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Vice President of Development

  • National Public Radio
  • Washington, DC
About National Public Radio (NPR)

NPR is an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public. Every day, NPR connects with millions of Americans on the air, online, and in person to explore the news, ideas, and what it means to be human. Through its network of member stations, NPR makes local stories national, national stories local, and global stories personal.

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures.

With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists, 17 international bureaus, and hundreds of NPR Member Stations, NPR is never far from where a story is unfolding. Relying on hundreds of skilled journalists in the United States and abroad — from Washington, D.C. and New York City to Beijing and Dakar — NPR stays on top of breaking news, follows the most critical stories of the day, and tracks complex issues over the long term. In a time of media fragmentation and sound bites, listeners come to NPR for fact-based, independent journalism and civil conversation that examines and respects diverse perspectives.

Of the major U.S. news brands, research shows that NPR ranks #1 in being “credible” and “honest,” rising above the major television and cable news networks and media outlets, including The New York Times, MSNBC, and Fox News, in both categories.

The Opportunity

Visionary NPR executive leaders, including President & CEO John Lansing (appointed 2019) and Chief Development Officer Leora Hanser (appointed 2020), in partnership with Board leaders, have been working strategically to strengthen the culture of philanthropy across NPR, its Member stations, and their diverse constituencies. The advancement of processes and relationships to ensure that fundraising strategies are mutually beneficial to NPR and its Member stations have been central to these efforts: promoting development best practices and excellence through enhanced donor engagement, application of data and metrics, and optimized use of technology; elevating the shared responsibility of philanthropy across the entire NPR organization; and advancing an ethos of collaboration among NPR and its Member stations that is built on trust and transparency. These initiatives, both incremental and transformative, are providing sustainable, long-term philanthropic pathways to accomplish both national and local goals and lift the entire NPR system to new levels of giving.

Key structural changes within the NPR Development Division include the creation of teams focused on centralized support for Member station philanthropy and collaborative fundraising, as well as ongoing innovation and ideation across fundraising programs. Notably, the Development Division has gained permission to begin soliciting donors to support the entire NPR Network, in addition to Member Stations, removing a major barrier to donor acquisition that will substantially increase revenue across the system. A respective team is being built that will focus on growing acquisition from various digital platforms. Additionally, a mid-level giving program is being established for NPR and Member stations with the goal of cultivating annual fund donors for future major giving.

Given the urgency of safeguarding and sustaining quality journalism, NPR is now exceedingly well positioned to engage both nationally and regionally focused philanthropic support and expand the donor base.

Amid this environment of transformational growth, NPR seeks candidates for the newly created position of Vice President of Development. Reporting directly to the Chief Development Officer, the Vice President of Development will lead the strategic direction of NPR’s major-gifts-focused individual and institutional giving programs. The Vice President of Development will provide direction and oversight for a geographically distributed, approximately 18-person staff assigned to the following areas: Individual Giving, inclusive of new programs for Collaborative Philanthropy and Mid-Level Giving, as well as NPR Foundation Board Relations; Institutional Giving; and Planned Giving. This individual will prioritize team building and positioning for unprecedented expansion of major gifts and corresponding donor portfolios. They will proactively seek and implement growth opportunities, ensuring integration of efforts across the Development Division and the NPR Network. The Vice President of Development will be at the vanguard of advancing systemic organizational change that will foster fundraising growth and will be a key thought partner to the Chief Development Officer.

While NPR will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

– Commitment to NPR’s mission, the broader public radio landscape, and high-quality journalism. Passion for the mission and voices of public media.

– 15+ years of progressive experience in fundraising from individuals and institutions, including major and planned gifts.

– Proven track record of delivering philanthropic growth for a mission-based organization. Experience with the challenges of working across a large organization and a wide network that has multiple stakeholders and agendas.

– 7+ years of experience managing a high-performing fundraising team, including staff oversight. Ability to lead, recruit, evaluate, and develop professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a results-oriented, multi-racial/multi-ethnic workforce.

– Demonstrated success in developing the case for support, aligning organizational needs with funder interests, and developing and executing strategic, innovative fundraising plans to grow revenue and exceed goals.

– Demonstrated ability to strategically move individuals and institutions, including foundations, across the spectrum of prospect development. A history of securing six, seven, and eight-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship.

– Experience with Board engagement and solicitation.

– Experience working with strategies for identifying and cultivating the next generation of major gift donors.

– Demonstrated ability to integrate data into decision-making and strategy development.

– Experience with revenue forecasts.

– A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing fundraising best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.

– Bachelor’s degree.

NPR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NPR is committed to being an inclusive place to work that welcomes diverse and unique perspectives, all working toward the same goal – to create a more informed public. Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law.

NPR is building a workplace where collaboration is essential, diverse voices are heard, and inclusion is the key to success. NPR seeks leaders who have shown a demonstrated commitment to and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

NPR has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed via email to gerard.cattie@divsearch.com.