Since 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has been the vanguard in the battle for civil rights and racial justice in the United States. Founded under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who went on to serve as the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF brought together an intrepid team of attorneys with a bold vision for a truly just and equal democracy. They shaped the foundations of the civil rights all Americans enjoy today.

Nearly 80 years later, LDF lawyers continue to battle against voting laws that suppress African American votes, racially discriminatory barriers to employment and housing, ongoing segregation in our nation’s schools, and a criminal justice system that too harshly punishes people of color. LDF’s policy advocates bring their expertise to Capitol Hill, while their organizers are on the ground in communities across the country supporting local efforts to transform policing, education, and more.

LDF is renowned for its “impact litigation,” targeted cases which drive critical advances in civil rights—most notably their landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine of segregation and led to the integration of the nation’s public schools.

LDF’s work focuses on the four interconnected areas of political participation, criminal justice reform, education equity, and economic justice. Over the years, their victories have secured equal access to the ballot and to public accommodations for African Americans, eradicated arbitrary barriers to employment opportunity, and eroded racial bias within the criminal justice system. Outside the courtroom, LDF advocates have ensured that major civil rights laws including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fair Housing Act were passed, reauthorized, and implemented.

Today, we are facing a watershed moment in our democracy. LDF must bolster its resources and move strategically to forcefully counter what could amount to a generational rollback of rights for every American.

LDF seeks a collaborative, motivated and experienced individual to serve as Senior Director of Development Operations to help set strategy for the Development Department and its upcoming campaign in celebration of LDF’s 80th Anniversary in 2020. Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO,) the Senior Director will play a critical leadership role in developing, implementing and managing high quality day-to-day Development operations systems. The Senior Director will create and manage an effective infrastructure to maximize fundraising and constituent relations efforts by optimizing business processes and systems and providing timely analysis to support data-driven decision-making in anticipation and support of donor needs.

The Senior Director of Development Operations will be responsible for operationalizing the CDO’s strategy and charged with ensuring that the entire Development team is functioning at the highest level of effectiveness by developing systems that align with LDF’s vision of excellence.


  • Partner with the CDO to develop a growing department, by establishing new protocols, implementing best practices in development operations, developing goals and metrics for all team members, and regularly measuring progress toward goal;
  • Collaborate with the Senior Director of Major Giving and the Senior Director of Institutional Giving to ensure they develop work plans and timelines, evaluate data and create reports to advance strategy and secure philanthropic contributions;
  • As a team builder, the Senior Director of Development Operations will oversee a data-based approach that ensures gift officers execute strategies that result in the meaningful engagement and successful solicitation of prospects;
  • Work with the Director of Special Events and Strategic Partnerships to ensure that events and stewardship programs are fully integrated across all areas of the Development Departments and running efficiently and effectively;
  • Supervise Prospect Research Manager to assign prospective donors to gift portfolios, specifically by using data to identify potential new donors and to grow a robust pipeline of leadership gift prospects;
  • Supervise the Database Manager to ensure the data team is accurately recording, tracking and reporting gifts;
  • Utilize data to identify regions where LDF may expand its development efforts and provide recommendations to implement;
  • Serve as Development Department liaison for the Finance Department, and be responsible for producing timely reports for the Finance Department teams;
  • Partner with the CDO to prepare reports for LDF’s Board of Directors, Development Committee, volunteer leadership committees, and senior management team;
  • Mastermind the Development calendar and meeting schedules, both internal and external, to optimize the time spent executing the fundraising strategy;
  • Create systems to ensure effective communication between internal and external stakeholders;
  • Manage relationships with key vendors and ensure effective systems for purchasing and maintaining Development materials and supplies;
  • Manage a personal portfolio of 20-30 donors with 5-7 figure capacity;
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.


  • Minimum 10 years of experience in development, preferably in development operations;
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Advanced degree preferred;
  • Highly organized individual with strong project management skills and the ability to prioritize and manage deadlines;
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Experience working with senior executives and high-profile donors and volunteer leadership;
  • Flexibility and ability to work independently and as a team player with a range of constituents and colleagues;
  • Experience with fundraising databases; familiarity with Raiser’s Edge a plus;
  • Commitment to the mission and growth of LDF;
  • Experience with civil rights, human rights, or educational organizations a plus;
  • Excellent computer skills and advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office (Excel, Power-point, Word) programs.

Critical Competencies for Success:

  • Track record of developing systems, policies and protocols, leveraging data to create gift portfolios, metrics and evaluative methods;
  • History of developing statements of support in writing with the highest level of attention to detail;
  • Demonstrated ability to solicit, cultivate and steward donors, maintaining their engagement with an organization.

Other Characteristics:

 The successful candidate will be passionate about the mission of The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and value how fundraising contributes to that mission.  He/she will be a seasoned professional capable of proactively developing systems to maximize fundraising potential and articulating strategies while working in a fast-paced environment, maintaining flexibility and a sense of urgency. The ideal candidate will be organized and entrepreneurial, able to work with senior management as well as manage a collaborative team, enabling staff to perform at the highest level to achieve the best possible outcomes. The candidate must have the organizational and systems skills to create protocols and metrics that measure and advance a development team’s goals.

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The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information.