Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Senior Development Associate

J-PAL is seeking a full-time Senior Development Associate to contribute to its mission of reducing poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We are seeking a dynamic and motivated fundraising and relationship management professional to assist and support execution of J-PAL’s donor engagement and stewardship strategies. The Senior Development Associate will join a creative, energetic team, working closely with J-PAL’s Policy and Communications; Research, Education, and Training; Evidence-to-Scale; and Finance and Operations teams, as well as many J-PAL regional offices, to elevate our fundraising efforts.

This role is well-suited to development professionals with a passion for global poverty alleviation. You will have the opportunity to learn about a broad range of international development and social policy topics and stakeholders and apply that knowledge to catalyze partnerships that expand J-PAL’s contributions to this field.

About J-PAL

J-PAL is a global research center working to reduce poverty and fight climate change by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of more than 500 top researchers at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts innovative research and builds powerful partnerships to solve the world’s greatest challenges. J-PAL was launched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 and its faculty directors are Nobel laureates and MIT professors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, and Ben Olken. It has over 500 research, policy, training, and operations staff across Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. For more information visit

J-PAL values diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our work and the broader perspectives our staff bring. We encourage people of color, first generation college students/graduates, and other underrepresented groups to apply to this role. In your cover letter, please consider sharing how your racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic and/or other identity has influenced your drive and desire to work at J-PAL. (This is not required, but rather an opportunity for us to get to know you.) For more information on J-PAL Global's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion visit this webpage.


About the position

The Senior Development Associate is responsible for conducting prospect research, analyzing and managing data, and providing logistical and operational support for a broad range of fundraising and operations management activities for J-PAL. Working closely with the Executive Director of J-PAL and the Deputy Executive Director, the Senior Development Associate will conduct donor research, manage the donor pipeline, assist with proposal development, track fundraising activities, coordinate logistics and outreach, generate reports, and provide broader operational management support as needed for J-PAL.

Specific Responsibilities

Research, solicitation, and proposal development

Develop a detailed understanding of the various funding opportunities across J-PAL’s 11 research and policy sectors; Research, Education, and Training team; and 8 regional offices; as well as the opportunities provided through unrestricted funding

Conduct individual donor, foundation and corporate fundraising research to identify prospects and funding opportunities

Support and prepare J-PAL leadership and senior staff for specific fundraising meetings

Support J-PAL leadership and senior staff on follow-up to those meetings to reduce delays in follow-up emails and actions

Augment the research specifically for core funding to J-PAL and new initiatives we are fundraising for including Discrimination and Media Misinformation

Identify key partnership opportunities for J-PAL and take initiative to cultivate new relationships independently

Access and recommend fundraising databases to identify promising leads

Track giving trends of key prospects and other funders in this space to inform fundraising strategy.

Coordinate with J-PAL staff; the Department of Economics; MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; and MIT’s Central Development’s office on prospect research and solicitation

Assist with writing, editing and project management of proposal development and submission
Donor Management and Stewardship

Manage and update the donor pipeline tracker, liaise with various staff on status of solicitations, and create reports to review and manage progress

Take initiative to directly liaise with/steward our $10k-$100k individual donors and help to grow this base

Create and maintain systems for systematic tracking of donor stewardship and other fundraising process documents as needed

Lead process for and track progress on following up with strategic partners and donors to ensure timely donor stewardship

Maintain documentation, train and support staff on J-PAL processes for soliciting funds, stewarding prospective and current donors, and recording fundraising activities

Encourage fundraising and donor stewardship knowledge generation and sharing across J-PAL

Convene relevant staff, prepare and update J-PAL worldwide resources, and research and present on best practices

Assist with the preparation of reports for funders as needed

Assist in the creation and implementation of organizational systems for effective file storage and knowledge management, including ensuring fundraising documents are well organized and named correctly in the shared drive and Salesforce

Communications and operational support for J-PAL fundraising activities

Prepare internal fundraising materials including briefs, presentations, and agendas; as well as external communications for a donor audience, including one-pagers, blog posts, social media posts, and webpages

Compose, edit and prepare correspondence

Copy edit documents

Liaise with high level donors, foundation program officers, J-PAL scientific directors, staff and other key partners

Schedule meetings, coordinate travel plans, and develop itineraries



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of two years of experience working in a nonprofit or academic setting
  • Ability to read, understand and engage with research findings and policy lessons similar to evaluation summaries and policy publications on our website here
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy related to preparation of materials and presentations
  • Ability to analyze, synthesize, and present information effectively
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders including senior leadership in-person and virtually
  • Excellent project and team management skills
  • Ability to anticipate, plan, prioritize and meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks and small teams, respond to numerous requests from various parties, and effectively handle a high volume of work.
  • Ability to deal with high-profile organizations and officials with diplomacy and integrity
  • Tact and good judgment in handling confidential information
    Self-motivation and ability to take initiative to implement or improve established processes

Professional Development

J-PAL invests in your professional development. As a team member, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

Learn: J-PAL supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly MIT–Harvard Development Seminars and take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program. All J-PAL staff are also eligible to take the innovative online MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) free of charge.

Engage: You will have the opportunity to work our senior leadership across our offices worldwide, as well as interact with J-PAL’s external partners, including policy-makers, donors (foundations, HNIs) and implementing organizations.

Travel: You will have the opportunity to work with/at J-PAL’s regional offices, attend policy events worldwide, and participate in a unique international experience supporting on-the-ground research.

Grow: You can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. You will receive one-on-one mentorship from senior leaders and raises are based on performance and ability.


You will be based at J-PAL Global, our head office at MIT in Cambridge, near Boston, MA. We have a very flexible work policy around the number of days staff have to come to the office every week, work hours during those days, and for working for extended periods from out of town.

As a member of the MIT community, you benefit from more than just your salary. J-PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non-profit and international development field with excellent MIT benefits, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match and pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance, commuter benefits, MIT community discounts, a generous vacation policy, and a highly flexible work policy that includes the ability within certain broad parameters to choose your weekly work days and work hours.


To Apply

Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Apply now. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2022.

All candidates must apply through the MIT Human Resources system (details below). MIT does not sponsor visas for this position. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States for a minimum of two years.



To apply, first please submit a short application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit, search for job ID 21074 -Senior Development Associate and complete an application. Please upload a single PDF document of the following components into the “Resume” field on the MIT portal.

Cover letter (outlining why you are interested in J-PAL Global and why you are qualified for this role)

Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered; please be sure to include all three components (cover letter, resume, transcripts) in a single PDF in the “Resume” field on MIT’s human resources system.

MIT is an equal-opportunity employer.  We value diversity and strongly encourage applications from individuals from all identities and backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive equitable consideration for employment based on their experience and qualifications, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.  MIT’s full policy on Nondiscrimination can be found here.

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