Director of Development - Equality Now

Director of Development

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious development professional with skills in establishing and implementing strategies to grow revenue in line with program and organizational direction.


Founded in 1992, Equality Now fights for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world through legal advocacy. Working with grassroots women’s and human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes national and international action to support efforts to stop these abuses. The organization’s work is focused on four main program areas: Legal Equality, End Sexual Violence, End Harmful Practices, and End Sex Trafficking.

With offices in New York, London, Nairobi and Beirut and a presence in Jordan, India, Georgia and Washington, D.C., Equality Now has a staff of 48 and is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, a 6-member UK Trustees group and a 6-member Africa Board.

The organization had an ambitious 2017-2021 strategic plan which resulted in enhanced presence and work in MENA, Eurasia and LAC regions. The organization will be embarking on creating its next strategic plan (2022-2026) in the next year. Current priorities include expanding programs in MENA, the Americas and Eurasia as well as organizational capacity building. The 2020 budget was $8.3 million but had to be adjusted for the pandemic.


This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious development professional with skills in establishing and implementing strategies to grow revenue in line with program and organizational direction. The current global pandemic has resulted in a need to re-evaluate our ways of working as well as the funding landscape. The ideal candidate will be critical in reassessing Equality Now’s fundraising priorities and strategies based on an assessment of the field.  

Reporting to the Global Executive Director, the Director of Development will be a member of Equality Now’s senior leadership team and will provide strategic direction and management for Equality Now’s development program. She/he will provide critical analysis of fundraising trends and opportunities in the field of global women’s rights, evaluate Equality Now’s existing assets and strategies and build the organization’s fundraising plan for its next strategic plan (2022-2026). She/he will supervise a high performing full-time team of five based out of New York, London and Nairobi, to increase and diversify financial support, including from Major Donors, Institutional Donors and Corporate Donors. She/he will work closely with the Program Director and Finance & Administration Director to establish systems and process for the management of institutional grants; and with the Communications Director to drive online and corporate giving.  

Candidates should have substantial, broad-based fundraising experience, strong leadership skills, several years of management experience and ideally an understanding of, and experience within, the international human rights, women’s rights or development field. Experience in creating and implementing structures to support Institutional Giving would be particularly beneficial.


The Director of Development will have ongoing leadership and will manage a full-time team of five, supplemented by consultants, across offices. His/her responsibilities include: 

Development Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner with the Global Executive Director and the leadership team;
  • Assess fundraising opportunities and trends as they relate to global women’s right organizations, particularly with respect to changes due to the current pandemic, and evaluate Equality Now’s fundraising practices against these trends;  
  • Develop the 2022-2026 fundraising strategic plan for the organization, including goals and strategies for institutional donors, major donors, individual donors, corporate donors and events; articulate clear benchmarks for progress; and identify and develop the partnerships, strategies and tools to implement these priorities;  
  • Maintain a proactive, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major, institutional, corporate and individual donors, working with the Global Executive Director, key staff and board members, as appropriate;
  • With the Global Executive Director, implement strategies for board development and involvement in fundraising;
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with the philanthropic community, individual donors and board members; serve as a visible spokesperson and advocate for Equality Now’s mission and programs in the funding community;
  • Work with development staff to recognize internal and external development opportunities, and define and execute appropriate strategies to take advantage of them;
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization with regards to development and make recommendations to the Leadership Team on how to mitigate risk or harness opportunity.

Operations and Management

  • Oversee the Institutional Development Manager (being recruited) in developing and implementing a plan to grow institutional giving to resource Equality Now’s four program areas and regions of work, including through working closely with Program and Regional Directors;
  • Oversee the Donor Relations Manager in developing strategies to cultivate and grow major donors, including working closely with the Global Executive Director to manage key relationships; 
  • Oversee Events and Individual Giving Officer, including analyzing event based giving during and post pandemic and supervising prospect research and tracking; developing strategies to cultivate and grow individual donors including online donors, including through optimizing online fundraising capabilities and the development of new marketing and engagement initiatives (e.g. recurring giving program, peer-to-peer fundraising initiative), in close cooperation with the Communications Director;
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the development function including budgeting, planning and staff development;
  • Inspire and support the development staff in their work, facilitating coordination and teamwork; ensure the team’s work is high-impact and strategically focused and in furtherance of the key performance indicators; 
  • Lead and supervise the development team in a fiscally sound manner ensuring that appropriate systems, tools and procedures are in place; 
  • Establish and implement systems focused on effective functioning of the development team across offices;
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals for all development staff;
  • Contribute to organizational risk management. 


The Director of Development should be an energetic, flexible, self-starting team player with the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least 10 years of successful experience in development, ideally gained in the social justice advocacy/policy arena; credibility and experience to connect Equality Now to a range of resources and opportunities outside the organization;
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills, with the presence, credibility and skills to develop and sustain a broad range of relationships; highly developed listening skills;
  • Successful experience raising money from a variety of sources, including major donors, institutional donors, special events, and corporate partnerships;
  • A strong track record of developing and executing short- and long-range strategic plans to guide efforts; and skills in articulating strategic vision and bringing people onboard;
  • Experience working with diverse communities, ideally internationally, across race, class, ethnic, political and geographic boundaries;
  • Creative thinker with insight into the rapidly changing fundraising environment;
  • A strong leader and mentor with a direct, honest, and respectful approach to problem solving, with the ability to foster collaboration and contribute to building a strong sense of community among staff;
  • A team player who understands the need to collaborate with other departments to be effective;
  • Ability to thrive when working under deadlines; strong project, time and budget management skills, and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without sacrificing attention to detail; a willingness to share in both ‘big picture’ thinking and administrative tasks;
  • A Bachelor’s degree (an advanced degree is preferred) or equivalent experience; ability to travel internationally occasionally;
  • Written and spoken Fluency in English; Fluency in Spanish, French and/or Arabic is a bonus. 


To apply: send resume, cover letter and a writing sample to: [email protected] with the “Director of Development” in the subject line. No calls please. 

Equality Now offers a competitive compensation package, including base salary, savings, health and vacation benefits, and is an Equal Opportunity employer. Employees are selected on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.