Executive Director of Development, Southwest

Opportunity for Impact

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) is seeking an Executive Director of Development for a new office to cover the Southwest region. The qualified candidate will join our team of dedicated professionals who share the Weizmann Institute’s mission: science for the benefit of humanity. ACWIS develops philanthropic support in the United States for the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), one of the world's premier scientific research institutions based in Rehovot, Israel. The Weizmann Institute, which was originally founded in 1934 as the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, is a center of basic interdisciplinary scientific research and graduate study addressing crucial problems in technology, medicine and health, energy, agriculture, and the environment.


Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 3,800 scientists, students, technicians, and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials, and developing new strategies for protecting the environment. Current trends and market data show this is an area that could have great potential for the Weizmann mission.



The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) was founded in 1944 by a group of American visionaries inspired by the dreams of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the eminent chemist and Zionist leader who later became the first President of the State of Israel. Outstanding business, intellectual and opinion leaders soon joined the Committee to participate in exciting projects of support. Supporters of ACWIS have been, and are today, partners with Weizmann Institute scientists in the search for answers to the most difficult challenges facing humanity.  


ACWIS is a national network of dedicated volunteers and professional staff who share a common vision with the Institute in advancing science for the benefit of humanity and strengthening Israel through science and technology. ACWIS develops philanthropic support for research at Weizmann; educates the American public about the Institute's research; and represents the Institute's interests in the United States. In its 75-year history, ACWIS has raised more than $2.5 billion, averaging more than $65 million a year over the past decade.


Summary of Position:

The American Committee seeks a dynamic and entrepreneurial leader who is successful managing a robust fundraising operation through solicitations and closing gifts at the six-figure and above level.  The Executive Director of Development, Southwest will develop, engage, and solicit a portfolio of prospective donors capable of gifts in excess of $250,000, while building out a new regional operation within the Southwestern states of Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.


Responsibilities include developing and managing a portfolio of donors for the purpose of supporting the various science and research priorities of WIS. The Executive Director of Development will work independently to arrange in-person meetings including follow up, working collaboratively and creatively leading the regional team, Weizmann faculty and volunteers, to plan and implement thoughtful engagement, solicitation, and stewardship strategies. The selected candidate will contribute in a comprehensive manner to ACWIS’ strategic plan, priorities, programs, and key financial measures in order to best represent the Institute’s interests.


Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Financial Resource Development, the Executive Director of Development will focus primarily on identifying fundraising priorities for the region with significant travel across the Southwestern states. This includes developing and broadening the major gifts pool, soliciting leadership gifts, and strengthening donor stewardship. The potential candidate will join a national team of approximately 20 frontline fundraising professionals across the nation.


Drive Revenue Growth (90%):
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of approximately 65-80 +/- major and principal gift prospects; maintain ownership of all portfolios within the region.
  • Develop strategies and approaches to generate higher levels of giving; conduct approximately 80-100+ visits/per year (8 to 10 visits per month).
  • Create and implement a comprehensive stewardship plan with monthly and annual goals.
  • Identify and qualify new prospects by working independently and with colleagues, including the Prospect Management and Research staff member in the national office.
  • Track progress against goals by developing and maintaining regular Moves Management reports, while reporting out at monthly revenue calls with national colleagues.
  • Work in partnership with the Vice President of Principal Gifts on identifying a customized cultivation and solicitation strategy for those prospects with gift capacity at $2M and above.
  • Lead specialized donor cultivation and recognition activities for high-capacity donors including mission trips to the Weizmann Institute campus in Israel and locally-based intimate lectures connecting donors with Weizmann scientists.


Develop and Lead a Regional Team (10%):
  • With the potential to grow the team based on fundraising performance, hire and lead a staff of talented fundraisers and support personnel in the region.
  • Establish a successful regional major gifts program through strategic leadership and management of campaign initiatives along all stages of the donor engagement process.
  • Ensure regional operations are effectively aligned with ACWIS’ strategic plan.
  • Identify, recruit, and nurture a regional board of donors who support ACWIS by making meaningful gifts, providing access to prospects, serving as spokespersons, and participating in regional, national, and international activities.
  • Cultivate the next generation of donors who have major gift potential by providing those younger prospects with leadership development opportunities where appropriate.

Minimum Qualifications & Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 7-10 years of proven experience in major gifts cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship and/or campaigns with a proven record of success.
  • The candidate must be visionary and possess strategic planning abilities to be applied toward developing the infrastructure of an innovative fundraising program and the leadership necessary to ensure its successful implementation.
  • Must be willing to travel across the assigned territory, to the national office in New York, and on special occasion to the campus in Israel.
  • Ability to analyze and apply data to effectively manage a portfolio.
  • Successful track-record engaging high-net worth prospects and donors who have a keen interest in science, education, and health.
  • Must have strong executive presence in the community and can connect effectively with a wide range of constituents. Must be able to clearly describe the Institute’s impact through science.
  • Excellent communication skills to express the mission, vision and goals of the Institute with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
  • Experience developing high performing staff teams and creating positive workplace environments.
  • Ability to lead within a complex national and international organization culture.
  • Knowledge of the region’s Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic community.
  • Candidates must be committed to implementing best practices, demonstrate an adherence to the highest standards of ethical practices, and possess superb communication skills.
  • Must have an appreciation for the mission of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Computer Skills Required:
  • Experience and proficiency with Raiser’s Edge (NXT) or another CRM tool.
  • Working knowledge of Moves Management as a fundraising strategy.
  • Working knowledge with wealth screen tools and resources such as LexisNexis.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

ACWIS has retained the services of CNA International to conduct this search.  All applications may be directed in confidence to: resumes@cnaint.com


Please include a cover letter and insert ACWIS-ED, Southwest in the subject line of your emailed application.


ACWIS is an equal opportunity employer.