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Seeking: Director of Development


New York City faces a moment of reinvention and of risk as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, grapples with a deep legacy of racism and inequality, and elects a fresh slate of local leaders. This moment demands journalism that is expert, responsive, and imaginative. We need reporters on city streets, and on key city beats, to hold the powerful to account, and to spur them to do better.

Traditional media outlets have retreated from this role, pressured by budget cuts, focused on national or global audiences, and constrained by legacy cultures. THE CITY was built to answer the challenge of building a healthy information commons that fosters civic engagement and supports democratic outcomes connecting residents to each other, and to the ideal of a more equitable city.

Our team brings deeply diverse skills and backgrounds to the task of covering New York’s neighborhoods, holding the powerful to account, and making sense of a sometimes bewildering city. Guided by data, but focused on people, our award-winning reporting consistently delivers impact, helping to drive reforms to solitary confinement and campaign finance rules, improve working conditions in the food delivery business, and secure better outcomes for people living in public housing.

With support from thousands of individual members, as well major local and national foundations, THE CITY is fast becoming a model for rebuilding local news.

We are now looking to grow our team of 25, strengthening our business capabilities, adding new technology and design skills, and building our newsroom to meet the moment.

THE POSITION: Director of Development

You will be the primary partner to the Executive Director in building and executing a fundraising strategy capable of supporting robust growth in a complex and competitive environment, working as part of a small leadership team.

Your objectives will include building a diverse pipeline of foundations, major gifts, and individual donors, and implementing processes to support sustained growth across all categories.

You will lead and have the support of a small team with grant writing, research, and marketing capabilities, and will oversee coordination with the editorial and product teams.

This is an opportunity to play a key role in the growth of an emerging New York institution, and to help develop a vital and increasingly high-profile national sector of nonprofit news outlets.

THE CITY has the track record of impact that will enable you to hit the ground running, and the strategic goals to inspire funders: We need your smarts, structured approach, and soft skills to take the next step in our growth.


Fundraising Strategy and Management

  • Develop and implement a fundraising strategy that delivers a sustainable mix of foundation, individual major gifts, and membership revenue.
  • Design and implement an annual development plan that incorporates short- and long- range goals
  • Maintain accurate, confidential records of progress and activity reports for the Executive Director and the Board of Directors
  • Participate in the budgeting process, monitor development expenditures, and oversee monthly and annual reconciliation of records
  • Support the Executive Director in his engagement with the Board of Directors, and ensure effective engagement with the Development Committee of the Board.
  • Oversee the planning and management of strategic cultivation and stewardship events
  • Maintain working knowledge of city, state and national priorities and issues, including major news stories that are of interest to our supporters
  • Work with the Executive Director to implement a communications plan, including development of messages, materials, and explanations of our work for use in strategic donor communications, annual reports, newsletters, and other communications that advance THE CITY’s mission and visibility.

Donor Management

  • Support the Executive Director and other leadership’s donor engagement as well as carry out face-to-face solicitations and other direct engagement with donors and prospects
  • Develop goals, strategies, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring that each one receives personalized contact
  • Identify new prospects for major gifts and opportunities for increased giving by current donors. Oversee prospect research and actively lead identification of prospects to bring new supporters into the organization
  • Oversee the drafting of donor correspondence and maintain primary responsibility for developing messages, strategy memos, talking points, and donor materials
  • Manage donor communications and administrative tasks
  • Oversee and conduct research and prepare reports on individual donor prospects
  • Oversee gift processing and acknowledgement distribution
  • Oversee the maintenance of the CRM and other relevant records

Grant Development & Management

  • Develop and manage annual fundraising calendar
  • Develop and manage a system for tracking restricted grant activity
  • Supervise the drafting of grant applications and reports
  • Ensure management of the grants management database, including tracking submissions, awards and reporting deadlines


  • Are passionate, energetic, and perceptive with exceptional proficiency in creative, strategic and analytical thinking, as well as practical problem-solving
  • Have excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills as well as organizational and time management skills
  • Thrive in an environment of rapid change and growth
  • Have experience in fundraising, including significant experience in major donor and foundation fundraising. Knowledge of the New York philanthropic community is a plus
  • Have demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various and diverse constituencies, including board members, staff, affiliates, partners, members, donors, and prospects
  • Have experience successfully overseeing and supervising colleagues
  • Are detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Have the ability to set and adhere to priorities
  • Have experience developing and managing brand and fundraising communication efforts (preferred)
  • Have sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of donor information
  • Have database and record-keeping proficiency, including donor database/CRM experience.
  • Have a firm commitment to the mission and principles of THE CITY.
  • Have a firm commitment to diversity: a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, involvement with the criminal justice system, and socioeconomic circumstance.

Your Life

Location: New York, NY

Start date: Fall 2021


Compensation, which is commensurate with experience, is competitive and includes health, dental, vision, 401k and vacation benefits.


To apply, click below to fill out our application form. You’ll need to upload a resume and cover note.

THE CITY is committed to diversity and especially encourages members of underrepresented communities to apply. We offer equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age, marital status, or protected veteran status.