Careers Director of Development

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The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers, women workers, and workers of color in economic policy discussions. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, retirement security, and the power to bargain effectively for their fair share of wealth and income. EPI uses the tools of economics to achieve these goals, conducting research and providing data and analysis that informs and shapes the way the people in Washington, DC and in state capitals across the country think about the economy and economic policy. EPI’s research helps policymakers, opinion leaders, advocates, journalists, and the public understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting working people. EPI uses its research and analysis to effect change through long-standing relationships with policymakers and the media, through a wide network of researchers and scholars at top universities, through our network of state-level EPI-type groups, the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), and through strong partnerships with foundations, unions, and grassroots advocacy organizations.


The Director of Development plays a pivotal leadership role, working with a highly experienced and collaborative team across the organization to showcase the organization’s impact and broaden financial support for our work and mission. The Director of Development will work closely with the EPI president and leadership team to help set the strategic direction for the development department to help ensure EPI’s fiscal stability and growth; build relationships with core funding partners and prospects; manage an experienced and professional fundraising team; and serve as liaison to funding partners. The Director of Development is part of EPI’s leadership team and reports directly to the EPI’s President. The ideal candidate will manage a broad portfolio, including foundations, individuals, and labor unions. This person will collaborate with all members of the development team and be a liaison with EPI’s communications, research, policy, finance and administration departments in the development and preparation of fundraising proposals, reports, and donor outreach activities. This person will be a strong manager of people and systems and have a deep commitment to EPI’s mission and to EPI’s vision for equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Director of Development responsibilities include:

  • Establish fundraising goals, set strategic fundraising priorities, advise on program development, and raise funds to meet or exceed annual revenue targets.
  • Help analyze the organization’s financial resources and needs and implement strategies to meet these needs, including designing and implementing strategies to cultivate new sources of support.
  • Review and internally disseminate information on foundation funding priorities and manage prospect research on potential new funders.
  • Cultivate foundation supporters to maximize philanthropic engagement. Develop relationships with current and prospective funders to maintain and increase funding to the organization.
  • Assist funders in understanding how EPI’s work, partnerships, and strategies promote racial, economic, and gender justice.
  • Supervise and ensure that all donor information is maintained accurately in EPI’s fundraising database.
  • Maintain calendar of grant proposals and reporting deadlines and ensure that all submitted grant materials are accurate and comply with funder requirements.
  • Coordinate the drafting and editing of proposals and reports.
  • Supervise team and department operations, including developing and maintaining systems and practices for effective project and staff management, such as weekly team meeting agendas and work plans.
  • Manage and build a team of professionals focused on foundation fundraising and solicitations to individuals and labor union supporters.
  • Provide on-going guidance and motivation to the development team and provide oversight to consultants as needed.
  • Implement team equity goals that shape how the team works together, its partnerships, and its engagement with key stakeholders.
  • Evaluate development team’s performance and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth at varying points in their career trajectories.
  • Partner with senior program staff to share their expertise, vision and impact effectively with funders, and with the finance department to monitor revenues and identify funding needs.
  • Collaborate closely with the EPI’s communications team on developing fundraising materials, including solicitation letters, annual reports, materials for special events, and other materials to help shape the organization’s message, and promote the visibility of the organization.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff across the EPI, including helping staff across the EPI understand the development needs of the organization and engage in fundraising effectively, including supporting and coaching EPI personnel as they engage with donors.
  • Serve as a member of EPI’s senior management team to support the overall management of the organization, including organizational planning, operations, and communications as these activities relate to the goals of strengthening the organization’s funding base.
  • Contribute to the development of internal policies and practices which improve the organization’s efforts on equity, diversity, and inclusion. 


A successful candidate must have an outstanding record of managing fundraising activities and serving in a leadership capacity within a high-performing organization.

Successful candidates will have a broad mix of knowledge, skills, and experience such as:

  • At least 5 years of experience leading successful development functions that include both institutional and individual donor fundraising of significant size and scope.
  • Experience building relationships with prospective foundation and individual donors to increase funding.
  • Capacity to learn and understand the multi-faceted work of EPI and then think creatively about how to communicate about that work to current and prospective funders.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and have extensive experience managing communications with varied audiences.
  • A track record of managing multiple priorities and developing infrastructure and systems that support fundraising strategies.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and team-building skills, including the ability to motivate, inspire confidence in, set goals for, delegate to, and ensure the accountability of colleagues.
  • Demonstrated success in strategic thinking, planning, implementation, and problem-solving.
  • A high degree of flexibility, dedicated work ethic, and the ability to manage in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Excellent management and organizational skills.
  • A deep commitment to EPI’s mission, including EPI’s vision for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Experience that demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of quality, performance, and organizational integrity.


  • The salary for this position ranges from $150,000 to $175,000 and is dependent on experience.
  • EPI offers an excellent benefits package, including generous paid time off, a 9.25% employer-provided 401k retirement contribution, fully employer-funded medical, vision, dental, short- and long-term disability, and life insurance.
  • EPI is a unionized workplace with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). Staff reporting to the Development Director will be members of the NPEU bargaining unit. The Development Director is not in the bargaining unit.
  • The Development Director reports to the President.


This position is in EPI’s Washington D.C. office. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, EPI is currently operating under a trial hybrid work policy. EPI is exploring its return to in-office work policies, but it is anticipated that the Development Director will be expected to comply with a hybrid work schedule.


Please send a cover letter highlighting your relevant experience and interest in working at EPI, along with a resume, to with Development Director in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications without a cover letter WILL NOT be considered.

EPI believes that having a diverse and inclusive workplace not only strengthens the institute’s work but is also essential for understanding and creating economic policies that support all working people. EPI is an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior history of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, caregiver status, or other categories protected by law.

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