Director of Development and Advancement

Relief International
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 04

Position description

Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 20 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.

Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships, and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them. 

Position Summary:

Relief International is seeking an energetic Director of Development and Advancement to build the organization’s unrestricted income stream. A first at RI, this dynamic position will entail designing and executing a comprehensive development strategy that includes donor acquisition and conversion, major gifts prospecting and cultivation of corporate and foundation funding, and building the team to succeed. The successful candidate will have a proven record with cutting-edge digital strategies, major gifts cultivation and winning corporate/foundation grants.

The individual giving strategy must cultivate and inspire support from individual donors, small and large, in the US and UK. The position will also provide support for select foundation and corporate fundraising efforts, though not as a first priority. The Director of Development and Advancement will report to the CEO and manage a Communications Manager and a Communications and Philanthropy Officer. This position also engages and supports the Advancement Committee of the Board of Directors, and will engage senior members of staff on special fundraising initiatives.


Develop Fundraising and Advancement Strategy

  • Work with select board members and the CEO to design and execute a dynamic, comprehensive philanthropy strategy to grow RI’s unrestricted revenue. The strategy will target online donors, major gift prospects and foundations.
  • Provide regular, consistent and transparent progress reports to the CEO and Board of Directors, as well as other key stakeholders.

Drive Implementation

  • Work with the CEO, Senior Management Team, Communications and Philanthropy team and other relevant parties to implement effective strategies to achieve revenue goals, engagement targets, and other key metrics.
    • Grow, manage and maintain donor lists.
    • Manage and promote online donations through RI website and social media.
    • Support and communicate with new, individual, high net worth donors, directly and through their associated foundations.
    • Create, organize and manage fundraising campaigns, online and in person. 
  • Conduct prospect research, outreach, and necessary follow up activities to cultivate major gift donors in the US and UK.
  • Lead and manage creative development and strategy for digital marketing and social media. This position will be responsible for maximizing revenue on digital platforms and social media outlets.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with donors and prospective donors
  • Manage a calendar of donor and special events designed to cultivate and steward donors, as prioritized by the strategy.
  • Manage the development of concept papers and project proposals for small to mid-sized foundations.
  • Provide direct support for foundation-related fundraising in the event of an emergency to which Relief International responds.

Engage RI staff and supporters in fundraising

  • Maximize the engagement of the CEO and board members in achieving fundraising goals.
  • Build a fundraising team to achieve the strategy.
  • Maintain regular communication with relevant departments to ensure the efficient coordination of foundation and major gift fundraising efforts.
  • Work with Communications Manager to create appropriate fundraising materials.                                                      

Ensure Proper Data Management and Compliance

  • Track and maintain reporting for online donations, major gifts and grants in accordance with RI policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that RI complies with all relevant board policies, i.e.: Gift Acceptance Policy; and that it adheres to the Guidelines, Codes, Standards, i.e.: humanitarian principles, the Association of Fundraising Executives Code of Ethical Standards and its Donor Bill of Rights, the United Kingdom Code of Fundraising Practice, etc. 

Advance RI through Communications and Representation

  • Coordinate with CEO on priorities for the Communication function and align communication initiatives with fundraising ones.
  • Represent RI in necessary meetings, conferences, and other fora, as delegated.


This position requires a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment. 

Fundraising Skills

  • Seven-ten years of demonstrated success working with all elements of fundraising: major gifts, direct campaigns, online marketing, including social media, web-based giving, and donor and prospect database management.
  • Adept at using social media for fundraising, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Ability to engage individuals (prospects, donors, key contacts) with the organization and its leadership to inspire and deepen their support.
  • A proven track record of raising funds and building relationships in the international non-profit environment (preferred).
  • Training and experience in development and use of information management systems and techniques. 
  • Highest level of discretion and confidentiality with sensitive donor information.                                                                                                                                                                 

 Communications Skills

  • Excellent communication and representation skills with proven ability to tell a compelling story.
  • Excellent writing skills with proposal development experience (preferred). ‚Äč                                                  

Management and Teamwork Skills

  • Experience working with senior level executives and board members.
  • A proven track record in a comparable senior and supervisory position. 
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.

General background and skills

  • A Bachelor/Masters Degree in Business, Marketing, International Relations or a related field. 
  • A demonstrated self-starter with a resourceful and entrepreneurial spirit capable of managing a team that will strengthen RI’s fundraising program.
  • Previous experience working with a humanitarian organization (preferred).
  • Ability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

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