Sustainer Manager

Fundraising Washington, District of Columbia Portland, Oregon Anywhere, United States


Location: Portland, OR; Washington, DC; or Remote

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular

Salary Range: US: Starting salary for this role will be $76,000 yearly commensurate on experience

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department / Team 

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.

The Position 

The Sustainer Manager is responsible for developing and managing data-driven, donor lifecycle strategies to drive the growth of Mercy Corps’ Partners In Possibility monthly giving program toward a gross annual goal of nearly $6 million in recurring revenue. With the primary goal of building a sustainable base of unrestricted financial support for Mercy Corps, monthly giving is a crucial part of the Mass Market Fundraising program. The Sustainer Manager will lead the team’s monthly giving strategy using a multi-channel approach, including but not limited to leading the management of the telemarketing and face-to-face canvassing programs, developing new and creative ways of expanding our monthly giving program, and engaging with a diverse demographic of donors based on their interests and giving trends.

Essential Responsibilities


  •   Create and implement annual and multi-year strategies to maximize sustainer growth, ensuring that sustainer acquisition, conversion, retention, and upgrade strategies are executed efficiently, accurately, and with a focus on the donor experience.
  •   Align direct marketing and digital fundraising sustainer programs to create one-unified strategy; integrate sustainer strategies and tactics across all channels including direct mail, telemarketing, texting, email, digital marketing, social media, and face-to-face efforts.
  •   Research and identify trends in sustainer programs and bring new ideas to the team; optimize under-utilized opportunities in other channels and initiatives to support sustainer goals.
  •   Develop and manage pilot campaigns and testing strategy for new initiatives to determine their potential and ROI, including face-to-face canvassing and connected TV fundraising.
  •   Lead the development of sustainer value proposition and messaging in partnership with Mass Market Fundraising, Digital Marketing and Brand Marketing teams.


  • Support the development of annual budgets, revenue goals, and the projection, tracking and approval of expenses.
  • Translate strategies into specific documented plans that include timelines, channel selection, offers, ask strings, segmentation, testing and projected response rates and revenue.
  • Ensure excellent program quality by regularly monitoring, troubleshooting issues, and reviewing all data for accuracy; regularly evaluate systems and processes to ensure maximum efficiency and revenue with a focus on retention and recovery processes.
  • Work with Development Operations team members to assess and implement improvements to existing backend processes and procedures, including for payment options and with vendors.


  • Analyze and report on progress to goals and effectiveness of specific campaigns, tactics and vendor performance; adapt plans based on analysis.
  • Utilize data to create models designed to increase sustainer revenue, upgrades, conversions and overall number of sustaining donors.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Managing Director, Mass Market Fundraising
Works Directly With: Mass Market Fundraising, Digital Marketing, Brand Marketing, Development Operations. 

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

  • 5+ years of experience in nonprofit fundraising or related experience with a thorough understanding of fundraising practices and ethics, and a minimum of 2 years managing a successful cross-channel sustainer or recurring giving program (direct mail, email, digital marketing, telemarketing, face-to-face).
  • Well-developed collaboration skills to lead and work with cross-functional teams; demonstrated ability of leading projects that involve multiple departments, consultants and vendors.
  •  Ability to prioritize responsibilities and goals, communicate with precision and clarity, motivate others and enlist them to meet goals.
  • Track record of exemplary problem-solving and developing innovative solutions to achieve goals
  • Strong analytical skills and a bias toward data-driven decision-making to design solutions and to adapt those solutions in response to new/additional data.
  • Proven ability to assess and design efficient systems/processes and quality controls.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to think strategically.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Strong computer skills and high proficiency with databases and software.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will bring a strategic, cross-channel approach to drive the growth of Mercy Corps’ sustainer program. This individual will be passionate about delivering value to donors, while balancing those needs with the organization’s priorities, resources and objectives. They will have a strong background in data analysis and reporting with an ability to distill complex information and make informed, data-driven decisions. They will have strong verbal and written communication skills, an ability to edit written text and proofread with extreme accuracy, strong attention to detail and the ability to prioritize, manage multiple deadlines and coordinate complex schedules. They will be self-motivated, take initiative, and have a bias toward execution.  They will be able to work well under pressure, respond quickly to new opportunities, and creatively resolve problems as well as establish and maintain positive relationships with co-workers and vendors. High integrity and a passion for the mission of Mercy Corps are a must.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position can be based in Portland, Oregon; Washington, DC, or Remote.

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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.

 As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment.  Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations.  Failure to comply may impact your employment.  Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.