Lead, Fundraising and Partnerships- J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Three years or more

J-PAL South Asia is seeking a dynamic and motivated fundraising and relationship management professional to help lead and execute J-PAL SA’s donor engagement and stewardship strategies. Working closely with the Executive Director, and Director Policy, Training and Communications, the Fundraising and Partnerships Lead will develop and implement strategic fundraising plans for J-PAL South Asia to raise funds, and build partnerships with foundations, philanthropists, and individuals, to contribute to our mission of reducing poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. They will serve as a fundraising strategist and a front-line fundraiser with current and prospective donors, working closely with J-PAL SA’s senior management teams to support their fundraising needs.

They will join a creative, energetic team, working closely with staff across J-PAL SA’s verticals to elevate our fundraising efforts. The position reports to the Executive Director, J-PAL SA. The portfolio will include conducting donor research, managing the donor pipeline, assisting with grant writing and proposal development, securing gifts from donors, tracking fundraising activities, coordinating logistics and outreach, communications and social media outreach, generating reports, and providing any additional support needed for J-PAL SA’s fundraising efforts. They will also support other teams by reviewing and providing feedback on proposals and fundraising collateral materials and providing coaching and training to colleagues on the fundamentals of fundraising. S/he will be responsible for delivering on an organizational fundraising strategy and developing processes to establish sustainable funding streams to expand J-PAL’s efforts to translate research into action worldwide. 

The ideal candidate has minimum 7 years’ experience working with high-net-worth individuals and large philanthropic foundations for fundraising in the academic research and/or international development fields. They are expected to have a strong understanding of development strategies, tools, processes and systems; and familiarity with the funding landscape for poverty alleviation or social policy. Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate enthusiastically and persuasively about our work are also important to this role. We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds and welcome candidates with lived or direct experience with the social policy issues that J-PAL South Asia aims to address through its work. 


  • In close collaboration with the Executive Director, and Director Policy, Training and Communications, develop and implement a multi-year strategic development plan to secure grants, gifts and/or other revenue from foundations, major donors, philanthropists and corporations, and oversee efforts to build a culture of fundraising within J-PAL South Asia.
  • Work collaboratively with J-PAL South Asia colleagues within Policy and Communications teams, to create, develop, and execute donor relations and stewardship strategies to identify prospects; arrange and lead/ participate in donor meetings for cultivation and solicitation.
  • Conduct prospect research and cultivating relationships with a diverse range of potential individual and organizational donors with the primary aim of significantly increasing unrestricted core and policy support to the organization.
  • Manage a portfolio of key donor prospects and identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward current and potential donors. Take ownership over relationship management for several of J-PAL’s existing donors (in coordination with Policy staff), to ensure consistent and meaningful outreach.
  • Work closely with J-PAL SA’s Communications team to customize and curate materials for outreach, and the use of appropriate social media platforms. Develop engaging outreach content for existing and potential donors, from writing paper materials to planning donor visits at J-PAL SA.
  • Initiate and drive work with colleagues and academic leadership to draft proposals from concept through submission. 
  • Identify and execute new fundraising strategies (e.g., donor campaigns, special events) to cultivate prospective donors and acknowledge current major donors.
  • Build appropriate systems to support donor engagement and stewardship of existing donors, including developing processes for research and cultivation, outreach calendars, opportunities for recognition, and appropriate accountability metrics.
  • Effectively record and utilize donor data, including ensuring the timely and confidential tracking of donor data; overseeing development of contact and research reports; analizing giving trends and recommending targeted strategies for increasing support; and, regularly reporting on progress against goals, and/or potential funding shortfalls.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the broad range of research and policy work conducted within J-PAL South Asia for the purpose of matching this work with potential donors and speaking articulately to prospective donors about the work.
  • Provide guidance and resources for J-PAL staff for best practices in fundraising and donor engagement.

Professional Development 

J-PAL South Asia supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend policy and communications onboarding programs within India and J-PAL Global, engage with other J-PAL staff through various platforms such as brown-bags, peer network meetings, working groups etc., participate in trainings and workshops, and participate in J-PAL’s professional development opportunities for staff. 

Qualifications & Skills:

  • Commitment to Mission & Values: Cares personally and deeply about policy that has the potential to reduce poverty and the rigorous research that informs it. Demonstrates interest in poverty alleviation in South Asia (in particular) and demonstrates a commitment to J-PAL South Asia’s values that reflect integrity, care, respect, responsibility and accountability and rigour.
  • Education: A Bachelor Master’s degree is required.
  • Experience: At least 7 years’ experience fundraising for academic research or development activities from a range of funding streams, including high net worth individuals and philanthropic foundations. Deep knowledge and understanding of the priorities of major funders in the international development field, including foundations and governments.
  • Technical Skills: Strong understanding of development strategies, tools, processes and systems. Ability to work closely with financial staff to develop fundraising projections and create accurate proposal budgets. Ability to speak accurately and effectively with prospective donors about the basics of impact evaluation, J-PAL’s methodological approach, and research projects. Technical proficiency with learning and using computer applications, including Asana, Excel, PowerPoint. 
  • Strategic Planning and Analysis Skills: Effectively identifies strategic opportunities for fundraising and is able to develop plans for how to approach prospective donors to fund both existing and new areas of work. Ability to accurately analyze, synthesize and effectively present complex sensitive, financial, and technical information.
  • Ownership:  Takes responsibility for work being completed on time and professionally/accurately/at the level of quality needed. Demonstrates ability to successfully navigate situations where there is uncertainty around next steps. Demonstrates tact and good judgment in handling confidential information.
  • External Stakeholder Management: Proactively identifies, executes, and sustains new engagements with high-level external partners and donors, including the ability to systematically identify new strategic partners and actively build and sustain relationships.
  • Task & Project Management Skills: Excellent project management skills. Ability to anticipate, plan, prioritize and meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, manage numerous requests from various parties, and effectively manage a high volume of work. Must be able to understand and influence the big picture, while also able and willing to keep track of details and implement solutions.
  • Oral and Written Communication Skills: Ability to persuasively and accurately describe our work orally and in writing in a manner that builds enthusiasm and motivates others to want to partner with us and fund our work. Outstanding writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders. Strong grant writing abilities and demonstrated track record in conveying impact through persuasive writing. Exceptional attention to detail and accuracy related to preparation of materials and presentations.
  • Problem solving/Decision making Skills: Adept at analyzing facts, good judgment, and strong decision-making ability. Identifies and responds to problems, issues, and opportunities, and identifies relevant constraints. Seeks to identify a solution or response.
  • People Management Skills: Effective in leading, inspiring and supervising direct reports or teams. Develops ambitious and achievable goals and strategies, sets clear expectations and provides direction in outlining the tasks and schedules necessary to achieve individual and team goals. Provides timely feedback. Works proactively to foster an inclusive work environment that respects differences, fosters belonging and provides opportunities for all direct reports to succeed.

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of collaborative, inclusive, and inquisitive colleagues? Apply now.  

This position is expected to be a hybrid position based in India (location is flexible) with travel to J-PAL offices for meetings and working with colleagues, and some days remote as appropriate for the work.

Submit an application to Shobhini Mukerji, at [email protected]

In a single PDF uploaded, please include:

  • Cover letter which helps explain your interest in and qualifications for this position
  • Resume

We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis as we receive them. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a technical exercise and phone interviews with J-PAL SA’s recruitment committee. Finalists will interview with J-PAL’s leadership in India and J-PAL Global.