Development Manager (EJG)

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming people, elders, and young people. After five years of year-over-year organizational growth, we are looking to increase our fundraising capacity to catalyze the accessibility of our program to reach 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy. We are seeking an accomplished and values-aligned Development Manager to join our team.

The Development Manager is a clear and persuasive writer who relishes the opportunity to uplift meaningful movement work to philanthropic partners, enjoys thinking empathetically about audiences, and is above all motivated by a deep belief in the leadership development and liberation strategies of directly impacted people. A perceptive and careful listener, the Development Manager is adept at identifying big and small opportunities to strengthen connections between our supporters and our organizing and advocacy work. The ideal person in this role is an experienced manager of institutional funding relationships and is also excited by the opportunity to be involved in a variety of development projects including collaborations with influencers, creatives, and elected officials. In 2019, in addition to managing grants, individual donor engagement, and coordination of Essie’s Board of Directors day to day, the Development Manager will co-lead the planning of Essie’s five year anniversary benefit celebration and help create a multi-year fundraising strategy to support Essie’s three to five year campaign and organizing vision.

Core Responsibilities

Institutional Grants Management

  • Articulate our organizational accomplishments and aspirations in grant applications and reports.
  • Manage all deadlines and workflows for LOIs, grant applications, and reports including internal deadlines for collection of information from other staff ensuring on-time submission and high rate of successful funding requests.
  • Evaluate and recommend new funding opportunities in alignment with Essie’s strategic priorities and programmatic work.
  • Manage Grant Writer and up to one intern.

Philanthropic Relationship Management

  • Establish and maintain relationship management systems that increase our capacity to attract, develop, and maintain meaningful relationships with grant partners and philanthropists.
  • Prepare materials to communicate with supporters including thank you letters, event reports, and annual reports.
  • Plan and coordinate creative, strategic, and meaningful fundraising events and activities including management of project timelines, logistics, guest lists, materials, and programming.
  • Create and update supporter appreciation content on our website.
  • Maintain all donor and fundraising digital and hardcopy files, including utilizing Essie’s Salesforce instance.

Strategy Development & Board of Directors Coordination

  • Participate in the development of fundraising strategy by providing reports, insights, and strategic thinking.
  • Research viability of new fundraising tactics and strategies in preparation for development of multiyear fundraising including grassroots fundraising.
  • Assist the Founder & Executive Director in coordinating the Board of Directors including scheduling and preparing materials for meetings, preparing quarterly fundraising updates, and supporting Board engagement in program, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Who We’re Looking For

 Ideal Qualifications

  • 5+ years of relevant fundraising experience including grant writing and management, individual donor engagement, and event planning.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including ability to translate complex issues and multiple programs into cohesive funding proposals.
  • Experience preparing non-profit budgets for funding applications including applications for purpose-restricted funds and lobbying.
  • Experience evaluating and recommending foundation funding opportunities that align with organizational strategic priorities.
  • Experience planning fundraising events.
  • Experience writing and preparing personalized funder communication materials (e.g., thank you letters, reports, invitations).
  • Impeccable organization skills and ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines.


  • A uniquely skilled advocate. You are someone who uses your highly developed sense of empathy to tap into the root of people’s desire to improve the material conditions of others, and can translate that insight into an invitation to contribute to a cause. Because of your belief that everyone benefits from the type of future for which our membership fights, you are able to find ways to make meaningful connections to our work for individuals who may not have had any direct experience with poverty, incarceration, or race, gender, or heteronormative bias. You hold central the humanity of funders and donors, while carrying a healthy dose of awareness of the complexities of approaching philanthropy to fund movement work.  
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Values people, process, and results. You are an exceptionally hard worker. You thrive in inspiring environments in which stuff gets done with speed, great impact, and focus.
  • Discernment we can trust. You are a thoughtful communicator who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The Development Manager is a full-time exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Strategy. The salary for this position is between $72,000 - $74,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is not remote, and is based either in Oakland or Los Angeles,California.

 To Apply

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people. We welcome applicants who thrive in the pursuit of social justice.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history or any other characteristic protected by law.


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