Director, Development and Partnerships

Title: Director, Development and Partnerships

Report to: Senior Vice President, Development and Partnerships

FLSA Status: Exempt

Salary Range: $85,000-$88,000

Location: New York (preference), Oakland (second choice)

Tentative Start Date: January 2020


About Race Forward

Race Forward's mission is to build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information, and experiences.  We define racial justice as the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.  We work to advance racial justice through media, research, and leadership development.

Since 1981, Race Forward has brought a systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity.  In 2017 Race Forward united with the Center for Social Inclusion to become the new Race Forward.  With increased capacity as a joined organization, Race Forward catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all.

Position Summary

Director of Development and Partnerships is a critical position that will help execute the vision and growth of Race Forward, while raising the organization’s profile nationally, in pursuit of high-value partnerships with donors and sponsors. These partnerships will yield revenue and expand awareness of Race Forward across sectors. The position requires a strategic thinker, synthesizer, and consummate networker who is able to ignite enthusiasm and inspire people to support our cause to advance racial equity. This person will understand the Race Forward mission and strategy and will communicate effectively—internally and externally. The Director of Development and Partnerships reports directly to the Sr. Vice President of Development and Partnerships, and will partner closely with the entire Development team, and the Leadership, Program, and Finance teams. This position is located in Race Forward’s New York City or Oakland office. This is not a remote position.


A competitive applicant will possess a deep commitment to and understanding of current racial justice issues. This is a unique opportunity for a talented fundraiser to help put racial equity into practice.


Duties and Responsibilities


  • Develop and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies for a portfolio of individual donors and sponsors; 
  • Evaluate gift opportunities and giving vehicles and their alignment for donors;
  • Develop, write, and present proposals to individual donors and sponsors;
  • Execute fundraising and donor cultivation events;
  • Use sophisticated prospect research techniques to identify new donors, increase giving of current donors, and overall, help grow funds;
  • Develop and execute a successful digital fundraising strategy, partnering with the Colorlines and Communications teams;
  • Supervise Development Associate;
  • Collaborate effectively with Offices of the President and Finance and Administration, as well as Communications and Program teams.


Qualifications and Experience


  • 10-15 years of professional work experience, including experience working with major donors, with results in new partnerships and gifts, including successful solicitation of six-figure donations.
  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge of and commitment to racial justice funding and organizing. Direct racial justice organizing experience preferred.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication, with the ability to edit others’ work and to write and speak in clear and compelling ways. Ability to translate program language into powerful and persuasive arguments for funding.
  • Demonstrated experience writing statements of support, letters, emails, social media, and other collateral that result in donations.
  • Experience with strategic and annual planning, budgeting, project management, and system creation.
  • Excellent interpersonal, team, and negotiation skills.
  • Skilled at establishing and maintaining effective working relationships, including the ability to communicate effectively and lead, influence, and collaborate with colleagues in a multi-racial, multi-generational work environment.
  • Strong ability to work closely with others in a small office environment;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Strong communication skills, written and oral;
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality;
  • Ability to produce high-quality work under tight,

    external deadlines and to set and manage own deadlines;
  • Ability to self-start and multi-task effectively;
  • Competent in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and customer/supporter relationship management tools; extensive knowledge of Salesforce a plus.


Additional Information

  • This position requires long periods of time at a desk on a computer and may require time outside of normal business hours.

 How to Apply

Submit a cover letter, resume and references to with the subject: Director of Development and Partnerships

EEO Statement


Race Forward provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.