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Acton Institute is currently seeking an External Relations Officer to join our talented development department. As External Relations Officer, the selected candidate will play a vital role in our development efforts by working closely with our Director of Development to create and implement strategies to maximize our major gifts efforts and subsequently grow revenue for the Acton Institute. The External Relations Officer will be responsible for managing and cultivating relationships with existing major donors, as well as identifying and cultivating relationships with prospective donors.The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in generating revenue while working in a fast-paced and multi-faceted environment.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Director of Development to align efforts and establish goals.
  • Manage a donor portfolio (estimated 150 donors) by cultivating relationships through frequent communication (quarterly minimum) keeping them informed of Acton’s work and the impact of their contributions.
  • Cultivate and grow portfolio by implementing strategic moves management.
  • Conduct 65-90 major donor meetings annually to present on Acton’s mission and ongoing projects to those within portfolio.
  • Collaborate with external relations team to ensure we are working together to extend meeting invitations to each major donor.
  • Produce reports following donor meetings.
  • Conduct timely acknowledgment of contributions.
  • Establish metrics and use data to track, analyze, and prepare monthly reports to analyze progress and subsequently determine necessary actions to maximize productivity.
  • Participate in events and other advancement activities as needed.
  • Book travel arrangements and submit expense reports.
  • Read 2 fundraising books per year and brief development team on key points.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Demonstrate a desire and ability to help promote a free and virtuous society.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • BS or BA degree required.
  • Minimum 3 years experience with proven track record of setting and achieving fundraising goals. 
  • Ability to give persuasive presentations to achieve desired fundraising results.
  • Excellent relationship building skills.
  • Creative in developing and implementing unique ways to grow revenue. 
  • Excellent team player attitude and demonstrates professional decorum at all times. 
  • High level of responsiveness and urgency.
  • Experience with Wealth Engine, Sales Force, and Raiser’s Edge software programs is a plus.
  • Ability to travel (estimated at 30-35% per year) (occasional weekend travel included).


This position is located at our headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI,

The role requires that you are currently legally authorized to work in the USA for any employer.

Qualified candidates interested in our mission and the synthesis of free markets and morality are encouraged to apply!

How to Apply

To be fully considered for this opportunity, please send the following to and address your letter and application to the Human Resources Department:

  •   A cover letter detailing your interest in the position and the mission of the Acton Institute;
  •   Your resume;
  •   Your salary history and expectations.

Incomplete applicant submissions will not be considered. While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview.

Posted on: September 5, 2018

About the Acton Institute

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading international organization headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Acton Institute is an interfaith, educational non-profit, our mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles