Donor Relations Manager

Arlington, VA
Full Time
Mid Level

The Institute for Justice is a public interest law firm on the front lines fighting to end widespread abuses of government power and secure the rights that allow all Americans to pursue their dreams. We focus on the areas of the law that provide the foundation for a free society, and we win three out of every four cases we file despite the challenges inherent in litigating against the government. The financial support of nearly 10,000 individual donors makes our work possible.

In order to advance the mission of the Institute for Justice, the development office exists to build and cultivate strong relationships with supporters by partnering with them to achieve their philanthropic interests. IJ’s development team is seeking an experienced fundraising or marketing professional to fill the role of Donor Relations Manager at our headquarters in Arlington, VA.

The Donor Relations Manager is responsible for managing and growing three IJ giving clubs: the Partners Club (for donors giving $1,000-$9,999), Guardians Circle (for donors giving $10,000-$24,999), and Four Pillars Society (for donors who have included IJ in their will or other long-term financial plans). The goal of the position is to increase membership in each of these clubs; cultivate members and grow their support over time; and ensure that every donor gets the care and attention that are the hallmarks of IJ’s development program.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Manage IJ’s mid-point programs for $1,000-$24,999 donors and IJ’s planned giving program
    • Encourage donors to increase their giving or make a planned gift through various communications channels including appeals, marketing mailings, Liberty & Law articles, emails, IJ’s website, and other promotional efforts
    • Steward members of each club by making thank you calls, sending cultivation mailings, offering club-specific updates, and providing personal attention and information about IJ’s work and progress
    • Manage program administration, including ensuring that solicitation and acknowledgement of gifts happen, pledged gifts are followed up on, and database coding and other record-keeping is accurate and up to date
  • Facilitate meetings and other communication between giving club members and IJ staff, with the potential to personally conduct meetings
  • Administer and execute 3-4 “IJ LIVE” teleconferences or other events to engage giving club donors
  • Play an active role in helping to plan and execute IJ’s periodic in-person donor events
  • Participate in prospect review sessions with other members of the individual giving team, taking responsibility for action items for midpoint and planned gift donors
  • Supervise Donor Relations and Planned Giving Assistants, including conducting regular check-in meetings, helping set goals and strategy, reviewing work product, and providing general guidance
  • Respond or work with others on the development team to respond to incoming donation inquiries
  • Maintain mid-point and planned giving mail calendars, ensuring mailings and lists are coordinated with other development mailings and that appropriate approvals are secured
  • Draft program summaries for department planning meetings and for reports to IJ’s board of directors
  • Set and stay within previously agreed-to budgets

Required Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years of experience in fundraising or marketing, preferably with individual giving programs and/or planned giving programs
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to prioritize and juggle multiple projects and tasks
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with staff, donors, and others
  • Demonstrated ability to write clear, concise, and personalized correspondence
  • Experience with Salesforce or another CRM / donor database product
  • Command of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams)
  • Commitment to promoting individual liberty and challenging government abuse

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Personnel management experience a plus
  • Interest in data management and analysis, for assessing club performance and identifying new opportunities to cultivate and solicit support


Salary is commensurate with experience. The Institute for Justice offers:

  • A hybrid work schedule. Ability to work remote up to two days per week
  • Flexible work hours with core business hours from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Full health, dental, and vision insurance (IJ covers 100% of individual premium)
  • Free Short-Term disability, Long-Term Disability, and Life insurance plans
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Generous PTO, including a paid personal day and 12 paid holidays
  • Smart casual dress code; casual Fridays
  • The opportunity to work with high-performing individuals in a collaborative, collegial, positive work environment

To Apply:

Please submit a resume and a cover letter detailing how your experience will ensure success in this position. Additionally, we encourage you to express your interest in the Institute for Justice's mission and share any insights on how your values align with our work. We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis.

No phone calls please.


IJ is an equal opportunity employer.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At IJ we value a diverse workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


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