Development Director

Position Overview:

We seek an experienced Development Director to work with VHW’s co-founders to expand our support base. Under the general supervision of the COO, the Development Director is responsible for managing all initiatives to strengthen the base of individual support to sustain VHW’s operations and long-term stability, including but not limited to annual and major gifts, special events, constituency building, and staff and fiscal management. The Development Director (DD) will provide leadership, strategic direction, management, and coordination for VHW fundraising efforts.

The DD will: create fundraising strategies that increase the organization's support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other sources; administer and implement all fundraising activities of VHW; play a key role in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors for capital and annual gifts; work in close collaboration with staff and key volunteer leadership to achieve the fundraising goals of the organization; supervise staff and volunteers involved with development.


Under the direction of VHW leadership, the DD:

  • Coordinates and manages a portfolio of prospective and existing donors, developing and executing individualized, strategic, and efficient prospect plans;
  • Schedules, scripts, and leads donor visits and other individualized contact with prospects, considering optimal mix of volunteers and staff to involve;
  • Guides staff and board in cultivation and solicitation activity;
  • Coordinates with other staff on gift accounting and gift acknowledgment procedures for higher level gifts; 
  • Coordinates with staff and the finance team to ensure timely, accurate recording in the donor management system;   
  • Manages the development effort in a fiscally sound manner by ensuring that the appropriate systems, staffing and procedures are in place to support fundraising goals;
  • Develops persuasive proposals and reports to individual donors and family foundations, meeting all deadlines;
  • Mentors and potentially manages junior staff members and volunteers with the goal to encourage a culture where all personnel are involved with fundraising;
  • Analyzes the results of the fundraising activities and provides comprehensive analysis and detailed reports of the department's programs;
  • Actively promotes the development of philanthropic support for VHW in New York City and throughout the United States, as well as among a wide variety of constituencies and stakeholders;
  • Consults with the Board Development Committee and the rest of the leadership in the development of all fundraising programs and, in particular, all internal and external communications and promotions supporting fundraising programs;
  • Prepares and/or oversees direct mail letters, case statements, grants, brochures, and sponsorship proposals required to support fundraising efforts;
  • Develops annual fundraising plan in collaboration with Leadership team for presentation to the Board of Directors;
  • Coordinates donor patron receptions and events;
  • Works flexible hours including some evenings and weekends as needed to provide better donor service;
  • Demonstrates trustworthy, respectful, and compassionate behavior appropriate for this social justice organization;
  • Upholds professional ethical standards of fundraising, as per Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics.


  • Outstanding personal and written communication skills;
  • Strong analytical and planning skills;
  • Ability to motivate individuals and groups;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including board and staff members, donors, and foundation and civic leaders;
  • Successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting donors;
  • Adept at planning, prioritizing, multi-tasking, organizing and following through while remaining energetic and focused;
  • Ability to work with little direct supervision;
  • A team builder with strong skills in leadership;
  • A record of measurable results in organizing and implementing such activities as major gifts, annual gifts, grant writing, corporate and foundation giving, direct mail and special events.

Experience Required:

  • Development or related experience in an organization with a reputation for quality and excellence;
  • Writing skills with a preference for experience in writing compelling proposals;
  • Experience using donor tracking or client management systems;
  • Experience working in a team and in a hands-on environment with limited resources;
  • Experience managing complex projects and multiple tasks with thorough attention to detail and follow-through;
  • Familiarity with and passion for social justice issues strongly preferred;
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Willingness to travel both domestically and internationally;
  • Knowledge of French recommended.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Second Annual Napa Valley Charity Dinner

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Ma(i)sonry
    7911 Washington Street
    Yountville, CA 94599
    Reception: 6:00 pm
    Dinner: 7:00 pm Donation: $500 per person Featuring the culinary creations of executive chef Charles Phan, 2014 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant in the U.S. & Napa Valley wines from acclaimed vintner, Heidi Barrett. For reservations please contact:
    Ashlee Hallengren
    Phone: (707) 251-9300
    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. To read more about this event click here.

  2. Justin Siena High School, Napa Valley

    Justin Siena, Napa, CA Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:15 am Registration Clark Gym Tickets: $15 | Purchase Online For more information about this public event with VHW Founder & CEO Deo Niyizonkiza and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder, please visit Justin Siena.