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Senior Director of Advancement

Exponent Philanthropy
District of Columbia, United States
$125,000.00 - $140,000.00
Closing date
Dec 5, 2023

Organization Overview:

Exponent Philanthropy is a member-led community of lean funders—those who make grants with few or no staff—where foundation leaders and individuals turn to gain insight, share practices, and seek support in making decisions. Exponent Philanthropy connects them with answers, experts, and peers to create a community of fulfilled and, ultimately, more effective philanthropists. Our vibrant network represents all 50 states and a few international members that embrace a style of philanthropy motivated by personal passion, community need, and a strong desire for better outcomes.


In our team, we look for highly collegial, ethical, and bright individuals who have a commitment to quality work in a member-focused environment. Staff members are passionate about our mission and core values. They are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and have a strong problem solving and outcomes orientation. Our members come from all walks of life and so do we. We’re proud to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our organization stronger. If you share our values and our enthusiasm, you will find a home at Exponent Philanthropy.


Key Roles and Responsibilities

The Senior Director of Advancement leads the advancement department providing leadership and coordination for:

  • All development strategy, activities, and execution for prospecting, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding, private giving, foundation grants, and corporate support
  • Creating and implementing a comprehensive plan with strategic goals that connect directly to Exponent Philanthropy’s long-term financial sustainability and strategic priorities
  • Engages and aligns cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship with the membership retention and acquisition team
  • Serves as the lead for major gifts and grants officer responsible for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardships via Salesforce tracking for individual donors and funders
  • Manages, supports, and collaborates with the Corporate Relations Manager ensuring a successful corporate relations program, including corporate sustaining partners, sponsorships, and giving
  • Collaborates with the entire Exponent Philanthropy team that ensures a successful development and engagement strategy for the organization
  • Innovative and strategic advising of the CEO on new opportunities to grow revenue, partnerships, and overall success of revenue generation for organizational sustainability and growth
  • Partners and serves as the staff lead for the Development Committee (board and general members serve on this committee) that requires planning, coordinating, and engaging members to maximize giving to the organization
  • In partnership with the CEO, engages the board of directors’ support through their contributions, recommendations, and when appropriate cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals, funders, and corporations


The Senior Director manages the advancement department which is currently a team of two. This is accomplished by partnering across all departments and teams to creating a culture of philanthropy to successfully cultivate, solicit, and steward current, new, and past donor (individuals, funders, and corporate) relationships.


The new Senior Director of Advancement reports to and works with the Chief Executive Officer providing strategy and leadership for overall fundraising, portfolio management, strategic funder communications, and alignment with the membership retention/acquisition team. Works with the CEO to secure larger transformational gifts, grants, and sponsorships. This critical work includes management of past, current, and prospective private donors, funders, collaborating on the corporate support to ensure a strong and growing base of increased financial support for the organization to further its mission, vision, and values.


Organizational Leadership Responsibilities: 

  • Serves as a critical member of the senior leadership team and trusted advisor to the CEO, ensuring that organizational fundraising priorities are aligned with Exponent Philanthropy’s strategic plan and priorities
  • In collaboration with the CEO and senior leadership team, enhances, adapts, and innovates development strategies to strengthen Exponent Philanthropy’s revenue generation and increase fundraising success
  • Navigates changes in the sector and financial markets enabling Exponent Philanthropy to meet current and projected organizational and development goals
  • Collaborates across all departments and teams to ensure a culture of philanthropy is created with specific alignment on strategy working in partnership with the membership retention and acquisition team. Key department partners are education programs, marketing, and membership.
  • Promotes a culture of care and people that values individual expertise of the advancement team members, their professional development, collective Exponent Philanthropy staff team, and advances our commitments to equity through our department and organizational practices/policies, creative problem solving, and work ethic
  • Partners with the membership (Associate Director of Data Strategy and Membership Engagement and Member Relations Specialist) and operations (Sr. Director of Operations and People and Operations Specialist) teams; and accounting support to fulfill grant, sponsorship, and general giving commitments, charitable receipts, reporting, and stewardship  
  • Coordinates the day-to-day operations and management for advancement department including fundraising, events, alignment with the membership team, and financial reporting



Leadership & Strategy (40%)

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of department strategy, making sure all development activities align with and support the organization’s financial sustainability and strategic priorities.
  • Support a team culture that allows for individuals to work collaboratively while letting their authentic-selves show up and contribute and work with other team leads to create an inclusive and equitable culture across teams.
  • Engage stakeholders across the organization to build up the department, support development efforts and serve as a strategic partner to other teams to increase non-dues revenue.
  • Hire, manage, and lead the development team, making sure the appropriate human resources and skillsets are in place to achieve individual and department goals. As revenues increases development staff capacity could increase, adding on a development associate/grants manager position.
  • Strategize with the Corporate Relations Manager and other staff as needed to engage prospects and secure gifts that align with funder and Exponent Philanthropy priorities.
  • Support Corporate Relations Manager and future staff in establishing and accomplishing individual goals, ensuring the appropriate and necessary tools and resources are available to facilitate, and encourage staff to pursue professional development to hone new skills and remain up-to-date of industry standards.
  • Create and maintain a department and organizational environment where innovative and forward-thinking ideas can be introduced, explored and implemented as appropriate.
  • Serves as staff lead in working and engaging with the Development Committee, and supports the CEO in engaging the Board of Directors as partners in fundraising through input, connections, and when appropriate prospecting, soliciting, and stewarding supporters.
  • Establish, communicate, and at least monthly update the goals and priorities for the development team, senior leadership team, and quarterly to the rest of the organization. 


