Director, Leadership Engagement

International Rescue Committee
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 27

Position description

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

Job Overview/Summary: The Development Team is responsible for fundraising major gifts ($10K plus) from individuals, corporations, and foundations, as well as securing legacy gifts from individual donors, working with the IRC volunteer Board and Overseers, and hosting the Rescue Dinner, a signature fundraising event that raises over $15 million annually.The Development team has been very successful, with the team goal increasing 20% year over year, and yet reaching these ambitious targets.

A vital position within Development, the Director, Leadership Engagement is responsible for directing and managing the fundraising for the Rescue Dinner. The dinner is a significant source of unrestricted funds, as well as an important engagement tool for principal donors and a primary engagement and fundraising mechanism for Board Members and Overseers. Rescue Dinner donors require strategic stewardship throughout the year, give to multiple programs and events, and are assigned to major gift portfolios. As such, the director needs to have a superior understanding of the New York philanthropic scene; be able to interact with key donors, including Board Members; craft donor strategy to include the Rescue Dinner as appropriate; oversee the dev elopment of proposals, reports, personal communications, and correspondence from senior staff and Board Members; and advise on and monitor donor information, necessary reports and data integrity of the donor base. Critical to this position is a thorough understanding of major gifts fundraising – prospect pipeline development, collaborative management of donors, developing multiple cultivation opportunities, etc. The position requires a true team player who feels the greatest success is the team’s success.

Additionally, the director will manage a program of cultivation and fundraising Rescue Events (above and beyond the dinner) in New York City to support the Rescue Dinner as well as larger donor strategies. The director will need to be able to work within a large, dynamic team structure and in very close collaboration with the Vice President of Development. Reporting directly t o the director is a full team comprising of a coordinator, manager and associate.


Major Responsibilities:

1. Manage and direct the fundraising for the Rescue Dinner, a $15 million annual fundraising program and critical source of IRC prospective donors.

2. Work closely with Board co-chairs, IRC President and organizational leadership, to acquire, cultivate, and steward a portfolio of donors for the Rescue Dinner, and beyond.

3. Execute a portfolio of Rescue Events as engagement points to cultivate prospective, major and principal-level donors throughout the year; these are highly-sophisticated events ranging from 10 to 200 attendees and appeal to the highest-level of prospects in New York City.

4. Creatively draw on experience and relationship- building savvy to make connections, and develop engagement opportunities for donors and prospects at the highest levels to encourage their participation in the Rescue Dinner and Rescue Events.

5. Develop solicitation strategies for leadership level donors in collaboration with Board co-chairs, IRC President and organizational leadership, as needed.

6. Develop follow-up strategies to maximize engagement opportunities to their fullest extent to deepen donor relationships and to identify and cultivate prospects.

7. Develop effective working relationships with program staff and relevant colleagues across the organization to create compelling cases for philanthropic investment.

8. Utilize the organization’s database, Salesforce, for information management including comprehensive data capturing, accurate and empoweri ng donor reporting, and exacting financial reporting for project management purposes and reporting out to Senior Leadership.

9. Supervisea coordinator, manager, and associate.

10. Effectively serve as a leader and a coach to the Donor Engagement Team, inspiring the highest quality of work, running strategic operations, and guiding professional growth.


Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Vice President, Development

Position directly supervises: Coordinator, Rescue Dinner; Account Manager,

Leadership Engagement; Associate, Rescue Dinner

Indirect Reporting: Senior Director, Leadership Gifts

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal: Represent the unit in departmental and organizational meetings when Senior Director, LG and Vice President, Development is absent. Works closely with Senior Leadership to move forward donor and prospect relationships. Works closely with Research, Operations, and Salesforce.


Education: Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Work Experience: 8 – 10 years of progressive non-profit fundraising experience and demonstrated expertise in major gifts and planned giving fundraising.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

Excellent oral and written communication skills, effective management skills, solid organizational skills, ability to work independently, ability to multi-task in response to shifting priorities, solid computer skills.

Travel required to accompany LG officers and senior staff on donor visits. Occasional international travel required to see IRC programs.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Application instructions

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