Donor Organizing Summary: Groundswell is committed to cultivating a vibrant and engaged, multiracial and multigenerational community of donors and funders who connect their values to their resources. We believe generosity and intention go hand in hand with the success of the RJ movement and intersectional grassroots organizing. Giving at every level empowers individuals, families, and entire communities to create a better world. Groundswell’s values around authentic and respectful partnerships undergird our relationships with grantees, donors, and funders. Our mission to support grantee organizations as they build their grassroots power mirrors our fundraising mission, supporting the power of our donors through learning about the issues our grantees face and collaborating for greater collective impact and liberation for all people.       

 

Groundswell is embarking on an ambitious donor and funder organizing plan to accomplish our Blueprint goal of moving over $100 million to the field from 2020-2025. By 2025, we aim to increase our donor base to 1,000 people and our annual budget to $25 million. We will increase outreach to new funders and donors  and ask current funders to increase their giving levels to support momentum in this critical moment. We aim to ensure the ongoing stability of our annual revenue and grantmaking capacity despite likely shifts in the larger economic and philanthropic landscapes. To remain on target with our Blueprint goals and our key function in the field, Groundswell must continue cultivating, stewarding, and retaining existing and new income and revenue sources. 

 

Position Summary: The Donor Relations Director (DRD) is a new position, previously combined with communications as a joint role. The DRD will work closely with the Chief Development Officer, Director of Funder Organizing, and the Communications Director to raise an annual budget of $28 million for both Groundswell’s 501c3 and 501c4. The DRD is specifically responsible for creating and implementing a strategy for sustained and increased revenue from individual donors, focusing on improving retention, enhancing communication, and deepening relationships. This position will also directly oversee a portfolio of donors making $100k or more gifts. The DRD reports to the Chief Development Officer and supervises the Donor Relations Manager and Donor Relations Assistant. 

 

The ideal candidate for this role is a dynamic, highly motivated leader with strong managerial skills and a background in philanthropy. They value building personal relationships with donors and understand the importance of high retention and conversion rates among supporters. The future DRD will also be a strategic thinker who excels at crafting plans to achieve organizational goals and creating accountability systems for tracking progress. To thrive in this position, the person we hire must be passionate about grassroots organizing for reproductive and social justice and eager to think creatively about how to find new, sustainable resources to fund work led by women of color. 

 

Responsibilities: 

Organizational Leadership and Team Management: 

  • Direct Groundswell’s individual giving strategy consistent with the organization’s 2020-2025 Blueprint 

  • Develop short- and long-range plans, consistent with best practices, that support the organization’s goals around individual giving, including strategies, tasks, benchmarks, and evaluation metrics 

  • Create engagement plans for individual major donors and prospects as well as segments of lower-dollar supporters 

  • Supervise and be a thought partner to the Donor Relations Manager and the Donor Relations Assistant; oversee the development and implementation of staff workplans, managing workflow and tracking progress to goals; inspire a high-performing culture of growth for direct reports 

  • Work closely with the CDO to set annual revenue goals for individual giving; monitor progress and adjust plans as needed to meet goals 

  • Monitor revenue and expenses related to Donor Organizing  

  • With other directors, monitor trends and changes in philanthropic giving; help position the organization ahead of the curve 

  • With other directors, foster strong communication, cohesion, and morale across the organization  

  • With other directors, monitor 2020-2025 Blueprint progress to ensure goals are met and respond to organizational needs 

 

Fundraising and Relationship Building:  

  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of high-dollar donors and prospects 

  • Refine the organization’s stewardship plan in order to build stronger relationships with supporters, recognizing their contributions and deepening their commitment and connection to Groundswell 

  • Cultivate new donor partners with the goal of growing the percentage of revenue raised from individuals 

  • Develop a formal process and systems for identifying, researching, and screening new prospects 

  • Represent Groundswell at meetings with key supporters and stakeholders 

  • Help with the design and execution of traditional fundraising events as well as innovative hybrid experiences for engagement  

  • Plan and execute annual fund campaigns, stewardship communications, and other regular donor contacts 

 