Stewardship, Prospecting, Soliciting, & Outreach (30%)

  • Develop and implement strategy for prospecting major gifts from donors, including current members, grant opportunities, and other potential donors.
  • Develop a strategy for increasing revenue and donor retention year-to-year.
  • Develop a strong case for support that can be used across the organization to communicate the need for non-dues support.
  • Directly oversees grants management on application, implementation, and timely reporting
  • Engages the broader Exponent Philanthropy team in being partners in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and/or stewardship of individual donors, funders, and corporate supporters
  • Identify and support the stewardship of corporate partners that align with the strategic priorities of the organization.
  • Execute a strategic donor retention program that aligns with other organization communications and data tracking to ensure success of the overall program.
  • Lead the planning and execution of an annual appeal for general operating support to our membership, including: strategy, messaging, online and direct mail communications, and most effective practices in annual campaign solicitations while partnering and aligning strategy with the membership engagement and acquisition team.


Budget Oversight & Operations (25%)

  • Develop and manage the development budget to ensure alignment with the department strategy and set revenue targets that ensure the overall financial sustainability and strategic goals of the organization.
  • Develop systems and outline processes for that leverage Salesforce, Asana, and other internal systems to facilitate the work of the department, and integrate with the work happening across the organization.
  • Create processes and regular checks/balances to ensure donor, partner and sponsor data are captured correctly and appropriately.
  • Directly responsible making sure that donor, partner, and sponsor data are captured and recorded by all development staff recording prospect, donor, and stewardship information in the Salesforce system and other platforms in a timely fashion. This includes: (a) entering and tracking opportunities in Salesforce from prospecting to stewardship stages, and (b) developing and managing reports in Salesforce that capture pertinent data related to current and potential revenue generation, prospects in the moves management process, donor and sponsor retention rates that informs overall strategy.
  • Supports the Corporate Relations Manager or other development staff who work with finance on partner/sponsor agreement execution and storage, benefits activation, and revenue recognition to ensure follow through and completion.


Equity Learning and Culture Development (5%)

  • Participate actively in staff learning and training activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion both individually and supporting the learning of those that are managed
  • Pursue at least one external professional development opportunity annually to expand knowledge and application of equity practices.
  • Identify, pursue, and recommend opportunities to apply learnings to role, department, and organization as applicable.
  • Committed to living into our valuesand efforts to work towards a more equitable workplace.



About the Ideal Individual

  • Someone who possesses strong collaboration, fundraising, communication, and people management skills supported by a deep understanding of the nuances of development, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors
  • A natural collaborative leader that actively works to partner across departments, teams, and individuals regardless of role by breaking down silos and building a staff community of partners
  • A background and/or knowledge of the philanthropic sector, in particular the philanthropy securing organizations, networks, and membership associations to effectively communicate the value of Exponent to funders, the broader philanthropic community, and the national nonprofit community
  • A communicative and approachable person
  • A tech-savvy individual
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products, Sales Force, Asana, and other project and development management software platforms
  • Successful staff coaching/management experience with direct reports and partners across the organization (operations, accounting, membership staff, and/or contracted service providers)
  • A solid leader with high-emotional intelligence and values-based
  • An innovative doer who can adapt fundraising and advancement strategies in leading a team, partnering with membership staff, and/or working with the development committee, CEO, and/or other constituents
  • A resourceful and adaptable person
  • An abundant thinker


What You'll Need:

  • Demonstrated commitment to Exponent Philanthropy’s mission, vision, values, and promises 
  • At least eight plus years of successful experience in advancement and development including direct fundraising experience with individual donors, foundations, and corporations meeting organizational goals
  • At least five years of effective experience in managing and mentoring staff, working with volunteer committees and ambassadors, and working in the philanthropy, nonprofit, and/or association sectors
  • Knowledge of development, membership, and advancement systems, practices, and processes, including SalesForce, Moves Management, Asana, etc. (does not have to be an expert)
  • Excellent written, verbal, and customer service focused skills; analytical and organizational skills with attention to detail; and ability to work limited evening and weekend hours on occasion. 
  • Demonstrated experience leading and doing various fundraising roles in a growing team of direct funder and individual donor relations
  • Ability to be a strong team player with a modest sized staff and to pitch in with all work required 
  • Ability to travel to our home office in Washington DC quarterly as well as to funders throughout the United States
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree required, completion of a CFRE certificate or another fundraising credentials welcome



  • The salary range for the role is $125,000 to $140,000 annually, based on experience.
  • Exponent Philanthropy offers a generous benefits package to include:
    • Medical, dental and vision benefits
    • Life Insurance
    • Disability Insurance
    • Flexible Spending Account
    • 401(k) retirement plan
    • 12 paid federal holidays
    • Paid Time Off starting at 10 days a year



Remote work anywhere in the continental United States with required travel for donor, funder, and corporate cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship meetings, Exponent Philanthropy programs and conferences, and at least quarterly in-person meetings with the CEO, senior leadership team, and/or all staff.  Travel estimated at 25 to 40% of the work year.


Equal Opportunity Employer:

We strongly encourage women, people of color, bilingual and multicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities to apply. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition. Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. If you seek an accommodation, please advise in writing at the time you apply.  Exponent Philanthropy is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status. 


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