DataKind is looking for a Senior Director, Development!


This opportunity is ideally located in our Brooklyn, NY headquarters; however, we’d be open to a remote location in Washington, D.C. or California if the majority of the candidate’s workday overlaps with Eastern Standard Time and the candidate is within comfortable distance of a large airport for any business travel. (Note that our Brooklyn office is currently closed until at least fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re offering flexible scheduling to staff as they manage life demands alongside their jobs.)

About DataKind

DataKind is a global nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of humanity. Named one of Fast Company's 2017 top 10 innovative nonprofits, DataKind teams talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary changemakers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. We help social organizations apply their data to predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and AI needs in a way that both increases impact and prioritizes ethics.

  • We are 20,000 strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social change makers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
  • We have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, our volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs around the world. Through this approach, illustrating what we call “the art of the possible,” these projects have resulted in more effective NGOs, more funding for social change organizations, and more awareness of the power (and pitfalls) of data science and AI in the social sector. 
  • People are at the center of our process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real people’s problems. DataKind celebrates human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before we ever get going on the “what.”
  • “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: We will continue our work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. We support not just the tech communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly, with an emphasis on including individuals from groups that are historically underrepresented in technology or will be impacted by the intervention. 

DataKind has always known that we will not be able to combat all of the world’s looming challenges on the backs of individual, short-term projects alone. We are now focusing the DataKind network on issue areas, including improving health outcomes and increasing economic resilience for all. You can read more about our strategy here.

About the Opportunity

DataKind seeks a Senior Director who will lead the Development team and grow the organization’s fundraising program. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Senior Director will be a member of the senior leadership team and will also play an important role in our tenth anniversary planning and execution. The Senior Director will craft the development strategy to grow and diversify financial support for DataKind’s $5.5 million annual operating budget. The Senior Director will be responsible for leading the creation and implementation of the development strategy; coaching senior leadership, the Board and volunteers in cultivating donors; and representing DataKind externally. Collaborating with teams across DataKind, the Senior Director will build and advance relationships with corporate, foundation, and individual donors. The Senior Director will manage and coach a Sr. Partnerships Manager, Individual Giving Lead, and Business Development Associate.  

This is an ideal opportunity for a proven and values-driven nonprofit fundraiser who has management experience and a track record of securing major gifts.

What You’ll Do

The Senior Director, Development will be responsible for the following in addition to any other projects assigned by the Chief Operating Officer:

Portfolio Strategy and Management

  • Develop, implement and manage forward-thinking strategies to 1) raise our annual budget with 10% growth per year, 2) increase diversity of funding support, and 3) acquire new partners with the capacity to make major annual and multi-year gifts.
  • Design annual development plans with solid, yet ambitious, fundraising goals and oversee implementation of strategies to achieve those goals, including personally cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major gifts from current and prospective donors.
  • Ensure that customized strategies and timetables for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of high-level gifts are established for all existing and prospective major donors.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for new fundraising efforts that will expand and diversify the funding base, establishing new partnerships with corporations, private and corporate foundations, and high-wealth donors.
  • Ensure the timely creation of fundraising/stewardship materials, collateral, and personalized proposals with support from the Communications team. 
  • Build a culture of Salesforce utilization to track and evaluate the team’s key metrics, and use data to meaningfully and continually improve practices and inform decisions.

Donor Engagement

  • Support the team in developing customized plans for each donor in their respective portfolios while also managing your own portfolio. 
  • Partner with the Programs team to develop familiarity with programmatic needs, capabilities and priorities and to conceptualize proposals for new initiatives.
  • Enhance DataKind’s marketing plan and execute donor communications strategies in partnership with the Communications team. 
  • Collaborate with leadership and the Board on the management of select high-capacity donors, including support for meeting preparation and follow up. 
  • Represent DataKind externally and partner with other teams across DataKind to help advance a culture of philanthropy. 

