Senior Director of Development, Major Gifts and Foundations

Position Title: Senior Director of Development, Major Gifts and Foundations
Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
Location: Washington, D.C.
Reports To: SVP, External Affairs

Purpose and Description

Meridian is a non-profit diplomatic center based in Washington, D.C. that strengthens engagement between the United States and the world by developing global leaders, connecting people through culture and promoting non-partisan collaboration.

Meridian is seeking an experienced and entrepreneurial Senior Director of Development to develop and execute a strategy to increase individual major gift and foundation donations to the organization and to help expand the organization’s donor base outside of Washington, D.C. to New York, California and other major markets.

The successful Director will have front-line individual donor fundraising experience in a non-profit organization, experience raising gifts at the $25,000+ level, experience working on a capital campaign along with established relationships in the high net-worth philanthropic and foundation community. Familiarity with individuals or foundations focused on international relations, arts and culture or historic preservation areas is preferred. The Senior Director of Development reports to the Senior Vice President of External Affairs.

Essential Functions

Individual Donors + Major Gifts Responsibilities

  • Identifies new major donor prospects at the $25,000 level and above, develops and manages personalized outreach and engagement strategies
  • Manages a portfolio of current major donors for cultivation and stewardship and communicates regularly with them through personal e-mails, calls, visits etc.
  • Directly solicits and closes individual gifts, focusing on gifts at the $25,000 level and above
  • Manages donor engagement programs including the Meridian Global Leadership Council and designs and implements cultivation and stewardship events and activities
  • Tracks and manages executive leadership and Board’s donor relationships and their solicitations
  • Oversees and directs the annual Meridian Ball and other fundraising and donor events, including an annual international delegation program

Foundation Fundraising Responsibilities

  • Identifies and develop a portfolio of foundation and grant prospects aligned with Meridian’s programs focused on cultural diplomacy, global leadership, historic preservation as well as operating expenses
  • Designs and writes strong, compelling and timely proposals aligned with Meridian’s strategic priorities and goals

Management and Financial Responsibilities

  • Serves as the manager and supervisor of a team of approximately 4 people including development associates, a consultant and interns to execute fundraising programs and activities
  • Oversees a departmental budget; tracks and reconciles all financials in coordination with the Finance department
  • Communicates regularly with senior staff on overall development activities, budget goals, fundraising progress and issues
  • Serves as a cross-organizational link between all Meridian divisions to identify and coordinate funding opportunities, sources and strategy and to create strategic partnerships with individuals and foundations
  • Oversees consistent and efficient fundraising processes for all donations such as gift-processing, thank you notes, website maintenance, event planning and schedule, donor communications, etc.
  • Oversees the implementation and management of Salesforce database for all development related activities

Other duties and special projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications


  • An undergradutate degree
  • At least 7 years of progressive responsibility in a non-profit fundraising environment and an interest in global affairs
  • Demonstrated experience closing individual major gifts at the $25,000 level and above and at the $100,000 level and beyond for foundations

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Confident and accomplished front-line fundraising experience and a proven ability to identify, engage, solicit and close foundation and individual major donors independently
  • Demonstrated ability to plan major events – such as annual galas, award dinners, conferences etc. – and all associated event details and logistics
  • Demonstrated ability to write winning foundation grant proposals and manage grants, including report processes
  • Demonstrated skill in managing staff and consultants, as well as donor councils
  • Sophisticated skills in CRM databases, specifically Salesforce
  • Strong ability to develop presentations and proposals using graphic design programs
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience with full MS Office Suite

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.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should apply by e-mail only to Subject line should read “Senior Director Development” only. A cover letter, with salary expectations, resume, and a 1-2 page overview of your fundraising/development background should be attached. Only caandidates 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.