Systems and Infrastructure:  

  • Establish performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of the organization’s donor program 

  • Produce assessments, analyses, reports, and projections for monitoring progress to goals throughout the year  

  • Refine procedures, processes, and systems to support donor giving and engagement 

  • Monitor CRM for data integrity, working with the team to ensure funder information is current and well organized; oversee reporting, tracking, acknowledgments, and other donor correspondence 

 

Qualifications: 

 Essential: 

  • At least ten years experience working in development; six to seven years at the director level, managing staff and consultants 

  • Strong supervision skills with proven results coaching staff and building a team’s performance capacity 

  • Proven track record securing 6-figure donations from individuals 

  • Knowledge and experience with annual giving, special events, major donor programs, and planned gifts 

  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance of relationship-based connections with supporters 

  • Experience deepening donor relationships and developing new connections through cultivation and stewardship 

  • Impeccable judgment and discretion in dealing with sensitive and confidential information 

 

Strongly Preferred: 

  • Experience using a race, class, gender, and decolonization lens in communications 

  • Experience working at social justice or philanthropic organizations 

  • Experience being part of a senior-level leadership team  

  • Experience translating vision into concrete goals with actionable project plans 

  • Ability to create powerful, compelling donor communications and convey complex concepts in an accessible way 

  • Detail-oriented without losing sight of the broader vision 

  • Adaptable, flexible, and willing to grow with the needs of the organization  

  • Ability to work gracefully under pressure and handle competing priorities in a fast-paced environment  

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills   

  • Ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds  

  • Fluency in spoken English and written English  

  • Demonstrated commitment to Groundswell’s mission, vision, and values  

 

Preferred:  

  • Strong public speaking skills and experience serving as an organizational ambassador 

  • Excellent team building and facilitation skills 

  • Familiarity with reproductive/gender justice 

  • Experience working at a fully remote organization 

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team with members across several time zones 

 

Virtual Organization: Groundswell is a completely virtual organization and has been for many years before the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to building a strong identity and thriving culture that is exemplary in the nonprofit world and in the greater landscape of fully remote organizations.  To succeed as remote workers, applicants should have a dedicated workspace, a commitment to clear and frequent communication, and comfort utilizing technology to increase collaboration and connection. Those with previous remote work experience are preferred, but we also welcome those who are new to remote work and understand the requirements of working in a thriving virtual organizational culture. When travel is safe again, we will have the opportunity to travel and see each other in person for retreats, conferences, and events; but until then, all our work is virtual. 

 

Work Schedule: Groundswell is a completely virtual organization, allowing for flexibility in work schedules for our staff across differing U.S. time zones. While work can usually be completed during standard business hours of the applicant's time zone, there may be times where early morning, evening, and weekend work may be needed to ensure organization-wide collaboration, to staff or attend events, and/or to meet organization workload needs during busy times of the year. When travel is possible again, staff whose jobs require travel can expect longer hours, as travel may happen outside of business hours and on weekends.      

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and at least two writing examples of development-related content that you have personally written. Acceptable writing examples: Email or direct mail appeal; Concept note, LOI, grant proposal, and/or report; Marketing materials like one-pagers, brochures, or postcards; Boilerplate content and/or templates; Prospect research conducted for foundation support; Correspondence to a foundation and/or donor; Agenda and/or talking points for a foundation site visit or donor meeting; Protocols for the grantwriting process.  

Please make sure your cover letter includes your salary expectations and describes why you feel you are a strong candidate and that your writing examples have minimal input from other sources. Estimated start date for this position is March 2024. No phone calls, please. Due to the high volume of applications, only those selected for further discussion will be contacted.  

Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should have an openness to learning and working with technology, including Microsoft Office 365 and suite of programs, Gsuite, web browsers, Slack, Asana, Excel, CRM database software, web browsers, social media, the basics of conferencing software and Zoom.   

 

Travel: Candidate must be available to travel ​at least 8-10 times a year​ for overnight events/meetings across the U.S. Travel needs will be evaluated and determined on an ongoing basis with an eye toward staff safety as we continue navigating COVID-19.