Team Coaching and Leadership

  • Manage and mentor a team of 3 fundraising professionals to help advance their respective portfolios. 
  • Encourage a culture of high performance, continuous learning, and commitment to quality by setting and modeling high standards through regular performance feedback, career development opportunities, and performance and development goals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be minimal.  In the future, however, some amount of travel (up to 30%) may be required.

How You’ll be Measured

At the end of year 1, the Senior Director, Development will have accomplished the following:  

  • Strong familiarity of programmatic offerings
  • Creation (or update) and execution of the development strategy for FY22 (Oct 1 - Sept 30)
  • Execution of fundraising campaigns that leverage our 10-year anniversary (June 2022)
  • Achievement of fundraising targets 
  • Prospect portfolio strategy
  • Cultivation strategies for team’s entire portfolio
  • Fundraising/stewardship materials, collateral and briefings, and personalized proposal


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in fundraising or donor relations
  • Minimum of 4 years in a leadership/management role securing funds directly
  • Expertise in donor strategy and best practices, including designing and implementing organization-wide fundraising programs to identify, qualify and engage diverse constituents through to acquisition (major donors, foundations, corporations, and prospects at all levels)
  • Proven track record of creating and implementing a comprehensive development strategy that met or exceeded its objectives for either a region or entire organization
  • Track record of personally soliciting 6-figure gifts from individuals as well as institutional partnerships
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence with a demonstrated ability to develop and maintain long-term, productive relationships internally and externally
  • Strong familiarity with philanthropic communities across the United States
  • Passion for the mission, values and goals of DataKind
  • Prior experience in data, technology, global health, or economic equity and opportunity a plus
  • Relevant coursework in fundraising or donor relations a plus
  • Able to work occasional nights and weekends for meetings or events with our global community of partners and volunteers

Who You Are

  • You are an experienced development professional with project management skills. You have a proven track record of successfully managing full life-cycle development projects and love nothing more than successfully getting a project across the finish line. You are exceptional at keeping teams on task to deliver a strong product on time. 
  • You are more than a manager; you are a mentor. You enjoy being part of other people’s success. You have the ability to manage and mentor staff and to coach fundraisers to increasing levels of achievement. You always contribute learnings to the team so we can make constant updates to our process and practices.
  • You are a relationship builder and exceptional communicator. Your high degree of emotional intelligence and comfort in the world of development allow you to interface and work effectively across all levels of the organization as well as with donors, organizational partners, Board members, and volunteers to meet our goals. You are able to help donors see how their support will alleviate one of the world’s greatest challenges or help them create a legacy. You know how to convey compelling messages appropriate for the context.
  • You are resourceful and adaptable. You have a demonstrated ability to both plan and manage multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously in a fast-paced environment. You can adjust tactics quickly when the need arises. Your experience, transparency, and organization allow you to get the nuts and bolts in place in record time, always with support and input from the rest of the organization. 
  • You are skilled at building processes and systems.  You understand that a well-maintained CRM database allows the team to know its supporters better and make data-driven decisions. You strive for clarity from appointing roles for those serving on a cultivation team to developing a fundraising calendar which dovetails with strategic moves management.
  • You break new ground. You are eager to help DataKind step into peer-to-peer fundraising, securing gifts overseas, engagement of small and mid-level gifts, and other strategies that build a sustainable and diverse funding base. You can partner effectively with other teams as we pivot and try new approaches.  
  • You are values-aligned and understand the bigger picture. You share DataKind’s values of humility, transparency, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), thoughtfulness, excellence, and approachability. You care about more than just completing your projects. 

Why Work with DataKind

At DataKind, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on their mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with us means that you will have:

  • Flexibility in your working schedule. This includes things like working from home, leaving early to care for kids, coming in late to walk your dog, etc. This also means that you have unlimited PTO.
  • Access to an outstanding health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse and dependent coverage.
  • Support to plan for your future. We offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
  • Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, we budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.


DataKind is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Naturally, DataKind is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. DataKind does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected category. 

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.

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