2022

Summary of Position:

Meridian seeks a Director, Institutional Advancement who will serve in a frontline fundraising position, as chief deputy to the Senior Director, Institutional Advancement, working regularly with the Manger and Associate, Institutional Advancement, and collaborating with the corporate and foundation giving teams.  The Director will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding new philanthropic partners with a special focus on individual giving. The role will include fundraising and event planning for special events, growing Meridian’s pipeline of individual giving through our membership council, programming underwriting opportunities, and helping curate donor programming.

This position is located in Washington D.C. and Meridian requires MD, DC, or VA residence for all employees. This is a hybrid position that requires a minimum of three days a week in-person.  Effective January 4, 2022, all Meridian staff are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a reasonable medical or religious accommodation is approved.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Identify, cultivate, and secure new philanthropic partnerships with individuals in the 5k-150k range.
  • Encourage renewals and upgrades of existing donors in the Meridian Council though phone calls, emails, letters, and cultivation meetings.
  • Maintain regular contact with current individual supporters.
  • Identify opportunities for major gifts beyond annual membership.
  • Secure underwriters for programs and sponsorships and ticket purchases for special events
  • Lead responsibility for timely marketing, communications, and new membership appeals to current supporters and prospects including but not limited to quarterly event calendars and website updates.
  • Create, manage, and maintain accounts in Salesforce as part of the donor cultivation and stewardship process.
  • Assist in the research, organization, and evaluation of prospective funders, as needed.
  • Analyze and evaluate effective fundraising database protocols and outcomes in Salesforce through data collection and report evaluation.
  • Operationalize processes for ongoing cultivation and stewardship of philanthropic partners .
  • Author proposals to both individuals and family foundations, including planning, strategy, writing, personalized follow-up, and stewardship.
  • Help curate and staff exclusive donor engagement events (approximately 12-15 events annually, primarily in-person, occasional hybrid or virtual, to include Entrée to Dialogues at Embassies, Foreign Policy Salons, Cultural Diplomacy Salons and Awards Dinner, and occasional donor/trustee dinners).
  • Drafting event invitations, building guest list campaigns within Salesforce, building out event registration pages through Linvio or Blackthorn, tracking RSVPS, and driving event attendance.
  • Writing and sending speaker invitations.
  • Writing donor event descriptions and other content for both paper and digital assets including the website, newsletters, invitations, event reminders, social media posts, the annual report, and event follow-up emails.
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned


  • Master’s Degree preferred. Major preferably in an international relations field or within nonprofit management
  • 8+ years of related fundraising experience, with increasing leadership roles
  • Or any equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the position

Technical Requirements:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams is necessary for this role
  • Proficiency with Salesforce for nonprofit fundraising and iWave is required
  • Experience with third party Salesforce applications like Pardot and Linvio, preferred
  • Adobe InDesign skills a plus

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Proven experience developing and running major fundraising campaigns for individuals, securing 5 and 6 figure gifts - there is an expectation to source new gifts, with and without the assistance of colleagues, in this role
  • Experience leading fundraising on special events and galas
  • Experience with moves management best practices
  • Service-driven and collaborative, continuously seeking ways to build capacity, find solutions to small and big problem, and willingness to work on any task, big or small
  • Strategic, thoughtful, and organized with time management and prioritization of tasks
  • Resourceful and a self-starter who consistently follows through; known for working effectively independently and as part of a diverse team
  • Maintain impeccable attention to detail and ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks
  • Exercise strong judgment and ability to make decisions with the information available, yet also know when to ask for help – using appropriate discretion when dealing with confidential information relating to donors
  • A strong communicator, with exceptional written and oral communication skills, at all levels, one-on-one and in groups
  • Understanding and interest in non-profit development and fundraising activities
  • Superior communication skills, both written and verbal; experience drafting invitations, bios, event descriptions
  • Familiarity with staffing events for major philanthropic partners and dignitaries including ambassadors, USG officials, and private sector leaders
  • Driven and high-energy personality with ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of team
  • Strong inter-cultural communication skills; maturity, cultural sensitivity, and tact suitable for working with individuals from around the world
  • Strong interest in the work and mission of Meridian and the ability to represent the organization externally.

Employer’s Statement

Meridian is committed to creating a diverse environment. We believe in empowering global leaders and amplifying voices of a wide variety of backgrounds to create pathways for greater understanding, shared value and respect for all cultures as connecting people has been our foundation for over 60 years. If you share our values and enthusiasm to promote non-partisan collaboration to address global challenges and opportunities, you can find a home at Meridian.

As an equal opportunity employer, Meridian promotes equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, family responsibilities, marital, veteran or military status, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Equal employment opportunity will be offered and maintained to all persons at every stage and condition of employment, including recruiting, hiring, training, upgrading, promotion, transfer, discipline, layoff, recall, and termination.

How to Apply 

Qualified candidates should apply here. Only candidates being considered for this position will be contacted. NO PHONE CALLS in reference to this position will be accepted.