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We’re looking for a stellar fundraising leader at Cityside Journalism Initiative, an exciting nonprofit organization devoted to building community and strengthening democracy through local news.

Launched in 2020, Cityside is home to two widely read, award-winning local news sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, Berkeleyside and Oaklandside, with plans to report in more communities in the near future. 

We think the best way to keep high-quality local news alive is by empowering people, businesses, and institutions in local communities to fund it directly. Major donors and foundations are a big part of that model—and that’s where you come in. You’ll partner with our three powerhouse co-founders to unlock the philanthropic potential of the Bay Area and beyond to power local journalism for the public good. 

We’re good at talking about what our journalism means to the cities where we currently work, Berkeley and Oakland, and the impact we’re having. We detail Cityside’s commitment to reviving the best of endangered local news and also to doing better, especially for communities that have never been well served by traditional media outlets. 

Our story resonates every time we tell it. We’ve grown to a $4 million organization in under three years, with support from American Journalism Project and Google News Initiative, several leading national and Northern California foundations, a passionate group of local major donors, and more than 7,300 members (funders who donate under $1,000/year). But we need to greatly broaden the number of people who hear that story, especially those with significant resources to sustain and grow this work.

We’re looking for a Director of Development who can speak passionately and persuasively about why local journalism matters and has previously driven major philanthropic funding for a mission-driven organization. 

You will lead the effort to build a sustainable, diversified development operation. You’ll drive the vision and strategy development, be part of the senior leadership team, and report to the CEO. 

Ideally, you’re based in the Bay Area and have a wide-reaching network in the communities where we currently operate or might in the future. You love building relationships with current and potential supporters. You’re equally masterful at tried-and-true donor cultivation and stewardship methods as at launching innovative new approaches. You’re also skilled at designing and leading major donor outreach strategies with aplomb, tracking and leveraging data in our Salesforce donor database, and providing effective project management for annual appeals and other donor communications. You’re an imaginative self-starter with an entrepreneurial streak, and you’re attracted to Cityside’s scrappy, nimble, punching-above-its-weight ethos. 

The salary range for this position is $140,000-$180,000. You’ll have access to Cityside’s healthcare plan, four weeks of paid leave, and a 401(k) match. You’ll also have a $1,000 annual stipend to be put towards professional development. 

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 1.

What you’ll do

  • Help devise and lead a comprehensive, strategic, donor-centered fundraising program to raise $3 million a year (and growing) in philanthropic giving
  • Develop and nurture relationships with a core group of major donors with whom you meet regularly, and make direct, face-to-face donor solicitations
  • Work with Cityside’s CEO and co-founders on growing and diversifying institutional fundraising. Foundations account for half of our philanthropic revenues. 
  • Work with Cityside’s board—and particularly its fundraising committee—to spur and coordinate board involvement in our fundraising. 
  • Build Cityside’s development operation: you’ll be hiring a development associate this year, and we expect to add fundraising staff in the near future. 
  • Orchestrate a regular schedule of donor engagement through one-on-ones with major donors and the three Cityside co-founders and support the board of directors in their fundraising efforts
  • Develop and execute strategies for stewardship and renewal of current individual donors , with prospecting and cultivation of new donors capable of making annual gifts of $5,000 or more
  • Manage the organization’s impact tracking and develop and/or oversee production of communications material and reports, including an annual impact report, a monthly email newsletter, quarterly funder updates, pitch decks, and other collateral
  • Draft donor correspondence and maintain primary responsibility for developing messages, strategy memos, talking points, and donor materials
  • Oversee the development and execution of fundraising campaigns
  • Help create and execute fundraising events  
  • Maintain our donor management database to ensure professional data management 

What you’ll need to succeed

  • Demonstrated success in raising funds from individuals, capable of giving four- and five-figure donations.  
  • Demonstrated experience raising more than $1 million annually from individuals and foundations. 
  • Proven ability to provide strategy and project management support that enables senior leadership, board members, and other staff to understand and serve fundraising goals.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to effectively communicate complex, strategic information to external audiences regarding the importance of local news to a thriving democracy and its role in supporting a variety of topical interests such as education, health, and public safety.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills; ability to initiate and build relationships with prospective donors and institutional representatives
  • Ability to work independently and successfully manage multiple projects with competing deadlines; excellent attention to detail.

We’re especially interested in candidates who

  • Have demonstrated experience in early-stage nonprofits
  • Have successfully raised more than $1 million annually in support of Bay Area organizations or efforts 
  • Have worked in or have a passion for journalism
  • Are personally grounded in communities represented in the Bay Area

Some great candidates may not check all the boxes above, and may have valuable skills not included here. If that’s you, please don’t hesitate to apply and tell us why you would thrive in this role. If you have questions in advance of applying for this position, we encourage you to reach out to Lance Knobel, CEO, to address your questions via email or a brief call. 

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this position, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

About Cityside

Learn more about our work and our funders at citysidejournalism.org