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Vice President for Development, National Women's Law Center

Washington, DC
National Women’s Law Center
Vice President for Development
Washington, DC

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families.

The Law Center is entering a new phase as an institution, with a new strategic plan that reflects an updated vision for impact. The organization seeks to enhance and leverage its expertise, multi-issue approach, relationships with movements and influencers, and status within the legal and policy communities to drive a bold gender justice agenda. Working meaningfully at the intersections of race, gender, LGBTQ+, disability, age, national origin, and income, National Women’s Law Center is recognized and trusted by a broad range of stakeholders.

Please visit: https://nwlc.org/about/ for more information about NWLC’s history, impact, and leadership.

The Vice President for Development is responsible for leading and managing a high performing development team to devise and implement a strategic development plan which generates increased support for NWLC’s priorities  in the $45M annual core operating budgets across four affiliated entities:
  1. The National Women’s Law Center, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
  2. The National Women’s Law Center Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) that aims to drive progressive change in our policies and laws so that all women and girls can live, learn, and work with safety, dignity, and equality.  
  3. The National Women’s Law Center Fund LLC, which houses and administers the Legal Network for Gender Equity and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund
  4. The Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund, a new entity formed to help people caught up in the increasing legal chaos after the devastating Dobbs decision, wherein Abortion Patients or Supporters—individuals and entities who sought abortion or helped someone obtain an abortion or information about abortion care – can apply for funding to cover certain legal expenses related to their situation.
The Vice President works to shape and fund the initiatives of one of the country’s largest gender justice legal and advocacy groups. They engage with senior leadership and program staff with the goal of elevating NWLC to unprecedented new levels of success by increasing and diversifying revenue sources to continue to fight for gender justice by meshing funding opportunities with the programmatic activities of the organization. They develop strategies and lead a talented development team to initiate and meet fundraising goals, leading the effort to identify and engage new supporters and prioritizing unrestricted revenue sources and strategies that secure, expand, and grow NWLC’s financial base.

NWLC has developed strong foundation philanthropic support, which it hopes to continue and grow. Key to its sustainability and growth is NWLC’s ability and success in building additional robust and unrestricted sources of contributed income, most notably in developing a comprehensive individual giving program from sustainer to major gifts, including planned giving.

The Vice President serves as a key member of NWLC’s leadership team and takes a leadership role in strategizing about current priorities and opportunities, as well as the future direction of NWLC. In collaboration with the Chief External Affairs Officer, they lead the full range of development activities including major individual and planned gifts, annual fund, corporate giving, foundation philanthropy and capacity-building support, and special event revenue.

The ideal candidate is deeply passionate about gender justice, centered in equity, collaborative, creative, and brings significant management experience and a record of empowering and inspiring strong, cohesive teams to meet and exceed goals. In addition to leading and supporting a large team, the ideal candidate also thrives in managing and supporting relationships with a variety of stakeholders including the Board of Directors, the CEO, Chief of Staff and a small portfolio of donors.

The Vice President for Development reports to the Chief External Affairs Officer and works closely with the President and CEO, Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, and a collaborative senior team of nine other Vice Presidents. The Vice President manages a development team of seventeen and has five direct reports: 
  • Director of Foundation Engagement
  • Director of External Affairs
  • Director of Philanthropic Engagement
  • Director of Development Services
  • Development Assistant, who supports the activities of the development department.

  • Serve as a key member of the leadership team, providing judgment and expertise necessary to support NWLC’s accomplishment of its mission and annual goals by leading activities that mesh programmatic goals and funding sources during a time of growth and change.
  • Create and implement a strategic development plan to generate opportunities to increase awareness and financial support for NWLC through the entire range of development activities including, but not limited to, major and planned giving, corporate and foundation support, special events, capital/endowment campaigns, and long-term pipeline development. Work closely with Finance and Operations colleagues, alongside the CEAO, to ensure the strategy ladders up to long-term planning for the organization. 
  • Work closely with the President & CEO, Chief of Staff, and Chief External Affairs Officer to help develop and execute strategic efforts to leverage the President & CEO with donors, prospective donors, and influencers, and to ensure that the President & CEO is effectively supported in these efforts.
  • Stay abreast of fundraising trends, innovations, and best practices across the sector, and support an internal culture of philanthropy and connected learning.

  • Lead, inspire, and empower the Development team to work inclusively, collaboratively, effectively and efficiently, establishing clear performance standards, benchmarks for success, and a path for increasing communication and cooperation across a multi-function team.
  • Oversee the Director of Foundation Engagement in working with the program leadership team to craft, articulate and market compelling funding opportunities for both unrestricted and program support.
  • Oversee the Director of Philanthropic Engagement in crafting, articulating and marketing ways to increase individual support, in collaboration with the marketing and communications team.
  • Oversee the Director of External Affairs in crafting, articulating and marketing ways to increase corporate, law firm and other unrestricted institutional support, in collaboration with the Director of Public Relations (situated on the campaigns and communications team).
  • Oversee the Director of Development Services, alongside managing and developing the Development Assistant, to ensure the team’s infrastructure and operations are optimized.
  • Create and manage a team budget of ~$2M, and in collaboration with the VP for Finance, understand and prepare income projections and analyze expense and income statements generated by NWLC’s finance team.

