Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

About the Institute

The Chief Development Officer will report directly to the CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and serve as a key member of the leadership

Who We Are:

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. 

We at the Kennedy Institute believe that civic education and engagement includes learning about important historic and contemporary policy issues, understanding how the issues are addressed inside and outside our democratic structures of government, and taking action on civic issues in ways that reinforce democratic practices and broaden democratic participation.

The Kennedy Institute strives to provide balanced, transparent, and inclusive civics education experiences that make room for conversations between people of broad ideologies and perspectives in respectful, productive ways. 


The Chief Development Officer will report directly to the CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and serve as a key member of the leadership team. The incumbent will provide leadership, direction and coordination for institutional fundraising goals and the development of a philanthropic strategic plan including individual donors, corporations and foundations, and Federal and State grantors. The Chief Development Officer will also work closely with the CEO and the Board of Directors in developing key, external alliances by cultivating individual and philanthropic support. The Chief Development Officer will be primarily responsible for building and strengthening the development team to obtain funding goals established by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. 


  • Manage institutional fundraising goals according to the current and developing philanthropic strategic plan;
  • Collaborate with Senior Leadership and members of the Board of Directors to drive funding programs and communication strategies;
  • Responsible for increasing revenue and building new relationships for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute;
  • Actively manage a portfolio of high-level relationships, select prospects, and an increasingly expanding prospect base;
  • Design and execute a strategic plan to cultivate, solicit, and close six to seven-figure gifts;
  • Maintain policies, systems, and procedures that align with the ethical standards of reporting and soliciting gifts;
  • Monitor, participate in, and adhere to best practices in philanthropy and communications;
  • Focus on Board stewardship;
  • Develop systems, processes, and measurements to project and monitor fundraising activity and results;
  • Design a thoughtful plan for hiring and managing the development team;
  • Ensure the reporting of event feedback to capture successes and areas for improvement;
  • Oversee all event-related staff and contractors, as well as event-related communications and materials;
  • Lead and motivate key stakeholders, volunteers, and staff;
  • Supervise, evaluate, and support training for other development department employee performance and career growth and development;
  • Responsible for accurate and timely reporting to the Board of Directors, CEO, and other senior leadership members; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree required or equivalent record of professional achievement and qualifications with a demonstrated track record of success.


  • Minimum of 7-10 years of relevant experience;
  • Successful record of leadership and accomplishments in attaining established fundraising goals;
  • Demonstrated track record of identifying, cultivating, and closing six to seven-figure gifts from individuals and corporations;
  • Demonstrated success working with highly visible board members, including development and management;
  • Demonstrated success in hiring experienced development staff;
  • Demonstrated experience with public relations outreach;
  • Experience working for, or closely with, a politically related organization;
  • Experience in working on a development team in the non-profit sector is preferred; and
  • Provide leadership, direction, and management of the Institute’s development team and creating an environment of respect, accountability, motivation, and growth.


  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Superb interpersonal and relationship-building skills and the ability to work with staff members at all levels;
  • Ability to effectively communicate the mission of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to potential donors with the passion possessed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy;
  • Exceptional judgement and decision-making skills;
  • Ability to mentor and coach a team with diverse level of expertise;
  • Strong competency in event management budgeting;
  • Ability to handle highly confidential organizational information with great professionalism and discretion;
  • Proven ability to successfully manage multiple tasks simultaneously; and
  • Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office software applications.

The physical demands and work environment described for this position are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Duties are performed indoors in an office/workstation environment. Duties may require extended periods of standing, walking, sitting, talking, hearing, and long periods of computer viewing. The job may also require periods of pulling/pushing items, lifting and carrying items, stooping, and kneeling. The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.   

COMPENSTATION: $125k - $200k

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for The United States Senate is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please email resume and cover letter to, with the title “Chief Development Officer” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls. No solicitation calls will be entertained.