Director of Individual Giving, Merit America

The Organization – Merit America

About the Organization: 

The American economy is broken. Today, 53 million working adults–nearly half of the U.S. workforce–do not earn a living wage. And these talented workers have few options to advance: college is too long and expensive, full-time bootcamp programs don’t offer enough flexibility, and online courses don’t have the structure or support to translate learning into a new career. The result? Talented workers, disproportionately people of color and women, get stuck in low-wage roles with no way to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Merit America is a national nonprofit that creates pathways to family-sustaining careers for Americans without college degrees, stuck in low-wage work. Our fast, flexible solutions are built for working adults: we start by analyzing tens of millions of job postings to identify in-demand, high-paying tech careers, and then work with industry-recognized partners to train for these roles with part-time programs that combine flexible online learning with best-in-class coaching. Finally, we work with a broad constellation of local and national employers like JPMorgan Chase and Infosys to place learners into higher-earning, family-sustaining jobs, driving an average wage gain of $24k. Merit America is on a mission to build a scalable pathway for workers to join the middle class through merit, not money. We’re on track to generate $1B in wage gains by 2025.

About the Role: 

Merit America empowers low-wage workers to build family-sustaining careers through innovative training programs and supportive coaching. As the Director of Individual Giving, you’ll play a pivotal role in fueling this mission by securing transformative gifts from high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs).  The primary mission of the Director of Individual Giving is to build and develop the individual giving function at Merit America.

The Director of Individual Giving will actively partner with Merit America CEOs and other senior leaders to expertly manage and thoughtfully cultivate relationships with HNWIs, ensuring their support for the organization’s mission.

A successful candidate will:

  1. Design and lead the individual giving function at Merit America.
  2. Carry a portfolio of high net worth individuals (HNWI), leading their cultivation and opportunity development to hit fundraising targets.
  3. Over time, build and manage a team of front-line major gifts fundraisers.

The Director of Individual Giving is an exempt role and will report directly to the Vice President of Development and work primarily with the Development Team within the broader Sustainability Team.

What You’ll be Doing: 

In collaboration with the VP of Development, the Director of Individual Giving will design and execute development strategies focused on ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The 2024 fundraising target for this role is ~$3M. To reach it, the Director of Individual Giving will focus on acquiring net new leads while also nurturing existing relationships and closing gifts in progress.

The responsibilities of the Director of Individual Giving will include, but are not limited to, the following:

Prospect Identification and Outreach (20%):

  • Design outreach strategies and streamline systems to increase Merit America’s visibility among potential high-net-worth donors at the right time, leveraging the right resources. This work may include:
    • Conducting thorough prospect research and relationship mapping to help identify paths to connect with new prospective donors.
    • Finding alignment between new or existing prospects and Merit America’s mission.
    • Identifying and recommending strategic touchpoints to capture prospects’ attention, including partnering with our Marketing team and PR firm as needed.
    • Preparing CEOs/executive leaders for external meetings.

Portfolio Moves Management (60%):

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive cultivation plan to nurture prospective donors through regular engagement and meaningful touchpoints.
  • Draft impactful correspondence, including for co-CEOs and others, to engage with current and prospective donors and ensure leaders receive timely reminders to engage prospects.
  • Manage the Individual Giving pipeline, identifying which prospects are in which stage, which prospects may need additional cultivation, and coordinating with other team members to execute those actions and close gifts to hit fundraising targets.
  • Maintain accurate records in the Salesforce database to enable reporting to the team and stakeholders.

Leading a Collaborative Team (20%):

  • As the program grows, build and manage a team of talented frontline fundraisers, providing mentorship, coaching, and performance management
  • Collaborate effectively across departments (Data, Marketing, Revenue Operations, Finance) to leverage resources and expertise in support of individual giving goals.
  • Assist with and/or consult on any activities related to donor identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, or stewardship.  Examples include:
    • Events
    • Website experience
    • Reporting
    • Surprise and delight donors with thoughtful, unexpected stewardship
    • Comprehensive support for donation processing and recognition

What Makes a Successful Candidate: 

We know that women, people of color, and individuals with disabilities are often less likely to apply to a position if they don’t match 100% of the job qualifications.  Don’t let that be the reason you miss out on this opportunity!  We encourage you to apply if you can demonstrate many of these skills and competencies. Below are the skills that are relevant for thriving in this role:

Must Haves:

  • Proven experience working within a nonprofit development team, including directly fundraising six and seven-figure gifts from high-net-worth individuals, as well as responsibility for engagement with donors, research, and reporting
  • Experience building and leading a small strategic team of fundraisers to meet or exceed fundraising targets
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-management skills
  • Phenomenal written and verbal communication skills, including proven experience and comfort in corresponding and engaging with HNWI donors in writing, on calls, and in-person
  • Strong cross-functional coordination ability
  • Solutions-oriented and strong project management skills, with the ability to proactive problem-solving skills to identify and address pipeline gaps
  • Be energized by our organizational mission – to provide a pathway to family-sustaining careers for low-wage workers.
  • Proven history of living within our values
  • Sense of deep personal responsibility for our collective success
  • Commitment to DEIJ, not just with regard to our mission but also in how we show up to do our jobs each day

Nice to Have:

  • Experience with Salesforce
  • Familiarity with the workforce development sector

Other Logistics:

  • This position is full-time: 4-day work week (Fridays are an operating day if there is a holiday closure during the week)
  • Location:  Remote
  • Salary: Base salary of $148,000, along with the potential to earn an incentive bonus of up to $20,000
  • Application Deadline: February 25, 2024

Our goal is to have competitive and equitable compensation.  We have a market-based compensation approach, which means we benchmark each role from reputable data sources. We compare our benchmarks against similarly sized non-profit organizations with comparable annual budgets and geographical areas. We pay the same rate for the same roles and adjust to comply with statutory mandates. 

We take care of our employees by providing the following perks and benefits: 

  • 4-day work week (Fridays are an operating day if there is a holiday closure during the week)
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance (100% Paid Employee Only Coverage)
  • Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account
  • Dependent care Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Reimbursement Account fully funded by Merit
  • Education reimbursement & personal development stipend
  • Short and long-term disability
  • Unlimited vacation (after a 90-day introductory period)
  • Paid Parental Leave and Adoption benefits (after 1 year of employment)
  • 11 federally recognized holidays
  • 1-week office closure in July (week of July 4th)
  • 2-week holiday office closure in December/January
  • 401(k) retirement plan with automatic Merit contribution
  • Employee Assistance Program | Talkspace | Sanvello
  • Discount perks at work program
  • Phone/technology stipend
  • Home office setup stipend

How to Apply:

If you are interested in being considered for a position with us, please submit an online application by the application deadline, February 25th.

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