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Direct Response Fundraising Officer (NYC metro area preferred; other locations may be considered.)

Helen Keller INTL
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Feb 18, 2022

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Grant Seeking
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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Helen Keller Intl

Job Announcement


Direct Response Fundraising Officer

(NYC metro area preferred; other locations may be considered.)


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 more than 20 countries, our proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting change.



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 Officer is a new position on the team.


Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Manager, Direct Response Fundraising, the Officer will work closely with all External Relations colleagues — including the Director, Core Donor Communities, the Vice President for External Relations, and members of the Development Operations team — as well as programmatic and other staff.  The 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

The Officer has a key role in ensuring successful implementation of the unit’s multi-channel efforts to acquire, cultivate, solicit, and steward members of the Core Donor portfolio.  Contributing to a comprehensive strategy of upgrading and retaining donors, the Officer collaborates with colleagues and external vendors to build and execute direct mail and email engagements that target prospect and donor audiences — including coordination on drafting, proofing, production, and delivery.  S/he will also help to shape stewardship efforts that deepen relationships with Core-level donors, paying particular attention to one segment of the portfolio.



  • Collaborate with the Director, Manager and members of the Marketing and Communications team to shape multi-channel fundraising campaigns, including scheduling, segmentation of audiences, messaging on multiple platforms, and production of deliverables.
  • Serve as unit lead in efforts to cultivate and steward one segment of the Core Donor portfolio; represent the needs of this segment in team strategy discussions.
  • Collaborate with the Manager and members of the Development Operations team to review acquisition list exchange requests, develop list pulls for donor engagements (including events), and help develop and refine regular performance reports.
  • Serve as the unit lead for building and sending email communications to Core Donors; maximize and troubleshoot use of the email marketing application.
  • Collaborate with the Development Operations and Marketing and Communications teams to refine donation forms; build campaign-specific forms in the donation management application.
  • Project manage multiple processes in the development of direct mail campaigns (from concept and writing through printing and mail shop) in coordination with the Manager and external vendors.
  • Ensure on-time development of stewardship and cultivation materials in alignment with the department’s strategic goals and campaign schedules, including the coordination of copy edits, visuals, and print orders.
  • Design and execute donor thank you calling protocols, including the participation of staff and Board members; make thank you calls to Core-level donors.
  • Review and proofread donor-facing copy generated by colleagues and vendors; recommend edits in accordance with department strategies, campaign goals, etc.
  • Help manage donor events; report on Core-level donor participation.
  • Work with the Manager to initiate and complete procurement processes needed for hiring the vendors that serve the Core Donor Communities unit.
  • Serve as a key part of the team in gathering creative assets (stories, photos, videos, etc.) to develop a reservoir of stories and materials for donor-facing communications.
  • Contribute to additional projects as assigned.



  • College degree in a related field plus 3-5 years’ professional experience in direct response fundraising strategies and production (mail and/or digital), membership, and/or events, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Track record of working as a team player and contributing to team efforts.
  • 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 timelines.
  • Experience working with external vendors and interest in building productive vendor relationships.
  • Solid writing, editing and proofreading skills; experience in developing messaging for a diverse constituency of individuals across several outreach media (direct mail, email, donation platforms, etc.) preferred.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including diplomacy, patience and flexibility in managing diverse external and internal relationships.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented.
  • 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 standards.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office 365 applications required; experience with project management software (e.g., Basecamp, Asana) and facility with CRM software (Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge preferred) are highly desired.
  • Facility with Blackbaud’s Luminate software a strong plus.
  • 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 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they have had COVID.
  • 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  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is fully valued.


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

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