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Food Forward

Development Director

Employment type
5 months ago
Los Angeles

Food Forward, an award-winning Los Angeles-based anti-hunger and food waste NPO has been growing exponentially since its inception 11 years ago. The Executive Director (ED) and board of directors are looking for a mission-focused, strategic leader with a proven track record of success in raising philanthropic funds and expanding an organization’s fundraising program and capabilities. Food Forward’s current budget is $3 million, and the organization anticipates an expansion to the $4-6 million range in the next three years. The successful candidate must be a self-starter who has deep and proven professional experience in non-profit fundraising. She/He will have the skills, sensitivity, integrity, and personal confidence to lead Food Forward’s fundraising efforts to support desired programmatic sustainability and growth. She/He will continue a track record of success into the organization’s second decade and beyond, while being an ambassador for Food Forward’s mission and the fight for social justice. * See our core values below.
The Development Director oversees and provides leadership for the fundraising initiatives and activities for the organization. This position reports to the Executive Director. She/He will manage and develop all areas of fundraising: individual donors, foundations, corporate supporters, earned income, events, etc. She/He will represent Food Forward internally and externally with top-tier professionalism. The candidate must be passionate about hunger/food justice issues, with a keen aptitude to inspire this same passion in others. The candidate must possess exceptional organizational, communication, written, and critical thinking skills, and be able to perform exceptionally under pressure. These, along with the ambition to lead and grow the funding sources for a thriving organization, are essential core traits. 

  • Demonstrated success in fundraising for 5+ years in a senior-level development department role 
  • Working knowledge of all areas of fundraising including individual (major gifts and annual giving) and corporate giving, private foundation grantmaking, government funding, and large-scale event production
  • Skilled writer and communicator, with a keen instinct to properly tailor communications (written and verbal) depending on the audience
  • Exercises excellent judgment in handling confidential and sensitive donor interactions/information
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively across multiple tiers of fundraising
  • Strong time management skills to seamlessly prioritize a wide variety of urgent and immediate tasks, while simultaneously moving forward on long-term projects and goals, all while keeping close attention to detail
  • Experience managing, coaching, and inspiring staff to meet their goals
  • Deep knowledge of the Los Angeles, and Southern California region philanthropic and non-profit community 
  • Skilled in creating annual income budgets, cash forecasting, and management of the department’s expense budget
  • Broad expertise in all areas of finances is not required, but desired 
  • A valid driver’s license, reliable source of transportation, and ability to easily navigate Southern California.
  • Computer savvy, with proficiency in Microsoft Office and GoogleDrive, Salesforce and other donor software
  • Must be willing to work occasional nights and weekends.
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds, sit, stand, walk, climb stairs, bend, lift, twist, kneel, and crouch 
  • Friendly, curious, creative, and sincere people person with a high degree of emotional intelligence and a sense of humor
  • Thrives in a collaborative work environment
  • Keen passion for food justice, and strong alignment with Food Forward’s core values


  • Develop and implement a strategic fundraising plan, with short- and long-term goals, that is in alignment with the overall goals of the organization, including a newly-minted 3-year strategic plan
  • Oversee a development staff of 5 in the coordination and execution of strategies, initiatives, and tasks, while providing mentorship and opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Identify, cultivate, develop relationships with, and solicit individual donors and prospects, and coordinate the major gift activities of the Executive Director, board members, and others.
  • Work with the Director of Outreach & Communications to manage the messaging, appeals, timeline, and solicitation for two, annual individual giving campaigns and other development-related communications
  • Strategize and implement a rigorous calendar of private foundation and government grant applications and reports, with support from the Grants Manager
  • Provide oversight, manage, edit, and occasionally write development proposals (corporate, individual, etc.), grants (private and government), and other development department communications
  • Provide oversight, guidance, and strategy for the annual gala, along with smaller donor engagement and ticketed events throughout the year, led by the Events & Partnerships Manager
  • Identify new well-aligned prospects in all funding areas through effective research, networking, and by working with stakeholders (primarily the Executive Director and Board of Directors) to identify connections.
  • Guide the Board of Directors, and all other supporting boards, on raising funds through identifying prospects and cultivating existing donors with capacity 
  • Supervise and strategize on the continuing improvement of the development database (Salesforce)
  • Create the annual income budget in collaboration with the Director of Finance, and lead the development and monitoring of this budget through generating monthly cash flow projections and income reports for each Board of Directors meeting
  • Serve as a member of senior leadership, contributing input to organization-wide priorities serving as a positive role model
  • Other duties as assigned

Application Deadline: Resumes will be accepted until position is filled;  applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by April 6.

Desired Start Date: June 1

Salary:  $85,000-$105,000 DOE

We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with an accomplished track record. Food Forward is prepared to offer a very attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary, as well as a robust benefits package.
Sample Benefits currently include:

  • 100% paid Medical and Vision
  • Simple IRA with 3% employer matching (after one year of employment)
  • PTO, additional sick days
  • Regular telecommuting and work flexibility
To apply

Send a cover letter in the body of an email including: where you discovered this listing, what can you bring to the Development Director position, and if you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?

Attach your resume as a PDF and send it to [email protected] The subject line should read, Development Director – (Your Name). 

No phone calls or in person visits. Please follow these instructions to ensure that we process your application. 

Food Forward is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strongly encourages people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with protected class backgrounds to apply. We value the individuals that we hire and look forward to creating a positive work environment for all identities.
Food Forward Core Values:

  • Creative – We seek to innovate in all facets of our work.
  • Joyful – We cultivate a meaningful, fun, positive and spirited work environment.
  • Committed to Food Justice – We believe that access to wholesome food, and fresh nutritious produce, is not a privilege, but a right. We work hard to end food inequality and reduce food insecurity.
  • Authentic – We are transparent and honest in our words, deeds and actions. We act at the highest level of integrity.
  • Disciplined – We are reliable, professional, accountable, rigorous and committed to excellence in all areas of our work, both internally and externally.
  • Community-minded – We aim to include and connect people in the community, and to remain open, diverse, respectful, and accessible. We take pride in offering people meaningful volunteer and work experiences.