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Vice President of Development
Mother Jones in San Francisco, California
Date Posted 06/24/2022
Nonprofit-Senior/Executive Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Vice President of Development

Democracy is under attack. Come join Mother Jones to help fight for it.

With fearless, rigorously fact-checked reporting, America’s longest-running investigative journalism nonprofit exposes abuses of power, elevates unheard voices, and illuminates ways to make change. Our journalism reaches millions each month and has changed minds, laws, and the course of presidential campaigns. A community of more than 250,000 subscribers and donors powers a hybrid business that has become a model for the journalism field. At this moment of crisis and opportunity, we are looking for a visionary fundraising leader who wants to help build the media ecosystem on which democracy depends.

You: An exceptional fundraiser and collaborative leader, seasoned but not cynical, ready to be part of an experienced, drama-free leadership team that has delivered results year in and year out. In this role, you’ll manage your own portfolio of high-net-worth donors and prospects and lead a best-in-class team of development professionals. With a dedicated community of major donors, powerful prospect research and management, a growing planned-giving program, and strong foundation relationships, this team brings in more than $7 million each year (roughly 40 percent of Mother Jones’ total revenue). You’ll collaborate with Mother Jones’ membership department to leverage a broad subscriber and low-dollar-donor base. And you’ll come onboard as the organization gets ready to embark on a major fundraising campaign pegged to its 50th anniversary. Be ready to think big about expanding our community of support to match a broad and increasingly diverse audience.

Us: An organization rooted in values of fairness, justice, and collaboration that embraces change and respects facts, data, and truth. You’ll work alongside the journalists who create what the former editor of Slate called “our bravest, toughest magazine,” a newsroom serving 8–10 million people a month via video, podcast, print, and social media platforms, and training a cohort of emerging muckrakers each year through the Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program. And you’ll partner with our most senior leaders to advance diversity, equity, and belonging initiatives so Mother Jones can fully show up for a multigenerational and multiracial audience.


The vice president of development leads Mother Jones’ development strategy, maintaining and growing our philanthropic budget through the solicitation of major gifts, foundation grants, events, data-guided innovation, and other initiatives.


  • Conceive, develop, implement, and manage fundraising budgets and strategies
  • Create and execute multiyear fundraising plans for annual budget needs and growth opportunities
  • Provide development leadership for a 50th anniversary fundraising campaign and a quasi-endowment fund
  • Collaborate with the membership department in ensuring coordinated and integrated data, donor qualification, and advancement strategies, and ensuring effective marketing and growth of planned-giving opportunities
  • Identify, cultivate, and represent Mother Jones to a portfolio of 80 to 100 high-net-worth individuals and major foundations
  • Manage a team of seven high-performing development professionals
  • Work with CEO, major gift officers, and board of directors to identify and cultivate new major gift and board prospects
  • Oversee development of materials, marketing plans, and other donor programs
  • Ensure that funding proposals and reports are as well crafted as our journalism. Participate in proposal and report development and writing as needed

Work with other senior team members and the board of directors to:

  • Articulate and adapt organizational strategy and program priorities
  • Build, manage, and adapt annual budgets
  • Maintain a fiscally healthy organization
  • Nurture a diverse and inclusive workplace, audience, and community of support
  • Maintain working and learning relationships with other organizations in the field; manage high-level relationships with allies and partners in major initiatives
  • With CEO, liaise with the organization’s board of directors
  • Hire, train, mentor, and direct development staff


  • Proven success in guiding development staff to raise leadership-level support for a growing nonprofit organization
  • Experience with ambitious capital campaigns, including successful fundraising from multiple donor channels
  • Demonstrated commitment and experience incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as top priorities in organizational and fundraising work
  • Experience in deepening relationships and upgrading donor giving over time, and in identifying, cultivating, and successfully soliciting leadership gifts from new donors
  • Excellent communication skills, including creating powerful fundraising materials and sharing complex ideas through simple presentations
  • Record of building strong, collaborative relationships across an organization (e.g., with fellow managers, frontline staff, and board of directors)
  • Strong organizational and time management skills; grace under pressure
  • Strong understanding of how data underpins fundraising efforts; Salesforce experience a plus


Only applications submitted via this application form will be considered.

What you’ll need for the application form:

  • An updated resume
  • A well-thought-out cover letter outlining why you are right for this job; how your specific vision for this role can make meaningful change; and how your skills can achieve that vision
  • At least three examples of your own work for example, brochures and/or web pages.

Please apply at https://airtable.com/shrDwTNOTSNrssxux


Mother Jones and its parent organization, the Foundation for National Progress, are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, marital status, union activity, AIDS/HIV status, on-the-job injuries, or any status otherwise protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages and we especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

Our benefits include health, dental, and vision benefits for our employees and their dependents (premiums fully paid by Mother Jones), paid vacation starting at three weeks per year, pretax commuter benefits and an FSA program, a 1% 401(k) match, a flex-hours program, and a 37.5-hour workweek.

We are a distributed team that includes primary offices in San Francisco (where most of our executive team and about half our development staff is based), New York, and Washington DC. We are open to remote work, but travel to meet donors and colleagues will be required

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