Vice President for Development & Communications

Reporting to the President & CEO, this new position is responsible for creating, directing, and implementing Pathfinders’ vision for fundraising and communications to advance private fundraising from $645K to $1 million annually by 2020.

Essential Duties

Consistent with its mission of Empowering Youth, Changing Lives, Pathfinders brings safety, hope and healing to low-income youth and young adults dealing with homelessness and other significant and related issues, such as sex trafficking, sexual abuse, family problems, sexuality, and mental health issues. Pathfinders is an innovative, respected and effective nonprofit social services organization that operates 12 programs that served 7,223 young people and their families in 2016. Reporting to the President and CEO, this new position is responsible for creating, directing and implementing Pathfinders’ vision for fundraising and communications to advance private fundraising from $645,000 to $1 million annually by 2020. Key responsibilities: 1) Engage Board and staff leadership in fund development and communications; 2) Recruit and supervise development and communications staff, which includes volunteers; 3) Increase Pathfinders’ recognition in the community. 


  • Foster a culture of philanthropy among Board, staff, and volunteers.  
  • Set long range and annual plans for fund development and communications; evaluate progress regularly. 
  • Board: staff lead for Fund Development and Communications committee; engage individual Board members in fund development activities; attend and provide status reports for Board meetings. 
  • Staff: Direct President & CEO in fundraising & communications activities; engage senior leadership team and staff at large.  
  • Monitor departmental income and expense in alignment with budgeted goals. 


  • Implement segmented strategies to effectively engage diverse donor audiences. 
  • Create plan for individual donor segmentation, cultivation, and solicitation, including major donors and those at lower levels.  
  • Oversee process of cultivation and solicitation of private organization funders, including business, foundation and community organizations; assist with public proposals as needed. 
  • Oversee special event formulation and implementation.  
  • Create strategy to acquire new donors. 
  • Implement planned giving program. 


  • Activate a brand strategy for Pathfinders to increase recognition and demonstrate Pathfinders' value to the community. 
  • Identify strategies to engage donors, partners, and community at large through traditional and social media. 
  • Oversee creation compelling and engaging communications via website, newsletters, annual report, etc. 
  • Serve as the main contact with media; assign appropriate agency representative as spokesperson depending upon topic or issue. 

Management Responsibilities

  • Serve as member of senior leadership team.
  • Oversee departmental budget. 
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate staff and consultants. 
  • Identify additional staffing and volunteer personnel needs. 

Position Requirements

  • Passion for the mission, working on behalf of the diverse youth and families served. 
  • Advanced understanding of fundraising and communications process, with minimum 10 years of professional experience preferred. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; CFRE & AFP members preferred.
  • Strategic Leadership Abilities: Compelling vision and leadership for internal and external stakeholders. Capacity to create and execute meaningful cultivation, communications, and solicitation plans contributing to increased financial, voluntary and in-kind support.
  • Creativity and Entrepreneurial Spirit: Ambitious and creative; Attuned to emerging strategies for fundraising, marketing, relationship management, and program design. Willingness to try new ideas and ability to motivate others to follow suit.  
  • Well-known and respected in philanthropic community (or ability to develop a network in philanthropic community)  
  • Experience and success in major gift cultivation and solicitation. 
  • Relationship Management: Ability to collaborate, cultivate, and maintain strong relationships and partnerships. Balance organizational needs and requirements with development and communications goals and objectives. Transparent and intentional in building collaborations across the team and organization.
  • Partnerships: Proficiency in the support and involvement of others in the advancement of fund development and in prospect, donor, volunteer and ally relationships culminating in financial, voluntary or in-kind gifts.
  • Organizational Management: Strong personnel management and organizational planning skills. Commitment to data-driven strategy development, decision making, and implementation. 
  • Experience with donor database supervision; Analyze donor date to determine appropriate giving patterns, including major donors, to effectively direct cultivation and solicitation efforts. 
  • Experience with brand management, communications, marketing, media, and public relations.
  • Positive Presence: articulate, confident, energetic, inspiring, optimistic, and respectful.
  • Superior interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate complex concepts and data in an effective manner to donors, staff, board members, and volunteers. 

Additional Information

Compensation between $70,000 – $80,000, dependent upon experience. Excellent benefits package includes health, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and generous paid time off plan. Opportunity to join a caring and committed team of professionals and work within a supportive, flexible, creative, and nontraditional environment. 


Send a letter of interest, current resume, and wage requirements via mail or email to the address noted above. Agency information obtained at www.pathfindersmke.orgNo phone inquiries will be accepted.

An Equal Opportunity Organization

Pathfinders is committed to a diversified workforce. Persons of color, women, the disabled, and those with diverse cultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Date Posted

July 18, 2017

Closing Date

When Filled


Full Time, Exempt

How to Apply