Director of Development


Partner: Religious Freedom Institute

Location:  Washington, D.C.

 Religious Freedom Institute (Washington, D.C.)

Mission: The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) is committed to achieving broad acceptance of religious liberty as a fundamental human right, a source of individual and social flourishing, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a driver of national and international security.

Approach: We accomplish this goal by convincing stakeholders in select regions that religious freedom can help them achieve their own goals—political, economic, strategic, and religious. RFI Action Teams have a presence on the ground in each region to build coalitions and work toward making religious freedom a priority for governments, civil society, religious communities, businesses, and the general public.

Job Description and Responsibilities

The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) is looking for a Director of Development to lead the organization’s development strategy and efforts. Rank and title will be appropriate to the individual hired. RFI will consider candidates who have at least five years of successful experience (Development Associate) as well as mature professionals at a senior level (Development Director or VP of Development). Over time, RFI is committed to creating a development team.

The incumbent, successful Director of Development (“DD”) is responsible for the development of RFI’s vital revenue streams, which allows RFI to achieve its mission and maximize its impact globally. The Director plans and organizes fundraising activities, manages the development budget and empowers RFI team members to raise funds. The Director of Development must implement RFI’s major gifts program, grant strategy, and development communications, with a particular focus on managing and cultivating relationships with existing major gift prospects as well as identifying new prospects. The Development Director works with RFI’s leadership team to drive decisions and implementation of organizational initiatives. The Development Director represents RFI’s development interests in discussions with RFI leadership and outside agencies and collaborates with other directors and RFI staff (e.g. Communications) to advance RFI’s mission.

The Director of Development will:

  • Understand fully why religious freedom is essential to human dignity and the flourishing of human societies and cultures, and thus understand and communicate the urgent mission of RFI in person and in writing.
  • Implement RFI’s fundraising strategy, which focuses on grants and major gifts, and refine as needed in consultation with the RFI leadership team and chairman of the board of directors.
  • Leverage the RFI board of directors and staff to ensure that a minimum of $3.5 million is raised annually.
  • Deal with stock gifts, wills, and other forms of planned giving, as
  • Help RFI’s donors (at all levels) accomplish their philanthropic goals and ambitions through a relationship with the organization.
  • Develop and execute the annual fundraising plan with clearly specified annual targets (set in coordination with RFI senior management).
  • Generate new ideas that increase revenue and donor
  • Report on development progress to senior management and board of
  • Oversee the development budget and monitor
  • Manage systems and software to track and cultivate donors and prospects, including our donor database and wealth screening tools.
  • Work with RFI’s Board of Directors to align efforts and set
  • Track and report development progress using specific
  • Work with RFI Action Team Directors to set up and execute a development strategy for each of their action teams.
  • Major Gifts (Primary):
    • Secure major gifts at the $50K+
    • Manage existing portfolio of donors and Advise and manage RFI leadership and Action Team Directors with their portfolios.
    • Manage cultivation plans for every donor in collaboration with RFI
    • Make direct, face-to-face solicitations and assist the board and RFI with their solicitation (e.g. provide portfolio development support, strategic counsel, and help with donor communications).
    • Oversee program for public and private recognition of
    • Organize development trips and
  • Grants (Secondary):
    • Oversee the pre-award and post-award activity for grants or organizational gifts, in collaboration with action team directors and program officers.
    • Track deliverables for grants, as necessary, and ensure all goals are
    • Collaborates with action team directors and program officers in preparation of new grants and grant documentation.
    • Oversee and submit LOIs in collaboration with action team directors, program officers, and RFI leadership.
    • Identify new grants/organization/foundation prospects and develop strategy and
    • Guide proposals working closely with action team director, program officers, and RFI leadership.
  • Oversee the development budget and monitor
  • Work closely with the communications team and other relevant actors to develop marketing and development communications for RFI (i.e. case statement, newsletters, appeals, annual report, development reports, etc.).
  • Assist RFI leadership and communications team on outward-facing messaging and platforms (e.g. website) to ensure that they represent RFI’s work clearly.
  • Plan and direct development events in collaboration with events manager (cultivation and fundraising breakfasts, lunches, dinners, receptions, etc.). In particular, oversee donor strategy for the Annual Dinner,
  • Plan and direct fundraising

Job Location Desired Experience and Background

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree, additional education desirable.
  • Ideal candidate will have five or more years of development/fundraising or sales experience.
  • Previous fundraising experience highly desired, with a demonstrated record of accomplishment.
  • Be able to write clearly and in a manner that moves the reader to act.
  • Be a “people-person” – comfortable with donors, RFI staff, and the RFI board of directors.
  • Be a “self-starter,” energetic, and passionate about raising the funds necessary for RFI to achieve its mission.

Job Location

Washington, D.C. area

Position Type


Working Environment / Conditions

Domestic travel is required, as well as some weekend and evening work to accommodate donor schedules and RFI special needs.

One-year contract to be offered, with subsequent contracts dependent on performance.


Negotiable based on experience, with raises and bonuses available based on overall performance, medical benefits, and retirement included.

Note on commitment to professional ethics in fundraising

RFI takes very seriously its fiduciary and moral obligation to abide by the highest standards in the NGOprofession for fundraising. We are a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and we abide by the AFP “Code of Ethical Standards”

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, signed RFI core values statement (see next page), resume and salary history, along with the names and contact information of three references, to


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