Environment and Conservation, Fundraising and Advancement, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Managing Director, Development

  • Sunrise Project
  • California Preferred, West Coast Flexible

This position has been filled.

About The Sunrise Project

Founded in Australia in 2012, The Sunrise Project is a global network of changemakers who believe in the power of social movements to change the world. We’re passionate about building networks who can drive the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to reduce greenhouse pollution and create a healthy and prosperous future for everyone.

Driven by a passion to solve the climate crisis, The Sunrise Project U.S. is a team of experienced changemakers, researchers and communications professionals with a mission to scale social movements to drive the global transition beyond fossil fuels. With affiliated programs and staff in Australia and Europe, we have developed a unique model of grant making and campaigning that supports networks of organizations to drive powerful change towards our mission.

We have a dynamic and nimble organizational culture. We’re serious about supporting our people to thrive as we tackle the urgent climate challenge. We believe that a diversity of experiences and perspectives will help us build stronger strategies, teams, and movements.

Sitting at the intersection of social movements and philanthropy, we’ve developed a ‘directed network’ model that supports networks of people and organizations to work together to achieve large-scale change that wouldn’t have been possible by individual organizations acting alone.

We essentially do six things:

  • Analysis to understand the political, social and economic systems driving the climate crisis;
  • Strategy design for multi-partner efforts that create systemic change;
  • Partner with philanthropy to resource these strategies;
  • Fund a diversity of organizations and support them to work together for collective impact;
  • Support organizations and movements to sharpen their strategies and build their capacity to achieve real-world outcomes; and
  • Drive strategic interventions that will hasten the transition beyond fossil fuels.

From experience, we understand that complex webs of power shape our society, and many factors usually need to come together to achieve large-scale change. Our strategies start with a focus on understanding who has the power to implement the changes we need, what motivates them, and how they can be influenced.

For more information on The Sunrise Project please visit here.

The Opportunity

We are at an exciting inflection point in our organization’s history.  Our organization has grown from a $10M organization with 30 employees to $60M and 100 employees. The Managing Director, Development (MDD) is a newly created role that will support and guide our growth ambitions.  This will be the senior most development and fundraising role for the organization and a pivotal role and primary driver of this growth.

Our fundraising strategy is not your typical NGO fundraising. We don’t ask for money — we build strategic partnerships and co-create strategy. We place relationships and strategy at the core of our conversations with a range of partners to organize the resources required to win. To do this effectively we treat our funders as strategic partners, maintaining close and honest relationships with them. That includes organizing and attending funder strategy sessions to both inform partners of where we’re going and to inform our own strategy.

The MDD will be the principal fundraising strategist for driving this growth. They will create, develop, and execute on a data-driven fundraising plan which will include grants and foundation giving, philanthropic support, and identification of high net worth individuals.  They will identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with new and existing donors, while partnering closely with our Executive leadership team to think creatively and outside the box about other revenue streams.

As we grow, we also need to become more systematic in our approach. The MDD will create and manage efficient processes and systems to support this functional area of the organization. You will be responsible for developing plans which articulate the resources required to achieve program goals and develop an effective philanthropic strategy to unlock them.  You will also foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization rooted in relationships.

Candidate Profile

We value and recognize experience that has been unpaid, from the grassroots or is lived experience, and encourage you to think about your transferrable skills.  While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Passion for Mission and Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

  • A passion for action on climate change and a commitment to social justice
  • Build, lead and manage a small, high-performing international team rooted in JEDI values to execute on philanthropic strategies
  • Foster relationships and develop processes to ensure staff at all levels and from all backgrounds feel welcome, valued, and included

Strategic and Visionary Development Leader

  • Develop and implement a philanthropic strategy to secure the resources required for Sunrise’s programs to deliver their goals
  • Develop and manage systems to generate high-quality strategy proposals, reporting and other funder communications in conjunction with global program directors
  • Oversee the management of key data systems tracking Sunrise’s funder engagement, analyzing trends, and providing funding partners and close networks with relevant data

External Presence and Partnership Orientation

  • Develop and maintain a big picture view of the philanthropic landscape, including annual funding trends and key sources of philanthropic support
  • Organize Sunrise’s presence across key funder networks and forums
  • Manage engagement with funding partners – new and existing – and identify opportunities for new strategic partnerships
  • Experience working in close partnership with senior leaders, staff, funders, and on fundraising initiatives with strategy and implementation

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • 10 or more years of progressive responsibility in a development context, including experience managing fundraising programs and fundraising staff
  • Experience with all phases of the relationship building and fundraising process
  • Experience managing people and teams to develop clear processes and outputs for internal and external audiences
  • Demonstrated experience in people management, including nurturing and enabling talented and diverse people
  • Ability to see the “big picture”, think strategically, and translate strategy into targeted goals and actions with demonstrated success in creating and expanding a culture of transformational philanthropy.
  • Will embrace and further the Sunrise Projects commitment to JEDI with regard to culture, communication, and team building
  • A creative, entrepreneurial spirit
Compensation & Benefits

While The Sunrise Project is targeting a salary of $180,000 to $225,000 commensurate on the candidate’s skills and experiences, we are open to feedback from the market and would welcome the ability to connect with potential candidates who may be outside of the compensation band.

The Sunrise Project U.S. is committed to creating a workplace that supports our staff to do their best work and develop professionally. We have the following in place to help us achieve that:

  • 401(k) & employer match
  • 100% employer paid health, vision and dental coverage
  • Five weeks of vacation leave
  • Birthday leave (if it’s your birthday, you get a day off)
  • Cultural & solidarity leave
  • 12 weeks parental leave after 12 months of service
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Program
  • Commitment to supporting to your professional development
  • Coaching and management support with regular 1:1 meetings
  • Performance reviews and feedback to support you and the team to reflect and grow
  • A co-developed initial 3 month work plan to help you hit the ground running and have clarity on your role and responsibilities
  • Flexible work policy

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Alicia Salerno here.

The Sunrise Project strongly encourages First Nations people, people of color, people living outside of cities, and people living with disabilities to apply. The Sunrise Project US is a project of Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. Windward Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward Fund ‘s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

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 If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

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.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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