New York, NY

Vice President, Strategic Engagement, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

The Organization

The Client

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. Astraea supports brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S. and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. The Foundation’s founders—a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists—dreamed of a women’s movement that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. For over four decades, Astraea has uniquely supported women’s rights and LBTQI movements working at the crossroads of gender justice, racial justice, bodily autonomy, sexual rights, and self-determination because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.

The first grantmaker to hundreds of organizations, Astraea plays a catalytic role for LGBTQI groups around the world – particularly those led by lesbian, bisexual and queer women, trans and gender nonconforming folks, intersex people, and people of color. Astraea’s grantmaking, capacity building, media and communications, and philanthropic advocacy programs support work to build powerful movements for justice. A proud public foundation and one of the first women’s funds in the world, in its 44-year history Astraea has granted over $49 million to LGBTQI activists and artists.

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The Position

This is a newly created position reporting to the Executive Director. In collaboration with the Executive, Development and Communications Teams, the Vice President for Strategic Engagement (VP, Engagement) serves as the chief storyteller and resource mobilizer for Astraea. They are tasked with building the deepest understanding of Astraea’s unique approach to resourcing LGBTQI movements around the globe, and informing donors, institutional partners and the general public about how Astraea is achieving its impact as a feminist fund. This position requires absolute ownership of Astraea’s communication, engagement, and community-centric fundraising strategies, which are built around amplifying the stories and voices of their grantee and movement partners.

This role additionally requires the ability to develop and implement annual strategic outcomes and revenue targets. When Astraea completes its next strategic plan in 2021/22, the VP, Engagement will oversee the development of an aligned communications and resource mobilization plan for generating revenue for the organization, positioning Astraea as a thought leader in social justice philanthropy and engaging a range of stakeholders in Astraea’s role fueling and amplifying global LGBTQI organizing. The VP, Engagement will be responsible for leading strategy aligned with that plan, including through direct supervision of the Development and Communications teams. The VP, Engagement will lead the teams in identifying, shaping and implementing comprehensive and cohesive resource mobilization and communications strategies to engage supporters, donors, donor prospects, institutional partners and other key stakeholders such as grantee partners, activist advisors, peer funders, and allies.

The VP, Engagement must hold an external presence within women’s funds and social justice philanthropic networks, uplifting Astraea’s values around intersectional leadership and radical feminism, and is responsible for managing and supervising Directors for Individual Giving, Institutional Partnerships, Strategic Communications and the Senior Donor Systems and Database Manager as well as the overall teams. In addition, as Astraea reinvents its internal infrastructure, knowledge and experience of best practices in data management and CRM software and other technology solutions, especially those that can enhance virtual engagement and donor retention are highly valued.

The ideal candidate has the skills to lead aligned communications and development departments; a track record of meeting ambitious fundraising goals; experience managing remote teams; and commitment to fostering a collaborative, values-aligned, creative and vibrant work environment.

●        Management and Organizational Leadership: The Vice President for Strategic Engagement will be responsible for leading and managing a team of highly skilled and passionate staff who bring a deep understanding of Astraea’s history, legacy, and importance to its funders, grantees and partners. As such, the ideal candidate will have prior experience leading communications and development teams, be an astute manager of people, and be committed to engaging in social-justice informed decision making and feminist leadership models. The VP, Engagement will ensure Astraea’s annual fundraising goals of around $14 million are met, oversee all communication strategies, manage a department budget, and cultivate and maintain an inclusive and equitable department culture while developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with Astraea’s funders, donors and philanthropic and movement allies. The VP, Engagement will also work closely and collaboratively with all members of the Executive and Management Teams and contribute to the development and oversight of organizational strategy and serve as the liaison to the Development Committee of the Board of Directors.

