Vice President of Development

August 2019 | Lexington, MA Download PDF

About the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation

Clayton Christensen Event 1The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, located in Lexington, MA, dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation. Founded on the theories of Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, the Institute offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing issues around education, healthcare, and economic prosperity.

The Institute’s mission is ambitious but clear: work to shape and elevate the conversation surrounding these issues through rigorous research and public outreach. Having just celebrated its 10th Anniversary, the Institute is redefining the way policymakers, community leaders, and innovators address the problems of our day by distilling and promoting the transformational power of disruptive innovation.

About Philanthropy at the Christensen Institute

The Institute is launching a development plan to strengthen its fundraising strategy and operation. This initiative will be spearheaded by the Institute’s new Vice President of Development. Currently, the Institute is primarily supported through research partnerships and grants. This includes Tata Consultancy Services and Li & Fung, who fund the Institute’s visiting research fellows program.

With the onboarding of the new Vice President of Development, the Institute is making a commitment to expand its philanthropic outreach, with the goal of building its donor base and raising more funds to support its mission. There are significant, promising funding opportunities for the new Vice President to pursue, as well as important convening opportunities with prominent business leaders.

About the VP of Development Position

Clayton Christensen Institute Event 2The Institute is searching for a seasoned fundraising professional to lead its development operation. Serving as an integral member of the leadership team, the Vice President of Development will be responsible for leading the systematic growth of a comprehensive development department. The Vice President will be an ambassador for the organization, building and deepening engagement with donors and driving broader awareness and philanthropic support for the organization. The Vice President of Development will be responsible for designing, overseeing, and executing a development program to grow the Institute’s philanthropic revenue significantly. Additionally, the new Vice President will participate in the Institute’s overall strategic planning process, which has just launched.  

The right candidate will have proven success in implementing, growing, and managing a high-performing development program, as well as a proven ability to partner with organizational leadership. In particular, s/he will have experience in successful major donor acquisition strategies and working with partners to support a comprehensive development effort.

The Vice President of Development will report to Ann Christensen, President of the Institute.

Key Responsibilities


  • Work with the Institute’s President, leadership team, and Board, to create and to implement a comprehensive strategic plan for development to secure donors and increase fundraising opportunities (strategic planning process currently underway)
  • Oversee the development and execution of a best practice development infrastructure, including programs, policies, and procedures to ensure effectiveness and accountability across the system
  • Serve as a liaison to the President and the Board for all fundraising activity

Prospect and Portfolio Management

  • Establish a robust major gifts program that focuses on individual, foundation, and corporate donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and upgrading
  • Personally build and manage a portfolio of 75+ individual and institutional prospects
  • Report regular progress against strategic and operational goals, including donor engagement and stewardship touchpoints, revenue and quota targets, and pipeline management details
  • Engage leadership in key donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities

Development and Communications Strategy

  • Support Institute efforts to identify and execute opportunities for revenue-generating gatherings, conferences, or other “convenings”
  • Identify and prioritize key funding sources and devise targeted funding strategies
  • Develop short-term and long-term fundraising targets; track and manage ROI of the respective fundraising initiatives
  • Collaborate with the Institute’s External Relations team on all development-related marketing and communications
  • Strengthen the engagement and stewardship activities of the current Board of Directors and any Advisory or Leadership Councils that might be established
  • Create donor engagement opportunities and events
  • Identify, hire, and manage additional development professionals as the Institute continues to grow

Key Qualifications

  • At least 12 years of development experience with progressively increasing responsibility, including at least 6 years of leadership and management experience
  • 5-7 years of frontline major gift experience with demonstrated ability to grow a donor prospect base and successfully close five-, six- and seven-figure individual and institutional gifts
  • Experience building and sustaining relationships among high-net worth individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • Experience building a major gifts program
  • Success supporting and managing organizational leadership in donor cultivation and solicitation
  • Ability to conceptualize and describe funding needs in a way that is compelling to prospects, donors, Board members, and other stakeholders
  • Knowledge of communications and marketing with excellent communications skills
  • Results oriented self-starter with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit
  • Passion for the Christensen Institute’s mission and the ability to serve as an ambassador for the organization

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Clayton Christensen Institute Event 3Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Suzanne Battit
Vice President
Development Guild DDI


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