Director of Development & Communications, On The Rise

Expiring today

Eos Transitions
Massachusetts, United States
$85,000.00 - $106,000.00
Apr 12, 2021
May 11, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Organizational Overview

On The Rise is a dynamic, Cambridge, MA-based non-profit founded in 1995 that serves women and trans/non-binary individuals currently or formerly experiencing homelessness throughout the region, creating a community where program participants have the relationships, safety, and resources they need to move beyond homelessness. The On The Rise community commits to and is guided by its core values:

  • Relationships: Relationships connect us, allow us to respect our differences, discover common ground, and build community. They are transformative when they are genuine, mutual, safe, and enduring. Building trusting relationships that are nurtured over time is central to the work of On The Rise.
  • Self-determination: Self-determination is essential as we define and transform our lives and overcome challenges. We support the right of those in our community to identify their needs, goals, and choices and to share their story in their own time.
  • Wellbeing: Wellbeing is rooted in our ability to safely express our whole selves and feel valued. It is strengthened by our connections to others and requires a sense of safety, stability, and access to necessary resources. We believe that we are more than the sum of our problems and we focus on the strengths of our participants with the goal of increasing wellbeing.
  • Safety in Community: Safety is a basic human need that is experienced both individually and collectively. A safe community is a place where each person is protected from harm and danger and safekeeping is upheld by the community as a whole. We rely on restorative approaches to justice and trauma informed practices to resolve conflicts in order to expand our understanding of each other.
  • Inclusion and Diversity: We value the diversity of all, and we believe that no one is beyond help. We strive to share resources equitably, to uphold practices of honest communication, and to create opportunities for joy and celebration. We do these things in order to create a community of belonging, safety, and accountability.
  • Anti-racism and Anti-oppression: Anti-racism is the practice of identifying, challenging, and changing the values, structures and behaviors that marginalize others and perpetuate systemic racism and oppression. We work with a broad and deep commitment to end racism, oppression, and all forms of discrimination that divide us. We recognize the urgency of this work.


On The Rise engages with those with the fewest options, and annually helps about 500 individuals take steps from surviving on the streets to living and thriving in their own apartments, predominantly through its Safe Haven and Keep The Keys Programs which have achieved unprecedented success by leveraging participants' initiative and core strengths to find safety and discover new possibilities.


On The Rise's $1.6 million annual operating budget is raised primarily (60-70%) from private sources. Each year, over 1,000 financial gifts come from individuals and organizations, and over 350 individuals and groups volunteer and make in-kind donations.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development and Communications ("DDC") serves on a three-person Senior Management Team along with the Director of Programs. The DDC is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive fundraising program, which raises $1.2 million annually in private funding. In addition, the DDC designs and executes the organization's communication strategy to expand visibility, public awareness, and support. The DDC also oversees On The Rise's Community Outreach & Education work, which builds and educates the community of support and provides for many of the programs' tangible needs, through volunteer service and in-kind donations. The DDC supervises a full-time Development and Engagement Coordinator and activates interns and hundreds of community volunteers to achieve On The Rise's fundraising goals.

Specific Responsibilities

Executive Leadership

  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director, the Director of Programs, and the Board of Directors to develop the organization's strategy and to achieve its goals.
  • Commit completely to the organization's mission and values, consistently modeling those values as a collaborator and leader.
  • Fully, intentionally, and thoughtfully commit to and engage in On The Rise's racial equity and gender dynamics work, ultimately adapting development and communication practices to reflect a commitment to anti-racism, social justice, and the dismantlement of oppression.
  • Engage personally and deeply with program participants and front-line staff to truly be a member of the On The Rise community.


Development Program

  • Plan and execute a comprehensive development program that attracts substantial support from individuals, family foundations, private foundations, and corporations, collaborating with the Board of Directors, its Development Committee, and the Executive Director to leverage skills and capacities.
  • In support of the development program, the DDC will:
    • Conduct donor research and prospecting to grow On The Rise's donor base;
    • Cultivate and steward meaningful relationships with donors and family foundations;
    • Prepare for and make personal asks of donors ranging from $100 to $100,000;
    • Manage all aspects of in-person and virtual event planning, particularly in support of the Winter Dinner with raises between 15% to 18% of annual revenue;
    • Design and execute direct mail campaigns;
    • Provide exceptional leadership and management of development staff and event contractors;
    • Research foundation and corporate grant opportunities, ultimately writing grant proposals and cultivating and stewarding relationships;
    • Ensure the in-kind donation program is well-managed, including the collection, storage, turnover, and inventory of meals, clothing, toiletries, and housewares that directly supply the programs;
    • Create and monitor quarterly and annual revenue forecasts and reports; and
    • Oversee gift processing, donor acknowledgements, the donor database, and other internal systems that support the fundraising program.


Communications and Engagement

  • Create and execute a comprehensive communications strategy for On the Rise to raise its profile, name recognition, and visibility.
  • Develop and produce print and digital collateral that compellingly tells the story of On The Rise and the women it serves.
  • Oversee the Community Outreach and Engagement Program and serve as a key organizational representative to expand On The Rise's connections in Cambridge and surrounding communities.
  • Provide opportunities for donors and supporters to tour On The Rise and to learn about its programs.
  • Manage On The Rise' social media presence as well as its email marketing and communications.
  • Oversee interactions with the press.


Skills and Experience

  • Strong senior level leadership skills at an organization of similar size with the ability to contribute to the development and execution of a strategic direction for the organization as well as the development function.
  • Experienced fundraiser with the ability to be forward-facing with donors, develop and steward strong relationships with board members, and be comfortable and skilled at making an ask.
  • Ability to identify prospective donors as well as cultivate and steward a wide range of existing donors, including individual contributors, family foundations, and corporations.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to tell program participants' stories with passion, respect, dignity, and confidentiality in meetings with donors and in written grant proposals.
  • Event management skills and experience, including contractor selection and supervision for both in-person and virtual events.
  • Understanding of major gifts, capital campaigns, and planned giving to position the organization to take advantage of the oncoming transfer of wealth.
  • Deep personal and/or professional commitment to On The Rise's mission and values.
  • Commitment to and/or significant experience with racial equity work within the nonprofit sector with the desire to proactively participate in the organization's ongoing racial equity and gender dynamics work.
  • Able to build authentic relationships with supporters, fellow staff members, program participants, and outside collaborators, while maintaining appropriate boundaries.
  • Teambuilder and collaborator with a desire to consider multiple perspectives and make collective decisions.
  • Skilled at attracting, nurturing, and retaining great staff in a highly competitive fundraising environment
  • Excellent problem solver and project manager who is organized, self-motivated, skilled at data management and analysis, and willing to hold self accountable to high expectations.
  • Savvy about social media with the ability to grow On The Rise's presence and visibility.
  • A people person with empathy, compassion, and a sense of humor.

Additional Information and Application Process

This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with a starting salary range of $85,000 to $106,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. On The Rise also offers a generous benefits package including 75% employer sponsored health coverage, retirement plan contributions, and paid leave.


On The Rise recognizes the importance and benefits of diversity in the workplace and the community. We are an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer, and we strongly encourage people who are bilingual/bicultural, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBQ/T community to apply. On The Rise is also committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment.


Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the On The Rise's needs. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Upload required documents to:


This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultant John Tarvin. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to John at:


For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.


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