Director of Development

Children’s Rights is a leading national children’s advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children in government systems. Children’s Rights uses civil rights litigation, policy expertise, and public education to create positive systems change, with a 20-year track record in the area of child welfare reform of raising accountability, protecting rights and improving outcomes for children.

The core strength of our national advocacy program has been the grassroots development of legal reform campaigns to address dangerous systemic failings in child welfare systems across the country. Children’s Rights’ talented attorneys and staff have built a reputation for being skilled strategists, tenacious advocates and, most of all, effective reformers when it comes to improving and transforming foster care.

Children’s Rights uses the following methods and approaches to achieve its mission:

  • Partner with local child advocates to thoroughly investigate state, local and regional foster care systems that are causing physical and psychological harm to the children they are mandated to protect.
  • Build informed reform campaigns that expose pervasive failures, help develop long-term solutions, then negotiate court-enforceable plans that ultimately transform the way child welfare agencies treat children.
  • Monitor states’ progress once reform strategies are in place, and remain involved until the children in their care are safe and supported and have a chance at happy, healthy futures.
  • Produce real, visible improvements benefiting tens of thousands of children throughout the country.

This is an exciting time for the organization. Under the leadership of its new Executive Director and guided by a new strategic plan, Children’s Rights is building on its core strengths through partnerships with complementary organizations and targeted reform efforts to extend the groups of vulnerable children it protects from abuse and neglect. New areas of reform include the pervasive practice of administering powerful and dangerous psychotropic drugs to children in foster care without adequate controls and oversight, the systemic discrimination against LGBTQ youth in custodial settings, the failure to provide adequate mental and physical health services to vulnerable children, and the inhumane treatment of incarcerated youth.

With a budget of approximately $6 million, Children’s Rights has a total staff of 32, which includes attorneys, paralegals, policy analysts and communications professionals.


Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the Development Committee of the Board of Directors, the Director of Development is a member of the organization’s senior management team. The Director of Development is responsible for implementing and leading a development strategy with the goal of continuously cultivating relationships and increasing philanthropic revenue to advance our mission.  He/she serves as a direct liaison to individual donors and foundation executives, and is proactive in building new partnerships with individuals and institutions.

Children’s Rights is seeking a dynamic, creative, results-driven, entrepreneurial leader who is willing to roll-up his/her sleeves to do all tasks necessary to ensure the success of the development effort. The successful candidate must possess the interpersonal, communication, conceptual and analytical skills to compellingly explain our program and inspire support, and help expand the reach and impact of one of the most effective advocacy organizations for children.

Key Responsibilities

  • Board Liaison and Development: Provide leadership and staff service to the Board of Directors and Development Committee in carrying out fundraising responsibilities; work closely with the Board to ensure that board members are motivated, engaged and energized by their association with Children’s Rights; and assist in recruiting for and expanding the Board.
  • Individual Donors: Further develop and significantly expand Children’s Rights’ major gift efforts. Actively research, identify, cultivate and independently solicit potential donors at all levels, and develop innovative strategies for broadening the organization’s fundraising outreach nationwide with an emphasis on increasing individual giving. Demonstrate success at securing gifts to help scale programs.
  • Stewardship: Develop and implement stewardship initiatives aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors.
  • Events: With the assistance of an event consultant, plan and coordinate the annual benefit and other special events to build support and raise funds for Children’s Right’s work.
  • Foundation and Corporate Donors: Supervise the work of a grants consultant to research, identify, and prepare proposals and reports to foundations.
  • Collaboration with Communications and Marketing Department: Coordinate with the Director of Communications and Marketing to ensure integrated marketing and development initiatives, develop materials that are in line with the organization’s brand identity, and capitalize on a growing social media presence.
  • Information systems and reporting: Further build departmental information and technology systems, including prospect tracking, reporting, mailings and on-line fundraising tools. Monitor and report regularly on the progress of development initiatives to senior management and the Board of Directors.


  • Fundraising: Must be a forward-leaning thinker in the area of fundraising who is innovative and creative. Proven fundraising generalist with at least a 7-year track record of success identifying, cultivating and soliciting major individual donors and assisting board members in soliciting personal contacts and expanding their networks.
  • Relationship Building: Takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen relationships and forge new ones with all kinds of influencers; record of fostering successful long-term relationships with funders and skilled at building relationship with program staff and across different levels of the organization through effective collaboration.
  • Communications: Advanced interpersonal, writing and communication skills; able to provide writing samples upon request. Successful at leveraging social media and technology to raise awareness and expand the organization’s donor base.
  • Understanding of and Commitment to Mission: Passionate about Children’s Rights mission and able to articulate our programs in clear and compelling terms
  • Event Planning: Experience in managing fundraising events and other development projects.
  • Leadership: Highly competent manager of staff; operates with a high degree of personal and professional integrity and inspires the respect and confidence of donors and board members.
  • Organizational Skills: Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail and persistent but appropriate follow-up with prospects and donors.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree required.


Competitive compensation and excellent benefit package.

Application Process

Please submit a résumé along with a cover letter stating reason for interest via email to HR@childrensrights.org and include “Director of Development” in the subject line.

Due to the high volume of submissions, only applicants of interest will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.

Children’s Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and we encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQI and gender non-conforming people.

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