Development Director Recruitment.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) welcomes applicants for the Development Director (DD) role.

Job Title: Development Director, Institute of Economic Affairs


The IEA is the UK’s original free-market think-tank, founded in 1955. Our mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The Development Director is a leadership role at the IEA, reporting to the Director General (DG) and managing a small team to raise between £2-3m a year from a mix of major donors, organisations, and other supporters. You will join us at an exciting time of change; our DG is stepping down after 14 successful years of growing the IEA. Their successor and the wider IEA team will need your counsel to grow our fundraising.

You are a proven charity, campaign, or think tank fundraiser passionate about freedom and education. You are highly ethical in your approach and a capable manager, effective at delegation. You are comfortable working with busy, successful people across institutions, academia, and public life. You are UK-focused but welcome the challenge of supporting our international projects, that spread freedom worldwide. You know when to say no and how to protect the independence of our research. You have a keen eye for prospects and how to convert them into lasting partnerships.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Designing and delivering a fundraising strategy to secure and grow our support.

  • Build and maintain partnerships with our donors, partners, and prospects.

  • Write and submit compelling grant applications aligned to our mission and output.

  • Motivate and manage the development team, equipping them with the skills to deliver.

  • Empower other staff and trustees to support development, utilising their talents effectively.

  • Organise fundraising events and foster a strong sense of community amongst our supporters.

  • Oversee the development budget and provide income forecasts and reports to leadership.

  • Ensuring all fundraising work complies with our internal protocols and external regulations.

  • Directing mission aligned but non-charitable projects to our not-for-profit partners.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

  • Passionate advocate for free market principles and commitment to the IEA mission.

  • Previous leadership or management experience in a relevant fundraising role.

  • Excellent relationship and donor management skills, varying your style to the needs of the person.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly in partner communications.

  • Excellent team skills, motivating others and delegating as much as doing the job.

  • Excellent organisational skills, able to structure bids to deadlines and run flawless events.

  • Familiarity with structured fundraising systems and support tools, an advantage (e.g. Salesforce).

  • A willingness to work unusual hours, sometimes at short notice, an advantage.

Closing Date:

6th October

Interview/Start Dates:

Applicants will be assessed and interviewed on a rolling basis, starting in September.


The IEA provides exceptional benefits to all employees, including 25 days’ paid leave per annum, a personal pension which matches up to 5% of salary, private medical insurance, critical illness and death in service coverage and flexible working hours.

To Apply

Please send the following to [email protected]:

  1. Curriculum vitae

  2. Covering letter