Senior Director, Strategy and Philanthropic Partnerships

Reports to: Managing Director, Foundation Relations; indirectly reports to Senior Vice President, Energy and Environment and Senior Vice President, Rights and Justice
Staff reporting to this position: Managing Director, Foundation Relations; indirectly reports to Senior Vice President, Energy and Environment and Senior Vice President, Rights and Justice
Department: Development
Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 8
Minimum compensation: $110,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress seeks a self-starter with strong communication, mediation, facilitation, and problem-solving skills to advance fundraising initiatives and provide strategic planning and project management support for the “Securing a Sustainable Climate” and “Advancing Racial Equity and Justice” priorities. The Senior Director for Strategy and Philanthropic Partnerships will play a key role in strategic planning and execution to foster effective cross-departmental collaboration, ensure alignment with organizational outcomes, and track impact. They will also pursue and capitalize on emerging opportunities for foundation funding and help produce written communications for the organization. This individual will work within the Foundation Relations team and across the Energy and Environment Department, as well as work closely with the Executive, Finance, and Legal teams and senior American Progress staff.

This position is ideal for a deadline-driven, detail-oriented, and well-organized professional who is committed to a progressive policy agenda and American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.”

The Senior Director will be part of a dynamic department that supports work across American Progress’ five cross-cutting priorities:

  • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy


Strategic planning (40 percent)

  • Foster an inclusive and empowering work environment and culture where solutions are generated, problems are resolved, and staff are motivated and equipped to do well.
  • Facilitate strategy planning conversations among policy priority coordinators and the Executive and Development teams to help determine an overarching vision and define meaningful outcomes; map out resources required to execute and support the budget development process; effectively secure near-term opportunities for policy impact; anticipate and mitigate potential challenges and gaps; and chart out a path to advance and achieve institutional priority outcomes.
  • Create forums for generative cross-departmental and cross-stakeholder engagement on American Progress’ climate and racial equity and justice priorities to help inform near- and long-term strategy and increase buy-in across the organization.
  • Prepare concept notes and other written materials to support strategic planning processes, develop emerging initiatives within institutional priorities (e.g., housing), and help determine decision points and next steps.
  • Pilot, evaluate, and refine processes and systems to support and improve project management, from idea generation to execution to evaluation.
  • Determine best processes for rolling out and communicating new systems and tools across American Progress.
  • Ensure complete understanding across the organization of strategic planning, project implementation, and collaborative processes, tools, and other resources.
  • Share takeaways from successful and unsuccessful strategy planning and project management to help inform development and refinement of institutional priorities.
  • Support change management across the organization.

Project management (35 to 40 percent)

  • Manage relationships for cross-cutting priorities with internal and external stakeholders, including peer policy experts, funders, and partner organizations and coalitions.
  • Track and communicate, both within and outside of American Progress, moments of impact aligned with institutional priorities; identify opportunities for others across the organization to engaged with priorities.
  • Prepare and facilitate cross-departmental and cross-team check-ins to ensure that strategies are on track with targeted outcomes and grant deliverables and spending; address and avert potential tension areas.
  • Present a suite of options to address challenges to key decision-makers and manage next steps to ensure swift resolution.
  • Define next steps for cross-departmental collaboration and delegate or manage as needed.
  • Draft written materials as needed.
  • Support policy priority coordinators to ensure more time for “A” items—in other words, understand what needs attention or sign-off, manage external stakeholder relationships, etc.
  • Mediate and resolve conflict as needed.
  • Liaise with program and finance staff to monitor grant spending.

Partnership development (25 percent)

  • Generate and steward strong funding partnerships for “Securing a Sustainable Climate” and “Advancing Racial Equity and Justice” priorities, and related Energy & Environment department, with emphasis on flexible support and alignment with organizational outcomes and assets;
  • Design and implement strategies and activities to increase support from existing partners and identify new potential support, working closely with the Managing Director for Foundation Relations and executive and senior leadership to drive fundraising strategy.
  • Lead cross-functional collaborations to secure less restricted, more flexible support for multidisciplinary projects led by members of the Executive team and senior leadership team; ensure high-quality stewardship of these collaborative grants by facilitating intraorganizational planning and coordination to meet grant deliverables.
  • Lead the planning and execution of meetings with partners, research and draft briefings for executive leadership in advance of meetings, and prepare senior staff for partner meetings and phone calls.
  • Prepare materials including but not limited to concept notes, proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, agreements, emails, presentations, and acknowledgment letters. This work will include drafting original copy, editing, and formatting as needed.
  • Partner with American Progress program staff to cultivate relationships with both current and prospective donors and support fundraising on the part of the Executive team.

Requirements and qualifications

  • Demonstrated fundraising, strategic planning, and process/project management success.
  • Demonstrated success in soliciting and renewing contributions from foundations by articulating a compelling case for support through multiple communication tools, including written grant proposals, reports, budget documents, and verbal and visual presentations, among others.
  • Knowledge on climate action and clean energy; climate, environmental, racial, and economic justice; conservation policy; and structural barriers to equity.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, mediation, and facilitation skills.
  • Commitment to fostering a respectful, healthy, effective, and collaborative workplace.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Knowledge of the Salesforce database is desirable.
  • Familiarity with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) regulations is a plus.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed to meet deadlines and manage workflow.
  • Support for American Progress’ mission and commitment to a broad progressive agenda.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or equivalent experience is required.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefits packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union and has a starting salary of $110,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

Apply Now

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

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