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Chief Advancement Officer

JDC - The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 5, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Other Fundraising, Programs, Other Programs, Program Administration and Management
Advocacy, Community Foundations, International, Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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JDC (The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or “The Joint”) is the leading global Jewish humanitarian organization. JDC works in 70 countries to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, provide aid to vulnerable Jews, create lasting connections to Jewish life, lead the Jewish community’s response to crisis, and develop innovative solutions to Israel’s most complex social challenges. JDC’s reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters worldwide. For over 100 years, JDC’s work has put the timeless Jewish value of mutual responsibility into action when the world needs it most, making JDC essential to the survival of millions of people and the advancement of Jewish life across the globe. 

JDC’s annual budget is approximately $350 million, with close to 1,000 employees spread across New York, Israel, the Former Soviet Union, Europe, India, Ethiopia, and Latin America. JDC is governed by a 189-member Board of Directors and the organization has total assets of approximately $700 million. 

For more information about JDC, please visit: 

Opportunity for Impact

The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) position is a unique, compelling, and critically important role for a top-tier executive to help optimize JDC’s position for continued impact in the global Jewish community. The CAO will be the principal architect of a resource development operation which supports the organization’s mission and programs, building on existing advancement efforts and successfully pursuing new opportunities for funding and engagement. 

The New York-based CAO will join JDC at an exciting moment of transition and growth and will play a crucial leadership role in an exceptionally invested and generous organization. As a member of the Executive Team, the CAO will partner with newly appointed CEO, Ariel Zwang, by creating a fundraising and marketing strategy that will provide increased revenue and greater visibility and by enhancing its resource development infrastructure. JDC currently raises over $150M from donors and partners that come from across the world and from each facet of contemporary Jewish life - Jewish Federations, foundations, and individuals. JDC’s base of support remains devoted, and the organization’s leadership is deeply committed to its fundraising success, and to new and innovative strategies for revenue diversity that strengthen the global Jewish community. 


The CAO will staff JDC’s Resource Development Committee and will work closely with members of the organization’s Board of Directors. The CAO will partner with lay leaders to continue to activate their networks and to engage them in the overall fundraising effort. 


The CAO will also work closely with the leadership of Jewish Federations as well as JFNA to enhance and expand JDC’s collaboration with these key stakeholders. 

Together with the Resource Development team, the CAO will have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that JDC’s programs are supported and sustained for future generations. This position oversees a global team of 70 professionals and partners closely with colleagues from the U.S., Israel, the Former Soviet Union, and all over the world. 


Leadership, Strategy, and Engagement 


  • Working in partnership with the CEO, develop and refine a strategic and collaborative resource development program that includes ways to deepen and diversify the funding base and increase restricted and unrestricted funds from all constituencies.


  • Promote JDC to new audiences, prospects, and categories of funders to generate interest and support for the organization; and increase the depth and breadth of private individual and institutional support for restricted and unrestricted purposes.

  • Centralize resource development operations out of JDC’s headquarters, including the effective and thoughtful managing of systems, processes, and measurements to monitor, project, and guide fundraising results and activities.  


  • Coordinate, integrate, and align critical fundraising activities and interventions that are currently carried out by different parts of the organization. 


  • Create constructive partnerships with colleagues in program areas throughout the organization who currently engage in targeted and successful fundraising for their own program areas. Harmonize these efforts on behalf of all of JDC.

  • Carefully monitor the costs associated with fundraising; and ensure that internal resources are appropriately utilized.


  • Develop and execute on a strategic marketing and communications plan that effectively drives growth, awareness, and visibility to JDC’s work. 


  • Manage, lead, and inspire the marketing, branding, public relations, and communications functions to align strategies across a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders and partners. 


Talent Management and Team-Building 

  • Continue to build and lead the refinement and implementation of a highly energized and dynamic group of resource development professionals in a fast paced, growing environment. 


  • Maintain a flexible leadership style that empowers staff through active communication and delegation and promotes intra- and interdepartmental teamwork. 


  • Focus on performance measurements, individual coaching, and team development; foster an environment of achievement and ensure staff accountability for excellence through clearly defined and measurable goals. 

Relationship Management 


  • Partner with and support the CEO and Board leaders to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness as the organization’s chief spokespersons and fundraisers. Similarly, guide and support key staff and volunteer leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts, and utilize their time and talents appropriately; ensure their effectiveness as spokespersons and fundraisers. 


  • Provide a high level of support to board members and other high-level volunteers on development-related activities in ways that inspire them to action and strengthen their intellectual and emotional commitment. 


  • Maintain, build, and diversify a significant portfolio of donors while facilitating relationships between donors and other members of the global leadership team, and program leadership. 


  • Cultivate and solicit high-level gifts from a portfolio of current and prospective donors.


  • Maintain and enhance relationships with Jewish Federations and JFNA. 


  • Partner with senior JDC professional leaders to identify fundraising priorities and to cultivate and solicit funders for key programs in their areas. 


  • Systematically identify, cultivate, steward, and solicit new individual and institutional donors capable of making significant contributions to JDC. Educate targeted donors on JDC’s mission, programs, and projects, and develop specific strategies and tailored cases for support. 


  • Identify and cultivate additional categories of funders, including corporations, foundations, etc.


This position requires a talented, entrepreneurial executive, preferably with an international reach and a strong conceptual understanding of JDC’s mission and impact. For this critical role, the leadership seeks a seasoned professional who leads with integrity and is capable of clearly articulating the case for JDC and raising both private and institutional funds to further the organization’s mission and values. The CAO will have strategic vision and will bring new approaches and innovative strategies that complement JDC’s strong philanthropic foundation. The new CAO must be a persuasive communicator and an excellent team player and builder. The position will require an individual who can work across a large, complex organization to drive brand awareness to disparate communities across the globe. S/he must have a clear and authentic commitment to the mission and strategic goals of JDC. 

The ideal candidate will also offer most or all of the following:


  • Demonstrated success in setting and executing a fundraising strategy that includes principal giving, foundation support and program-specific donor giving. Experience in managing a portfolio of current and prospective major donors. 
  • Successful experience as a partner to a CEO and board. 
  • Ability to learn and gain deep understanding of a diverse range of programs and their impact to meaningfully engage philanthropic support. Proficiency in articulating programmatic impact to prospective donors. 
  • Strong leadership, management and supervision skills that include the ability to inspire, motivate, influence, and hold team accountable to high standards and goals.
  • Collaborative, team-driven nature with the ability to partner internally with cross-functional teams and externally with JDC partners.
  • Ability to manage and partner with multi-cultural teams. 
  • Thorough understanding of marketing and communications terminology and technology. 
  • Exceptional reasoning, problem solving, and analytical skills, including an ability to translate ideas and concepts into clear actionable items.
  • Ability to develop and execute detailed and result oriented business plans with measurable performance indicators and deliverables. 
  • Excellent attention to detail, responsiveness, and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with an emphasis on the ability to persuade and influence others around ideas, decisions, and financial support.
  • Deep understanding of the global Jewish philanthropic landscape and demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of the organized Jewish community. 
  • Skilled at multi-tasking; able to organize, prioritize and execute responsibilities in the face of conflicting priorities or unexpected situations; and a high level of discretion.
  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally, to spend time with staff, colleagues, volunteers, and partners. 


To apply to this position please visit -

This position description is based upon material provided by JDC, an equal opportunity employer.


Dara Z. Klarfeld 

Chief Executive Officer


Tani Weissman

Talent Consultant


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