Development Director


Ayuda is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing direct legal and social services, education, and outreach to low-income immigrants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Now entering its 45th year, Ayuda has developed nationally acclaimed expertise in immigration law, domestic violence, and human trafficking, among other fields. Ayuda currently has office locations in downtown Washington, D.C. and Falls Church, VA.


This is a unique moment for Ayuda, and for the Development area within the organization. From 2014-2018, Ayuda built a strong platform for Development. We established core capabilities and routines in communications, in constituent engagement through events and volunteer opportunities, and in donor cultivation emphasizing primarily corporate sponsorships and foundation grants. Also during that time, our board of directors has been able to shift focus from hands-on internal management of the organization, following a challenging period, toward setting strategy and policy for the longer term and more visibly championing the organization externally. Since 2016, external forces have placed a spotlight on the plight of immigrants in our community and generated both increased demand for our services from immigrants and increased awareness of Ayuda’s mission and value in the eyes of the broader community. The work we have done internally to build Development capacity and momentum, and these external forces, have combined to accelerate growth in our community and in philanthropic giving. Since 2014, attendance at our annual signature event has more than doubled and net event revenue has more than tripled. The response rate to our annual campaign has more than doubled, and so has net revenue. Although not formally part of our Development area, we have also seen tremendous interest and support from law firms participating in our pro bono program. The numbers of firms, attorneys, and volunteer hours have all increased significantly.

To lead Ayuda’s next chapter of growth in the Development area, we seek a Development Director with a passion and proven track record of leading a lean yet growing Development operation within a growing organization. We seek a candidate who connects to our mission and can contribute strategically to our executive management team discussions. We seek a candidate who is drawn and driven to cultivate individual major and legacy gifts to support our mission through a donor-centric and systematic approach. We seek a candidate with experience in and the ability to successfully manage execution across the diverse areas of Development including individual major gift cultivation, development marketing/communications, strategic events execution, corporate sponsorships, foundation cultivation and proposal writing, and strengthening the operational backbone for development including data integrity.


Because, just like everyone at Ayuda, you believe in our mission:

  • In seeing communities where all immigrants overcome obstacles to succeed and thrive in the United States.
  • In the overall success of our organization and all our programs.
  • That families should be healthy, united, and safe from harm.
  • That all people should have access to professional, honest, and ethical services, regardless of ability to pay or status in this country.
  • That diversity and equality make this country better.

Because professionally, you are ready and eager to:

  • Partner with the executive director and volunteer board chairs to help the executive, the boards, and the board members more fully realize their Development leadership potential
  • Lead a lean interdisciplinary Development operation and, through a combination of operational vision and effective management, build its capacity to double philanthropic revenue in order to serve a growing organization over the next five years.
  • Bring your particular passion for, and effectiveness in, donor-centric individual major gifts fundraising to an operation, built steadily on corporate (event) sponsorships and foundation support, that has experienced a recent outpouring of interest from individuals.
  • Through leadership in the Development area, continue to build Ayuda’s reputation as a fiercely effective organization on behalf of immigrants in our region, and a warm, welcoming, caring, and valuable community for all donors and volunteers to become part of.


This position reports to the Executive Director and serves on the senior management team. The position supervises the following positions: Development Communications Coordinator, Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator, and Grants Manager.  Primary internal relationships include the Executive Director, Finance Director, Director of Operations, other senior leadership team members including Social Services Director, Legal Director, and Language Access Director. External relationships involve frequent interaction with the Ayuda Advisory Council and prospective and current private, public, and institution and individual donors.


Leadership and Management

  • Develop, manage, and execute three-year and one-year Development plans
  • Sustain efforts to build awareness and a culture of philanthropy at board, executive, and staff levels
  • Monitor and regularly report progress toward achieving goals; maintain transparency
  • Collaborate with the executive director and team to determine the strategic investments necessary for Ayuda to build capacity to double stakeholder engagement and philanthropic revenue in five years
  • Provide exemplary direction and supervision for the Development team, including serving as a role model in interfacing with donors and other external stakeholders
  • Manage the selective engagement of consultants who can provide strategic and execution support.

