Vice President, Institutional Development
About Higher Heights
Higher Heights for America, a 501(c)(4), and its sister organization, Higher Heights Leadership Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization (Higher Heights) are the leading national organizations providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation and advance progressive policies.
Higher Heights was founded by Black women for Black women’s political growth and equity, with a winning plan for building collective political power and expanding Black women’s elected leadership. Higher Heights’ mission includes:
- Investing in the next generation of political leaders.
- Organizing and mobilizing the power of Black women voters through its #BlackWomenVote campaign.
- Creating an environment for Black women to vote, run, win, and lead, through online training, research, cultural-shifting communications work, and digital campaigns.
Higher Heights is comprised of two sister organizations working to create transformational change:
Higher Heights for America, a 501(c)(4) organization, and its federal connect political committee, Higher Heights for America PAC, are organizing the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office and creating the environment for Black women to run, win, and lead.
With the support of its rapidly growing network of members, activists, volunteers, and supporters, Higher Heights has helped Black women grow their political leadership and representation.
Higher Heights for America PAC is the leading political action committee exclusively dedicated to electing more progressive Black women at the federal and statewide levels and as mayors in the 100 most populated U.S. cities. Its members have helped:
- Secure the largest number of Black women to ever simultaneously serve in Congress.
- Send the first Black woman to the U.S. Senate in 20 years.
- Elect more Black women to serve as mayors for the country’s 100 most populated cities.
- Select the first Black woman to win a major party nomination for a governor’s office.
Higher Heights Leadership Fund, a 501c3, is building a national civic engagement infrastructure and network to strengthen Black women’s leadership capacity. Higher Heights Leadership Fund is investing in a long-term strategy to expand and support Black women’s leadership pipeline at all levels and strengthen their civic participation beyond Election Day.
This work requires a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment to increase Black women’s leadership. Higher Heights Leadership Fund is developing the foundation to achieve this goal through four key components: capacity building, grassroots organizing, research, and convenings.
- Capacity Building: Develop a national network of Black women and other supporters. Partner with other organizations on a variety of initiatives including, but not limited to, research, training, and convenings.
- Grassroots Organizing: Educate and organize Black women to engage and participate in the public debate and social action to improve their civic participation and leadership.
- Research: Develop and publish research on Black women’s political leadership and electoral engagement.
- Convening: Host salon conversations, tele-town halls, and roundtable discussions focused on harnessing Black women’s political power and leadership potential.
To build and maintain representational leadership and support elected officials whose policy priorities are inclusive of all groups, Higher Heights is seeking to develop and implement – with partners, stakeholders, and donors – a nationwide strategy to expand Black women’s political voice and representation over the next 10 years. The strategic plan will focus on expanding the number of Black women elected at the federal, state, and local levels; engaging with and holding elected leaders accountable regarding the key policy and issue concerns of Black women; creating pathways for truly participatory democracy; ensuring the voices of Black women remain front and center in the national discussion and increasing the overall level of engagement of Black women in the 2022 election cycle and beyond.
By 2024, Higher Heights will be positioned to engage at least one million Black women and allies in targeted states through an integrated communications strategy that will not only support the growing number of Black women running for office but also mobilize Higher Heights’ network in targeted electoral and issue-based campaigns.
For more information on Higher Heights, please visit the organization’s website.
Higher Heights is at an exciting moment in its trajectory. With Black women’s political power growing—and increasingly recognized for the force it is—Higher Heights is beginning a journey to significantly expand its team.
Higher Heights seeks a highly skilled development professional to join a dynamic and growing team as its first Vice President, Institutional Development (VP). Reporting to the President & CEO (CEO) and serving as a member of Higher Heights’ senior leadership team, the VP will lead and direct a comprehensive fundraising program focused on high-net-worth individuals and institutional giving, as well as rapidly growing and strengthening the membership program and member engagement.
Working closely with the CEO, Higher Heights’ Board of Directors, colleagues on the senior leadership team, and key stakeholders, the VP will be responsible for growing, retaining, and strengthening the membership and membership experience as well as fully integrating and maximizing fundraising efforts throughout the organization. The VP will build Higher Heights’ Institutional Development function from the ground up, including recruiting, coaching, and leading a Development Director and Membership Director.
The VP’s responsibilities will include:
- Serve as an external face of the organization to help build new partnerships, develop transformational opportunities, maintain healthy relationships, and build visibility of Higher Heights.
- Collaborate with senior leadership to develop an annual budget and conduct ongoing monitoring and analysis of financial performance.
