THE OPPORTUNITY – Team with
leadership to create a future of long-lasting relevance for the JCC
Mention the JCC in Rochester, and people respond with personal
stories of connectedness to the organization and its members.
Without being prompted, people share examples of how they explore
their Jewish identity at the J without the intimidation of a more
“formal” setting. They share stories about lifelong
friendships that were formed at Camp Seneca Lake. They share
stories about learning to play cards with their grandparents at the
J. They speak of wellness and ethics, films and books that
opened their minds, the blending of generations and cultures, and
an overall feeling of being “at home.” Common
quotes include, “The JCC is like my town square;” and “I raised my
kids there.” Successful leaders in the profession of
fundraising and development strive to create an emotional
connection between the organization they work for and prospective
donors. Here at the J, that emotional connection is already
hard-wired in the hearts and minds of current and prospective
Fundraising and development sophistication at the JCC has
evolved in fits and starts over time. When the organization
needs funding for the film festival, film patrons who love the JCC
answer the call. When the organization needs funding for camp
improvements, camp alumni and parents answer the call. When
the organization needs to update the fitness center, fitness
patrons answer the call. Each fundraising project is
successful but reactive, well-intentioned but siloed.
Leadership at the JCC is energized to elevate the importance of
fundraising and development to a Chief Development Officer level
for the first-time, with a goal to develop and execute a cohesive
strategy across the entire organization. The successful
candidate will be a decisive, experienced leader who is more
interested in executing creative, integrated fundraising strategies
than wordsmithing the next annual campaign letter.
In the face of limited resources and a wide variety of
programs and opportunities to support, the right candidate for this
role possesses the ability to quickly synthesize changing
information and re-prioritize goals and resources
accordingly. The ability to say “no,” or “not yet,” is a
necessary attribute of the successful CDO to accomplish the
organization’s top objectives.
This opportunity should be particularly appealing
to development leaders who have energy and ideas but haven’t
experienced adequate leadership support in prior roles for the
implementation of those ideas. The successful
candidate will have an opportunity to team with a creative,
energetic Executive Director to invent a vibrant future for the JCC
in Rochester. Members of the Board of Directors are confident
that the CDO will discover a tremendous level of untapped
development potential from Jewish and non-Jewish members of our
community, and they are eager to support those efforts. This
role should also be of interest to development leaders who wish to
support a variety of community needs instead of just one; from
wellness to arts and culture, and from children to seniors, the JCC
supports it, and all within an environment that celebrates
diversity in all forms.
The Chief Development Officer will manage an Associate
Director of Development and a Development Coordinator and will also
direct the activities of select staff who assist the three-person
development team with fundraising activities as needed throughout
the year. The CDO reports directly to the Executive Director
of the JCC and the successful candidate will be a member of the
Organization’s senior management team. The Chief
Development Officer has the full support of an engaged volunteer
Development Committee to assist with related goals and will team
with the Chair of the Development Committee to direct its
Within the first year, the Chief
Development Officer will:
- Team with JCC leadership, staff, board, Development Committee
and JCC members to gain first-hand knowledge of the Organization’s
vision, mission, and examples of its long-lasting positive impact
on members, their families, and the community.
- Team with senior management and the Development Committee to
create a three-year strategic plan for fundraising and development
that supports the achievement of the JCC’s overall strategic plan.
Lead the effort to execute the plan, including the establishment
and monitoring of periodic goals for all development categories,
including the annual fund, major gifts, grants, corporate
partnerships, giving circles, Life and Legacy efforts, events, and
- Lead the JCC’s effort to foster and inculcate a culture of
philanthropy across the organization, starting with ambassador
training for current members of the board and staff, and regularly
scheduled training for new board members and staff.
- Work with program leaders to execute an integrated development
plan for major donors and corporate partners that supports the
- Within nine months, develop a dashboard of fundraising activity
metrics to be shared, at least monthly, with senior management and
- Within six months, develop a process for maximizing the power
and accuracy of Raiser’s Edge across the entire organization. Use
best efforts to scrub the accuracy of historic data in the
- Direct advancement staff in the establishment and execution of
a “moves management” plan to identify new donors and advance
entry-level donors to increasing levels of support of the JCC.
- Conceive and implement donor and volunteer stewardship
programs, including a robust plan for the JCC’s giving society for
donors who contribute $1K or more annually.
- Take the initiative to develop or deepen an understanding and
appreciation of Jewish culture, as the preservation of Jewish
culture is central to the mission and vision of the
The successful candidate will possess the
A Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited
college or university.
- An understanding for and appreciation of Jewish culture, and an
elevated level of interest in increasing the identification of the
JCC as an important hub for dynamic Jewish life in
- A minimum of five years of experience leading the fundraising
efforts of a not-for-profit. Business development and
consultative sales leaders with paid or volunteer philanthropy
experience, or major gifts officers with well-rounded fundraising
experience will be considered.
- A record of accomplishment for meeting or exceeding
fundraising/business development goals within pre-determined
expense budget parameters
- Experience with independently soliciting and bringing in
individual gifts/revenue of $25,000 or more
- Demonstration of creativity with prior approaches to meeting
goals – moving beyond existing processes and events
- A track record for training and motivating colleagues, senior
managers, and board members to support a culture of
- A record of accomplishment for creating and maintaining
up-to-date and accurate donor/business development records.
Demonstrated great habits of timely follow-up.
- Proven ability to convert outside-the-box development ideas
into results; an appetite for informed risk-taking.
