Educating leaders for a sustainable future.

Position: Vice President of Development

Location: New York City, NY

Akilah seeks an experienced Vice President of Development (VPD) in the U.S. to lead Akilah’s fundraising strategy, donor cultivation and institutional development efforts during an exciting phase of growth from a $1 million annual budget to $3 million+ in 2015/2016.

The VPD will leverage an existing donor base and build relationships with new foundations and individual donors.  The VPD will work to increase Akilah’s visibility and financial sustainability, including securing new grants and major gifts from individuals and family foundations while setting up systems and structures to support the US-based entity. Reporting directly to the President who is based in our NYC office, the VPD will cultivate and manage relationships to meet the ambitious goals of building and growing the Akilah mission and vision.


Leadership & Management: 

  • Manage a small team of development and operations staff, and lead hiring/onboarding of future new members.
  • Ensure consistent quality of fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Actively engage and energize Akilah volunteers, board members, event committees, partnering organizations, and funders.

Development & Communications:

  • Collaborate with the CEO, President, and Communications Manager to develop a new fundraising strategy, and ensure consistent rollout across all aspects of development, communications and marketing.
  • Increase yields from existing global donor network of over 3,000 members through strategic  cultivation and stewardship.
  • Vigorously expand and diversify Akilah’s funding base by identifying and tapping into new networks of investors and supporters through letter writing, in-person meetings, phone calls and email/social media outreach.
  • Create innovative fundraising vehicles, such as email campaigns utilizing social media, partnering with other organizations to maximize fundraising outcomes, hosting diverse types of events specially tailored to diverse types of donors and potential donors.
  • Ensure accurate maintenance of records, prospects, and donor information in the Salesforce development database
  • Attend conferences and fundraising events to represent Akilah.


  • Lead, manage and successfully implement the annual Metropolitan Safari tour across the United States with the primary focus being on tailoring each city’s event to maximize yield and cultivation. Support team consists of at least 2 people.
  • Build future Akilah events, such as major receptions/dinners that raise awareness, money, and engage individuals, foundations, and corporations.

Outreach & Cultivation:

  • Research philanthropic interests of prospective partners and develop and implement strategies for engagement; prospective partners may include American and international foundations, organizations, corporations, and private individuals and family foundations.
  • Cultivate and steward donor relationships through regular, tailored, and timely contact.
  • Develop presentation materials, funding proposals, reports, etc. required by donors.
  • Strategically engage Akilah’s Board of Directors and other staff in fundraising efforts.


  • Proven leadership and organizational management skills with the ability to inspire and motivate others during an ambitious period of growth.
  • Demonstrated personal success with fundraising, including experience raising money through foundations, individual donors, and events.
  • Demonstrated ability to create strategy and manage against strategic goals.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, able to interact comfortably with and understand the interests of a variety of constituents while inspiring excitement and support for the organizational mission
  • Experience in hiring, managing, and evaluating staff.
  • Ability to demonstrate a positive attitude, sense of humor, energy, and high degree of flexibility within a professional setting; comfort level working remotely for an international organization required.
  • Knowledge, understanding and deep interest in and passion for Akilah core beliefs, values and programs; appreciation for the unique operating and cultural dynamics of this environment.
  • Willingness to travel extensively, both domestically and internationally
  • B.A. required; M.A. preferred.

To Apply:

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Akilah offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills. Akilah is an equal opportunity employer. 


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