IHS_logo_2014The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) seeks a Director of Major Gifts to plan and execute its major donor fundraising strategy.  Qualified candidates will have the experience and enthusiasm to lead a motivated team focused on long-term relationship building with current and prospective individual supporters.

The Director of Major Gifts will own a portfolio of major donors and direct the efforts of regional gifts officers (currently two), working to set fundraising targets and drive individual strategies for current and prospective supporters in their donor portfolios.  Both team and individual success requires execution of a “moves management” strategy to identify, cultivate, and solicit supporters capable of making gifts of $10,000+.

The Institute for Humane Studies is a recognized leader in the development of talented students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and in advancing the principles and practice of freedom.  IHS, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization, based at George Mason University, that works with students and scholars across a broad range of academic and professional disciplines.

IHS is the premier provider of education in the ideas of liberty for college students from around the country, through a set of educational programs and Learn Liberty online videos.  To cultivate talent for opinion-leading careers as professors, in the media, and in public policy, IHS annually awards nearly $1 million in scholarships to graduate students and works with more than 1,000 students in free summer seminars, sponsored internships, and various other career programs.


  • Working with the Director of Development and IHS President to establish major donor fundraising goals and executing “Moves Management” to attain revenue targets.
  • Leading a team of regional gift officers (currently two) responsible for driving renewal, upgrade, and new gifts.
  • Building your own portfolio of major donor supporters and prospects, setting fundraising strategies, and executing on each.  This will require face-to-face donor meetings and travel.
  • Working with the other team members to integrate major donor fundraising strategies with fundraising from foundations and through direct mail.
  • Collaborating with the Director of Development and IHS President on major donor strategy for donors within their portfolios.

Candidates must have demonstrable, extensive (5+ years) experience in developing major gift fundraising plans and leading a team tasked with executing such plans. In addition, candidates should possess a strong appreciation for classical liberal principles (individual rights, free markets, limited government, voluntarism, and peace).  The successful candidate will have strong writing capability, an entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to balance shifting and competing priorities, the capacity to adjust strategies and tactics quickly in response to new information, and a track record as a skilled, proven manager and leader. Development/fundraising experience is required.

This is an exceptional opportunity to apply a strong communications capability to contribute substantively to the growth and effectiveness of a results-oriented, mission-driven organization—with a 2014 budget of approximately $11.5 million, up 58% in three years. At IHS, you can grow professionally and intellectually, excel at what you’re good at, and help make the world a better place.

Salary will be competitive for a senior-level nonprofit position in the Washington, DC, area and will be commensurate with experience. IHS provides exceptional benefits to all individual employees, including health and dental insurance coverage (which includes paying 100 percent of the health insurance premium and tax-free reimbursement of all deductible expenses, and paying 100 percent of the dental insurance premium). IHS also provides all employees with flexible spending accounts, long-term disability and life insurance, a 403(b) retirement savings program, a parking permit, and one free course per semester at George Mason University.

The Institute for Humane Studies is located in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., two blocks from the Virginia Square metro stop (on the Orange Line). IHS is a flexible, professional, open office environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship and provides substantial opportunity for professional and personal growth.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing:
    • Your interest in this position
    • A compelling case about why the mission of IHS resonates with you
    • Your salary requirements
  • Two samples of your persuasive writing.

Materials should be emailed (total size of PDF must be under 5MB; larger items should be linked to instead of emailed) to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: claire@talentmarket.org.

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.