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Development Director

Abby's House
Job Title: Development Director
Job Type:
Job Search Ends:
December 31st, 2017
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Founded in 1976 by Annette Rafferty and a cadre of volunteers, Abby’s House was one of the first shelters specifically for homeless women in the US. Our mission is “to provide shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services, to homeless, battered and low-income women, with or without children.” Abby’s House currently has 77 units of affordable housing and nine overnight shelter beds that are supported by advocacy services.  Abby’s House has a long and rich history of working with the complexities of homelessness and abuse, and has developed an innovative and flexible program model based on respect and hospitality. We help each woman to recognize her own inner strengths and abilities and to connect with the resources, information and support to get her life back on track. 

Abby’s House has a $1.3 million annual operating budget. Abby’s House receives no government funds for its annual operations and instead depends on the generosity of individual donors, local businesses and corporations, and local foundations. The Development Team is responsible for raising close to 60% of the annual budget, and the Development Director serves as the primary fundraiser for individual and leadership giving as well as foundation and corporate gifts and grants, working closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors. Abby’s House has successfully raised over $1 million for the Opening Doors, Transforming Futures Capital Campaign to renovate and preserve 54 units of housing at 52 High Street and to fund organizational sustainability initiatives, and seeks to complete the $2 million campaign in the coming 12-18 months.



The Director of Development position is responsible for every aspect of Abby’s House development program, with the goal of achieving annual fundraising targets established in the annual development planning process. The Director of Development will manage and supervise a small development staff, including a Communications and Development Specialist.  Working closely with the Executive Director, the Director of Development is responsible for the following duties associated with this position:

1.  Planning, Goal-Setting, Performance Management

  • Develop annual fundraising plan to align with annual operating budget and strategic plan and include metrics for all fundraising areas.
  • Establish performance measures, monitor results and help the Executive Director, Development and Campaign Committee and Board of Directors evaluate the effectiveness of Abby’s House development program.
  • Assure implementation of fundraising strategies employ economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment.
  • Coordinate with staff to produce monthly, quarterly and annual reports on fundraising progress for distribution to Executive Director, Development Committee and Board of Directors.

2.  Individual and Leadership Gifts

  • Develop and implement strategies to acquire new donors, to facilitate donor loyalty, and upgrade existing donors through direct mail, email and web communications. 
  • Identify leadership gift prospects and develop strategies for elevating donor commitment.
  • Proactively manage a portfolio of a predetermined number of active major donors/prospects and create and execute cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for each.
  • Work in partnership with Executive Director to shape and implement strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of Executive Director’s annual and campaign prospect portfolio.
  • Track and manage annual and campaign donor prospect portfolios of volunteers and Board members.
  • Maintain high visibility with the community and remain accessible to community members.
  • Oversee the planning and management of annual special events in the annual fundraising plan, including event logistics, marketing, and solicitation of sponsors and donors.

3.  Foundation and Corporate Giving

  • Manage and grow foundation and corporate giving program
  • Maintain grant tracking system
  • Prepare, write and submit applications to foundations and corporations, and submit required follow-up reports

4.  Donor Recognition/Stewardship

  • Assure design and implementation of donor recognition and stewardship program
  • Write personal acknowledgment and stewardship letters for signature by executive director, board members, and key volunteers
  • As needed, plan, manage and execute meetings and events that advance donor involvement, cultivation and stewardship for major gifts

5.  Data Systems, Gift Acknowledgement and Gift Reporting

  • Oversee gift entry and gift acknowledgment process to ensure timeliness and accuracy.
  • Oversee database to ensure individual donor information and other data is captured in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Oversee accurate gift crediting and reporting for both annual gifts and the capital campaign.

6.  Collaborations/Coordination

  • Staff the Board’s Development Committee and Campaign Committee, organizing meetings and working with volunteers one-on-one to ensure they are prepared and supported in their fundraising and campaign-related assignments.
  • Maintain effective and timely communication with Abby’s House Executive Director and program directors to incorporate funding priorities in donor cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Work with communications staff and external vendors to develop donor communications, ensure consistent messaging and develop/refine needed fundraising and campaign materials, including case for support, newsletters, brochures, and all website and social media.



Candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • 5-10+ years of relevant fundraising experience that includes leadership gifts and corporate and foundation relations.
  • Must have a proven track record of success in personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual leadership gifts.
  • An understanding of leadership gift fundraising principles and best practices and experience with portfolio development and management.
  • Demonstrated success in identifying prospects and building donor relationships.
  • Aptitude for producing donor-centric communications to strengthen the relationship with supporters from diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience with racially, culturally and economically diverse individuals and communities and a commitment to inclusiveness in all facets of the development program.
  • Ability to successfully plan and manage a multi-faceted development program and prioritize competing priorities.
  • Experience with database management and attention to detail.
  • Persuasive verbal and written communication skills and strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a sense of humor and compassion.



This position is a full-time, exempt position and requires 35-40 hours per week. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.  Abby’s House offer generous benefits, including  4 weeks of paid vacation time, up to 40 hours of paid sick time, and 11 paid holidays.  Abby’s House contributes 70% toward the premium of a family or individual insurance plan that is offered through Abby’s House.  Abby’s House is an equal opportunity employer, and in keeping with our values, is committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates.



If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to applications@abbyshouse.org. In your cover letter, please describe your fit with the mission and values of Abby’s House. We will review applications on a rolling basis, and we will accept applications until the position is filled. Please apply as soon as possible.



133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606 | Fax: 617.426.2849
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