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Chief Philanthropy Officer


The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) works to improve the lives and defend the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children, and youth. As an advocacy and research organization, WRC is dedicated to bringing about systemic changes that lead to greater respect for the rights of uprooted women, children, and youth. The organization strives to effect policy and programmatic change with broad, worldwide impact.

The Chief Philanthropy Officer is responsible for the overall management of the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Development department, which raises funds to sustain its annual $10 million operating budget. The candidate will build on a strong revenue base of private foundations and governments, while substantially increasing support from individuals. They will be accountable for fundraising results; supervising and strengthening the 4-person development team; and working with senior management and board members to increase revenues. This position will report to the Executive Director.

Specific Responsibilities of the Chief Philanthropy Officer

  • Provide vision and leadership for the organization’s fundraising strategy and implementation.
  • Plan and grow a major gifts program to increase unrestricted giving from high-net-worth individuals, including sophisticated prospect research, identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies; maintain strong relationships with donors.
  • Supervise all policies, objectives and initiatives related to WRC’s institutional, government, and corporate and foundation initiatives.
  • Oversee the planning of a series of in-person and online fundraising events.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, senior management team, and Board of Directors to design and implement a strategic development plan that aligns with the overall mission of WRC.
  • Create annual fundraising plans and execute them to ensure that fundraising goals are set and met/exceeded.
  • Work closely with program staff to understand and shape development needs and opportunities, and advocate for development initiatives with other departments.
  • Closely mentor staff and support the team to ensure professional development and expansion of roles.
  • Oversee the development and submission of all timely and accurate funding requests and reports to donors.
  • Oversee prospect research and donor cultivation strategies to sustain and increase annual revenues from foundations, governments, and corporations.
  • Maintain and enhance development operations and systems as needed; set and track metrics to ensure that Development is on pace with goals; make adjustments based on metrics and return on investment.
  • Oversee the sustainability and growth of the donor base through creative new campaigns and initiatives, including execution of the Lantern Tour concert series and creation of a strategic major donor program.
  • Create customized engagement opportunities; build events to reach new audiences; map out follow-up on event engagement.
  • Create and implement strategy for donor partnerships, particularly sponsorship for the annual luncheon.
  • In partnership with the Communications department, oversee the Women’s Refugee Commission’s annual luncheon.
  • Represent the institution as part of the senior leadership team.
  • Manage Board cultivation strategies to increase the fundraising participation of the leadership; serve as Development department liaison to the External Relations Committee of the WRC’s Board of Directors.
  • Supervise the Development team to its greatest potential and ensure high productivity and efficiency of development  operations.

Ideal Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Advanced degree preferred.
  • 12 years fundraising and senior management experience, including setting strategic direction for and supervising a development team.
  • Demonstrated success in all key aspects of fundraising, with an emphasis on major and individual gifts, and a familiarity with foundation relations and corporate fundraising.
  • Demonstrated strategic background to build and sustain a funding pipeline.
  • Familiarity with US and foreign government funding streams.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: the ability to communicate and liaise effectively and diplomatically with colleagues across the organization and with external partners.
  • Demonstrated writing skills: the proven ability to successfully conceptualize, write and edit proposals and reports. Able to communicate nuanced programmatic details and contexts.
  • Solid organizational and time-management skills: the ability to plan for and manage multiple projects while working in a fast-paced, detail-oriented environment with strict deadlines and competing priorities.
  • Self-motivated, possessing an entrepreneurial attitude, strong work ethic, flexible style, and ability to work independently and as a team player.
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge or similar fundraising software.

Critical Competencies for Success

  • Substantial experience designing and implementing comprehensive individual and institutional stewardship and fundraising Track record of creating strategies for developing and increasing grant/gift opportunities, as well as advancing partnership plans with multiple components.
  • A record of identifying and building a pipeline of major donors, stewarding relationships that have resulted in six- and seven-figure gifts or greater.
  • Comfortable leading and driving a team and an organizational mission; experience positioning and distinguishing an organization for increased fundraising opportunities; contribute to driving the brand of an organization.
  • Demonstrating an interest in international development, human rights and social justice, the Chief Philanthropy Officer will be creative, hardworking, and committed to the mission of WRC, willing to roll up her/his sleeves and get into the specific details when necessary.
  • The candidate should thrive in a high-performing environment and have the ability to function effectively in a complex organizational They will be an inspirational leader, who can move and guide a team with a collegial and professional demeanor. The candidate will possess confidence and presence, with a keen sense of internal and external relationship-building.
  • The Chief Philanthropy Officer will be a big picture thinker who can build consensus, agreement, and possessing strong communication, organizational and strategic thinking skills, is collaborative and transparent, with the ability to make independent decisions when appropriate, simultaneously serving as a partner to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate displays a high degree of emotional intelligence, diplomacy, and self-awareness and is a self-starter with discipline in establishing and meeting personal and team goals.

Reports to: Executive Director
Position: Regular, full-time
Location: NYC but temporarily remote due to COVID
Posting Date: ASAP
Closing Date: Until filled

How to Apply

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume via this link.


The Women’s Refugee Commission is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status or disability. Qualified applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Women’s Refugee Commission is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.