Who Are We?
In 2019, in-depth local news was in short supply in El Paso; in fact, residents described the city as a local news desert. It was in this landscape that Robert Moore, a nationally respected editor, launched El Paso Matters, a nonprofit digital news organization to enhance journalism and build civic capacity in the community.
Just two years later, El Paso Matters, is known for shining a light on the city’s challenges and opportunities and engaging readers around the solutions. And we are now one of the fastest growing news organizations in the country – we’ve grown from two staffers to 11 (you’ll be the 12th!) – and we are informing and engaging with people in the El Paso, Juárez and the southern New Mexico region to create solutions-driven conversations about the complex issues shaping our region.
What We Need
In its first two years, El Paso Matters received funding from such diverse sources as Microsoft, the Facebook Journalism Project, Emerson Collective, Arnold Ventures, local foundations, Google, and the Rapoport Foundation, among others. Several hundred El Pasoans are member/donors. These individuals and foundations have turned their sights to El Paso, seeing in El Paso Matters an online news organization that is making a difference. Their gifts have allowed us to hire reporters focused on K-12 education, higher education, women’s issues and the environment.
We will continue to seek financial resources to continue the expansion of our newsroom as well as staff to support membership, sponsorships and event growth plus general administrative and accounting personnel, funding that is now being provided by the American Journalism Project. We are looking to diversify our revenue streams, including identifying and securing additional foundation support, as well as support from individuals who give $2,500 or more. To accomplish this, we believe we need a Director of Major Gifts who:
- Has an entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to build on our early success by expanding our donor base and developing the long-term transformational relationships necessary to support the significant expansion of our influence and impact over the next three to five years.
- Is experienced in early stage nonprofits and has designed a fundraising program from the ground up.
- Possesses the necessary research and solicitation skills but excels at cultivation and stewardship.
What You Will Need
We acknowledge that there is no specific template that leads to fundraising accomplishments. Development professionals are successful because they embody their own specific, even unique, skills.
Because this is one of our most significant non-journalist staff additions this year, we know enough about ourselves and our business to believe that to work with us there are some essential skills. We want to know that you:
- Have a passion for our mission, even if you don’t have experience in journalism.
- Are, or can quickly become, conversant in and speak compellingly about the work your journalistic colleagues are doing in such a way to build donor enthusiasm.
- Demonstrate a superb ability to communicate effectively, comfortably, and respectfully with donors, staff, and lay leaders. This means being able to synthesize and present complex themes and activities in a digestible and compelling way, whether in conversation or in print.
- Have developed and executed a comprehensive donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets.
- Value collaboration, welcome new ideas and show an eagerness to creatively partner with colleagues
- A confident and professional work style with a strong sense of humor and a faculty for handling stressful situations with grace and maturity is a must.
You will have other skills and qualities we haven’t thought to prioritize. A few things on the “in our dreams” list:
- Knowledge of, and experience and comfort with donor database management systems to track donor history, interests, and activity.
- Broad understanding of multi-faceted campaign planning, implementation, and management.
- Experience recruiting, hiring and supervising a development associate.
- A history in or connection to our region.
We can offer you:
- A commitment to diversity; a culture that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and the opportunity to be among diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
- Mentoring and consistent professional development opportunities.
- The chance to serve the 22nd largest city in the nation, with a population of more than 860,000 people, a rich multi-cultural quality of life and 302 days of sunshine a year. We also will consider remote work for the right candidate.
- Competitive salary, a health insurance plan, paid leave of four weeks a year and a 401(k) match.
Specific Major Responsibilities
- Create an annual development plan that sets realistic goals for growth; places an emphasis on the acquisition of leadership gifts ($2,500+ annually); ensures year-round cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors through meaningful and personalized donor contacts. Track and report on progress toward goals including pledges and cash-flow projections.
- Manage a 75- to 100-person portfolio of major donors and prospects, including leading the process of identifying/qualifying prospective donors, developing thoughtful donor strategies, and directly soliciting and stewarding leadership gifts, including planned gifts, from individual donors.
- Support the development efforts of the CEO, including conducting prospect research and preparing briefing materials in advance of donor meetings.
- Work collaboratively with other revenue department staff, including the membership/events director and advertising consultant to ensure the most strategic donor-driven strategies.
- Oversee the organization’s grant writing and reporting, and donor relations programs; and assure the proper recording, tracking, and reporting of gifts, donor strategies and progress, meaningful donor contacts, and progress toward goals in the donor database.
- Work closely with marketing consultants in the development of messages, materials, and explanations of our work used in strategic donor communications, and other communications that advance our mission and visibility to donors.
- Maintain and expand a portfolio of additional foundation/grant prospects and collaborate with the CEO on the submission of grants
- Maintain a foundation grants calendar of submissions and reporting cycles
- Identify and cultivate strategic partnerships with businesses in coordination with the CEO.
- Develop and manage a cost-effective budget for expenses related to fundraising.