This is a moment like no other to defend democratic institutions—including a vigorous and independent press. Mother Jones is the nation’s widest-reaching and longest-lived investigative reporting organization, and today we are at the forefront of developing a new model for muckraking journalism—one built on an extraordinary community of reader support. Join us in building the journalism that our democracy needs right now.
You’ve put in the time: You have the experience and working knowledge of how to reach, steward, and raise funds from high-net-worth individuals. You’ve taken on increasingly complex duties working with individual donors, mastering the art of successful relationship building—and you understand the challenges and possibilities of moving donors into a deeper relationship with a cause and organization they care about. And you have a superb knowledge of the networks and philanthropic culture that makes Chicago a national leader—and the Upper Midwest from Minneapolis to Cleveland a unique region—when it comes to philanthropy.
Now, you’re looking for the next big step in your professional development. And you’re looking to make it with an organization that’s known for innovative approaches to fundraising, and whose work makes a genuine difference in the world. You know how you work best: with a lot of independence, but with a team of terrific collaborating professionals.
Named 2017 Magazine of the Year and reaching more than 8 million people each month in print and online, Mother Jones is a world-class nonprofit journalism organization with more than 40 years of history, tested leadership, and a clear sense of mission and position.
Time and again, our reporting has broken through to the larger public—consider David Corn’s election-shaping 47 percent story during the 2012 presidential campaign, or his October 2016 exposé of the Russia-Trump dossier that set the stage for the most serious challenges to the Trump presidency, or reporter Shane Bauer’s 35,000-word investigation into the private prison industry. We cover the issues that matter—democracy and inequality, global security, war and peace, racial justice, corruption and cronyism, gender and reproductive justice, criminal justice, climate, health, food and agriculture, the future of work and education—and do it in a way that reaches millions, influences opinion, and affects the public debate. That’s why we’ve been called an “internationally recognized powerhouse.”
Driving this success is a business model grounded in broad-based reader support: two-thirds of our revenue comes from our readers, either as subscriptions or donations. (The balance is split between foundation grants and advertising revenue.) So while VC-funded and advertising-dependent media outlets go through round after round of layoffs and cutbacks, we’ve grown, with 104 full-time staffers and journalism fellows based in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC.
This is truly the moment for Mother Jones—a moment when uncertainty, heightened tensions both domestically and globally, and a tectonic shift in economic, cultural, and political assumptions dominate the news. You can help us meet this challenge.
We’re looking for a committed, experienced, self-directed Regional Development Director to deepen Mother Jones’ community of donor support and volunteer leadership in the Upper Midwest, specifically to identify, cultivate, and solicit major donors at the $5,000-plus level. You’ll also participate in the final year of the Moment for Mother Jones special fundraising campaign, which to date has raised $20 million in gifts, grants, and bequest expectancies to support expansion and longer-term sustainability of the organization.
You’ll be part of a small but mighty 10-person development team responsible for raising almost half of Mother Jones’ $17.5 million budget from major donors, foundations, planned gifts, events, and midlevel donors. Your portfolio is currently managed by staff from San Francisco; you’ll begin with a core portfolio of roughly 30 major donors with varying levels of support and engagement and will collaborate with an existing team of three Chicago-based members of the board of directors.
You’ll collaborate on event production with Mother Jones‘ public affairs team (based in San Francisco) and will call on both organizational leadership and editorial staff members to help you tell Mother Jones‘ story to donors. You’ll be in regular conversation with Mother Jones‘ publisher and with other development staff both online and by regular and frequent face-to-face get-togethers.
We’re increasingly taking advantage of tools like Salesforce and Wealth Engine to help point us toward fruitful relationships with prospective donors, but the key to it all is experience, maturity, the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with donors, and the joy of raising funds for a great cause. At least to start, a home office or desk in a co-working space will be your worksite.
- Manages and grows a defined major donor portfolio that includes current, lapsed, and prospective donors; the long-term objective is for this portfolio to generate at least $1 million in annual revenue
- Responsible for personally soliciting gifts and building and maintaining strong relationships with individual donors and institutions. Centered in Chicago, the portfolio will include donors and prospects throughout the Upper Midwest roughly from Minneapolis/St Paul to Cleveland
- Increases the prospective donor base through the identification, evaluation, cultivation, and solicitation of “suspects,” or people who have not previously given to the organization
- Develops solicitation strategies and giving opportunities that match donors’ interests. Utilizes senior leadership in this area where appropriate
- Organizes and staffs an Upper Midwest volunteer leadership council to support staff fundraising
- Works with the publisher to develop an annual budget of income and expense projections that reflect specific prospect cultivation and solicitation responsibilities
- Produces events—from intimate house parties to high-profile soirees—to cultivate donors, identify new prospects, and increase the visibility of the organization
- Identifies, develops, and supports volunteer leaders and board leadership throughout the Upper Midwest and Chicago in particular
- Identifies, cultivates, and educates prospects for planned gifts
- Other responsibilities as necessary as assigned by the publisher
- Knowledge of the individual major donor market in the Upper Midwest with particular experience and expertise in Chicago philanthropy
- Ability to assess and address priorities efficiently, to take initiative and follow through on projects, and to think strategically
- Passion for the mission of Mother Jones
- Demonstrated experience in self-directed development strategy design and implementation
- Strong commitment to and development background in public-interest work
- Four to six years of general development experience with a minimum of two years’ experience in personal solicitation of donor prospects
- Computer literate in MS Office suite; Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack also preferred
- Excellent interpersonal skills; skilled at working alone and as a team member with peers and volunteer leaders
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Willingness to travel; this position will entail regular travel throughout the Midwest and to the San Francisco Bay Area
- College degree preferred
- Highly organized and detail oriented
- Displays grace under pressure of multiple deadlines
Mother Jones and its parent organization, the Foundation for National Progress, are committed to building and maintaining a diverse and welcoming workplace. We do not discriminate in our hiring based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, veteran status, union activity, physical or mental disability, AIDS/HIV status, on-the-job injuries, age, or any status otherwise protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.
To apply, please send a résumé and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Regional Development Director—Midwest” in the subject line. No calls please.