Director of Development

Disability Rights Fund
March 24, 2020
Boston, MA
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


Director of Development - Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund

About the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) is a $5.5 million grantmaking collaboration between a diversity of donors and the global disability rights community that empowers persons with disabilities to advocate for equal rights and full participation in society. We resource organizations led by persons with disabilities, primarily in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean, that are leading efforts to secure rights for all. The Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) is DRF’s sister organization, supporting advocacy for legislative change. The Funds – which are based on a participatory grantmaking model – make 100-125 grants ranging from USD $5,000-$50,000 each annually to Disabled Persons’ Organizations in the developing world to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).




The Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for growing and diversifying the funding of DRF/DRAF to ensure that the organization can thrive and has the financial resources required to fulfill its mission and obligations. S/he will provide strong leadership for DRF/DRAF’s fundraising efforts as well as creativity and innovation in the identification, cultivation, and stewardship of donors. S/he will be an enthusiastic, thoughtful, and organized professional who leads by example and empowers the members of the Development team. The Director does this by expanding a resource-mobilization strategy; growing resources; developing and nurturing individual and institutional partnerships and networks, and developing and implementing strategic communications that are donor-facing.

The DoD will report to the Deputy Director for certain projects and the organizational aspects of the role and the Executive Director for strategy, donor selection, solicitation, and proposal writing. A key staff member, with strong relationships across the organizations, the DoD serves as a member of the senior leadership team and will lead on all aspects of the Development team including major gifts prospect research, cultivation, and stewardship; grant renewals and reporting; events; annual appeal; donor relations; and diversification of funding. S/he will launch systematic initiatives to identify and cultivate donors while maintaining and strengthening ties to existing donors, seek out with determination new funding opportunities, and create strong and consistent messaging about DRF/DRAF for current and potential constituencies. S/he will also bring strategic thinking to underpin and grow partnerships with new international funders, donors, and allies.

The DoD will work with the Executive and Deputy Directors, the Executive Management Team, and the Boards to strategize and lead efforts to identify new opportunities for DRF to present its work to individual and institutional donors.  An exceptional writer, s/he will work collaboratively with Program and other staff to enhance communications for fundraising purposes, introduce DRF to new audiences, and increase awareness of the organization and its critical mission.

This full-time position serves as staff liaison to the Development Taskforce of the DRF/DRAF Boards.  A revenue target, consistent with the DRF Strategic Plan and the agreed resource-mobilization strategy, will be established to help prioritize the DoD’s focus.




Expand and lead a Resource Mobilization Strategy.

  • Assess the fundraising potential and serve as primary architect and builder of a strategic, cohesive, and systematic fundraising program to broaden and strengthen development and donor relations activities.
  • Further develop and refine a strategy that meets DRF’s needs as it expands its work across the globe.
  • Locate significant new potential funders and develop new funding proposals that demonstrate DRF’s unique value.
  • Write and/or draft grant proposals (including narrative and financial sections) and donor communications, ensuring proposals respond to funder requests and comply with results framework, deadlines, and procedures.
  • Coordinate involvement of other members of the DRF team (Finance Director, Program Director, Evaluation and Learning Manager, etc.) as appropriate in developing proposals.
  • Partner with and guide the Executive Director’s engagement with donors; ensure that she is well briefed and that her time spent is highly productive, and that her extensive knowledge is used to the fullest extent possible.
  • In coordination with Program and Finance staff, monitor implementation of all grant/funding awards to ensure that all funder or other contractual obligations are met; write grant reports in line with requirements designated by the funder.


Lead Development team.

  • Set clear direction and priorities for the growing Development team and lead with enthusiasm, warmth, and expertise.
  • Promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals and inspire and motivate staff by fostering a work environment that rewards new ideas and risk-taking, builds confidence, and encourages team-based efforts.


Develop and Nurture Individual and Institutional Partnerships and Networks.

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, identify new opportunities for fundraising, at the individual (major donor) and institutional (including bilateral) levels, and considering the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • With Development Team, research and identify bilateral, multilateral, and foundation funding opportunities.
  • Analyze funders’ priorities to identify opportunities to link DRF programs and disability rights to their priorities.
  • Identify and help develop partnerships with other organizations to apply for large institutional funding.
  • Remain current on funding trends in human rights and development that can support advocacy-related grantmaking.


Create and implement a strategic communications plan that raises the visibility and credibility of the organization and increases outreach to new partners and donors.

  • Collaborate with team members working on communications, including consultants, to ensure development communications align with priorities as necessary.
  • Lead on the development of communications materials requested by donors.
  • Strategize ways to make the work of DRF significantly more visible to new donor communities.


Contribute to organizational leadership and good governance.

  • Work with the Board on fund development efforts.
  • Attend, contribute to, and present at Board meetings as requested.
  • Serve as a member of the Executive Management Team and as an ambassador for development in the wider team, promoting understanding of the work of development and working to engage the wider team in fundraising activities.
  • Assume responsibility for special projects, as assigned.


The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership and people management skills as well as a keen understanding of best practices in fundraising and have a proven ability to meet objectives with a record of accomplishment. The candidate will be a professional of the highest integrity and will seek to bring out the best in the members of the team and everyone involved in development activities. The successful candidate will possess extraordinary communication skills and be an achievement-oriented professional who also has a collegial, team-building style and a track record of motivating staff to keep them engaged, energized, and focused on results. S/he will create a professional work environment that rewards individual and collective success while building confidence in the individual team members.



  • Track record of obtaining significant funding from a range of sources, including major donors, foundations, and/or bi- or multi-lateral agencies.
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 7 years’ experience in fundraising with a focus on human rights and international development.
  • Ability to think strategically and work in partnership with other international funders, donors, and allies.
  • Experience and/or understanding of government (bilateral) grants processes and requirements.
  • Accomplished metrics-driven leader.
  • Superb manager who is an inspiring coach and mentor.
  • A builder with a demonstrated ability to bring organizations to new levels of philanthropic success.
  • Ability to be nimble and pivot in response to opportunities.
  • A superb colleague who enjoys and is inspired by energetic and collaborative leadership.
  • An accomplished fundraiser with a track record soliciting and closing six- and seven-figure gifts.
  • An experienced writer who is able to translate complex ideas and data into compelling proposals and stories that can translate the challenge in addressing international disability rights into fundable activities.
  • Leadership skills to work with and motivate staff and board members.
  • Strong planning and project management skills.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, and professional demeanor.
  • An independent, confident self-starter who is also skilled at working in a collaborative and inclusive environment; a willingness to learn and challenge personal paradigms; good listening ability.
  • Capacity to work on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, while still meeting the priorities of the position.



  • Master’s degree.
  • Experience working to advance the rights of persons with disabilities is preferred.
  • Knowledge of best practices in the field of international development and human rights advocacy, with particular strength in both innovation and learning.
  • Knowledge of how to build and leverage partnerships and collaborations with larger organizations and institutions.
  • Detail-oriented while still able to understand and promote a global view of the disability rights field and DRF.


  • This is a full-time position; salary will be commensurate with experience.
  • DRF offers an excellent benefits package including employer-paid medical, dental and vision insurance for employees.


  • If not based in Boston, the candidate must have the ability to work independently from a home location. Preference will be given to an individual based in the Northeast or on the West Coast.
  • If not Boston-based, travel will be required to DRF’s Boston office on an as-needed basis.  International and other domestic travel may be needed.


The Disability Rights Fund is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants shall not be discriminated against on any basis. Applicants with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Please email a cover letter and resume to:

Roger Falcón, Deputy Director (please no phone calls)


Applications reviewed on a rolling basis.


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