Los Angeles, CA

Director of Development, UCLA Law School, the Williams Institute

The Organization


Housed within the ULCA Law School, the Williams Institute is the country’s pre-eminent national LGBTQ+ research center, producing rigorous academic research on sexual orientation and gender identity. At a time when perspective often poses as evidence, Williams Institute remains committed to producing independent research with real-world relevance. Its work infuses data into the public discourse, influences public policy, inform courts, and impact the lives of LGBTQ+ people.

The Williams Project was founded in 2001 by businessman and philanthropist Charles Williams, Bill Rubenstein, Founding Executive Director Brad Sears, and scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Their goal was to replace the pervasive bias against LGBTQ+ people in law, policy, and culture with independent research on LGBTQ+ issues. In 2006, the Williams Project merged with the Institute for Gay & Lesbian Strategic Studies, becoming the Williams Institute. The Institute’s early years established a commitment to interdisciplinary research that continues today.

The Williams Institute has a current annual budget of over $4.5 million and a staff of 25 with expertise in economics, public health, demographics, public policy, psychology, and law. Roughly $1.5 million of the Institute’s total revenue is generated via private philanthropy in the form of individual annual and major gifts, corporate giving, and a series of annual special events. The new Director of Development will have the opportunity to leverage the considerable brand, history, and resources of the Institute to creatively manage this portfolio and expand the Institute’s base of individual and institutional supporters.

Position Overview

Title: Director of Development

Organization: The Williams Institute

Reports to: Founding Executive Director

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Compensation: $120,000 – 140,000


Reports to Founding Executive Director https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/experts/brad-sears/. Manages a Development Associate (when staffed) with additional support from the Associate Director of Events and Development. Supports Executive Director and Founder’s Council in their fundraising activities.


The Director of Development is responsible for leading and managing development programs that currently represent roughly $1.5 million in private fundraising dollars annually; roughly one-third of the Williams Institute’s total revenue. In collaboration with the Founding Executive Director, the Development Director will develop and implement an overall development strategy for the Williams Institute, inclusive of events, gift solicitation, public and private grants, donor cultivation, program endorsement, development operations, and support staff management. A primary accountability for the new Director of Development will be to grow revenue across existing and new revenue categories, both by stewarding existing donors and by developing new relationships with individuals and institutions who are not currently funding the Institute’s work.


1. Donor Cultivation & Revenue Generation

• Develop and expand a portfolio of individual and institutional donors;

• Create donor engagement and cultivation opportunities to introduce funders to the Williams Institute’s mission and impact;

• Develop financial goals and stewardship strategies that ensure donors receive frequent, personalized attention;

• Leverage wealth screening and other research tools to ensure solicitations are aligned with donors’ capacity and interests.

• As the organization’s chief fundraiser, lead efforts in:

Major Gifts

– Bring new thinking and best practices to attracting, stewarding, and retaining individual donors capable of giving at $25,000 (major gift threshold) or more annually;

– Identify major donor prospects and develop/implement individual cultivation plans.

Corporate Giving

– Create and implement strategies to scale the organization’s corporate giving programs, including employee engagement and volunteer opportunities;

– Forge new relationships to expand and diversify institutional donor base and pipeline, while maintaining existing relationships and deepening their engagement.

Events Management

-With input from Executive Director and Founders Council, develop strategy and objectives, revenue goals, and project plans for all special events, including follow-up cultivation;

-Cultivate, secure, and manage sponsorships and event-related partnerships.

2. Systems & Strategy

• Develop strategic fundraising plans to diversify revenue and expand donor base across categories;

• Enhance existing and establish new systems and processes that support consistent and effective donor engagement, including improving and maintaining accurate and useable donor data.

3. Organizational Development & Administration

• Provide leadership to developing and improving fundraising knowledge/expertise across the organization;

• In partnership with Executive Director, assess organizational needs and set annual departmental budget, revenue goals, performance metrics, and quality outcomes.

4. Internal & External Relationship Management

• Work in close collaboration with the Williams Institute’s (and UCLA/UCLA School of Law, where appropriate) Executive, Development, and Research/Program teams to ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to stewarding funding relationships;

• Work cooperatively and collaboratively with Communications & Marketing team in developing campaigns to assure coordinated branding, messaging, and marketing.


The Director of Development will be an experienced, energetic, and successful development professional with a proven track record of revenue generation. They will have a demonstrated commitment to the Williams Institute’s work and mission and personal passion for improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people. They will be able to successfully connect with and authentically engage individuals of widely diverse backgrounds, identities, and orientations in the Institute’s work.

Candidates for this position should have existing social and cultural competence around the LGBTQ+ Movement and, ideally, existing connections to Movement organizations and leaders (including the Williams Institute’s current or potential partners). They will be dynamic storytellers who can translate research and data into a compelling narrative of outcomes and impacts that will motivate donors. This person could come from a higher education, research institute, policy/advocacy, politics/campaign, or similar fundraising background, but regardless of professional history, an understanding of intersecting race, gender, privilege, and sexual identities and a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion is critical.


• A minimum of 7 to 10 years of successful, donor-facing development experience, inclusive of individual gift, major donor, corporate, foundation, and special event solicitations

• Depth of general understanding of nonprofit funding and revenue generation and history of leading development efforts in an organization of similar (or larger) size and complexity to the Williams Institute

• Track record of creativity and innovation in meeting or exceeding fundraising goals and objectives

• Able to bring new thinking, strategies, tools, and best practices to expanding a donor base and growing revenue

• Advanced ability to organize and execute the logistics of events and programs, including materials, information, and people power to optimize efficiency

• Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including technical writing expertise around donor solicitations, grant proposals, and public speaking

• Strong financial acumen and ability to develop budgets, project costs and revenue, and supervise event logistics (including cost controls)

• Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with donors, alumni, students, administrators, and colleagues

• Strong time/project management and organizational skills. Able to multitask and remain organized amidst competing priorities, deadlines, and interruptions or distractions

• Knowledge of/experience with current donor database systems, record keeping, data collection and analysis, and ability to track, analyze, and report accurately on funds and donors

• Advanced PC proficiency and ability to use a variety of computer software programs in a Windows environment: Word, Excel, Access, Teams, Photoshop, etc.


• Previous experience in a higher education, research institute, think tank, or similar environment

• Experience fundraising for policy, advocacy, or issue-based campaigns

• Knowledge of the philanthropic culture and community in LGBTQ+ Movement, including policy/advocacy and LGBTQ+ rights, and equality

• Existing connections to major LGBTQ+ individual and institutional funders

• Knowledge of/experience with planned giving programs and strategies

• Fluency in social media applications and knowledge of digital fundraising

How To Apply

Inquiries, nominations, or applications (including a resume and cover letter framing interest and fit with this Recruitment Profile) can be sent in confidence, to https://apptrkr.com/3498840. We are pleased to answer any questions or supply further information.

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