Organization: Innovations for Poverty Action

Location: New York, NY

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About Innovations for Poverty Action:  

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor.

Our theory of change addresses two problems we see in the world: that there is limited evidence on what works to help the poor, and that the evidence that does exist is often unused by those who create and run programs for the poor. This leads to programs that are either ineffective or not as effective as they could be, and often, to wasted money and enduring poverty. Imagine if the trillions of dollars spent on aid in the past fifty years went to programs that had a tangible, cost-effective impact. IPA exists to make this vision a reality. By designing and evaluating potential solutions to global poverty problems and supporting decision-makers to use this evidence, IPA is helping to create better programs and policies, and ultimately, is building a world with more evidence and less poverty.

Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

For more information, please visit

The Opportunity:

IPA seeks a passionate, dynamic, and experienced Director of Development with a proven track record of successfully augmenting the resources of an organization. The Director will be responsible for developing and proactively leading all of the organization’s unrestricted and strategic fundraising, and for helping forge new relationships to expand IPA’s visibility, broaden its donor base and financial resources, and promote the organization’s impact.

The Director will build on existing infrastructure and a strong donor base to grow IPA’s unrestricted funding and raise capital for strategic initiatives.  Specific components of this work will involve the direct solicitation of major gifts, the planning and execution of fundraising events, and the pipeline planning of a large portfolio of contributors stewarded personally or by other senior staff or direct reports. S/he will also work in close collaboration with the global policy and communications team to craft marketing materials for the donor audience and to promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s brand.

The Director of Development will report to and work in close partnership with the Executive Director.  S/he will engage with a team of senior staff around the world to increase IPA’s resources, and will work closely with the Board of Directors (especially the Board Development Committee) as they continue to grow their role in IPA’s unrestricted fundraising.

This is an exciting time in IPA’s history: we have developed results from hundreds of randomized evaluations, and as we strengthen the organization for the next phase, we are poised to grow our capacity to turn this rigorous evidence into tangible programs and policies that impact the world. This position is ideal for professionals who are interested in working in close proximity to cutting-edge international development research and policy in a dynamic environment and building fundraising capacity and systems for a fast-changing organization.

This is a full-time position based in New York, NY and will require occasional domestic and international travel.

The Director of Development’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Develop and Implement IPA’s Fundraising Strategy

  • Working closely with the Executive Director, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, and the Board Development Committee, establish and achieve short- and long-term goals for significantly increasing unrestricted and new strategic activity funding from the existing $4 million annually
  • Develop a strategy and execute a plan for achieving those goals with a strong understanding of key target audiences (including foundations, corporations, and especially high-net-worth individuals)
  • Cultivate and grow IPA’s individual donor base: identify high-net-worth individuals inclined to support IPA’s work, customize their experience with IPA, and close deals
  • Design and implement a strategy and plan to cultivate deeper ties with existing donors, personally cultivate and broaden a high-level donor portfolio
  • Collaborate with senior staff to develop proposals for core organizational funding as well as strategic initiatives
  • Work closely with the global policy and communications team, advising on marketing materials for the donor audience and working together to promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s brand
  • Represent IPA to funding partners
  • Plan and lead fundraising and awareness-raising events in collaboration with board members, other senior staff, and researchers
  • Participate in and support special projects and events
  • Monitor donor activity; analyze and present donor trends and behavior to the board and senior management
  • Train and mentor staff, board, and senior management on fundraising approaches and best practices

Board of Directors Liaison

  • Work with Board members to identify prospective donors and oversee strategies for involving the Board in donor cultivation and solicitation
  • Coordinate and facilitate the Board’s involvement in meeting personal fundraising goals
  • Serve as staff liaison for the Board Development Committee and work closely with the Committee Chair to motivate, guide, and support the Committee’s work
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and the board in identifying new board members who can contribute to increasing IPA’s fundraising capacity
  • Attend quarterly Board meetings on the phone or in-person and provide progress reports on fundraising events and activities; provide other reports and statements as requested

Professional and Systems Development

  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the development function, including budgeting, planning, and staff development
  • Lead, manage, and mentor the existing development staff, and continue to expand and professionally develop the team as needed
  • Leverage and build capacity of other senior staff to steward relationships with donors and funders
  • Provide coaching, training, and tools to senior staff to improve IPA’s fundraising capacity throughout the organization
  • Develop and execute an approach to track relationship KPI’s and progress against unrestricted and strategic fundraising in our current Salesforce systems
  • Identify requirements for additional systems and technology needed to support the effective execution of unrestricted and strategic fundraising initiatives

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate is passionate about IPA’s mission, is a strategic thinker, possesses exceptional interpersonal skills, and has outstanding written and verbal communications abilities. S/he also has a keen understanding of the philanthropic funding landscape, experience in international development, and a proven track record of closing deals with donors.

Desired qualifications include the following:

Skills and Experiences

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation is an asset
  • 10+ years of professional experience in a development function (experience running capital campaigns, success fundraising from multiple donor channels and sources)
  • Keen understanding of the funding landscape and experience raising resources from a variety of sources, including individuals and foundations
  • Demonstrated experience increasing unrestricted funding revenue with the ability to prospect, pursue, cultivate, and close deals with new donors
  • Excellent managerial and organizational skills, with the ability to deliver results in fundraising with and through teams
  • Experience working with the international development sector
  • Experience in planning, leading, and managing development projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress to senior managers/board of directors
  • Strong knowledge of the regulatory, financial, and ethical frameworks in which fundraising occurs

Personal Characteristics

  • Passionate about international development and IPA’s mission
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to inspire and engage a wide range of funders and stakeholders
  • A first class written and verbal communicator, with the ability to effectively position the organization and to communicate its vision and plans to a range of audiences
  • The ability to take a broad, strategic view of the issues affecting the organization’s role in the development sector and the long-term impact of decisions
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit:Takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Molly Brennan and Liz Lombard of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Innovations for Poverty Action is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit