Chief Development Officer

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a strategic, collaborative, and mission-driven leader to serve as our Chief Development Officer to oversee all fundraising strategy in partnership with a dedicated staff. Our mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs is more important in this moment than ever before. We are looking for a leader who is energized by our vision for economic justice and aligned with our strategic priorities of dismantling structural racism and building worker power.

About National Employment Law Project

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity-building, and communications.

Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. We build worker power, and we challenge rules that allow corporate harm and undue power. We are transforming precarious work by raising the floor so that every job is a good job and everyone who wants a job can have one. Together over the next decade, we will build Black, immigrant worker power and advance transformative solutions to achieve racial and economic justice.

For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:

In January of 2020, NELP welcomed our new Executive Director, Rebecca Dixon, whose vision for economic justice is deeply rooted in her lived experience at the intersection of race, class, and gender, and growing up in rural Mississippi. A national leader recognized for her expertise in labor law and policy, Rebecca believes that a just and inclusive economy is only achievable by centering racial equity.

NELP has a team of 45 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with a 12-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $14M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.


The Chief Development Officer will work collaboratively across the organization to bring together their knowledge and NELP staff expertise in ways that make powerful use of our collective talents.

This is an ideal opportunity for a development leader who is looking to work with a values-aligned organization with a strong foundation. NELP is led by an Executive Director who is an enthusiastic and skilled fundraiser, has a highly capable development team and expert program staff known for the quality and impact of their work. The organization is financially sound and counts on long-term, positive relationships with funders and other partners in the field.

NELP has longstanding relationships with many generous philanthropists who serve both as thought partners and as funders; we receive the majority of our support from foundation partners (much of this funding is via multi-year grants) and are also supported by individual donors who engage with our work in various ways.

The Chief Development Officer will work in close partnership with our Executive Director to develop and successfully execute a comprehensive fundraising strategy to sustainably maintain the revenue goal of more than $10 million annually for our own budget. In addition to seeking direct funding for our own programs, NELP has a commitment to building the movement’s collective impact by regranting $2-3M annually to partner organizations with a special emphasis on Black, immigrant-led grassroots organizations.

The Chief Development Officer will report to the Executive Director and will be a member of the executive management team, which develops and implements the overall organizational vision and strategy and models our core values. The Chief Development Officer will collaborate with program leadership to ensure the fundraising strategy is amplifying the programmatic vision. Equally important will be developing, coaching, and providing direct supervision to a team of dedicated staff including a Development Manager, a Grants Manager, and any contracted consultants.

What You Will Do

Your responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • You will develop, manage, and regularly report progress against the fundraising plan. Your plan will include cultivation and funder relationship management strategies and campaigns for foundations as well as other institutional funders and individuals. You will use the existing tools or direct the creation of new tools for managing donor engagement, communications, priorities and deadlines. The development team will work closely with the finance team on revenue forecasting and tracking as well as grant budget management and reporting.
  • You will be a strategic thought partner with leadership to pursue fundraising initiatives that reflect our annual objectives and strategies, including engaging in donor cultivation and proposal development that exemplifies our values and builds resources for our mission.
  • You will support your team as they manage the grant life cycle and draft grant reports for approximately 40 grants.
  • You will work with the leadership team to actively contribute to NELP becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies our values.
  • You will foster a sense of purpose and strong collaboration in your team by developing and coaching your team to grow professionally.
  • You will be supported in continuing to develop your own competencies as a manager as a part of our organization-wide commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • You will lead a partnership between your development team, the communications team and our program staff to develop and execute a communications strategy directed toward current and potential donors, raising our visibility, and keeping these key stakeholders informed.
  • You will work closely with our Executive Director to actively engage the board and build board support, including new board member cultivation and onboarding. When appropriate, you will engage board members in new donor identification and cultivation initiatives.

Who You Are

  • You have 10+ years of progressively responsible leadership experience in development, some significant portion of which is focused on institutional/foundation giving, and at least 5 years of managerial, supervisory, or team leadership experience (either concurrent or not.)
  • You have knowledge of contemporary conversations and opportunities in philanthropy, actively following development trends and thought leaders, and are familiar with major institutional funders whose work aligns with NELP’s objectives.
  • You are a strategic thinker who can manage details of budgeting, planning, and reporting while also holding the bigger picture of NELP’s mission; you have a track record of increasing organizational success by operationalizing a vision across an organization, and using evaluation tools and metrics to support accountability.
  • You have a justice-oriented understanding of how race and power impact relationships, organizational culture, and partnerships, and are committed to a personal and professional practice around deepening this understanding, continuously learning, reflecting, and growing.
  • You are a leader who builds relationships that foster trust and transparency across lines of difference by listening deeply, and offers direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose.
  • You are an inspirational, self-aware, curious, respectful and relational leader with strong interpersonal skills fostering a sense of purpose and community, empowering your team to grow and develop professionally, and have high standards for holding yourself and others accountable. You have a proven record of collaborating, influencing, and encouraging others to shift mindsets.
  • You are an effective, persuasive communicator with strong presentation, speaking, written, and nonverbal skills, who conveys information clearly and concisely, internally and externally, with high emotional intelligence and professional judgment.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, humility, and camaraderie.
  • You have experience in a social justice nonprofit, preferably focused on labor law and policy, labor unions, or workers’ rights.

We recognize that there are many paths to this role and other competencies and experiences we may not have considered. If you have questions regarding your qualifications, please see “Hiring Process” section for where to direct your inquiry.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits:  In response to the pandemic, all staff are currently working remotely and are not traveling. Candidates must be able to work from one of NELP’s offices (New York City, Washington D.C., Berkeley, California) once we return to working in the office. We have a strong preference that the Chief Development Officer be based in either the Washington D.C. or New York City office. Start date will be as soon as possible. The annual salary for this position is $160K.  Compensation also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation (23 days per year) and sick leave (15 days per year), plus additional organization-wide holidays, contribution from employer to a retirement plan, 12 weeks paid parental leave, and student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants. As advocates for workers’ rights, including the right to organize and bargain over working conditions, staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW, excluding, however, management and certain other categories. This position is in management.

To apply: We have retained nonprofit talent agency People Power as our search partner for this hire. To apply, please send a resume and a cover letter addressing your qualifications and interests in this position along with a writing sample of any kind or length. We also welcome applicants to also include relevant, short samples of their previous work—written reports, links to web-based publications, grant proposals, LOIs, podcasts, pitch letters, press releases, videos, and any other materials demonstrating communication skills or subject matter expertise are welcome. To apply, send an email with the subject line [Your Name] Chief Development Officer to:

We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Hiring process: We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to NELP’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Please do not contact NELP directly to inquire about the status of your application.

Selected applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview via phone or video. Selected candidates will then be invited to 3-4 longer-form interviews via video with the Executive Director and other members of the executive team and staff. You may also be asked for additional writing samples and/or to meet informally with additional team members.

We welcome your interest and feedback. If you have questions regarding your qualifications for this position, compensation or benefits, our process or internal timeline or hiring, would like to make a confidential inquiry, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email Kate Brumage at People Power:

People Power is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to create a new equity-centered model for identifying and developing talent to power the movement for social justice. People Power is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To learn more about People Power, please visit their website:

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