Deputy Director of Development

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Pioneer Institute is a policy research organization with a track record of significant impact in Massachusetts and across America. Dedicated to non-ideological, data-driven research and a professional and non-partisan culture, the Institute’s mission is to develop and communicate ideas and public policy that advance prosperity and vibrant civic life. The Institute views success as helping to advance a thriving society in which citizens have access to excellent education, healthcare, transportation, and economic opportunity. The Institute believes in limited, accountable, and transparent government.

Pioneer Institute was founded in 1988 and has a strong reputation. The Institute has a passionate staff including recognized, first-class policy experts whose work is peer reviewed. The communications and education teams disseminate scholars’ policy work using social media and other online strategies with a commitment to reaching a range of key audiences—including students, young professionals, and rising generations.

About the Role

Pioneer’s board and donors are proud of the leveraged outcomes associated with their investment in the Institute, which is known for “punching above its weight” in terms of policy influence relative to its staff count and budget, as well as for the integrity with which it operates. Pioneer’s development team builds relationships with new and existing supporters, helping provide resources to underwrite the Institute’s research and educational work.

The Deputy Director of Development is a critical part of the team. This role requires a person who is obsessive about details, likes working collaboratively and productively with colleagues, establishing processes, and helping create an environment in which their peers can succeed. They want to achieve measurable fundraising success by identifying and helping pursue relationships that result in new and increased support of Pioneer and its mission. The Deputy Director of Development reports to the Chief Development Officer (CDO). Ideally this candidate will be in Boston. However, for the exceptional candidate this role may be virtual. A virtual candidate will need to come to the office at least once a month.   

Preferred Skills/Background

  • Qualified candidates may come from a range of professional backgrounds in public policy (government staff, lobbying, political campaigns) nonprofits, business (marketing or sales) and more; previous fundraising experience is preferred but not required
  • 4+ years of professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a team toward a range of specific goals, including fundraising, membership building, compelling events, and more
  • Relationship management and donor cultivation experience, especially with regard to high-net-worth individuals, private foundations, and corporations
  • Proven ability to write and edit well (grant writing experience strongly preferred)
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Familiarity with federal, state, and/or local government and public policy arena
  • Familiarity with Donor Perfect or other fundraising databases and software (Raiser’s Edge, etc.)
  • Proficiency in Excel
  • Degree in liberal arts or business


  • Develop and measure progress toward Pioneer’s strategic plan and annual budget
  • Manage three full-time staffers; track the team’s activities and progress
  • Oversee projects that drive new and renewed donations
  • Solicit major gifts from individuals, companies, and foundations
  • Help strategize and organize donor events
  • Support and manage development team logistics
  • Coordinate execution of annual fund fundraising plan
    • Coordinate the team’s prospect research efforts
    • Facilitate weekly development team meetings
    • Pull reports to monitor donor giving (prospective, current, and lapsed)
    • Manage Membership program
    • Work with the Director of Individual Giving to prioritize approaches to individual, corporate, foundation and event fundraising
  • Work with Communications Director to develop and implement communications strategy
  • Together with the CDO and Director of Individual Giving, interface with the board and its development committee
    • Provide support to Board of Directors in fundraising and outreach initiatives
  • Manage a portfolio of major donors and cultivate new prospective major donors
  • Lead the grant writing effort
    • Organize meetings with foundation program officers
  • Manage Pioneer’s Direct Mail solicitation program; write prospecting and housefile letters; implement E-Fundraising program
  • Draft and send donor letters
  • Event planning and execution (provide support in addition to fundraising)
  • Evaluate existing and brainstorm/implement new fundraising programs (outreach, events, newsletters, etc.)
  • Travel as needed; approximately 10%


  • Significant flextime time to be used for vacation, personal, or sick time
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • 85% paid medical (Harvard Pilgrim Health Care) and dental (Altus Dental)
  • Long-term disability
  • 401(k) plan (Pioneer makes an automatic Safe Harbor contribution of 3% of salary; with immediate vesting)

Pioneer Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials as PDFs:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter detailing your interest in the position, the mission of Pioneer, and your salary requirements

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.

Questions can be directed to Katy Gambella, Network Engagement Manager of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

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. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.