●        Strategy and Vision:  The Vice President for Strategic Engagement will be responsible for collaboratively developing and implementing a vision in partnership with the Development and Communications Teams. They will be responsible for communicating a compelling and inspired vision or sense of core purpose for the team. The ideal candidate holds an understanding of strategic communications as an organizing tool to mobilize their team, articulates possibilities, is innovative and optimistic, and creates mileposts and symbols to rally their teams behind the vision, making that vision exciting and shareable by everyone. They will lead the implementation, evaluation, and reporting on Astraea’s strategic communications framework, articulating a radical queer vision for philanthropic advocacy.


●        Centering Equity and Anti-Oppression in all its forms: Astraea works to combat oppression in all forms by embracing intersectional feminism as part of a wider struggle for social justice, recognizing that sexism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny and restrictive gender norms harm everyone. Rooting its feminism in social justice, they particularly support Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Global South movements and leadership. This position will be responsible, along with every executive leadership position at Astraea, for ensuring that the Foundation’s values and principles are embedded in the organization’s communications and resource mobilization strategies and practices both internally and externally.

Required Skills and Experience

●        A track record of providing visionary leadership and effective management of highly collaborative teams. Prior experience leading communications and development teams is ideal;

●        Entrepreneurial approach to leading comprehensive and holistic communications and development strategies and campaigns across a variety of channels, with preference for diverse experience with community-centric and/or grassroots fundraising models. Experience with donor organizing or philanthropic advocacy is a plus;

●        A proven track record of fundraising success, ideally in an organization of equal or greater size to Astraea and preferably including the acquisition and stewardship of all levels of individual donors and foundations. Experience working with government funding a plus;

●        Aptitude to oversee communication strategies to donors, donor prospects, institutional partners, and other key stakeholders, including media and a larger digitally engaged audience;

●        Expertise in engaging audiences, both as a writer and public speaker. Media experience is preferred.

●        Technical fluency to oversee databases and software aligned with resource mobilization and communications work, such as Blackbaud;

●        Bachelor’s or advanced degree, or commensurate work experience with a minimum of 10-plus years of progressively responsible experience, ideally in a large nonprofit or foundation;

●        Knowledge of financial budgeting and planning.


Personal Qualities

●        Superior communication skills, with the ability to summarize information and connect with a variety of internal and external audiences, clarity and persuasiveness in written and oral communications, and high comfort level with electronic media;

●        Ability to work independently and effectively in a virtual, remote environment (for now), and build strong relationships with colleagues, staff, donors and partners across geographies and time zones;

●        Strong conceptual, analytic, and organizational skills to inform strategy development and execution;

●        A deep commitment to Astraea’s mission and values and to advancing gender, racial, disability and economic justice.


While we recognize that not all people will have all these experiences or qualities, the successful candidate will have some of the following:

●        A nuanced understanding of the philanthropic climate including trends and tensions, and Astraea’s place among global LGBTQI and feminist funders;

●        Experience working with public foundations, feminist funds and/or participatory grant makers;

●        History of being accountable to and working in solidarity with grassroots movements;

●        Global perspective and/or lived experience in the Global South and East;

●        Knowledge of social justice & community-centric approaches to resource mobilization & philanthropy.


Astraea offers a competitive salary and benefits for this position, including resources for professional development. The range for annual compensation is $150,000 – $165,000 depending on experience. U.S. work authorization is required.


The ideal candidate will live in the greater New York region. Candidates who do not live in the NYC metro area, but who are able to travel regularly to New York City and willing to travel based on the needs of the position, will also be considered.

How To Apply


For individuals wishing to be considered, please submit a cover letter and résumé to:

Michelle Kristel, Managing Partner

McCormack + Kristel

1740 Broadway, 15th Floor

New York, NY 10019

Phone: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599

Email: | Website

All inquiries will be held in strict confidence.  Please note that your education, dates of employment and other information will be verified prior to an offer.


Astraea is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse (multi-gender, cross-class and multi-racial), collaborative and sustainable work environment. We select, place, train, and promote the best-qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude, and experience so as to provide equal opportunity for all of our employees without regard to non-work-related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the application and interview process, please express that with your cover letter and resume submission.

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