Director of Development


Partner: ideas42

Location: New York, NY or Washington, DC


Role and Responsibilities

ideas42 is looking for a fundraising professional to join its senior team in the newly created role of Director of Development. The Director will report to and work closely and collaboratively with the Executive Director. This new role will take charge of and grow the fundraising efforts that are critical to ideas42’s future and ability to achieve its social mission.

In its first decade, ideas42 has operated predominantly under a project specific funding model. Our goal to further expand our capacity—and our impact—requires obtaining funding beyond the largely program-restricted grants we receive from institutional funders (foundations and governments).  We’ve committed to building a major donor fundraising program to obtain unrestricted gifts from major donors.  This new source of funding will enable us to build additional ongoing resources for the organization, diversify our funding base, and add the flexibility necessary to create innovative solutions and get them to scale.  The newly created Director role will be instrumental in launching and executing this program for ongoing major giving, and an opportunity not only to build a vital strategic initiative with enthusiastic leaders and staff, but to forge connections between philanthropists and a unique force for social good.

The Director of Development will collaborate closely with ideas42’s Executive Director, Chief Innovation Officer, Director of Communications, other senior leaders, and the Board of Directors to create the major giving programs, identify potential donor networks, and execute on a comprehensive fundraising strategy.

This person will focus on strategy in addition to execution. The role will take on day to day responsibilities for CRM management, prospect research, pipeline development, and own relationships with external consultants as needed. Additional team members and resources can be added over time based on what is required to deliver success.

The role’s essential duties include:

  • Working with the Communications team to effectively communicate our case for support, translating our issue areas into concise, donor-friendly narratives and articulating need for and impact of capacity-building enterprise grants.
  • Identifying individual donors and philanthropic institutions aligned with that case for support and providing analysis on donor giving patterns and implications.
  • Developing and executing engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and tactics for all prospective donors, by aligning donor priorities with ideas42 programmatic and growth goals.
  • Partnering with the Executive Director, Board Development Committee, Board members, senior leaders, and academic advisors in the execution of donor engagement and solicitation strategies
  • Building and managing a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects in a moves management system
  • Setting measurable financial and activity targets and milestones to track progress on achieving fundraising goals, and reporting to relevant stakeholders (senior team, board, etc.).
  • Studying and becoming an expert in ideas42’s broad portfolio of work, as well as becoming informed and articulate about our approach to problem solving using behavioral science innovations.
  • Planning and executing events for the cultivation and solicitation of donors.
  • Developing donor-facing correspondence and collateral materials, including letters, invitations, briefings, and individualized variations on proposals and the case for support.
  • Serve as internal expert and coach on donor engagement, cultivation and solicitation.

We hire resourceful, analytical and entrepreneurial individuals. The successful candidate will be comfortable working both independently and across the team, advising and being part of senior leadership as a true thought partner within the organization, and thinking critically. A passion for unorthodox problem-solving and promoting social good is crucial.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Excitement about ideas42’s mission. Ability to succinctly articulate ideas42’s mission and case for support in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Proven fundraising track record soliciting and closing gifts from individuals in the expected range.
  • Excellent project management, communication, and collaboration skills with both internal and external partners.
  • Bachelor’s degree plus minimum of 5 years of experience with major donor fundraising, or other relevant experience
  • Exceptional relationship-building skills.
  • High level of discretion and comfort working closely with C-Suite level business leaders, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, prominent philanthropists, influencers, and academics.
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office, prospect research tools and relationship management software required.
  • Self-motivated, proactive strategic thinker with a proven record of working independently and achieving results.
  • ideas42’s culture demands that all team members be generous teammates with a low-ego mentality focused on getting high-quality work accomplished.
  • Able and willing to travel moderate amounts (typically about 20-30% during non-pandemic times).


About ideas42

We’re a non-profit looking for deep insights into human behavior—into why people do what they do—and using that knowledge in ways that help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change. Working globally, we reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

We also teach others, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and create a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

For more than a decade, we’ve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science in the real world. And as we’ve developed our expertise, we’ve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have so far extended to 40 countries as we’ve partnered with governments, foundations, NGOs, private enterprises, and a wide array of public institutions.

We value diversity and inclusion and are dedicated to growing our teams with people who have diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills. We are committed to fair and unbiased hiring practices that support equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, abilities, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Working with Us

We are a culture-first organization where rules or processes do not take precedence – people and their ability to make well-reasoned decisions do. You’ll find that our team members are deeply caring, smart, and both tenacious and rigorous in their work.

Our core values are at the heart of everything at ideas42:

  • We live and breathe what we do. We look at everything through a BEHAVIORAL LENS.
  • We take OWNERSHIP. We don’t just work at ideas42, we take shared responsibility for it.
  • We DO GOOD. We use our expertise to improve millions of lives and create a better world for all.
  • We have fun. We let PLAYFULNESS inform the way we work and our approach to the world, helping to drive our creativity and improve our solutions.
  • We live with a SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY. We approach our colleagues, partners and people whose lives we seek to improve with an attitude of selflessness and cooperation.
  • We are TENACIOUS. We never take the easy route, but push to stretch the limits of what’s possible.
  • We are RIGOROUS in how we think and how we tackle problems.

Benefits and Compensation

We hope that you are excited by the opportunity to work with us. We are proud to offer a comprehensive and behaviorally designed benefits package and other perks to support our team and allow us to focus on our work of solving tough social problems. 

  • Compensation: $110,000-$150,000 a year
  • Insurance: We offer fully-covered medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage for you and your families.
  • 401(k) Match: We contribute 3%, even if you don’t contribute at all.
  • Generous Vacation and Paid Time Off: We’ve built infrastructure to encourage our team to rest and recharge throughout the year (we provide 24 vacation days a year). 
  • Paid Parental Leave for 6 months
  • Fitness benefit
  • Dependent care benefits of $5,000
  • Loan Forgiveness: Based on our 501(c)3 status, you are able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.


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