Senior Manager of Donor Relations (MC)


KEES has been exclusively retained by Mercatus Center in its search for a Senior Manager of Donor Relations (Senior Major Gifts Officer).

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is seeking an intellectually curious and experienced fundraiser as its next Senior Manager of Donor Relations (Senior Major Gifts Officer) to be based in its Arlington, Virginia office, or potentially as a remote employee to be based in the western region of the United States. With proven success in closing five, six and seven-figure gifts, the Senior Manager will work with a portfolio of approximately 150 donors. The Senior Manager will be responsible for ongoing, proactive relationship management, ensuring each donor receives information in the areas in which they have the most interest. Depending on the person hired, the portfolio could be focused in either New York or the western region of the United States (i.e., primarily California, Texas and Arizona).  

The Senior Manager will work in partnership with a strong and motivated team of professionals, and they will bring an ability to coach and mentor those with less experience in the field. The ability to speak intellectually on the research and educational topics at Mercatus Center is a must.


Specific Requirements Include:

  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in major gift fundraising, with a proven track record of success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship processes.
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit, focused on meeting goals and being self-driven.
  • Open-minded about free-market systems, with an ability to discuss and challenge thinking on a variety of economic topics.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentational skills, demonstrating an emotional intelligence and situational awareness in tandem with excellent writing abilities and strong case development skills.
  • Comfort with direct donor interaction is essential, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for major financial commitments.
  • Proven success as a productive and collaborative team member and an ability to align personal goals with the overall team success.
  • Ability to travel approximately 30 - 50% of the time.
  • Ability to converse on basic planned giving opportunities is desired.
  • Experience with donors in New York, or California, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with experience. In addition, Mercatus Center provides excellent benefits to all individual employees, including full health and dental coverage, flexible spending accounts, long-term disability and life insurance, a 403(b) retirement savings program, a generous PTO policy, a parking permit and free credits at George Mason University. The Center is located close to public transportation.

Mercatus Center is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Candidates may apply here:

To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email. ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.

This search is being managed by Laura Weinman, Assistant Vice President, and Sue Bultman, Senior Consultant, of KEES. Questions may be addressed to Project Manager Christine Eddy at [email protected].

KEES is a retained search and nonprofit consulting firm that builds transformative teams and leaders. For more information, please visit

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is a university-based research center dedicated to bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems, and it has been a source of innovative scholarship ever since its founding 40 years ago. 

As part of Virginia’s largest university, the Mercatus Center supports students in George Mason University’s world-renowned department of economics. Former students who have benefited from Mercatus support are among the most creative scholars working in the social sciences today.

The Mercatus Center is led by Tyler Cowen, the Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University.

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