Director of Development and Membership Engagement

New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Apr 12, 2021
May 11, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives is a 29-years-strong, fast-growing, progressive Jewish congregation in Brooklyn, NY with over 400 households. Kolot is a place of inclusive ritual, supportive community, dynamic educational programming, and the relentless pursuit of social justice. Read Kolot’s Mission Statement here.

We are seeking a full-time Director of Development and Membership Engagement (“Director”) to begin in July 2021.

Kolot is a rapidly growing, unaffiliated congregation with a diverse and engaged membership and shared progressive values. Our expanding list of offerings includes: well-attended weekly Shabbat services and annual High Holy Days with 1,000+ in attendance; growing membership engagement offerings; an innovative Children’s Learning Program and adult education; and active committees for member support, racial and immigrant justice, and more. A strong signal of support from our community is that our membership, attendance, and program offerings have expanded during the pandemic.

The Director would join Kolot at an exciting time for our growing fundraising and membership efforts. We have increasingly built up a culture of giving, and 3 years ago we launched a successful multi-year fundraising campaign called Our Journey Forward (“OJF”), which cumulatively raised $1.2 million. OJF enabled us to expand staff, purchase new prayer books and engage in long-range planning, and allowed our new rabbi to start with a solid foundation. 

Through the efforts of our leadership and members, Kolot has been able to avoid budget cuts during this pandemic year, and is in a strong organizational position. Over the past 5 years, we have built up a healthy reserve fund. Now, our Fundraising Committee and staff are planning the next major campaign, which will kick off this fall. With the additional efforts of this new Director position, Kolot will continue building a culture of giving and engagement aligned with our values. 

This is the revenue breakdown of the budget, which ranges between $1.1 and $1.2 million:

    Membership Dues - 43%.  Our congregation is committed to accessible membership for all (e.g. sliding scale/“pay what you can” dues.) OJF - 35% High Holy Days/Other Giving - 15% Children’s Learning Program Fees - 7%



Based out of our Park Slope office, supervised by the Executive Director and working in collaboration with Kolot staff, clergy, the Board of Directors and volunteers on our fundraising and membership committees, this new position will:


    Expand and direct the congregation’s fundraising efforts in ways that engage Kolot members at all levels of giving. We seek a candidate with a deep appreciation for faith-based or other community settings, and who feels comfortable and confident in making “giving” an integral part of how our community lives out our vision and values. The Director will use their skills and experience to help donors feel a sense of purpose and connection as they personally invest in Kolot’s thriving present and future.


    Support our rapidly growing community (over 60 new member households since September) by deepening members’ connections to one another and to Kolot. The Director will look holistically at the member experience, from engaging new members, to helping members connect with programs, to supporting staff in planning events that allow members to thrive in community. The Director supports Kolot as a whole by helping us better understand the needs of our members as we grow. This area of work is a second priority that we would like the Director to step into over time. It is anticipated that after the first or second year with Kolot, the Director will ultimately dedicate 60% of their time to fundraising and 40% to membership engagement. 


Key responsibilities

    Lead the congregation’s efforts to strengthen a “culture of giving” throughout Kolot that honors the values of our inclusive community Lead fundraising strategy and implementation, in cooperation with clergy, staff and board Staff the Fundraising Committee Cultivate individual donors, including small, medium and major member-donors. Develop fundraising skills of clergy, staff and board to enable them to be comfortable with making direct asks  Meet annual fundraising goals, established with the board and senior staff Manage all aspects of High Holy Days’ “culture of giving” and multi-year fundraising campaigns, including direct mail, digital engagement and data management Mobilize volunteers in fundraising events and campaigns Identify and pursue grant opportunities 


Membership responsibilities

    In cooperation with staff, clergy and members, create and implement a holistic vision of the member experience and the yearly cycle of events As a member of the senior staff team, envision, plan and execute special events and programs, including holidays and other community wide events Help the Membership Committee develop its vision and goals and provide staff support  Build and facilitate deeper relationships between members and with Kolot


What Would Success Look Like? How Will You Be Evaluated?

    Through your membership engagement efforts, a culture of giving will become ingrained in the identity of our congregation, resulting in an even more robust and financially secure community. Thanks in large part to your creativity, ingenuity and detail-oriented implementation, Kolot’s all-new fundraising campaign will deliver on the promise of our past multi-year campaign and help sustain our future growth.  With your encouragement and leadership, Kolot’s board will embrace an expanded role in fundraising efforts. Under your expert tutelage, Kolot’s lay-led Fundraising Committee will reach a new level of effectiveness. Through your interpersonal efforts, our rabbi will be supported in the challenge of working with the congregation’s existing major donors. With help from your proactive engagement efforts, Kolot will have successfully identified potential new donors, both inside and outside the congregation.



    You are someone who wants to help a 29-year-old community grow in a meaningful and sustainable way  Your values match ours: Kolot’s mission, vision, and values. You have 5-7 years experience in non-profit development or program development in a social justice and/or faith-based setting  You want to take your track record of successful major donor cultivation and/or  solicitation and grassroots fundraising to the next level or to a different space You write polished and compelling fundraising materials (donor solicitation, campaign documents, grants, and more) You have a deep understanding of one or more of the following:
      Fundraising in a congregation or membership organization  Fundraising for racial and economic justice movements The Jewish social justice landscape
    You want to take the lead on growing and engaging our 415 member households You have all those things that are listed on all the job postings you are looking at, including strong attention to detail, great communication skills, very organized, strategic thinker, good sense of humor (what’s life without some laughter) and experience with CSM or donor management platforms  

Salary: $80,000 for 5 - 7 years of experience. If you have more experience, let’s talk. Plus: 10 secular holidays and various religious holidays; sick days; 4 weeks vacation; health insurance; voluntary 401k; voluntary dental/vision plan; and TransitChek.  

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