Director of Development - High Impact Philanthropy

Fundraising Washington, District of Columbia Anywhere, United States


This role is open to remote based candidates. Frequent travel to the East Coast required.

 Salary range for this position is $100,000 - $110,000/year

About Mercy Corps 

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.  In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions  into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.  Now, and for the future. 

Program / Department Summary  

The mission of the Resource Development (RD) department is to advance the organization’s strategic goals  and support our worldwide team by raising flexible funds, profile and influence. The RD team encompasses  several dozen dynamic professionals who possess a wide range of skills. We are gift officers, direct  response fundraisers, web developers, marketers and media relations strategists. We are database  managers, digital specialists, creative designers, storytellers and teachers. Most of all, we are passionate  about Mercy Corps’ mission and believe a better world is possible. 

General Position Summary  

The primary focus of the Director of Development (DoD) is to build personal relationships with donors and  prospects who have the capacity to make gifts of $10k+, with the overarching aim of meeting or exceeding  unrestricted revenue goals. The position will have a significant focus on new business development  (bringing in new donors to Mercy Corps) and will require dedicated efforts in networking and building new  leads (50%.) They must also be comfortable discussing legacy giving with donors. The DoD must be adept in  articulating a compelling case for unrestricted mission-focused support as well as restricted support for  strategic priorities. This person will dedicate roughly 25% of their time to working with the Foundations team  around engaging the individuals behind our “Big Bets” strategy.  

The DoD is expected to collaborate with field and program staff, with the dual aim of deepening their own  understanding of Mercy Corps’ distinctive approach to humanitarian aid and development and bringing these  colleagues together with donors and prospects. The position calls for a high level of social acumen and the  ability to move comfortably within the realm of high net worth individuals. 

Essential Job Responsibilities  


  • Develop ongoing regional strategies for Mercy Corps continued growth in private philanthropy on  the East Coast. This includes collaborating with the corporate team, and the foundations team to  
  • help make Mercy Corps one of the preeminent INGOs for private philanthropy.  
  • Develop and enhance personal relationships with a select group of major donors with the goal of  maintaining and increasing annual unrestricted support at the $10K+ level, generating leadership  gifts ($100K+) for programmatic priorities, and generating bequest commitments. 
  • Secure $1million in new business revenue by the end of year two (50% of the role)
  • Identify and engage with high net worth individuals within Mercy Corps’ donor file who have not yet  made a major gift, with the aim of securing new major gifts.  
  • Conduct outreach to high net worth individuals outside the Mercy Corps donor file, who may not yet  be familiar with Mercy Corps.  
  • Work closely with the Prospect Research Manager and the Foundations team to identify, cultivate  and solicit individual philanthropists engaged in Big Bet Philanthropy. (10% of time)
  • Engage in the HIP team’s donor-advised fund/wealth manager strategy and set targets for engaging  wealth advisors and their clients.  
  • Meet with legacy society members and prospective members. 
  • Set annual goals and develop personalized cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for  assigned donors. 
  • Assist in the development of strategies to heighten the profile of Mercy Corps among target  
  • constituencies, such as events, briefings or other activities. 
  • Lead periodic overseas trips for key major donors and prospects as part of a well thought out and  planned cultivation and solicitation strategy. 
  • Maintain current tracking of all donor activity and revenue projection by inputting contact reports into  donor database. 


  • Develop working relationships with program staff in order to identify funding opportunities and to  access programmatic information that can be used to steward donors. 
  • Stay abreast of key issues and trends in the international aid and development community, and  communicate these to donors and prospects. 
  • Lead on development of virtual program visits and donor engagement events for prospect/donor  portfolio. 


  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with groups engaging HNWI and their  philanthropic decision-making.  
  • Identify opportunities to represent Mercy Corps on various panels and events.  

Supervisory Responsibility 



Reports Directly To: Managing Directory, High Impact Philanthropy 

Works Directly With: All members of the HIP team, Corporate and Foundation team and the VP of  Development 

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Experience operating within a high-level major gifts fundraising team, including at least seven years  of direct frontline fundraising; or equivalent experience in business development with a social impact  oriented company; or a deep knowledge of Mercy Corps’ mission and operations as an outcome of  having worked within Mercy Corps’ programs in the field for three or more years. 
  • Strategic and forward thinking, with the ability to develop and lead a major gifts strategy  
  • Ambitious and proactive community builder with strong network of East Coast contacts that can be  leveraged to identify and engage high net worth individuals  
  • Strong experience in collaboration and ability to work with people with diverse opinions to develop  program proposals and other donor impact opportunities 
  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and to process.  
  • Diligent, highly organized and results-focused. 
  • Excellent communication skills – both written and oral, including public speaking 
  • Outstanding people skills – empathetic and humble, as well as persuasive and confident 
  • Must be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with team. 
  • Demonstrated success in proposal preparation, and solicitation of donors (or equivalent experience with private sector clients and/or investors), or transferable skills from program work in an INGO setting. 
  • A valid driver’s license, ability and willingness to travel as required. 


The successful candidate will have the ability to develop personal relationships with a variety of people in a variety of contexts.  They will be able to secure and increase contributions from major donors and prospects and represent both the programs and heart of Mercy Corps to external audiences. The Director will set a leadership example to other front-line fundraising members of the team by maintaining focus on donors and prospects and the various goals (number of visits, number of solicitations, et al) that are set for each fundraiser based upon portfolio.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions  

The position can be based from Mercy Corps Washington DC office, or remotely, preferably within close proximity to New York City.  

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a  field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a  professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times  and in all in-country venues. 

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an  Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment. 

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.