Founded in 1946, the Middle East Institute (MEI) is the leading Washington-based institution dedicated specifically to the study of the Middle East. A non-partisan think tank, MEI works to advance the US-Middle East relationship through a whole-of-society approach that includes policy work, education, and arts and cultural programming. For 75 years, MEI has worked at the forefront of understanding and finding solutions to the pressing challenges in the region. We do this by engaging the leading experts in the United States and throughout the region, convening key stakeholders, producing original research, and communicating with the broader public and decision-makers.

MEI is searching for a Development Administrator to provide high-level administrative support to a growing Development Department as we expand and diversify our portfolio of private, foundation, and government funding. 

This individual will be responsible for delivering excellent customer service, administrative support, database management, supporting the finance department with reconciliations, and other administrative functions of the Development team.

The Development Administrator will benefit from the support of all team members and at the same time, will be encouraged to develop their own ideas and to manage their own work. Working in a fast-paced, challenging, and stimulating professional environment, the Development Administrator will play an important role in acting as the first point of contact for donor inquiries, information, and donor care, and in supporting MEI’s fundraising efforts.

They will bring a genuine passion for delivering outstanding administrative support and leading on their area of work.

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

Donor Relationships

  • To provide excellent donor care such as writing gift acknowledgment letters, sending information packs, responding to queries, and speaking and meeting with donors when they have questions related to their gift processing.
  • Draft tailored acknowledgment and solicitation letters for individual, foundation and Board donors in coordination with frontline fundraising staff and the President.

Donation Coordination

  • Oversee the creation of monthly reports to support fundraising staff, finance department, executive leadership, and the board of directors. This includes reports demonstrating progress toward goals as well as forecasting philanthropic support in future years and reconciling with the finance department.
  • Work with Finance and other teams to accurately record, process, and reconcile all incoming donations received by post, online, wire and stock transfer, and telephone.
  • Accurately process standing orders and direct debits plus respond to direct debit cancellation requests, update supporter records, etc.
  • Execute on data entry, data hygiene and data maintenance projects to further the efficiency and accuracy of our donor database (Donor Perfect).
  • Work with colleagues across the organization to deliver a positive and effective donor experience.
  • Work with senior members of the team to further develop processes aimed at mitigating risk and preventing fraudulent activity in online donations such as card testing, illegitimate refunds, and other risks.
  • Support maintenance of Fundraising-related pages of the website; posting content, editing and updating existing pages.
  • Outreach and relationship management of certain external agencies and freelance staff such as liaising with designers for quotes on development-specific marketing materials or working with database consultants.

Development Team Support

  • Support the administrative coordination and delivery of fundraising appeals, campaigns and events.
  • Occasional prospect research into new donors.
  • Receive and screen emails from the development inbox. Handle or appropriately refer all requests for information.
  • Provide additional administrative support to members of the development team as needed.
  • Participate in regular team meetings, reporting and liaising on ongoing projects.
  • Coordinate and attend internal and external fundraising-led meetings including room booking, and agenda.
  • Other related tasks that may from time to time.

Qualification and Experience

  • Progressive experience working in an administrative role.
  • Experience in writing acknowledgment letters and solicitation letters for donors or clients is preferred.
  • Experience in using & maintaining a database, doing data entry and pulling data queries.
  • An awareness of Data Protection issues and the ability to work with confidential sensitive information.
  • Experience in building excellent relationships with external stakeholders.
  • Experience in positive collaborative working with internal stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of international relations and/or educational or cultural work in the Middle East highly desirable. 


  • Excellent verbal and written skills with a talent for expressing complex ideas in simple and effective language.
  • Creative and able to produce engaging written communications.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and confidence engaging with people.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to assess, prioritize and manage a varied and demanding workload.
  • Numerate with a basic understanding of financial accounts and ability to do financial reconciliations.
  • A passion for the work of the Middle East Institute and a desire to continually broaden and deepen the organization’s impact.

Salary for this role is competitive to allow us to attract qualified candidates and commensurate to experience. Excellent benefits. 

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to Please use “Development Administrator"  as the subject line in your e-mail.