Director of Development

About the Learning Policy Institute

The Learning Policy Institute is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to shape policies that improve learning for each and every child. We are a robust team of 50+ who work with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others who care about improving public schools to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for all children.

Learn more about LPI, the position, and the ideal candidate >

The Opportunity

The Learning Policy Institute is seeking a Director of Development to help create and build relationships with the organization’s dedicated funding partners. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will leverage existing relationships while building a pipeline of potential donors. The Director of Development will work collaboratively with teammates across the organization’s 55 full-time staff, working directly with the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer to maintain relationships with foundations already giving at the 7-figure level and ensuring those relationships are fostered and continue to flourish.

  • Take responsibility for comprehensive activities designed to build and manage a pipeline of foundation investors with 6-and 7-figure giving potential.
  • Utilize a wide range of tools—including LPI’s internal records, relationship mapping, and external databases—in order to identify and prioritize a pool of major investor prospects.
  • Facilitate strong working relationships with Learning Policy Institute’s staff, engaging them appropriately in investor cultivation and stewardship and ensuring adequate preparation for investor meetings.
  • Work collaboratively and actively with LPI’s staff members in proposal preparation and submission.
  • Design and implement best-in-class moves management processes that increase the number of first-time gifts, secure gift renewals, and move investors up the giving ladder.
  • Maintain the current portfolio of 32 investors while pursuing active prospects in the institutional giving pipeline to fill in for areas that do not already receive sufficient funding.
  • Cultivate and increase the institutional giving investor base around the country through networking, face-to-face meetings, and substantive phone conversations. 
  • Solicit and close 6- and 7-figure gifts that support LPI’s learning initiatives.
  • Deepen the participation of major investors in the fundraising process, effectively leveraging them in the identification and cultivation of new prospects.  

The Candidate

The ideal candidate will be familiar with foundations interested in funding programs related to education policy. Learning Policy Institute is in search of a dedicated, revenue-generating performer with a passion for policy and education to join its team as a Director of Development, working to maintain and grow multi-year relationships with a variety of funders. The Director will be comfortable collaborating across the organization to achieve these goals and will fully embrace the opportunity to work with the organization’s funders. This position will ideally be based in Palo Alto, CA. Alternatively, this individual could be based in Washington, DC. 


  • At least 10 years of experience in non-profit development with proven revenue results.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required.

Skills and Accomplishments

  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and steward long-term investor relationships that expand an investor base, increase revenue, and advance foundation goals. 
  • Record of soliciting and securing and 6- and 7-figure gifts; experience soliciting both annual and multi-year gifts is useful. 
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment where priorities may shift quickly with little notice. 
  • Ability to communicate and establish a positive rapport with key C-level executives, experienced philanthropists, and charitable foundations.
  • Ability to work independently and to embrace collaboration, teamwork, and flexible thinking.
  • High degree of self-motivation and initiative, with the ability to prioritize, take the lead on major relationships, and follow projects through to completion. 
  • Collaborative style that supports information sharing and a team-based approach to fundraising. 
  • Record of partnering with senior leaders and Board members to meet revenue targets and to deepen stakeholder engagement in an organization. 
  • Excellent communications skills necessary to discuss emotionally charged issues with diverse audiences.
  • Experience and judgment necessary to make thoughtful decisions, seeking advice when needed, and ultimately taking ownership of those decisions.

To Apply

Questions, résumés, and CVs should be sent to

All first-round interviews for this position will take place at Development Resources, inc. at 1820 N. Fort Myer Drive, Suite 702, Arlington, VA 22209, (703) 294-6684, or via telephone/video conference.

DRi is an executive search and development consulting firm that recruits senior leaders and works with them to build talented teams, create bold strategic plans, and design powerful fundraising programs.

Learning Policy Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is seeking a diverse slate of candidates for formal consideration.