Development Marketing and Communications, including Events and Corporate Sponsorships

  • Provide vision for, and lead the execution of, Ayuda’s events strategy including: a winter donor recognition and appreciation event; a spring signature event bringing major visibility, corporate sponsorships, and ticket revenue to support our mission; a fall breakfast that is free for the broader community to attend to learn about Ayuda’s mission and discover ways they can help; and selected volunteer-led creative engagement activities. Supervise the communications, sponsorship, volunteer engagement, and logistical dimensions of these events.
  • Provide vision for, and supervise the execution of Ayuda’s editorial calendar, including regular and responsive e-news, social media listening and engagement, website content refresh, print/digital annual giving campaign, donor appreciation, and annual report.

Individual Giving and Donor Relations

  • Build an individual gifts program for Ayuda, helping those donors who have given consistently in response to annual appeals, as well as prospective new donors, to discover how their special, major, and/or legacy gifts can have a transformative impact on Ayuda and the lives of immigrants.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director to assist with managing and advancing her portfolio.
  • Institute systems and best practices in individual donor cultivation, including formulating portfolios, cultivating donors through opportunities that deepen their awareness and engagement with the mission, soliciting gifts that help donors align their interests with Ayuda’s mission and aspirations, and retaining donors in respectful ways that motivate future giving.

Public Agency and Philanthropic Foundation Grants

  • Identify and recommend to the executive director a strategic set of philanthropic foundation grant opportunities that make funding available for Ayuda’s programs, core capacity-building, and broader partnerships.
  • In consultation with Ayuda program directors, supervise the centralized coordination of Ayuda’s overall grant proposal submissions to public agencies and philanthropic foundations, including building a content inventory to support all submissions and providing direct or supervised writing support for prioritized proposals to foundations.

Other Duties

  • Other duties as assigned


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Minimum of seven years of fundraising experience, emphasizing portfolio and gift closure
  • Minimum of five years making measurable contributions to a Development operation encompassing the disciplines of marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, individual major gifts, and corporate and foundation relations.
  • Minimum of three years management and supervision experience, including planning and execution, directing and motivating staff, written and oral/presentation communication skills, financial management, and governance.
  • Direct experience expanding a volunteer board(s) and helping the board to realize its potential in Development


  • BA/BS degree required
  • Baseline certification in fundraising, e.g., CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) or equivalent preferred
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred

Technological Skills

  • Familiarity with industry standard computer and software systems

Required Knowledge and Skills:

  • Knowledge of and experience in nonprofit communications, especially with a donor-centric focus
  • Knowledge of the major gift cultivation process and internal operations
  • Knowledge of event-driven constituent engagement and fundraising
  • Knowledge of the grant application, management, and reporting process
  • Knowledge of best practices in management and supervision
  • Highly developed interpersonal and stakeholder relationship management skills, internally and externally
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, including the ability to listen, relate, and persuade
  • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to write high quality products for various audiences under deadline
  • Strong networker with the flexibility and willingness to attend to donor activities and events
  • Driven to meet goals
  • Ability to work collaboratively and positively in a fast-paced team environment
  • Ability to function effectively in a multicultural setting
  • Professional demeanor, strong work ethic, resourceful, sense of humor, and ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Strong ethics and sound judgment; decisive, with ability to exercise independent judgment
  • Ability to mentor and train staff


We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus a benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, as well as an employer-provided retirement match. All federal holidays and closures observed and paid leave for the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day. This position is exempt for overtime purposes.


Please apply with resume and cover letter.  Writing samples may be requested.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Apply early for full consideration. No phone calls, please.

Ayuda is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. It is Ayuda’s policy to be fair and impartial in all relations with employees and applicants for employment and to make all employment-related decisions without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation, or any other categories protected by federal, state, or local law. We encourage applications from members of underrepresented communities.

Ayuda’s dedication to social justice means that all positions will be committed to working with people from diverse cultural, linguistic, economic, educational, and vocational backgrounds.

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