Director of Philanthropic Engagement (NELP)

Director of Philanthropic Engagement

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a highly motivated Director of Philanthropic Engagement to oversee all fundraising strategy in partnership with dedicated staff. Our mission of fighting for workers and their families to achieve and sustain economic security, opportunity, and prosperity is more important in this moment than ever before. This is an exciting opportunity for a Director aligned with our strategic priorities of dismantling structural racism and building worker power to strengthen our organizational capacity through fundraising.

About National Employment Law Project

NELP is a national nonprofit advocacy organization with offices in New York, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, with the core goals of building worker power, dismantling structural racism, and addressing economic inequality. We promote federal, state, and local policies to create good jobs, strengthen workers’ upward mobility, enforce worker rights, and improve benefits and services for unemployed workers. In collaboration with national and grassroots partners, NELP advances its work through research, advocacy, litigation support, and technical assistance designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, strengthen unemployment insurance, ensure employer accountability for workers in contract employment, encourage fair chance employment practices, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy. For more information, see

What You Will Do

The Director of Philanthropic Engagement will work in partnership with our Executive Director to develop and successfully execute the fundraising strategy to sustainably reach the revenue goals of more than $10 million annually. The Director of Philanthropic Engagement will report to the Executive Director and will be a member of the management team, which develops and implements the overall organizational vision and strategy and models our core values. The Director will collaborate with program leadership to ensure the fundraising strategy is amplifying the programmatic vision of centering racial equity. Equally important will be developing, coaching, and providing direct supervision to a team of dedicated staff including a Development Manager and Development Associate, and any contracted consultants.

Your responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • You will strategize and coordinate staff engagement in fundraising initiatives, driving an inspiring and motivating culture of philanthropy. As needed, you will coach staff in donor engagement and effective proposal and presentation preparation.
  • Your approach to building relationships with funders will be inclusive and strategic. You will effectively and efficiently engage members of the management team and programmatic staff in donor cultivation, proposal development and reporting.
  • You will develop, manage and regularly report progress against the fundraising plan. Your plan will include cultivation and funder relationship management strategies and campaigns for foundations as well as other institutional funders and individuals. You will use the existing tools or direct the creation of new tools for managing donor engagement, communications, priorities and deadlines. The development team will work closely with the finance team on revenue forecasting and tracking as well as grant budget management and reporting.
  • You will work with the leadership team to actively contribute to NELP becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies our values.
  • You will develop, coach, and empower staff to grow professionally fostering a sense of purpose and strong collaboration.
  • You will lead a partnership between your development team, the communications team and our program staff to develop and execute a communications strategy directed toward current and potential donors, raising our visibility and keeping these key stakeholders informed.
  • You will work closely with our Executive Director to actively engage the board and build board support, including new board member cultivation and onboarding. When appropriate, you will engage board members in new donor identification and cultivation initiatives.

Who You Are

  • You are committed to social justice. You have at least 10 years of experience advancing racial equity, workers’ rights, or economic justice.
  • You have played a substantive role in an organization’s fundraising initiatives although you may not have previously had a development position. You have experience working with foundation program officers and have led or contributed to proposal development and grant reports.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies. You center your role in an analysis and understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture and are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing; you foster a feedback culture and manage constructively across lines of difference.
  • You are a leader. You embrace and lead through modeling adaptability and have a high level of awareness on how change impacts others. You will help others implement new behaviors and seek out ways to sustain change through organizational culture, processes, and structures.
  • You are a team leader. You understand success is dependent on cultivating a strong team dynamic, coaching, setting clear team priorities and strategies, and ensuring your team members can perform at their best.
  • You are a project manager. Your key strengths include a deep understanding of how to manage complex projects and campaigns while building sustainable and productive relationships with key stakeholders.
  • You enjoy the challenge of finding a compelling fit between your organization’s mission and priorities and a potential funder or ally’s interests and priorities. You are highly curious and skilled at unpacking partner organization’s missions and values statements or an individual donor’s stated priorities to find common ground.
  • You are skilled in both the art and the science of relationship management. You use a set of tools, including databases and reports, to track and build relationships with key allies, partners and stakeholders.
  • You are a skilled storyteller. You can take very complex concepts and relate them to others, either orally or in writing, in compelling and digestible ways.
  • You have a high comfort level working with numbers. You have experience in developing forecasts and managing budgets.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits: 

This full-time exempt position will be based in Washington D.C. or New York City. The start date will be as soon as possible. The salary range for the Director of Philanthropic Engagement is $130,000-$145,000 depending upon degree and years of leadership experience. Compensation also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full-coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, contribution from employer to a retirement plan, and a student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants.

To apply:

Through our online database, submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references to, choosing the “Director of Philanthropic Engagement” option under position. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to [email protected], noting “Director of Philanthropic Engagement” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Applications due by July 31, 2020.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.   



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