NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Director of Development

January 12, 2015

New York, NY

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization.  Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality.  From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.

LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy and public education programs in the areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system. 


LDF seeks a Director of Development, a key member of the senior management team to conceptualize, organize and implement a comprehensive, strategic fundraising program for LDF’s work in the 21st century. It is expected that the Director of Development will increase the organization’s support from individuals, corporations and foundations, and play a key role in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors for annual and planned gifts.

This position is located in the New York office will report to the President and Director-Counsel.  S/he will work with the President and Director-Counsel, staff and Board to fully understand and determine the scope and depth of LDF’s future substantive work.  The Director of Development will supervise a team of professionals to include: Manager of Individual Giving, Manager of Special Events, Annual Giving Manager and support personnel.

The ideal candidate will bring knowledge of modern methodologies and an overall knowledge of fundraising to the LDF fundraising department.  S/he must have experience working with high level donors, have a proven fundraising track record and be passionate about the LDF mission. S/he will be able to establish strong, collaborative relationship with the President and Director-Counsel, Associate Director-Counsel, development staff and Board of Directors.


A.  Strategic Planning

  • Understand LDF; its mission, culture, policies, values, history, key stakeholders, programs and finances.
  • In partnership with the President and Director-Counsel and Board, establish a strategic vision for LDF’s fundraising and development activities.
  • Develop and implement short-term and long-term fundraising plans.
  • Communicate effectively with the Board of Directors and draw on their talents, resources and ideas to enhance fundraising activities.
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with the philanthropic community, individual and corporate donors and sponsors.

B.  Fundraising

  • Cultivate and directly solicit key donors
  • Provide ongoing and timely development information to the President and Director-Counsel and to the Development Committee of the Board of Directors in preparation for donor meetings and events
  • Ensure effective, ongoing and productive communication with LDF’s donors and donor prospects, including proper outreach, follow-up and stewardship of donor relationships
  • Plan and implement or delegate all personal solicitations and other activities included in the fundraising program.
  • Ensure successful planning, coordination and implementation of LDF’s annual special events.
  • Understand, assess and oversee the work of LDF’s local fundraising committees; provide direction and support for their activities.
  • Maintain and enhance relationships with major donors and work with the Manager of Major Gifts to identify and cultivate new major donors.
  • Serve as spokesperson and advocate for LDF’s mission and programs in the funding community.

C.  Management

  • Manage and supervise a staff of Development professionals.
  • Evaluate current Development department staffing needs; identify, cultivate and recruit new members of the development team, as appropriate.
  • Provide oversight and coordination for activities related to our fundraising information systems and software.
  • Provide ongoing fundraising training and education to senior management, staff and Board members.
  • Maintain a proactive, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of individual, foundation and corporate contributions.
  • Make donor stewardship a priority throughout the organization, coordinate production of fundraising related materials with the LDF communications team.


The ideal candidate will have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least eight to ten years of proven experience developing and implementing a successful fundraising effort for a non-profit institution.
  • Experience in the legal services, advocacy or human rights arenas is a plus.
  • A successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors, corporations and foundations for support and an ability to develop and implement successful donor stewardship plans.
  • A demonstrated history of and proven success in organizing and implementing such activities as: major gifts, annual funds, planned giving, corporate and foundation giving.
  • Effective, team-oriented leader and manager of people; demonstrated ability to develop and motivate staff.
  • An effective communicator; highly skilled in writing and speaking; adept at crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other kinds of materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with various constituencies, including Board, staff members, potential donors, corporate and foundation and civic leaders.
  • A deep knowledge and understanding of the funding community.
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.  Advanced degree a plus, along with demonstrated effort of continuing education in fundraising.
  • Ability to travel as needed.



Please submit your resume and cover letter by email to

Or to

Ms. Monica Garcia

Director of Human Resources

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

40 Rector Street, 5th floor

New York, NY 10006

LDF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, veteran status, sexual orientation, and disability.