Senior Director of Development and Partnerships

Race Forward (founded 1981) and Center for Social Inclusion (founded 2002) – both cornerstones of the movement for racial equity – merged in 2017 to form the new Race Forward. Separately, and sometimes together, our work has shifted racial discourse and practice among hundreds of thousands of people in government, philanthropy, journalism, and advocacy organizations over the last 36 years. As Race Forward and CSI combine forces, all of our work continues to align with both CSI’s and Race Forward’s missions to bring systemic analysis and an innovative approach to help people and organizations take effective action toward racial equity.

Race Forward is the largest multi-racial racial justice organization in the country, as measured by the number of staff, extent of reach, and clarity of focus—leading with and centering of racial equity. The new Race Forward is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlinesand presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice. We work with communities of color and across public and private sectors to advance an inclusive multi-racial democracy. 


Senior 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 foundations and donors. These partnerships will yield revenue and expand awareness of Race Forward across sectors, with a focus on the philanthropic sector. 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 Senior 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 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.


Institutional Giving- 65%

  • Lead the development of long- and short-term institutional fundraising strategies with executive team for operating, capital, reserve, and special initiatives
  • Collaborate with Senior Vice President of Development and Partnerships and Race Forward President to cultivate and steward institutional foundation relationships in support of Race Forward’s activities
  • Partner with SVP to raise the annual and multi-year budget, including reserves, in consultation with the Executive Team, Board, and Program Directors.
  • Customize key external case statements, proposals, reports, concept papers, letters of intent, presentations, and other required proposal-related materials, in whatever format is best suited for requests
  • Work with Impact Planning and Evaluation and Program teams to integrate objectives/outcomes into grant proposals
  • Ensure grant reporting and follow-up to keep grantors engaged and informed
  • Manage Grant writer/Grants Manager and Development Associate 
  • Research new public and private institutional funding opportunities to advance strategic program goals and increase revenue, building an 2-5 year pipeline of funding
  • Work with Board of Directors and other key Race Forward partners and donors to make connections with prospective institutional funders

General and systems 20%

  • Oversee organization of foundation cultivation and prospect identification systems
  • Oversee maintenance of existing fundraising systems, including reporting, prospect lists, development calendar, year-to-date, and related functions
  • Work closely with team to identify, implement and maintain inter- and intra-departmental systems that support a highly efficient, rapid response-focused Development and Partnerships Department
  • Support success within the department including structure, operations, vision, and values
  • Participate in programmatic events to define and enhance fundraising potential
  • Lead special projects as needed

Individual Giving 10%

  • Partner with Senior Vice President of Development and Partnerships to develop and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies for a portfolio of individual donors and prospects
  • Partner with SVP to evaluate gift opportunities and giving vehicles and their alignment for donors. Where appropriate, develop, write, and present proposals to individual donors
  • Assist in the execution of fundraising and donor cultivation events 
  • Partner with SVP to identify new donors, increase giving of current donors, and overall, help grow funds
  • Supervise Development staff to ensure donor database records are up-to-date, and to ensure effective donor tracking, communications, and social media

Finance Partnering 5%

  • Confirm financial compliance with all grant requirements
  • Collaborate with Finance and Program teams on grant budgets


  • 8 to 10 years of professional work experience, minimum 5 years in a management role, including experience working with foundations, with results in new partnerships and grants, including successful solicitation of six-figure grants.
  • 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. Ability to write quickly, and to manage multiple writing deadlines at a time.
  • Demonstrated experience writing proposals and reports for progressive social justice institutions
  • Experience with strategic and annual planning, project management, and process improvement efforts
  • Ability to oversee/supervise consultants as needed 
  • 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
  • Demonstrated experience managing and coaching a team
  • Excellent project management and budget development experience.
  • Ability to plan and administer multiple concurrent projects, under concrete deadlines.
  • Willingness to work periodic weekends and evenings.
  • Experience with and commitment to using Salesforce, to oversee and maintain data analysis and relationship management of prospects, donors, and institutions


The starting salary for this position is $95,000. In addition, we offer an excellent benefits package including health and dental insurances, employer contribution to retirement plan and to flexible spending account, vacations, and a sabbatical. 


Submit a cover letter, resume / CV (not to exceed 3 pages), list of 2-3 references to with subject heading “Senior Director of Development and Partnerships”.

A review of applications will begin on September 21, 2018and will continue until the position is filled.

Race Forward is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, color, sex, gender identity, age, national origin or disability.