Business Development Director (VOW)

Organization Summary

Voice of Witness (VOW) is an award-winning, San Francisco-based nonprofit that advances human rights by amplifying unheard voices. Through our oral history book series and education program, we center the voices of people impacted by injustice, teach our ethics-driven oral history methodology, and partner with human rights advocates to:

  • build agency within marginalized communities,
  • foster thoughtful, empathy-based critical inquiry and understanding of the issues faced by marginalized peoples, and
  • inform efforts to protect and advance human rights.

For over ten years, VOW has illuminated human rights issues in the U.S. and globally. Our oral history book series amplifies the voices of people impacted by the criminal justice system, migration, and displacement. Our education program serves over 20,000 people annually, and we provide oral history training to other nonprofits as well as to educators, advocates, writers, and journalists.

Now in our 10th year as a nonprofit, VOW has seen significant programming and fundraising growth—this is a result of our new strategic vision plan that places deeper emphasis on centering marginalized voices at every level of our work. VOW has been recognized with a Human Rights Educator Award and a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Social Progress. We currently partner with regional and international partners including Sojourn to the Past, the Global Brain Health Initiative, and Aesop.

This is a great opportunity for a proactive, strategic, and proven leader with excellent business development and fundraising skills to join our dynamic organization at this exciting stage of our work.

Voice of Witness was cofounded by authors Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok, and physician Lola Vollen. For more information, visit

Position Overview

Details: Part Time, 20-25 hours/week, Non-Exempt, Salaried

Salary range: (90k-112k pro rated) DOE

Benefits: Medical, Vision, Dental and generous vacation time, pro rated

Start date: July 1st, 2019

We’re looking for a strategic and innovative thought partner to the Executive Director,  Education Program Director, and Finance Committee to explore new revenue-generating strategies with us during this exciting time for our organization. In the role of Business Development Director, you will work primarily with the Executive Director and Education Director on VOW's business model. This will include exploring the landscape of opportunities to grow VOW’s work while maintaining its relevancy, and corresponding staff capacity and financial sustainability needs. You will design and oversee the execution of a comprehensive business development strategy across all revenue streams (both earned and contributed), and specifically new external opportunities and partnerships. You will also partner with the Education Director to acquire a deep understanding of VOW’s practice and purpose, enabling you to find strategic opportunities to grow our work with our partners and community that are based on our core values of equity, integrity, and empathy.

This position is located in our San Francisco office and reports directly to the Executive Director. The Business Development Director will also provide high-level strategic support and guidance to a development team that currently consists of a Donor Relationship Manager and a Communications and Outreach Manager (grants), with the addition of a Development Assistant this summer. The Business Development Director will be responsible for the development target of $200,000 in new annual revenue.

If you believe strongly in our mission and would like to help us grow as an organization, please consider joining our small yet mighty team.

Primary Responsibilities

Business Development & Sustainability

  • Create (in collaboration with VOW leadership), direct, implement, and assess 1-3 year annual business development plan to ensure more than $200,000 in new, unrestricted revenue is generated annually.
  • Identify, cultivate, and deliver new revenue from a diverse base of supporters and partners (corporations, foundations, individuals, consultancy clients, etc) 
  • Manage a portfolio of up to 30 supporters (steward to foundations and donors, and contract lead on consulting contracts)
  • Maintain accurate supporter notes and correspondence.
  • Work with Education Director and development staff on developing responses to RFPs, new proposals, and reports
  • Host program visits and other engagement opportunities for new relationships in the philanthropic/corporate etc community.

Board, Staff Partnership & Development

  • Serve as strategic thought partner to Executive Director, Education Director, and Finance Committee
  • Develop and provide oversight of an innovative and mission-aligned corporate sponsorship strategy.
  • Collaborate with staff and board to cultivate, develop, and mobilize the VOW network (stakeholders, volunteers, donors, Fellows, etc.)

Qualifications and Experience

  • 5+ years' fundraising and development experience with proven track record of success in developing revenue strategies with a finance committee, accountability for business development models, and leading revenue generation efforts, including securing significant new business, grants, individual gifts, corporate sponsorship, etc
  • Prior experience in grants management and grant writing a plus
  • Excellent organizational and prioritization skills; able to manage and deliver on multiple assignments under tight deadlines
  • Highly organized, ability to multitask, meet deadlines, and flexibility to adapt to the work environment
  • Exemplary project management skills; excellent time-management, detail-oriented, requires minimal direction
  • Tech competent: proficiency with CRM systems and online social networks
  • Strong verbal and written skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Discretion handling confidential funder and financial information
  • Experience as a collaborative and innovative leader, with an understanding of strength-based organizational culture, passionate about VOW’s mission and committed to human rights, education, and storytelling
  • Prior experience working within social justice/human rights, education, and/or literary organizations preferred.
  • Comfortable working in a creative, collegial environment.
  • Master’s in Business, Non-Profit Management, Marketing or related field a plus


Qualified applicants may apply by emailing the following by May 30th, 2019, 5pm PST:

  • a one-page cover letter
  • a brief resume
  • 3-5 work samples (with summary notes) that demonstrate your relevant experience to [email protected]
  • 3 references will be requested

Please write “BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR - (YOUR LAST NAME)” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls or follow up emails. Only candidates whose qualifications best meet the needs of the job will be contacted.


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