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Director of Philanthropy

Company: The Option Institute
Date Posted: April 30, 2018

Seeking an inspired and inspiring leader who sees the dedication of an organization in serving individuals, families, and children with special needs as a significant and meaningful mission to support. As a member of the Institute’s senior leadership team, the Director of Philanthropy will create, execute and evaluate all philanthropy strategies with a donor-centered philosophy to ensure a diverse and sustainable revenue portfolio to support the Institute’s mission.  The Director of Philanthropy also will create and effectively manage the organization’s annual communications and philanthropic plan to build a consistent brand and to develop and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders.

Job Duties:

Create, execute and evaluate the organization’s philanthropy strategy.

In concert with the CEO and Board of Directors create a comprehensive philanthropy strategy and annual operating plan that promotes mission achievement and financial sustainability.

Execute the organization’s philanthropy operating plan to achieve plan goals.  Effectively steward all Institute donors and cultivate new potential partners.  Make donor and potential donor appointments, calls and visits and solicit funds and other resources for the organization.

  • Plan and implement foundation, corporate and individual donor cultivation, stewardship, outreach events & activities.
  • Successfully plan and execute annual Philanthropy Day celebration and/or annual drive.
  • Act as primary staff liaison to board philanthropy advisors and appropriately task and support board and CEO in achieving plan goals.
  • Assist CEO in cultivating new Philanthropically inclined and knowledgeable board members.
  • Maintain a streamlined system for donor, foundation, corporate and potential donor records using in-depth understanding of databases, from the conceptual to the tactical.
  • With Philanthropy Department staff, Program Enrollment, and Marketing support, maintain comprehensive donor records, coordinate funding requests, prep donor materials and maintain efficient development systems.
  • Develop and maintain annual budget as it relates to philanthropy and communications.
  • Lead and inspire staff and board to participate in philanthropic activities.
  • Evaluate philanthropic strategy for the organization. Regularly evaluate philanthropic strategy and operating plan and make strategy recommendations to CEO and Board of Directors based on experience and a deep understanding of the organization’s strategic goals.
  • Create and evaluate annual communications plan for the organization with measurable deliverables.
  •  With support of philanthropy staff and marketing department, execute plan, including production of weekly e-newsletter, updating of website content, marketing special events, managing production of all print/electronic collateral and ads, coordinating all media outreach and social media for the organization, and managing staff working on the plan.
  • Evaluate development plan at least annually and provide regular reports to CEO, Board of Directors and staff.

 Skills Required: 

  • Bachelor’s degree and professional experience in philanthropy required, ideally in a rapidly-evolving institution.
  • Demonstrated ability to build a culture of philanthropy within an organization and to enthusiastically and successfully engage in one-on-one solicitation and ongoing donor stewardship.
  • Comfort and facility with a wide range of philanthropic work, including solicitation and stewardship of individual, foundation and corporate donors, donors and potential donor cultivation and research, grant writing, and special events.
  • A successful track record in executing on strategy, setting priorities, managing multiple projects and working effectively under pressure to achieve individual and organizational goals.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, reliable and flexible; thrives in a fast-paced environment; a driving force who manages toward clarity, finds solutions and is able to think strategically about the organization.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills, an ability to listen to and balance, negotiate and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • A keen and developed visual aesthetic, which contributes to the Institute’s brand management.
  • A consummate team player with a flexible, collaborative and creative approach who can lead from behind and empower teammates to contribute their best delivering excellence with accountability.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, WordPress, donor databases, web-based applications and use of the internet for research required.
  • Keen interest in learning and developing as a professional, staying on top of best practice research.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility and a commitment to the Institute’s mission.


  • Previous successful experience as a Director of Development or similar position preferred.
  • Must have strong business knowledge and experience in a with the ability to provide reports and analysis, develop and implement strategic plans within the context of a larger picture.
  • Skill in planning, organizing, directing and coordinating a wide variety of activities, analyzing data, making sound recommendations and adopting effective causes of action; communicating effectively both in oral and written form.

For consideration, please email your resume to: EOE.