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Employment Opportunities > Job Detail

Senior Director (or VP) of Advancement

The Independent Institute is seeking an experienced, successful development professional with a commitment to the principles of individual liberty and free societies to lead our major-gift fundraising program.

About Independent Institute

The Independent Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy research and educational organization that shapes ideas into lasting impact through publications, conferences, and effective multi-media programs. For 33 years, the Independent Institute has successfully pursued our mission to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. We are a highly entrepreneurial culture and environment, producing results and impact far exceeding our budget, and have one of the strongest social media presences of any policy group.

Independent has a loyal, stable donor base, a team of highly dedicated, mission-focused professionals, and esteemed boards of directors and advisors who generously support the organization. We see nothing but opportunity ahead in furthering our programs and extending the reach and impact of liberty across all age groups and around the world.

Job Overview

The Senior Director of Advancement is responsible for securing major gifts from exceptional individuals, families, foundations, and companies who find our programs compelling. (Other revenue—such as from books, subscriptions, and direct mail fundraising—is managed by other professional specialists on our team.)

The ideal candidate will be based in Independent Institute’s Oakland office. However, exceptionally strong candidates who need to work virtually from another location will be considered.


The Senior Director of Advancement will:

  • Personally lead major-gift research, cultivation, and solicitation to achieve our ambitious major-gift revenue goals.
  • Strengthen our donor base by identifying new major donors and retaining existing ones.
  • Orchestrate our foundation and corporate fundraising activities for maximum results.
  • Direct and grow our team to maximize their potential and capitalize on their strengths.
  • Create an annual major-gift development plan and track achievement relative to that plan.
  • Identify and execute on new opportunities.
  • Liaise as needed with our Senior Director overseeing direct mail fundraising.


  • An understanding of and commitment to the principles of individual liberty and free societies. Our donors are well-informed and committed to liberty, and you must be able to converse with them fluently.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated fundraising experience and increased responsibility, preferably in the free-market policy realm.
  • Experience in creating and successfully executing on plans, including collaborating with and directing others in their achievement.
  • Demonstrated success in cultivating major donor relationships, including foundations.
  • Flawless oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability and eagerness to travel to meet with donors. (Approximate travel: 50%)
  • Planned giving experience is a plus.
  • Complementary educational credentials are welcome (e.g., Masters in public policy or marketing)

Note: Depending on experience, this position may be filled either at the Senior Director or VP level. The Senior Director of Advancement reports to the Executive Director and works closely with the President.

If you are an entrepreneurial, successful development professional energized by the opportunity of working with our team to attract the resources needed for our ambitious goals, please apply.

To Apply

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

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter explaining your alignment with the mission of the Independent Institute and your readiness for this role, as well as salary requirements. If you desire to work virtually, please explain that in the cover letter.
  • Three references, including email addresses, telephone numbers, and relationship to the reference (who may be contacted later, only with your subsequent permission).

Nominations, application materials, or inquiries should be addressed to
Graham H. Walker, Ph.D.
Executive Director
[email protected]

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