Advancement Director (Fundraising) - DJDS
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Advancement Director (Fundraising)




Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) is the only nonprofit architecture and real estate development firm in the country that innovates in and around the built environment to address the root causes of mass incarceration. With a focus on restorative justice and restorative economics, we partner with and serve low-income communities of color across the country. Our work counters the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of justice — courthouses, jails, prisons, etc. — by designing and developing new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms, and re-entry housing for formerly-incarcerated men and women. To achieve the mission and continue our ethos, the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production staff, and community organizers; and projects often involve community members and systems-impacted individuals as experts, consultants, and contractors. Our work is founded on restoration and we incorporate it into our company culture and operations. We engage with our communities and partners with trauma-informed processes and patience. We value — and practice — self-awareness and personal growth in order for all staff members to be able to bridge the communities in which we work, from philanthropy to elected officials to those incarcerated and their communities of care.




Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Director of Advancement serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting DJDS. In partnership with the ED, this position is responsible for all fundraising and development activities. The successful candidate will help maintain current philanthropic relationships and forge new ones to continue to build DJDS’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.

The Director of Advancement will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to sustain a $4M annual budget through the solicitation of six and seven figure grants from regional and national foundations, major gifts from individual donors, and grants from local, state and federal government agencies.

It is expected that the amount raised by DJDS will continue to increase in future years as the Director of Advancement systematically and effectively strengthens the organization’s overall fundraising capacity.




  • Support and partner with the ED and other DJDS directors on all major advancement initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the Chief of Operations and Chief Financial Officer to develop and implement DJDS’s financial strategy and provide ongoing financial counsel to the ED.
  • Active and engaged participation in the DJDS Directors Hive Mind sessions.
  • Implement a comprehensive advancement strategy for DJDS.
  • Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals and fundraising collateral; write and archive all proposals with a long-term relationship-management approach.
  • Oversee research funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position DJDS ahead of major funding changes or trends 
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to board and senior leaders. 
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the advancement program.
  • Identify, develop, and mentor the advancement team.
  • Participate in the Marketing/Communications/PR work of DJDS to ensure marketing campaigns, stories and earned media are also supporting fundraising objectives.
  • Lead and implement the organization’s donor stewardship process, including acknowledgment letters and donor engagement activities
  • Initiate and Participate in solicitation meetings/calls with foundations and corporations
  • Manage the grants calendar. Prepare and update all grant proposals and attachments and ensure that all proposals, reports, and supplemental materials are submitted early.
  • Leverage contact list(s) to optimize fundraising opportunities, communiticates, and pitches.
  • Conduct monthly prospect research and manage an individual, corporate, and foundation pipeline
  • Manage the creation of engaging content and marketing materials, including an annual report and annual appeals. Draft or otherwise contribute to the copy for all these materials.
  • Lead planning for all fundraising events and donor cultivation events
  • Manage an individual donor portfolio as designated by the Executive Director
  • Support the Executive Director in Board cultivation and fundraising efforts
  • Monitor progress to goals on a monthly basis and prepare compelling and accurate reports for the Executive Director and Board
  • Serve as an ambassador of DJDS to the general public, attending and speaking at relevant conferences, events, and professional convenings
  • Manage the submission of and contribute content for a high volume of grant proposals, in the $50K – $10M range, to government, foundations, corporations, and private funders
  • Monitor and report on the performance of the portfolio of funded grants to funders and other audiences
  • Cultivate and steward institutional relationships, including scheduling and coordinating meetings, site visits, and other engagement opportunities
  • Coordinate funder meetings to coincide with leadership travel and follow up accordingly to maintain relationships




  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and a high level of discretion.
  • Exceptional skills in cross-disciplinary collaborative team work
  • Facilitation skills and conflict management
  • Commitment to DJDS’ mission and goals, as well as an interest in criminal justice reform
  • Attend and participate in thought leadership of DJDS’s organizational model and financial opportunities to include attending and speaking at relevant conferences and convenings
  • Strong self-awareness, with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences.
  • High level of emotional intelligence and ability to apply it.
  • Robust understanding of community-led processes
  • Adaptability to uncertainty and emergent project processes 
  • Acute understanding of systemic racism and social inequities and its impacts on a range of individuals from systems impacted individuals and their communities of care to elected officials.
  • Thoughtful, empathetic negotiation skills 
  • The ability to balance the mindset to abundance with the realities of a business needs and flows. 
  • Appreciation for aesthetic design




  • 15-plus years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization, including a significant track record of leading a fundraising team and working with foundations.
  • Demonstrated success in a fundraising function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources).
  • Strategic thinker who is able to “connect the dots” in philanthropic relationships and motivations.
  • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside DJDS.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • High energy and passion for DJDS’s mission is essential.
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic advancement plan.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Proficiency creating and managing an annual advancement budget, and with reviewing and understanding financial statements (Annual Operating Budget, P&L, Balance Sheet, Audited Financials and 990 Forms)
  • Customer focus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.
  • Committed to data integrity and documenting donor activities and moves management in the DJDS donor database.




  • Healthcare benefits with options for medical insurance under the company group plan. Employer contributes 100% of employee healthcare offered under the group healthcare offerings.
  • Compensation commensurate with experience.



Please send a resume and cover letter using the instructions listed below.
Subject Line: Advancement Director
Attachment: One multipage PDF not to exceed 3MB


The PDF should include:

  • Cover letter (in your cover letter please include (please limit to 400 words max):
    • Your definition of Restorative Justice 
    • Your definition of Trauma-Informed Practice
    • An example where you have observed or participated in Non-Violent Communication
    • Your understanding of Emotional Intelligence and it’s relation to personal accountability
  • Resume


Please, no phone calls or recruiters. All applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.