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Development Officer, North American Foundations

Department: Development
Location: Washington, DC
Job Type: Full-time

Department/Program Summary:

The Development team works to secure funds for GMF by:

- Managing a caseload of assigned prospective and current donors, ensuring that as many as possible become new donors, and that these donors are retained on an upgraded basis in their giving.

- Coordinating with programs and offices across the organization to design and implement donor-focused strategies to generate funding for GMF policy, leadership, civil society, and convening work.

- Strengthening the organization’s culture of fundraising by training programmatic colleagues, modeling best practices, and fulfilling legal requirements regarding fundraising research, information-sharing, donor engagement, and systems development.

Position Summary:

The full-time Development Officer, North American Foundations will have particular responsibility for working closely with the Head, Foundation Funding Development to seek, stimulate, and secure funding for GMF programs from foundations in the United States and Canada.

This position is primarily donor-facing, providing fundraising strategy, coordination, and direct engagement for an assigned portfolio of foundation funders. The Development Officer, North American Foundations will additionally provide fundraising strategic input on a secondary basis for donor relationships that are primarily managed by programs. The Development Officer, North American Foundations will be additionally responsible for obtaining and sharing sectoral business intelligence that our programmatic colleagues can leverage.

The Development Officer, North American Foundations will work in close coordination with the other members of the Foundations funding team within Development, and with members of the programmatic teams who also work on fundraising. Other close collaborators will be the Strategic Engagement and Finance teams as well as other gift officers and the donor relations staff on the rapidly growing Development team.

The Development Officer, North American Foundations will have direct supervisory responsibility for the Development Assistant, Foundations.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

Resource Mobilization (65%)

  • Coordinate fundraising strategies for a portfolio of foundation funder prospects, many of whom have multiple interests at GMF. With some funders, that requires serving as the lead in the relationship, and with others, that will mean coordinating behind the scenes with program and institutional leadership, other development officers, and volunteers.
  • Establish revenue goals for each funder based on public information on their giving and on colleagues’ knowledge. Focus on identifying, qualifying, cultivating, and soliciting contributions largely at level $250,000 and above.
  • Create plans that will serve as a unique cultivation and solicitation plan for each funder on caseload, taking into account each prospect’s priorities, motivations, giving patterns and ask preferences. Execute this plan in a timely and cost effective manner which results in the retention and upgrading of funders.
  • Attain specific fundraising goals, including all major elements of the solicitation process from identification to cultivation to solicitation to gift closure. Once the portfolio is sufficiently established, close seven figures overall each fiscal year in new gift commitments.
  • While programs have primary responsibility for writing policy content for proposals at GMF, the Development Officer, North American Foundations will work with program staff to secure additional project information as necessary to create compelling proposals.
  • Work with Development Assistant, Foundations on technical submission of proposals.
  • Use professional knowledge to provide a positive and enriching experience for all funder and colleague interactions.

    Coordination and Communication (15%)
  • Identify and disseminate funding opportunities to programs, performing regular searches for funding opportunities.
  • Identify absences among GMF’s North American foundation funders, and proactively coordinate with development teammates, organization-wide collaborative partners, and volunteers to create and implement engagement strategies.
  • Understand the evolving research, convening, training, and grantmaking outputs of GMF’s priority fields and match these with a wide variety of government funding sources.
  • Support the development of a compelling story that resonates with donors in the foundation sector.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization, working with teammates and programs to elucidate culture of fundraising.
  • Gather business intelligence from foundation funding sector for dissemination across GMF and leverage into actionable funder strategy.
  • Coordinate with the donor relations assistant and other colleagues as appropriate on recognition of and stewardship of donors following successful solicitation.
  • Analytics and Admin (10%)
  • Pull reports from CRM and retrieve data for reports and analysis.
  • Create monthly and quarterly reports that accurately reflect government funder activity and fundraising outcomes at GMF.
  • Management of Assigned Projects (10%)
  • Managing project progress and adapt work as required
  • Optimizing and improving processes and the overall approach where necessary

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Three to five years of professional fundraising, government contracting, or closely affiliated experience: understanding of prospect management systems, donor databases, prospect pipeline development
  • Personal solicitation experience
  • Understanding of and experience working with international cultures
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Project management skills, including planning and analysis
  • Ability to work in integrated databases
  • Strong work ethic, good judgment, ability to manage own time and collaborate effectively with others
  • Success in coaching leadership level staff to achieve fundraising success
  • Adept at putting creative ideas forward; taking initiative and solving problems with creative approaches
  • Dynamic, self motivated and focused with proactive approach
  • Willingness to travel internationally
  • Desire to participate in the mission of GMF


Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.

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