Washington, DC

Director of Foundation Engagement, The National Women's Law Center

The Organization
The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice — in the courts, in public policy, and in our society — working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.

We use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us — especially those who face multiple forms of discrimination, including women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families.

For more than 45 years, we have been on the leading edge of every major legal and policy victory for women, and we need you with us to continue this fight.

Position Overview

The Position

The National Women’s Law Center seeks a strategic, experienced Director of Foundation Engagement to oversee foundation fundraising efforts and lead a team that is expanding and deepening relationships with individual, corporate, law firm, and foundation donors to fund an ambitious gender justice agenda.  Working in close partnership with both internal and external stakeholders, the Director of Foundation Engagement will develop and execute a comprehensive plan to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors.  Maximizing unrestricted foundation support while simultaneously prioritizing support for new and underfunded projects and programs, the Director of Foundation Engagement will personally manage a $2 million donor and prospect portfolio and will supervise the Director of Foundation Relations and Manager of Foundation Relations/Grant Writer.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and lead the execution of a comprehensive foundation fundraising program, with an emphasis on securing unrestricted grants, funding for new and underfunded projects and programs, and new donors—while retaining, and growing, existing foundation support. Such program must include a strong cultivation plan.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan for increasing the Law Center’s visibility among foundation funders nationwide.
  • Craft compelling frames and narratives for the Law Center’s work—collaborating closely with foundation relations staff, Vice President for Development, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, program staff, and finance staff to develop general and issue-specific program proposals, reports, and related budgets and expense reports.
  • Lead and manage the foundation relations team within the Development department, including supervising, developing, and mentoring both new and experienced staff.
  • Directly manage a portfolio of foundation funders—including key existing and prospective donors—on a range of issues, including reproductive rights and health.
  • Work closely with the Vice President for Development to coordinate with and appropriately leverage the contacts and involvement of the President and CEO, COO and Chief of Staff, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, program Vice Presidents, Board of Directors, Board Development Committee, Leadership Advisory Committee, and other executive-level leaders, to engage with foundation prospects.
  • Lead the foundation relations staff’s prospect research and the effective use of contact management systems and processes to oversee foundation donor acknowledgements and to track pertinent donor and prospect information in Raiser’s Edge, including overseeing data entry for all foundation donor contacts, research, and analytic reporting—supervising the foundation team and coordinating with the Database Manager.
  • Collaborate with the Vice President for Development, Database Manager, and colleagues in Finance to develop and monitor the Center’s annual and longer-term foundation revenue plan—leading foundation revenue and expense budgeting and tracking within the foundations team and serving as the foundation relations team lead in coordinating with Finance to prepare the annual budget and related financial materials.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position will possess the following attributes:

  • Fundraising strategist with passion for fundraising for social justice and equity-centered organizations; experience in reproductive health fundraising preferred.
  • Natural collaborator and role model for inclusive leadership.
  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible development experience, including significant experience in managing a foundation fundraising program, proposal and report writing, and supervising experienced foundation relations teams, preferably at a major national advocacy organization.
  • Proven track record in fostering professional relationships with foundation program officers and staff, managing a dynamic portfolio of foundation donors and prospects and personally implementing cultivation strategies;
  • Superior communicator and storyteller, with the ability to frame and write in compelling language about the Center’s work and to prepare complex proposals, reports, and related materials;
  • Expertise in revenue planning, budget development, and expense reporting for foundation funders;
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and engage diverse audiences and to build long-term relationships, including experience leveraging executive-level staff to achieve fundraising success;
  • Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge (or similar database) and prospect research tools required;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage multiple, multi-faceted projects, meet deadlines, maintain composure and perform well independently in a fast-paced, deadline-driven setting;
  • Sound judgement and ability to exercise discretion when dealing with confidential information regarding the Center’s business and sensitive donor information; high degree of self-motivation, personal discipline, and integrity;
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred;


A minimum salary of $125,000 will be provided to the successful candidate having at least 7 years of progressively responsible development experience. 

Key Relationships

The Director of Foundation Engagement reports directly to the Vice President of Development, and collaborates with the President and CEO, COO and Chief of Staff, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, the Vice President for Communications and Marketing and key program staff, as well as colleagues in Development, Communications and Marketing, and Finance.  The Director of Foundation Engagement supervises the Director of Foundation Relations and Manager of Foundation Relations/Grant Writer, and oversees relevant projects delegated to the Development Assistant and Development Interns.

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please forward a resume and a substantive cover letter outlining your interests and qualifications via e-mail to: foundationengagement@nwlc.org and include the position title in the subject line. Electronic submissions are preferred. Hard copies may be addressed to: Human Resources Department, National Women’s Law Center, 11 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036. Applications accepted until position is filled.

The National Women’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and values a diverse workforce.  We strongly encourage and seek applications from people with disabilities; people of all gender identities; people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals; veterans; and LGBTQI individuals.


As noted above, NWLC welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the hiring process, please email us at humanresources@nwlc.org or you may send the request by mail to:

National Women’s Law Center

ATTN: Human Resources Manager – Talent

11 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800

Washington, DC 20036

Sign up