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Director of Business Development

Gulf International Forum

Job title: Director of Business Development

Reports To: Executive Director

Status: Full-time

Location: Hybrid work. Must be based in Washington DC


Gulf International Forum (GIF) strives to be the primary source of credible analysis on the Gulf region. Our mission revolves around enhancing understandings; engaging in free dialogue; and promoting independent thinking by building awareness and contributing to the accumulation of knowledge on the Gulf states. GIF focuses on political, economic, social, and security issues for the nine regional states: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Through various educational platforms that promote research, analysis, and dialogue, GIF aspires to encourage objective intellectual debates that inform interested audiences. For more information, visit www.gulfif.org.

Position Overview

Gulf International Forum seeks a dynamic Director of Business Development to spearhead our next phase of growth and elevate our global presence. This is a pivotal role for a visionary fundraiser with a proven track record of securing major gifts, building partnerships, and fostering relationships with corporations, foundations, and government agencies.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and continuously refine a comprehensive fundraising strategy encompassing diverse income streams. This includes researching potential major donors, identifying corporate and foundation partnership opportunities, and exploring government funding sources.
  • Establish and regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) for all fundraising channels. Analyze data to forecast trends, pinpoint successful strategies, and identify areas for improvement to maximize fundraising efficiency and impact.
  • Proactively cultivate strong relationships with major donors, foundations, corporate sponsors, and influential stakeholders. Understand their motivations and tailor compelling presentations demonstrating the alignment between their philanthropic goals and our mission.
  • Lead all aspects of grant-seeking, from prospect research and proposal development to submission and post-award reporting. Craft persuasive narratives that highlight our organization’s impact and align with specific funding priorities.
  • Design multifaceted campaigns to grow our base of individual donors. Explore a mix of traditional appeals, online giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, and recurring donation programs. Implement donor segmentation strategies to personalize communication and maximize engagement.
  • Conceptualize and execute a diverse range of fundraising events, from intimate gatherings to large-scale galas. Secure sponsorships, build strategic partnerships, and manage logistics to ensure success and build relationships with diverse audiences.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop a fundraising plan that leverages their networks and expertise. Facilitate effective Board participation in donor outreach, events, and stewardship activities.
  • Provide regular development reports to leadership (Executive Director) and the Board, analyzing fundraising performance, highlighting trends, and offering recommendations for optimization.
  • Oversee the organization’s donor database, ensuring accurate data entry, gift processing, and timely acknowledgment. Maintain compliance with grant reporting requirements and ethical fundraising practices.
  • Become a compelling spokesperson for the Forum’s mission. Engage and inspire potential supporters through presentations, pitches, and media outreach.
  • Oversee the donor database (CRM), implement effective fundraising tools, and stay up-to-date on best practices in the field.
  • Contribute to the overall fundraising budget. Track income and expenses against goals, and ensure responsible use of donor funds.
  • Ability to think creatively about new fundraising models and revenue streams.
  • Ability to travel to support fundraising events/meetings.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required. Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of successful nonprofit fundraising experience. Demonstrated track record in securing major gifts and building long-term donor relationships.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal; demonstrated ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships.
  • Ability to tell a story in a compelling way–distilling the most impactful points in a clear and concise manner.
  • Tangible experience expanding and cultivating existing/diverse donor relationships over time.
  • Experience with donor research tools like WealthEngine, iWave, LexisNexis, Foundation Directory Online, and Instrument is a plus.
  • Flexible work style and strong interpersonal communication and exceptional organizational skills.
  • Comfortable working with diverse colleagues from both the US and the Gulf region.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently while also thriving in a team environment and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Comfortable working with diverse colleagues from both the US and the Gulf region.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently while also thriving in a team environment and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic development plan.
  • Prior experience working with an organization focused on the Middle East is a plus.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, commitment to quality, and a positive, can-do attitude.
  • Positive attitude and a good sense of humor.
  • Proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Proficient in analyzing market data, identifying trends, and developing actionable insights.


Gulf International Forum’s benefits package includes a competitive salary, retirement plan, fully covered medical, vision and dental care, paid vacation, and holidays.

To Apply

Submit your resume and cover letter to info@gulfif.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Gulf International Forum is an equal opportunity employer. We actively seek applicants from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities, to bring a wide range of perspectives, ideas, views to our work.

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