Director, Major Gifts, Institutional Advancement

Title: Director, Major Gifts, Institutional Advancement

Employment Status:  Exempt

Salary: $100-$150,000 annually, salary/bonuses commensurate with experience/performance

Supervisor Title: Director, Institutional Advancement

Date Revised:  February 2024

Summary of Position:

Meridian International Center, a 64-year-old institution dedicated to public diplomacy and global leadership through exchange, culture and convening activities, is seeking a dynamic, experienced Director of Major Gifts to continue growing a diverse base of philanthropic partners.

Working closely with the organization’s leadership, the Director will bring in major gifts ($100,000+) from across the country and focus on expanding Meridian’s network for individual and major gift donors, with a focus on building a pipeline to support an anticipated historic preservation fund and capital campaign.

The successful Director will have front-line individual donor fundraising experience in an international, multifaceted non-profit organization, established relationships in the philanthropic, cultural, international and political communities in Washington, D.C. and across the country and an interest and understanding of international affairs, culture and diplomacy. Experience fundraising major gifts from corporations and foundations a plus.

This position is located in Washington D.C. and Meridian requires MD, DC, or VA residence for all employees. The position may work partially remotely until further notice.

Position Responsibilities:

Individual Donors + Major Gifts Responsibilities

  • Identifies individual giving prospects, develops personalized outreach and engagement strategies, solicits and closes major gifts.
  • Helps manage major gifts portfolio of supporters ensuring budgetary expectations are achieved.
  • In consultation with Senior Leadership, external consultants, and Institutional Advancement team, help lead a capital campaign strategy to support renovation and historic preservation of Meridian’s historic, John Russell Pope designed campus and grounds for diplomacy.
  • Communicates regularly to individual philanthropic partners and prospects and serves as a central point of contact for cultivated major-donor relationships.
  • Designs and writes donor materials, brochures and other collateral as well as specific partnership and solicitation proposals tailored to major philanthropic partners focused on Meridian programs and initiatives.
  • Works with leadership to cultivate new Board members with an eye to growing the culture of philanthropy and major giving.
  • Develops and implements giving strategy to support capital campaign.
  • Represent Meridian at meetings and events, when appropriate, across the country
  • Establish and manage benefits, privileges, recognition, and acknowledgment processes for philanthropic partners

Management Responsibilities

  • Serves as the central link between Institutional Affairs team and Operations team to devise strategy for historic preservation and renovation needs for Meridian’s campus.
  • Communicates regularly with senior leadership on overall development activities, budget goals, fundraising progress and issues.
  • Serves as a cross-organization link between all Meridian divisions to identify and coordinate funding opportunities, sources and strategy and to create strategic partnerships with individuals, foundations and corporations.
  • Contributes to Salesforce database for all development related activities.
  • Responsible for completing all organizational administrative responsibilities in a timely manner and meeting all organizational administrative deadlines.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Undergraduate degree preferred
  • 8years of progressive responsibility in a non-profit fundraising environment and an interest and familiarity with international affairs.
  • Demonstrated experience cultivating major gifts of $100,000+.
  • Or any equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Confident and accomplished front-line fundraising experience and a proven ability to identify, engage, solicit and close individual major donors independently
  • Demonstrated experience closing complex, multiyear gifts from diversified sources
  • Demonstrated ability to understand priorities of high net-worth individuals and foundation decision makers and connect them with organizational priorities
  • Experience in working on a capital campaign strongly preferred
  • Highly organized and able to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience with Salesforce database, iWave, and Microsoft Office software packages
  • Strong inter-cultural communication skills; maturity, cultural sensitivity, and tact suitable for working with individuals from around the world
  • Keen sense of personal integrity and discretion when handling sensitive information
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills

Technical Requirements:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams is necessary for this role
  • Salesforce and iWave experience strongly preferred

Employer’s Statement

Meridian is committed to creating a diverse environment. We believe in empowering global leaders and amplifying voices of a wide variety of backgrounds to create pathways for greater understanding, shared value and respect for all cultures as connecting people has been our foundation for over 60 years. If you share our values and enthusiasm to promote non-partisan collaboration to address global challenges and opportunities, you can find a home at Meridian.

As an equal opportunity employer, Meridian promotes equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, family responsibilities, marital, veteran or military status, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Equal employment opportunity will be offered and maintained to all persons at every stage and condition of employment, including recruiting, hiring, training, upgrading, promotion, transfer, discipline, layoff, recall, and termination.

How to Apply 

Qualified candidates should apply here. Cover letters should include salary expectations. Only candidates being considered for this position will be contacted. NO PHONE CALLS in reference to this position will be accepted.