Development Director
Mississippi Center for Justice - Jackson, MS

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The Mississippi Center for Justice seeks a dynamic development professional to lead our fund development efforts that support the full range of the Center's advocacy and operations. This professional should be a creative and strategic thinker with extensive experience in soliciting funds from major donors, law firms, corporations, and foundations in Mississippi and nationally. He or she will lead a vibrant development team committed to steadily growing the enterprise and working collaborative to raise funds and increase the Center's visibility inside and outside of Mississippi. The position will be located in the Center's Jackson headquarters.

About the Center

Founded in 2003, the Center is a statewide nonprofit organization that advances racial and economic justice through systemic change. Our staff includes lawyers, policy analysts, community organizers, communications experts, and administrators who work out of three offices in Jackson, Indianola and Biloxi. The Center's advocacy includes direct legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, community organizing, coalition building, public education, and media advocacy. Through a broad range of national, regional and local partnerships, the Center expands opportunities for low-wealth Mississippians and communities of color to access education, health care, housing, income security, fair lending, and community economic development.

The Center has grown quickly in its ten-year history to a 34-person staff and a $4.3 million budget. We have gained a reputation as one of the most successful and innovative public interest law organizations in the country. The Center's work has been featured in the national media, and we receive financial support from national and regional foundations, corporations, and law firms, as well as individual donors. Pro bono partnerships with law firms and law schools are central to our business model. Since 2006, more than 600 attorneys have provided volunteer legal assistance to the Center and our clients, and more than 2000 law students have traveled to our offices to volunteer.

The Center holds two major fundraising events each year: the Mississippi on the Potomac reception in Washington, D.C. and the Champions of Justice Dinner in Jackson. We hold smaller events in other cities. Revenue from contributions now exceeds $1 million, and the Center raises over $3 million from foundations. The Development Director will have responsibility for overseeing all aspects of our fundraising operations, with particular emphasis on growing the Center's major donor base.

Job Responsibilities

The Development Director will serve on the Center's executive team and report directly to the President/CEO. He or she will supervise the Center's Donor Relations Manager, Foundation Development Director and development consultants, and coordinate closely with the Center's communications team. Specific duties include:
  • Working closely with the President to develop a strategic fundraising plan with specific goals, targets and tactics to continually increase revenue.
  • Developing systems and operations needed to support an aggressive fundraising program.
  • Increasing the breadth of the Center's in-state and out-of-state major donor base.
  • Planning and executing the Center's annual fundraising events.
  • Soliciting contributions from individuals, law firms, corporations, and foundations inside and outside of Mississippi.
  • Overseeing and upgrading the Center's fundraising database.
  • Working closely with the Center's communications team to develop fundraising communications materials, including print, audio visual and interactive pieces.
  • Developing additional fundraising components such as planned giving, law student alumni giving and endowment giving.
  • Overseeing the Center's direct response program, including writing copy for periodic and year-end appeals.
Qualifications
  • Ten or more years of fundraising experience, including personal cultivation, solicitation and closing of individual major gifts.
  • A commitment to and ability to articulate the Center's vision, mission and impact.
  • Experience in serving on leadership teams in progressive nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience and success in the cultivation and stewardship of volunteer and donor networks through a variety of creative outreach strategies, including events and communications.
  • Experience in implementing and managing databases and other systems needed to support an aggressive fundraising program.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Experience with developing and implementing strategies for list expansion and engagement through social media.
  • Team player with excellent organizational, networking and relationship-building skills.
  • Self-starter who is able to multi-task.
  • Preference given to applicants with knowledge of the Mississippi legal and philanthropic communities.
The Mississippi Center for Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value a work place that is diverse in gender, race, economic status, age, geographic origin, sexual orientation, and other differences that enrich our organizational culture.

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