Helen Keller Intl
Direct Response Fundraising Manager
(NYC metro area preferred; other locations may be
Helen Keller Intl is a global health organization dedicated to
eliminating preventable vision loss, malnutrition and diseases of
poverty. Co-founded by Helen Keller – and guided by her fierce
optimism and belief in human potential – the organization delivers
life-changing health solutions to vulnerable families where the
need is great but access to care is limited. In Africa, and Asia,
and the US, Helen Keller’s proven, science-based programs empower
people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting
The Core Donor Communities unit is an integral part of Helen
Keller Intl’s entrepreneurial External Relations department, which
is responsible for raising highly flexible unrestricted funds, and
restricted support, for the organization’s nutrition, health and
vision programs in Africa, Asia, and the United States. The
External Relations Department shepherds thousands of individual
donors, whom we view as partners in our life-saving work.
The Core Donor Communities unit solicits, cultivates and
stewards individuals comprising the largest cohort of Helen Keller
donors, i.e., those giving up to $5,000 annually. The Direct
Response Fundraising Manager is a newly developed position on the
team and is particularly relevant for candidates who have a
background in building a direct response donor portfolio and wish
to advance their experience by engaging philanthropic individuals
Reporting to the Director, Core Donor Communities, the Manager
will work closely with all External Relations colleagues, including
the Vice President for External Relations, as well as programmatic
and other staff. The External Relations department is structured so
that the work of each unit supports and reinforces the work of
every other unit. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork
among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential
to making this structure thrive.
Scope of the Position
As strategic partner to the Director, the Manager will spearhead
cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts focused on one or
more segments within the Core Donor portfolio. By interacting with
donors in those segments (to determine their behaviors, preferences
and desire for impact), the Manager will contribute to developing
the effective outreach needed to convey Helen Keller’s value
proposition, to be good stewards of donors’ continued philanthropy,
and to inspire them to increase their giving. The Manager will also
be responsible for sustaining fruitful relationships with key
vendors and overseeing day-to-day flow in the development and
production of a large set of engagements that serve the full Core
Donor Communities portfolio throughout the year (via direct mail,
email, and website).
- Develop Strategies:
- Partner with the Director to build and refine strategies for
Core-level donor and prospect cultivation and fundraising
campaigns; identify and monitor metrics that effectively gauge
progress toward goals.
- Serve as deputy lead in the development of department-wide,
multi-channel fundraising campaigns that touch donors (and
prospects) at all giving levels.
- Maintain and apply thorough knowledge of industry trends in
donor-centric fundraising strategies
- Execute Strategies:
- Engage and inspire giving among donors in at least one segment
within the larger Core Donor Communities portfolio; develop the
portfolio(s) in alignment with the departments’ strategic goals of
retaining and upgrading donors’ giving.
- Monitor and refine the intersection of distinct Core-level
campaign efforts with departmental efforts targeting other
constituent portfolios (e.g., major donors, non-donor
- Spearhead Core-level campaign follow-up, including developing
and/or compiling performance reports; scheduling and leading
internal campaign debriefings; and surfacing department feedback to
incorporate into future plans.
- Manage Partner and Staff Relationships:
- Serve as primary contact for key external vendors, as well as
internal partners, to sustain the day-to-day execution of 14 to 16
Core-level mail and email campaigns per year; monitor all stages of
production and trouble-shoot.
- Oversee internal schedules for producing campaign deliverables
(mail plans, data queries, written copy, images, etc., for multiple
platforms) that maintain alignment with vendor schedules and
- Ensure completion of procurement processes needed to hire
vendors that serve the Core Donor Communities unit.
- Mentor, supervise, and evaluate the Direct Response Officer as
s/he contributes to achieving the strategic goals of the unit and
the department as a whole.
- Foster an atmosphere of professional growth and development by
providing ongoing feedback to staff in a context of mutual respect
that ensures accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues,
- Develop Content:
- In partnership with Marketing and Communications colleagues and
external vendors, help to develop well-branded communications that
cultivate, solicit and steward Core-level donors and
- Draft donor-facing copy as needed (e.g., donation forms,
acknowledgment letters, components of appeals and cultivations);
review, revise, and proofread vendor-generated copy.
- Liaise with key Program and External Relations colleagues to
implement and refine a pipeline that provides the most effective
content (stories, photos, videos, etc.) for use in conveying the
positive impact of Core donors’ support.
- Manage additional projects as assigned.
- Education: College degree in a related field; master’s degree a
- Experience: 6-8 years’ professional experience in building
donor relationships and fundraising strategies; solid experience in
direct response marketing a plus.
- Experience managing vendor relationships; facility with the
production of direct mail and email communications a plus.
- Track record of working as a team player among colleagues and
external partners; experience managing direct reports
- Ability to work independently, moving multiple, complex
projects through all stages, often amid competing deadlines.
- Exceptional organizational skills that show a talent for, and
appreciation of, project planning, scheduling, and adherence to
- Solid writing, editing and proofreading skills, including
experience in developing messaging for a diverse constituency of
individuals across several outreach media (direct mail, email,
donation platforms, etc.).
- Excellent verbal communication skills, including diplomacy,
patience and flexibility in managing diverse external and internal
- Demonstrable respect for all persons, regardless of religion,
ethnicity, class or gender with a high comfort level working in a
diverse environment with a commitment to high professional, ethical
- High proficiency in Microsoft Office 365, experience with
project management software (e.g., Basecamp, Asana), and facility
with CRM software (Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge preferred).
- Passion for Helen Keller Intl’s mission and institutional
goals; knowledge of international development and global public
health a plus.
- Helen Keller Intl requires all staff who work in our offices
and/or who provide services to beneficiaries of our US programs to
be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they have had
- For the time being, Helen Keller also requires all staff to
wear masks while providing program services and when in any open or
public space in the office and to observe social distancing.
To Apply: Qualified candidates should submit a
cover letter and resume to email@example.com .
Applications will be accepted until the position is
In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller
is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified
applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard
to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual
orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or
protected veteran status.
We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to
individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified
individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation
during the application or interview process, please contact us at
the email above or call: +1 646-356-1789.