- Experience and a comfort level with addressing board members,
business leaders and foundation managers, earning their support for
- Experience with identifying, writing, and winning grant support
from foundations and government agencies for relevant programs and
services is a plus.
- A sense of urgency and ability to adapt to unexpected changes
posed by senior management, donors, and external market forces,
quickly re-focusing efforts to solve new challenges at hand.
- An approachable management style and a reputation for fostering
- Unquestioned professional and personal integrity
- The successful candidate must reside in the Greater Rochester
New York area or relocate to the area within 4 months of hire.
The Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Rochester is a
special place, serving a unique purpose. The JCC has been
enriching the cultural fabric of the Rochester New York community
for one hundred and fourteen years, with a mission of strengthening
and promoting Jewish identity through all stages of life. The
JCC fulfills this mission by providing opportunities for meaningful
cultural enrichment, physical well-being, and social, educational,
and recreational experiences for individuals and families.
The JCC’s footprint consists of three properties: a 200,000
square foot community center on Edgewood Avenue in Rochester; one
hundred acres of natural land adjacent to the center and alongside
the Erie Canal; and Camp Seneca Lake, a 100 year old overnight camp
situated on 200 acres of land on Seneca Lake, part of the
world-renowned Finger Lakes region.
Protecting, preserving, and promoting Jewish values,
traditions, customs, and history is woven into the fabric of many
of the activities and programs within all Jewish Community
Centers. While temples provide a place where members of the
Jewish faith can worship, the JCC provides a neighborhood where
members of the Jewish faith live, socialize and nourish a sense of
Over 350 JCC’s have been established across the country,
with each one operating independently in the region within which it
resides. The JCC of Rochester is open to all residents of the
community – both for membership and employment. In fact, one
of the most important values of the organization is
inclusiveness; the JCC welcomes people from all religions, all
abilities, all races, all ages, and all gender identities.
The JCC’s Evolution
Over the past thirty years, JCC’s across
the country have felt the impact of shrinking Jewish demographics,
and more recently have felt the acute impact of COVID on
programming and finances. Under new leadership, the Louis S.
Wolk Community Center has risen to the challenge with the addition
of creative programming, new partnerships, and re-invigorated
fundraising efforts, all within an overarching goal to infuse a
culture of Judaism across all offerings.
Within just the past 18 months, the JCC
Partnered with Lifespan on new
programming to address wellness needs of its senior members
- Partnered with Rochester Regional Health on physical and
rehabilitation therapy programs for its members. Development is
underway for dedicated space for those efforts
- Partnered with a restauranteur on development of a new
kosher/non-kosher catering service, staffed in part by people with
- Developed an outside theatre, the Dawn Lipson Canalside Stage,
offering concerts, theatre, and special events from June to
- Developed a corporate partnership program, raising $80K in year
- Partnered with Encompass to offer an educational venue and
enrichment programs for children in our region when Encompass lost
access to its regular venues due to COVID
- Raised $3M in emergency funds in response to COVID
This burst of creativity is driven in large part by the
organization’s new Executive Director, who has been described by
staff as a “why not” as opposed to a “why should we” thinker.
While the organization is still in the “messy” stage of
transformative change, senior leaders, the board of directors and
staff have a new level of optimism for the JCC’s increasing
relevance and contribution to the greater Rochester community.
Programs and Services Provided by
Fitness and Recreation
Within a renovated and expanded 100,000 square foot fitness
center, the JCC offers fitness and recreation programs for all ages
and abilities. Facilities include an open gym, cardio and
resistance training equipment, racquetball courts, yoga studios, an
aquatic complex with three pools, locker rooms, personal trainers,
group fitness classes and a youth sports league. Current JCC
membership composition of 7,000 individuals is approximately 50%
Jewish and 50% non-Jewish. Eighty percent of members use the
fitness facility, and hundreds of JCC members visit daily to
participate in fitness, social, and/or cultural programs.
In addition to the fitness facility, the JCC offers Centered
Wellness, a concept centered around offering programs and
partnerships focused on the six dimensions of wellness:
physical, intellectual, social, emotional, environmental and
spiritual. Exercise programs can also be tailored for those
with cardiac problems, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Youth and Education
The JCC’s Wolk Children’s Center is an early learning
center located on the JCC Campus, serving children 8 weeks to four
years old. In addition to a progressive curriculum, children
have supervised access to the JCC gym, play gym and pool.
The Before and After School Program bridges
the time between school and home for school-age children, currently
serving over eighty children, ages 5 to 14. The Brighton and
Henrietta school districts both provide bus transportation to the
The JCC provides two summer camp experiences for
members and non-members - overnight camping at Camp Seneca Lake,
and day camping at Camp Sisol on the JCC Campus.
Arts and Culture Programs
The JCC CenterStage provides a resident theatre company and 288
seat theatre, staging musicals, dramas, and comedies throughout the
year, as well as playing host to a wide variety of additional
scheduled entertainment throughout the year.
The JCC manages and hosts the Lane Dworkin Jewish Book
Festival, and the Ames Amzalak Jewish Film Festival,
annual events that showcase Jewish authors, books of Jewish
content, and contemporary Jewish-themed films from around the
The JCC offers Senior Programs, providing classes,
activities, programs, artistic endeavors, and special events
designed for a mature population.
Adults with developmental disabilities are also
well-supported at the JCC, as the center provides fitness facility
usage, adapted classes, swimming, art and jewelry-making classes,
music participation opportunities, cultural events, and escorted
This description is not meant to be an all-inclusive
list of duties and responsibilities but constitutes a general
definition of position scope.