Business Development Associate | TheHill

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a Business Development Associate who can…

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a Business Development Associate who can support a transformation of ISW’s fundraising, donor relations, and data management systems.



The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) promotes an understanding of military affairs by providing data and critical analysis to American political and military leaders, journalists, and the public. ISW seeks to educate civilians about war and conflict, thus bridging the gaps between military and civilian decision-makers. ISW aims to improve how the United States formulates and executes its national security policy. ISW is vigilant at monitoring crises around the world and has a track record of accurately forecasting potential and actual conflicts.


ISW is restructuring and scaling up its business development operations and seeks a motivated and detail-oriented individual who can play an integral role in ISW’s transition to new business development systems and processes while supporting the development department’s day-to-day fundraising and donor relationship management activities. The Business Development Associate will have a deep-rooted passion for organization and maximizing efficiency as well as a keen sense of how to elevate data and process into meaningful engagement with ISW stakeholders.


The Business Development Associate performs a range of operational and administrative functions including compiling donor research materials, building and maintaining ISW’s donor database, operationalizing data to inform strategy and support outreach, and ensuring smooth and timely processes within the department. The associate also manages ISW’s structured communications with donors through emails and other marketing materials.


The Business Development Associate reports to ISW’s Director of Development and collaborates closely with ISW’s Program Manager to support the fundraising activities for the entire organization.



  • Support the ISW Program Manager, Chief of Staff, and Director of Development in assessing the requirements for, and if needed, planning for and executing a database migration including by taking ownership of the requirement to develop new systems, processes, and structures that optimize for the new database, working with vendors to choose and configure that database, and advising the Program Manager on migrating to a new email communications platform if needed for successful integration;
  • Build and maintain ISW’s business development database (“donor database”) and other business development knowledge management systems;
    • o Build, structure, and standardize procedures for data input, management, querying, and reporting;
    • o Train ISW’s operations staff on the database, serve as a resource to help staff optimize database use to meet institutional goals, and serve as ISW’s point of contact for working with the database provider when issues arise, to make software updates as necessary, etc;
    • o Proactively update the donor database based on numerous sources of information including email exchanges, meeting notes, background research, and donation activity such as transactions, receipts, etc;
    • o Perform data quality control to identify and resolve key data errors or gaps that relate to priority donor relationships and development goals;
    • o Track donor cycle activity and progress using structured data; structure queries of that data to support the Development Director; and provide standard reports to ISW’s Director of Development to inform outreach and follow-up strategy;
    • o Maintain the proper system and distribution of acknowledgment letters for end-of-year reporting purposes;
    • o Structure and maintain ISW’s segmented development outreach lists and collaborate with ISW’s Program Manager and Editor and Production Manager to ensure these lists are nested within the structure of ISW’s non-donor segmented lists and ensure accurate email distribution for materials to donors;
    • Perform donor and prospect research and compile background materials to support ISW’s donor cultivation and relationship management;
    • Support the development of proposals and other fundraising and stewardship materials including donor reports such as grant progress reports;
    • Proactively develop, manage, and enforce processes that track and communicate departmental goals, deadlines, progress, and decision-points in collaboration with the Director of Development;
    • Support the Director of Development and/or President in external meetings and events as necessary, including;
    • o Plan and schedule small meetings for the President and Director of Development with potential prospects and traditional donors in collaboration with the Program Manager; Support the Events Coordinator or an Events Consultant as needed for larger meetings or events and serve as the point person to funnel donors and prospects into the appropriate follow-up cultivation steps;
    • o Develop, prepare, and compile fundraising collateral materials for key donor meetings; and
    • o Support a range of data and marketing operations and administrative functions for ISW’s annual President’s Circle Benefit Dinner in collaboration with ISW’s Events Coordinator including managing event planners, event invitations, responses and a wide variety of logistical requirements before, during, and after the event.
    • Manage the execution and dissemination of ISW’s development marketing materials and manage email communication systems in collaboration with the Editor and Production Manager;
    • Support donor relationship management through timely responses to donor emails, calls, and other engagements;
    • Manage all promised donor fulfillment benefits and work with other ISW stakeholders to ensure that they are fulfilled;
    • Support the development of fundraising progress reports and other updates for ISW’s President and Board of Directors;
    • Provide development data to the CFO and Director of Development to ensure a smooth annual auditing process.



The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s Degree and at least 2 years professional experience in a business operations or development role, with greater experience welcome. He or she will also demonstrate:

    • Commitment to ISW’s mission;
    • Passion for business strategy and operations, specifically for restructuring and scaling strategies for non-profits;
    • Experience working with Microsoft Office and Salesforce is required; experience with e-Tapestry or other data platforms is desirable;
    • Ability to engage with and troubleshoot new technology platforms and help users integrate them into their workflow;
    • Ability to structure, query, and manage data;
    • The ability to write and communicate effectively in a fast-paced environment primarily through email or on the phone but not limited to those means;
    • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and balance both rapid response and long-term projects;
    • A mature, professional demeanor suitable for interacting with senior executives, senior military leaders, and other VIPS;
    • The ability to work well under pressure while maintaining strict deadlines and a high level of professionalism;
    • Trustworthiness and discretion;
    • Experience in or willingness to learn marketing strategies and operations;
    • Initiative, drive, and ability to work independently to advance the organization’s mission;
    • Willingness to learn and innovate.