Director of Development – High Impact Philanthropy

Mercy Corps

**Location:**San Francisco Bay Area Position Status: Full-time Minimum Staring Salary Annualized: $115,000 commensurate with 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.

Program / Department Summary

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.

General Position Summary

The primary focus of the Director of Development (DoD) is to build personal relationships with donors and prospects who have the capacity to make gifts of $100k+, with the overarching aim of meeting or exceeding unrestricted revenue goals. The position will have a significant focus on new business development (bringing in new donors to Mercy Corps) and will require dedicated efforts in networking and building new leads. They must also be comfortable discussing legacy giving with donors. The DoD must be adept in articulating a compelling case for unrestricted mission-focused support as well as restricted support for strategic priorities.

The DoD is expected to collaborate with field and program staff, with the dual aim of deepening their own understanding of Mercy Corps’ distinctive approach to humanitarian aid and development and bringing these colleagues together with donors and prospects. The position calls for a high level of social acumen and the ability to move comfortably within the realm of high net worth individuals.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Develop ongoing regional strategies for Mercy Corps continued growth in private philanthropy in the Bay Area. This includes collaborating with the corporate team, and the foundations team to help make Mercy Corps one of the preeminent INGOs for Bay Area philanthropists.
  • Develop and enhance personal relationships with a select group of major donors with the goal of maintaining and increasing annual unrestricted support at the $100K+ level, generating. leadership gifts ($250K+) for programmatic priorities and generating bequest commitments.
  • Secure $1million in new business revenue by the end of year two
  • Identify and engage with high net worth individuals within Mercy Corps’ donor file who have not yet made a major gift, with the aim of securing new major gifts.
  • Conduct outreach to high net worth individuals outside the Mercy Corps donor file, who may not yet be familiar with Mercy Corps.
  • Work closely with the Foundations team to identify, cultivate and solicit individual philanthropist engaged in Big Bet Philanthropy.
  • In Partnership with the Director of Advised Funds, engage in the HIP team’s donor-advised fund/wealth manager strategy and set targets for engaging wealth advisors and their clients.
  • Meet with legacy society members and prospective members.
  • Set annual goals and develop personalized cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for assigned donors.
  • Assist in the development of strategies to heighten the profile of Mercy Corps among target constituencies, such as events, briefings or other activities.


  • Develop working relationships with program staff in order to identify funding opportunities and to access programmatic information that can be used to steward donors.
  • Stay abreast of key issues and trends in the international aid and development community and communicate these to donors and prospects.
  • Lead periodic overseas trips for key major donors and prospects as part of a well thought out and planned cultivation and solicitation strategy.
  • Maintain current tracking of all donor activity and revenue projection by inputting contact reports into donor database.
  • Lead on development of virtual program visits and donor engagement events for prospect/donor portfolio.


  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with groups engaging HNWI and their philanthropic decision-making.
  • Identify opportunities to represent Mercy Corps on various panels and events.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Vice President, High Impact Philanthropy

Works Directly With: All members of the HIP team, Corporate and Foundation team and the Chief Development Officer.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • Experience operating within a high-level major gifts fundraising team, including at least five years of direct frontline fundraising; or equivalent experience in business development with a social impact oriented company; or a deep knowledge of Mercy Corps’ mission and operations as an outcome of having worked within Mercy Corps’ programs in the field for three or more years.
  • Strategic and forward thinking, with the ability to develop and lead a major gifts strategy
  • Ambitious and proactive community builder with strong network of Bay Area contacts that can be leveraged to identify and engage high net worth individuals
  • Strong experience in collaboration and ability to work with people with diverse opinions to develop program proposals and other donor impact opportunities
  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and process.
  • Diligent, highly organized and results focused.
  • Excellent communication skills – both written and oral, including public speaking
  • Outstanding people skills – empathetic and humble, as well as persuasive and confident
  • Must be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with a team.
  • Demonstrated success in proposal preparation, and solicitation of donors (or equivalent experience with private sector clients and/or investors), or transferable skills from program work in an INGO setting.
  • A valid driver’s license, ability and willingness to travel as required.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,

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.

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

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 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.

How to apply

Apply here

Closing date: 10/8/2022