  • In collaboration with the Chief of Staff and Board Development Committee chairs, connect with Board members – current and past – to identify and foster relationships and resource opportunities for NWLC. 
  • Support the identification and recruitment of new Board members in coordination and as directed by the Chief of Staff.
  • Partnering with the CEAO, prepare and present data driven development reports at Board meetings. 

  • Work with the Chief External Affairs Officer, CEO, Chief of Staff, Director of Philanthropic Engagement, and NWLC Board members to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major donors to NWLC and affiliate entities. 
  • Grow and maintain a personal portfolio of major donor prospects.
  • Work with the Director of Philanthropic Engagement to build, launch and grow the major gift program including the Legacy Fund and planned giving program so that it can become a stable source of future funding for NWLC.
  • Work with the NWLC Communications team to coordinate development efforts with org-wide communications to inform the public about the work of NWLC and broaden the base of support.
  • Oversee the Director of External Affairs’ efforts to identify ways to maximize the engagement of the Leadership Advisory Committee.
  • Ensure that systems are in place to cultivate and steward individual donors and evaluate the results.

  • Oversee opportunities to expand contributed support from corporations, law firms, labor unions, and other related organizations.
  • In collaboration with the Director of External Affairs, creatively expand ways and platforms through which corporate entities can support the work, including but not limited to employee giving, cause marketing, and corporate advocacy programs.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for the timely and accurate preparation and presentation of proposals and reports for funders, and that project management of programs funded by institutional donors is aligned with proposals to support that work.

  • Oversee ongoing, successful foundation program support and work to expand such support to include new and/or different funders as well as to enhance the support of current donors, working closely with program vice presidents to frame programs and projects along with associated budgets developed with finance team colleagues.
  • Be a public-facing advocate for and champion of NWLC’s work in philanthropic circles, successfully positioning the organization for increased and sustained investments.

  • Collaborate with the Communications team to ensure successful planning and execution of fundraising and cultivation events to achieve budget and stretch goals.
  • Take overall responsibility for the planning and implementation of fundraising aspects of NWLC’s annual gala, as well as a series of special events in other major cities nationwide, ensuring that the events are both financially and programmatically successful, working closely with the communications team on overall management of the gala and smaller events production and brand elevation.
  • Craft and oversee a regional events plan to engage stakeholders and prospects.
  • Design and oversee other fundraising and cultivation events, as needed.

The Law Center recognizes that one candidate will likely not bring the full collection of experiences listed here and is open to candidates with a broad set of experiences and competencies. NWLC seeks a candidate with:
  • Demonstrated commitment to and experience working on gender and racial equity issues and centering communities of color in their approach to work.
  • Demonstrated track record of accomplishment, having led a successful, sustainable development program encompassing the entire range of fundraising strategies and tactics.
  • Strong business development and financial acumen, demonstrated experience with budgeting and forecasting.
  • Demonstrated skill of a fundraising generalist in leading the entire range of giving strategies and campaigns including major gifts, annual and planned giving, capital/endowment campaigns, foundation and corporate philanthropy, and direct response. 
  • Collaborative style and inclusive approach to leadership and management, with demonstrated ability to recruit, motivate and lead a high-performance team.
  • Demonstrated success as a front-line fundraiser; proven track record of cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts and grants.
  • Demonstrated success in creating and expanding a culture of philanthropy.
  • History of success managing relationships with members of the Board of Directors
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the national philanthropic community and current trends in charitable giving.
  • Superior communications and storytelling skills, with the ability to speak and write in compelling language about gender justice.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple, multi-faceted projects and meet deadlines; to maintain composure and perform well independently in a fast-paced, collaborative, deadline-driven setting, with careful attention to detail.
  • Sound judgment and ability to exercise discretion when dealing with confidential information regarding the Law Center’s business and sensitive donor information; high degree of self-motivation, personal discipline and integrity.
  • Experience in a national legal and/or advocacy setting, ideally with both c3 and c4 organizations.

A minimum salary of $231,051 will be provided to the successful candidate with up to 20 years of experience, consistent with the National Women’s Law Center’s compensation framework. The successful candidate’s salary will be determined by the number of years of relevant experience they bring to the role and their qualifications. Final salary decisions are determined by the President and CEO, subject to review by the Board Executive Committee. As required by the IRS, compensation for this position (salary and benefits combined) is listed on the organization’s 990.

The Law Center offers generous leave and a comprehensive benefits package—including a match of up to 3% of the employee’s compensation to their individual 403(b) retirement plan account along with a non-elective contribution of 6% of the eligible employee’s salary, after they successfully complete their 90-day probation period.

NWLC’s headquarters and staff are based in Washington, D.C. and most are working a hybrid schedule. This role is based in D.C., is eligible for telework, and is expected to work regularly in-person at the organization’s offices at 1350 I Street NW and in other settings. 

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