Director of Philanthropy

The David Lynch Foundation (“Foundation”), the country’s leading philanthropic organization promoting programs that reduce stress in at-risk populations through the widespread adoption of Transcendental Meditation, is seeking an exceptional Director of Philanthropy (“Director”) to supervise fundraising activities, with focus on New York and the tristate area, and Washington DC.


The David Lynch Foundation was established in 2005 by renowned filmmaker David Lynch in order to promote widespread adoption of Transcendental Meditation (“TM”), the most widely researched and scientifically validated form of meditation, which he credits with giving him higher levels of energy, greater focus and consciousness, as well as greater happiness. He created the Foundation in order to raise funds and provide grants for the implementation of scientifically proven modalities to reduce toxic stress and the effects of trauma, alleviate suffering, and improve the performance and cognitive capacity of at-risk populations.

The vision for the David Lynch Foundation is for it to be the global catalyst for the implementation of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation program to address the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress in modern society. Through partnership with an international network of specially trained instructors, the Foundation will ensure that Transcendental Meditation is widely available to at-risk populations and the institutions that serve them.

The Foundation has undergone tremendous growth over the last five years, growing in size from four people in a single office to 35 full time staff located across four cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Fairfield, Iowa). It has also earned broad support from entertainment, media, and financial industry icons, as well as visibility with recent appearances on Good Morning America and coverage in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Bloomberg Business Week among others.

A recent strategic planning process shows that the Foundation is poised for another phase of expansion, putting it in a position to relieve suffering for tens of thousands more people experiencing the debilitating effects of traumatic stress. In order to support its ambitious plans, the Foundation seeks an experienced fundraiser to grow philanthropic support on the east coast, and particularly in New York City, the Tri-State area, and Washington, D.C.

The Position:

The Director of Philanthropy will design and implement a comprehensive development program that builds visibility, impact, and financial resources, and puts the Foundation in a position for growth. Reporting directly to the Executive Director and/or the Chief Strategy Operating Officer (COO), and working closely with the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Philanthropy will serve as a key member of the senior management team and an active participant in all strategic decisions affecting the Foundation. Based in the New York City office and supervising a team of three, the Director will be a key member of the Foundation’s overall development team.

The right candidate will possess an ability to scale up existing development systems, forge new relationships with individuals, corporations, foundations, and build upon a strong existing foundation of major gift donors and prospects. He or she will create a funding strategy that adapts to the Foundation’s expanding growth targets, and proactively evolve this funding approach over time.


  • Actively work with the Executive Director, COO, and other members of the executive team to develop and implement a development strategy for the east coast, with focus on NYC and the tristate area, that includes individual, corporate, foundation, and government funding;
  • Oversee research of funding sources and trends to help position the Foundation and recommend strategies in consideration of the limited human and financial resources available at present to the Foundation;
  • Manage and update a prospect matrix and development plans for all donors;
  • Advise on, and devise, an annual calendar of fundraising events, from bi-annual galas on the east coast, as well as local friend-raiser and fundraiser salon events throughout the country. (Past and planned venues for the foundation’s major events include Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Jazz at Lincoln Center);
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with existing and prospective individual and foundation donors;
  • Work with the finance team to generate grant reports and program evaluations for funders. Review and approve all foundation and grant proposals including all program and grant-related budgets;
  • Assess capacity for additional fundraising programs such as Planned Giving, Endowment, Annual Fund and plan and execute such programs;
  • Present statistical analysis of fundraising successes to Board and senior management team at regular intervals;


The Director of Philanthropy will have a minimum of eight years of experience and demonstrated success in a leadership role within a development function at a major nonprofit. The director will have a proven track record of achieving substantial revenue and fundraising targets, and will have a wide-ranging knowledge of the many types of fundraising strategies applicable to the work of the David Lynch Foundation.

Additional requirements for the position are:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree (Masters or other advanced degree preferred);
  • The ability to understand and work within the Foundation’s organizational structure and find pathways to success working constructively with professional colleagues, using available resources to maximum benefit;
  • The ability to become an articulate and genuine spokesperson on behalf of the David Lynch Foundation, its mission and organizational culture;
  • Superb fundraising judgment and outstanding interpersonal and communication skills;
  • The ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships;
  • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time;
  • Experience mentoring a development team and institutionalizing the roles and practices required to expand the team’s capacity for raising funds, including systems and processes that ensure the gift cycle runs smoothly for an expanding number of donors.
  • The ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also as a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside the David Lynch Foundation;
  • High energy and passion for the David Lynch Foundation’s mission.
  • The ability to travel (including trips to Los Angeles, San Francisco and other locations) as needed.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. The David Lynch Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. For more information about the David Lynch Foundation, please visit their website at

To Apply:

The David Lynch Foundation has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, President/CEO


Debbie Farrell/Director of Leadership and Development

Harris Rand Lusk

122 East 42th Street, Suite 3605

New York, NY 10168

Please include a cover letter and resume, and put the words “David Lynch Foundation” in the subject line of your e-mailed application.