Position Title: Director of Development

Application Deadline: March 11, 2016

Position Background and Description:

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), a nationally-recognized nonprofit statewide poverty law and policy center, seeks an experienced and dynamic Director of Development who is eager to make a lasting difference for low-income people throughout Massachusetts. This is a senior management position that will report directly to the Executive Director.

About MLRI: MLRI’s mission is to advance economic, racial, and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. MLRI specializes in large scale legal initiatives and systemic reforms that address the root causes of poverty, remove barriers to opportunity, and create a path to economic stability and mobility for low-income individuals, families and communities. For almost 50 years, MLRI’s advocacy has been responsible for groundbreaking laws, policies and court decisions that have advanced the legal, economic and social rights of low-income people in Massachusetts. MLRI also serves as the statewide poverty law support center for the Massachusetts civil legal services delivery system, providing expertise and support to local legal aid programs and also to a large number of local and statewide social service agencies, health care and human service providers, and community based organizations that serve low income people.

About the Opportunity: This is a unique opportunity for a skilled, energetic and creative fundraising professional to spearhead an aggressive fundraising strategy, in collaboration with the Executive Director, that will substantially increase and diversify the organization’s revenue over the next five years. The Director of Development will help maintain current funding sources, and will seek and secure new sources of revenue with a key focus on increasing foundation funding, particularly national foundation funding. In addition, the Director of Development will assist the Executive Director and Board Development Committee to develop and implement law firm and corporate fundraising strategies, a major donor initiative, planned giving campaign, and grow the annual fundraising event.

High Priority Responsibilities (Note: Items outlined below are intended to describe the general nature of the work; it is not an exhaustive list of duties to be performed):

  1. Design and execute a comprehensive fundraising plan for MLRI.
  2. In collaboration with the Executive Director and program staff, write grant proposals and reports to foundations and corporate funders.
  3. Research potential new funding opportunities and cultivate relationships with foundations, corporations, attorneys and law firms, and non-attorney individual donors.
  4. Assist the Executive Director with identification of major gift and planned giving prospects.
  5. Draft fundraising letters and other fundraising outreach materials, including web-based resources and messages posted on social media.
  6. Oversee all donor-related activities, including donor cultivation, appreciation, and recognition.
  7. In collaboration with the Executive Director, oversee and execute components of MLRI’s public relations, marketing and communications activities that impact development efforts, including social media, print and broadcast media, newsletters and annual reports, and the MLRI website.
  8. Coordinate the annual giving campaign and appeals.
  9. Plan and oversee fundraising events.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Minimum 5 years experience in nonprofit fundraising (preferably in social justice, legal or human services)
  • Significant grant writing experience, including grant budget preparation, logic models, grant management and foundation prospecting; grant writing experience with large local and national foundations and corporate funders is highly desirable
  • Technology savvy, with experience in web-based fundraising strategies and donor database management
  • Ability to understand complex legal and policy concepts and frame the many aspects of the organization’s work into persuasive written proposals
  • Excellent writing skills, with a demonstrated ability to write in a clear, structured and articulate manner
  • Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to effectively handle multiple projects with competing deadlines
  • Ability to work collaboratively as a team member, yet independently to execute the responsibilities of the job
  • Good sense of humor, self-confident, creative, innovative, resourceful and self-motivated
  • Commitment to MLRI’s mission to serve low-income and vulnerable populations

Compensation: Position is full-time, though part-time employment may be negotiable. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits package.

Application Process:

Qualified applicants must electronically submit the following: 1) cover letter explaining interest in and qualifications for the position, 2) resume, 3) one short writing sample, 4) three professional references. In addition, if possible, please also submit a list of successful grant proposals written with amounts awarded for each. Electronically submit application materials to DevDir@mlri.org with “Director of Development” in the subject line. No telephone calls please. Applications will be reviewed as received & interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. Qualified candidates should submit applications as early as possible.

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. MLRI strives for racial and ethnic diversity because it is critical both to achieving MLRI’s mission and to operating in a way that is consistent with MLRI’s organizational values. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.