Director of Donor Relations

Intercollegiate Studies Institute - Wilmington, Delaware

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) seeks an experienced Director of Donor Relations to oversee its major gifts fundraising operations and manage an executive caseload of donors and prospects.

Founded in 1953, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is a nonprofit organization that educates for liberty, equipping future leaders to embrace and defend the principles that make America free and prosperous. ISI is seeking a full-time Director of Donor Relations (DDR) to support its vital mission by securing funds, managing key donor relationships, and supervising major gifts fundraising operations for the organization. 

Reporting to ISI’s President and to the Chief of Staff, the DDR will oversee a team of major gifts officers and serve as a frontline fundraiser and relationship manager for an executive caseload, with an emphasis on securing $25,000+ leadership gifts, pledges, and estate commitments for the Institute.

This is a full-time position based at ISI’s F.M. Kirby Campus in Wilmington, Delaware, with remote work considered for exceptional candidates. Salary is commensurate with experience, plus benefits.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Qualify donors and manage an executive caseload of 100-125 donors, keeping ISI’s President and CEO informed and involved when appropriate.   
  • Manage the major gifts team (three major gift officers), providing accountability, mentorship, and opportunities for professional development.  
  • Manage the team’s relationship with ISI’s Grant Writer and Chief of Staff, ensuring that grant proposals, reports, letters of inquiry, pledge letters, and other donor communications are well-crafted and on schedule.  
  • Serve ISI’s fundraising and overall institutional goals by collaborating with ISI’s Chief of Staff, marketing team, and any and all outside consultants on direct mail, digital fundraising, and database administration.
  • Join weekly development team meetings and provide a weekly major gifts update.
  • Consistently evaluate departmental performance and identify areas and methods for growth, particularly with regard to donor clubs, alumni giving, planned giving, and institutional fundraising campaigns.
  • Perform other major gift officer duties as required, including tracking activity in Salesforce.
  • Ensure that the major gifts team achieves its clearly articulated goals, both individually and as a team.


The ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree and 7-10+ years of relevant experience, including experience directly cultivating a caseload of donors and closing five-figure gifts and above. The candidate should exhibit superior time-management skills, a high degree of personal initiative and conscientiousness, reliable emotional intelligence, superb interpersonal and writing abilities, and, crucially, a deep appreciation for and desire to further the mission of ISI.  Experience with Salesforce and strong Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint) skills are a plus.

To Apply

Please submit the following application materials as one PDF via the form on the ISI website (https://isi.org/careers/director-donor-relations/):

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the position/the mission of the organization, and your salary requirements
  • A list of three references

If you have questions, please email employment@isi.org. No phone calls, please. Applications will be considered as received. ISI is an equal-opportunity employer. 

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