- Create a shared vision, sense of ownership and accountability with Institutional Development staff, pairing thoughtful and intentional development with a commitment to professional growth for team members at all levels.
- Cultivate a supportive and high-performing team culture that leverages the strengths and opportunities of the staff and available resources.
- Partner with senior leadership to facilitate the hiring, orientation, development, support, and evaluation of staff.
- Develop and execute ambitious but achievable annual and long-term plans for fundraising across the organization.
- Support the CEO’s fundraising activities by providing through direct oversight and strategic management of development operations, including but not limited to pipeline management, grants management, donor acknowledgement, and special events.
- In partnership with the CEO and other senior leaders, as appropriate, direct all fundraising activities, including identifying opportunities and prospecting, implementing targeted strategies for each opportunity, and soliciting and stewarding donors.
- Prepare and monitor Higher Heights’ annual fundraising plan, budget, and revenue forecasts, ensuring accurate projections, monitoring, and reporting on performance against plan and budget.
- Partner with senior leadership to secure, increase, and sustain organizational revenue, with particular focus on cultivating and growing the major donor base.
- Help steward and engage Board members around fundraising goals.
- Recruit, coach, develop, and retain a talented, world-class development team.
- Represent Higher Heights at public events and speaking engagements, as required.
Membership Program & Engagement
- Direct and supervise the strategic plan for Higher Heights’ membership program.
- Drive and support the growth and retention of the organization’s membership and membership engagement programs.
- Conduct research to determine the universe of potential new members.
- Develop and implement strategies to recruit new members and retain current members.
- Utilize innovative and multi-channel approaches including, but not limited to email and social media.
- Partner with communications staff on the planning, design, production, and distribution of engagement and promotional materials.
- Spearhead the development of a member giving program.
- In partnership with events staff, supervises and ensures the successful completion of membership events, both virtual and in-person.
While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
Development Strategy & Leadership
You bring an ability to develop and drive an integrated fundraising strategy to support programmatic and operational sustainability and flexibility. You are an innovator with the ability to build organizational priorities for retention, expansion, and cultivation across revenue types and restrictions. Most importantly, you have experience partnering with senior leaders and Board members to support their roles as fundraisers and external ambassadors, and in driving organizational planning.
Cultivation & Stewardship
You bring experience in prospecting, cultivation, stewardship, and growing relationships with members and donors who support mission-driven work. You have expertise in tailoring, strengthening, and maintaining durable systems to successfully execute all aspects of member or donor engagement and tracking. You have experience effectively aligning the interests of stakeholders with an organization’s mission. Moreover, you bring expertise in developing engagement and educational opportunities to build a sense of community.
Other factors for success include:
- Inclusive management – Passion for building healthy teams that allow each team member to contribute to their fullest and thrive. In addition, you bring experience providing leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture, and supporting staff during organizational growth.
- Strategy and vision - A track record in developing strategic programming and/or campaigns for progressive, civil rights, social justice, or related organization(s). Working knowledge of and sophistication about candidate campaigns.
- Organizational mindset & leadership – Experience modeling a high bar for performance and demonstrated strategic planning skills, including an understanding of organizational, communications, and political elements.
- Interpersonal communication - Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple internal and external stakeholders.
- Engagement - Experience working with membership organizations and an inherent understanding of how to build and engage with members.
- Lived experience – Lived experience within and/or deep knowledge of the historical and systemic challenges facing Black women, with an appreciation of the diversity within this community and an ability to navigate cultural differences by bringing people together.
- Judgement and trust – Integrity, coupled with outstanding judgment and decision-making skills. An ability to be honest about your opinions, share problems appropriately with leadership, and balance competing demands to make well-informed and strategic decisions.
- Political & movement orientation – You consider yourself to be part of the progressive movement, interested and immersed in the social and political landscape. Direct experience with both c3 and c4 organizations. Experience in the membership organizations, women’s justice, or social justice field is a plus, but not required.
This is a full-time position that requires significant travel. This is a hybrid role with a commute to one of Higher Heights’ offices in the New York City or Washington, D.C. (DMV) metropolitan areas.
Compensation & Benefits
The salary range for this role is $130,000 -$160,000 and it is offered along with a competitive benefits package.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Chartise Clark are leading this search on behalf of Koya Partners. To express interest in this role please submit your resume and cover letter here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Higher Heights is an equal opportunity employer. Higher Heights prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, genetic characteristics, disability, status as a special disabled veteran or veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual identity or any other basis prohibited by law.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit koyapartners.com.