Vice President of Development

Vice President of Development

Development Department

Full-Time, Exempt

Location: New York City (Hybrid)

Annual Salary: $140,000-$150,000

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks a new Head of the Development Department to provide strategic leadership and ensure that RFK Human Rights has the financial resources needed to fulfill its mission of promoting and protecting human rights in the US and Abroad. As a member of the Executive Team, this role leads the organization in designing and executing a five-year fundraising vision, strategy and implementation plan. The (Sr) VP role will steward a multi-dimensional fundraising strategy to raise over $80M by 2029 to fuel the organization’s work. The (Sr) VP of Development has ownership for revenue targets, drives revenue diversification, oversees development operations, and contributes to organization-wide strategy and stewardship.

About the Development Department:

The work of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is possible thanks to a dynamic, multi-source model of revenue, supported by an endowment, individual giving (largely driven by board and leadership council support), events (such as our annual Ripple of Hope gala and Compass Investor Conference(s), and institutional support.


Revenue generation and diversification

  • In conjunction with the President and Executive Team, identify and secure ongoing and new funding for current programmatic initiatives and new programs.
    • Create annual and multi-year fundraising plans, including long-range objectives and criteria for progress and measuring success.

    • Monitor and iterate fundraising plans against targets

  • Support the President, Board of Directors and others in their fundraising efforts, provide leadership and support to any special board committees, and report and present on revenue and development initiatives to the Board as a whole.
    • Confer with Board members, existing major donors, and other key stakeholders to identify prospects within their personal or professional networks

  • Partner with programmatic staff to align revenue to program goals and targets.

  • Manage a personal portfolio of top donors – cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of current and new donors, prospects and key strategic partners at the five-, six- and seven-figure level

  • Own or support relationship management for key funder prospects and donors.

  • Build on current organizational assets (n.b., events) and relationships to cultivate and close high level corporate sponsorships

  • Lead the growth and diversification of institutional grants, from both foundation and government sources

  • Explore new and innovative opportunities to grow revenue

Development operations and data

  • Establish and maintain data-driven systems and structures to support weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting to internal and external stakeholders; leverage data systems for exemplary donor stewardship

  • Work closely with the SVP of Communications to create and execute print and digital communications, special events, and other efforts, as needed

  • Anticipate the needs of other executive leaders and board, providing real-time updates

  • Manage the day-to-day administration and execution of fundraising and development operations; oversee and ensure usage of CRM system (Salesforce)

  • Conceptualize and oversee funder-related communications through a variety of mediums, including pitch decks, campaign overviews, evaluation plans, and grant proposals.

  • Identify and execute ways to achieve shared impact across other RFKHR programs, to mobilize RFKHR stakeholders in support of the work, and to increase the visibility of RFKHR and our work before the general public;

  • All new staff will undergo an introductory period of three (3) months as a training and learning period;

  • Do your part in keeping our operations running smoothly – tracking your hours and submitting timecards in a timely manner.

Management and organizational stewardship

  • Provide leadership, oversight and implementation of fundraising efforts to ensure achievement of revenue goals around events/special events, grants, corporate sponsorships and other gifts

  • As an executive team member, contribute to organizational vision, strategy and stewardship

  • Participate in the recruitment, hiring, and training of department staff.

  • Advocate for the development team, ensuring recruitment and training of department staff.

  • Manage and coach direct reports; promote communication and collaboration across the organization.

  • Provide feedback and guidance for team members to align individual goals with departmental and organizational goals.

  • Provide constructive and timely annual performance evaluations for team members.

  • Successfully align programmatic goals across the organization with RFK Human Rights’ strategic priorities.

A successful candidate must have the following skills and experiences:

  • At least 7 years of leadership experience in professional fundraising and development, business partnership development, or similar fields.

  • Strong strategic thinking skills; the ability to lead initiatives that increase revenue, awareness, and impact across multiple stakeholder groups

  • A demonstrated passion for RFKHR’s mission and demonstrated commitment to community-centered advocacy

  • Ability to build a team and strategically prioritize the organization’s resources to reach its maximum potential;

  • Ability to provide effective feedback, you’re able to manage up and horizontally;

  • Demonstrated project management skills, including the ability set clear goals, establish and manage budgets, and establish accountability processes

  • Demonstrated ability to develop, foster and build donor and corporate relationships and proven experience with year-over-year fundraising growth

  • Demonstrated success in making and closing fundraising and requests of individuals and institutions to meet and support fundraising goals.

  • Ability to analyze and use data (including CRM systems) to set fundraising strategy and priorities, track donor cultivation, measure outcomes, and drive performance.

  • Executive presence with excellent written and verbal communication skills to represent the organization externally.

  • Ability to persuasively articulate the organization’s mission and programs.

  • Strong attention to detail and able to scope out errors, including a willingness to own and fix mistakes

  • Interpersonal skills to build and sustain relationships with diverse constituencies internally and externally; exceptional people management skills

  • Flexible and creative thinking to identify “big bets” – strategic opportunities that align with RFKHR’s mission and organizational goals

  • Exceptional time management, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at once

  • High level of integrity and discretion in handling confidential information

  • Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential

  • Strong sense of teamwork that builds positive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and a willingness to help others;

  • Believes in inclusivity when working with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Preferred but not required qualifications:

  • Experience working with special events (preferred)

  • Prior experience in human rights, democracy, international relations or advocacy organizations is a plus

  • CFRE certified is a plus

Benefits and other Perks:

  • Flexibility and independence to help manage your work and home life: We have a hybrid office set-up, staffers come into the office 1-2 times per week and have the ability to work from home for the rest of the week. Teams coordinate in-office attendance collectively.

  • RFKHR values your health: RFK Human Rights covers 100% of individual-only costs of our platinum medical, dental, vision benefits, and subsidizes the cost for dependent coverage.

  • RFKHR understands the importance of financial planning and saving:
    • An automatic contribution of 7% of your salary after your first year of employment.

    • A College Saveup/Loan PayDown program with an automatic $200/monthly contribution for any current loans or future loans.

    • An automatic monthly cell phone & internet speed stipend of $125/monthly to offset any phone & internet expenses.

    • Employees receive a $1,000 benefits card each calendar year to use towards food and home & life purchases to help support work from home needs.

  • RFKHR values your growth: RFK Human Rights provides an annual $2,000 professional development stipend to all full-time staff to use towards any courses, conferences, or training that would further one’s professional learning and development. As well as professional development days/hours to complete these courses.

  • RFKHR loves to celebrate human rights advocates and our hard work! We do so by hosting award ceremonies, galas, summer outings, holiday parties, potlucks, domestic and international staff retreats, and spur-of-the-moment social outings.

How to Apply:

  • Submit your resume and cover letter to [email protected] with “Your Name + (Sr) VP of Development” in the subject heading.

  • In your cover letter please include how you heard about this role and why you’re interested in this position.

No phone calls please. RFK Human Rights will contact qualified candidates directly.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and believes we are stronger and more effective by working internally and externally with people of all abilities, diverse backgrounds, and a range of perspectives, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or underrepresented. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seek a diverse applicant pool. If you’re in need of an accomodation at any time during the application and hiring process please contact us by emailing your request to [email protected] with the subj. line “Accommodation Request”. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Having documents in alternate formats or read aloud

  • Having interviews in a more accessible location/format