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Immigration Equality | Immigration Equality Action Fund

Immigration Equality is proud to be the national leader in the field we pioneered: human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-positive immigrants. Founded in 1994, we currently provide direct legal representation to more than 650 clients. Every year, we also answer over 3,500 inquiries through our legal hotline. In addition to being a legal services provider, Immigration Equality also engages in impact litigation and policy advocacy to secure the rights of LGBTQ asylum seekers and immigrant families.

In 2018 and for the foreseeable future, our mission has never been more relevant. In a political environment in which the U.S. government is targeting both LGBTQ people and immigrants, we are uniquely poised to protect and empower one of the most diverse, resourceful, and impassioned populations of people in the world. We are proud to do life-saving work and fight the systems that hurt our community.

Development Director

Immigration Equality is seeking a strategic, personable, dynamic, and committed individual to join our team as Development Director. The Development Director is a full-time permanent position based in New York City. This person will report to the Executive Director and supervise three full-time development staff members, as well as a rotating pool of interns. The Development Director will serve as an integral member of the senior leadership team and work closely with the Executive Director and other department Directors. The Development Director will also provide fundraising support to a very enthusiastic, reliable, and supportive Board of Directors.

Position Summary

The Development Director will be responsible for building Immigration Equality’s fundraising strategy and leading the board and staff to realize its fundraising goals. Our 2018 operating budget is $2.1 million, and we plan to grow by 10% in 2019. Traditionally, Immigration Equality has focused on three major funding streams: private foundations (47%), special events (30%), individuals (18%), and corporations (4%). While all of these sources are ripe for increases, we are especially eager to increase our individual giving program.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Drive organizational fundraising strategies and build annual budgets for both our C3 & C4
  • Plan with, train, manage, and support the Board of Directors, Immigration Equality senior and development staff to prospect, cultivate, make asks, and appreciate supporters
  • Draft and implement a strategic development plan that ensures a sustainable annual revenue stream
  • Edit, tailor, and make compelling asks to foundations, law firms, corporations, individuals, government entities
  • Manage and solicit a major gift portfolio
  • Track, manage, and project revenue
  • Set goals, direction, and strategy for each fundraising team and fundraising revenue stream
  • Proactively work to maximize opportunities for fundraising through work across Immigration Equality programs
  • Drive our annual signature event – Safe Haven Awards – responsible for raising $600K
  • Develop fundraising messaging including for direct mail, online campaigns, and other materials
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive stewardship and planned giving program
  • Build and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders – serving as an ambassador for our work
  • Support Board of Directors in fundraising capacity
  • Collaborate as a leader on the management team along with the Client Programs Director, Executive Director, Operations Director, and Public Affairs Director


  • Managerial experience in general development, special events, and individual or major gifts
  • Proven track record of fundraising success
  • Personable, genuine relationship builder – ability to project authenticity with a wide array of constituencies, including: clients, corporate executives, law firm partners, and major donors
  • Ability to understand, analyze, and create revenue budgets, including projecting revenue.
  • Remarkably strong writing, editing, and oral communication skills – able to write in more than one voice and medium
  • Experience managing, training, supporting, and inspiring a team of people toward shared goals
  • Familiarity with development back-office functions, including donor databases; data mining; and receipting, recognition, and acknowledgement processes – familiarity with Salesforce a plus
  • Organizational wizard who delegates clearly, meets deadlines consistently, and manages projects well

Personal Qualities

Immigration Equality intentionally has a no-gimmicks, no-frills approach to fundraising. We raise funds by: 1) sharing our compelling mission, and 2) sharing our clients’ authentic experiences of persecution and resilience. Consequently, we are looking for a Development Director whose vision aligns with our values around inclusion, direct asking, and LGBTQ and immigrant justice.

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Authentic, genuinely curious about donors’ motivation for investing in our unique work
  • Fearless, not afraid of asking for big money on behalf of vulnerable people who need our expert help
  • A great storyteller, passionate about sharing the complex stories of LGBTQ immigrants
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated, and positive
  • Able to juggle multiple projects at one time, each at a different stage of completion
  • Detail-oriented and a thoughtful planner, know whether we are we ahead, behind, or on track on all streams and projects
  • Generative and creative, ready to capitalize on a new opportunity or idea
  • Able to project a sense of urgency, takes initiative and hustles
  • Solution-oriented and flexible, able to shift strategy while maintaining focus on the end goal
  • Invested in leadership development, genuine desire to teach, share, mentor and support new and seasoned fundraisers on the team
  • A team player, excited to collaborate with all stakeholders, as part of the leadership team, and with staff, the Board and clients
  • Able to “manage up” to ensure the success of the Development Director, the Executive Director, and the organization


Immigration Equality greatly values diversity: immigrants, transgender individuals, gender non-conforming individuals, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Immigration Equality is a progressive organization committed to an open-plan office. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to collaborate within a diverse and inclusive environment.

Immigration Equality is a mission-driven organization full of smart, dedicated people. You must be excellent at what you do to work here. If you want to work at the cutting edge of the two most potent civil rights issues of our time, LGBTQ and immigrant rights, and do it with talented colleagues in a fast-paced, nimble organization that seeks to make a real difference in the lives of marginalized people, this is the place for you.

Salary and Benefits

This is a senior staff position; salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including full health insurance coverage, dental and vision, 403(b) plan, long-term disability insurance, and four weeks of vacation annually.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and desired salary with “Development Director” in the subject line to jobs@immigrationequality.org