Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

The Donor Engagement Manager will work with the Vice President of Development, the Director of Principal & Major Gifts, and the Director of Institutional Giving to create and support a donor engagement strategy that accomplishes deepened connectivity to Vera’s mission and expanded philanthropic support across the comprehensive donor portfolio. Working across the organization, the Donor Engagement Manager will be responsible for designing and executing a suite of engagement opportunities including webinars, briefings, salon events, corporate engagement events, and Vera’s annual dinner. Additionally, this position will supervise Vera’s Special Events Coordinator. 

What you'll do:

Strategy Development 

  • Partner with Vice President of Development, the Director of Principal & Major Gifts, and the Director of Institutional Giving on the creation and implementation of annual donor engagement plan. 
  • Support the advancement of Vera’s fundraising goals through the design of a comprehensive suite of engagement opportunities, inclusive of digital and live events, to support the cultivation and stewardship of donors across the development portfolio. 
  • Design and execute income generating strategies for fundraising events, including expanding bases of existing support, leveraging peer-to-peer solicitations, managing sponsorship and underwriting solicitations, and executing ancillary fundraising activities.  
  • Work with the VP of Development to establish quantitative and qualitative metrics to evaluate outcomes of engagement activities and inform future program design, maximizing efficiency and return on investment.

Project Management

  • Help create and follow processes to maintain best operational practices, utilizing clearly defined goals, tangible outcomes, and transparent methods that incorporate all stakeholders and processes as required to maintain data integrity and efficient process
  • Manage all aspects of donor engagement activities and events including building and managing invitation process, liaising with external vendors and internal stakeholders to build program and marketing materials, and working with development team members on logistics and processes to achieve engagement event outcomes.  
  • Guide the development of content and programming for events that leverage storytelling. Support the development of talking points and script materials for program and leadership team members and coach speakers as needed to successfully support arc of engagement events. 
  • Partner with the Vice President and Board of Trustees to execute intimate cultivation dinners in key markets across the country to leverage trustee networks and build relationships with potential new donors 
  • Manage budgeting and reporting for all engagement activities within defined scope of work  
  • Partner with frontline fundraisers to ensure follow up opportunities emerge from donor engagement events and are appropriately communicated and packaged for frontline fundraiser dissemination across the portfolio

Cross-organization Collaboration

  • Collaborate with colleagues, organizational leadership, and trustees to formulate strategies to promote donor engagement
  • Create opportunities for Vera’s program and leadership team members to convey the impact of Vera’s work across the donor portfolio, using peak moments internally and externally to expand Vera’s exposure within philanthropic communities
  • Support program staff in the execution and maximization of initiative led events as needed to engage Vera donors robustly in the organization’s mission and activities  
  • Contribute to an organizational environment where teamwork, collaboration, passion for the mission, and dedication are expected and valued 
  • Partner with Prospect Research Manager and Development Operations staff to integrate prospective donors into engagement opportunities
  • Work with Vera’s Communications & External Affairs department to develop brand-aligned media plans and content to maximize impact of engagement events

Staff Management

  • Support goal setting and coach professional practices of Special Events Coordinator in alignment with Vera’s institutional values
  • Support the growth trajectory of Special Events Coordinator and partner with the VP of Development to build progressive growth of this position symbiotically with growth of donor engagement scope  
  • Execute minimum of once-weekly check-ins with direct report to ensure clarity and alignment in the execution of their work in concert with the larger engagement scope of work and within the full context of the development team
  • Ensure clarity and efficiency in delegation of events and engagement work to Special Events Coordinator in alignment with their scope of work and growth trajectory

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Bachelor's degree + 6 - 9 years of relevant experience. In lieu of a bachelor's degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered.  
  • 4 – 6 years of professional experience producing non-profit fundraising events 
  • Experience planning large scale events in New York City area 
  • 2+ years managerial experience 

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Driver’s License beneficial, but not required  
  • Ability to travel 10 – 15% of time 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Strong passion for and demonstrated commitment to Vera’s mission  
  • Knowledge of fundraising cycle and demonstrated understanding of the value of community engagement in the expansion of funding relationships 
  • Demonstrated track record of successful event execution with both large and small gatherings
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills (both written and oral) and the ability to listen garner input and gather information across cohorts and stakeholder groups with whom no direct line of supervision exists
  • Technologically savvy with a strong appreciation for rigorous data management practices 
  • Experience managing external vendors
  • A motivated, unflappable team player with exceptional organizational skills along with interpersonal savvy 
  • Commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, excellence, and diversity 

Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:

  • Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Zoom or similar webinar software 
  • Fundraising CRMs (preferably EveryAction) 


Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn office. Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule that generally amounts to 10 days per month.

Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation range for this position is $110,000 - $112,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time.  To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Donor Engagement Manager
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on 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. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org

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