Schall & Russo project image 1 project image 2
Real Estate & Operations New Programs Urban Design Finding New Leaders
Planning Works

Ms. Foundation for Women, Vice President for Development

Brooklyn, New York

7/14/10 - The Ms. Foundation for Women – a national public foundation promoting social justice for women and girls -- seeks a Vice President for Development. The Vice President will join a 5-person Executive Team working closely with the Chief Operating Officer (to whom s/he will report) and the President & CEO to:

  • help guide the Foundation through the current changing external environment,
  • raise funds to support its approximately $9 million budget including approximately $4 million in annual grant making to grass roots organizations and
  • broaden the Ms. Foundation’s revenue and constituent base.

The Development Cluster has seven staff in addition to the VP for Development. Sixty percent of the Foundation’s revenues come from individuals and family foundations; 40 percent from private and corporate foundations. The funds raised support the work of the Foundation’s grantees. As of June 2010, the Ms. Foundation’s endowment stood at approximately $25 million.

In its newly renovated, collaborative work space in Brooklyn’s downtown MetroTech Center, the Ms. Foundation is home to approximately 30 staff in the areas/Clusters of Program, Communications, HR & Operations, President’s Office, Finance and Development. The Foundation is governed by a national 14-person The VP for Development, working closely with the President & CEO, the VP for Communications, other members of the Executive Team, and the Board, will lead the collaborative strategic planning and implementation of raising funds for the Foundation’s general operations and the program activities of its grantees. The ideal candidate will:

  • Bring fundraising best practices and utilize her/his connections with major donors and institutions to raise money in support of the Ms. Foundation’s work, including the current planned giving program and a new Leading the Way Fund.
  • Contribute her/his track record of success and vision for how to attract a more diverse and younger array Have knowledge of the local and national women’s funds community and experience with the social justice philanthropy landscape.
  • Demonstrate a genuine interest and enthusiasm for the mission and activities of the Ms. Foundation. Be at her/his best by supporting excellence in others -- strengthening a team and fostering individual staff’s professional and personal growth.
  • Embrace collaborative work environments, and understand and enjoy the fact that relationships in and out of the workplace matter.
  • Be eager to try out new approaches and entertain big ideas.
  • Have successfully navigated and brought leadership to organizational change efforts.

Why the Ms. Foundation?

The Ms. Foundation for Women is the country’s first women’s foundation. As a public charity, it is both a grant maker and grant seeker. Supported by individuals, foundations and corporations, it has invested more than $54 million and helped build the capacity of thousands of grass roots and national organizations. The Ms. Foundation is undergoing change and has made a genuine commitment to devote its intellect, its passion and the expertise of others to help navigate several trends and events: a) the Foundation’s President & CEO will be stepping down at the end of 2010 – after 24 years with Ms., the last six as President & CEO. A national search is underway for her successor; b) the Foundation has been undertaking a re-branding and evaluation of its grantmaking facilitated by outside expertise; c) the Foundation sees the need to expand and diversify its donor base and as such is working with outside consultants on donor retention and acquisition strategies.

The VP for Development will be welcomed by an Executive Team and Board that fully supports, understands and is eager to participate in raising money for the Foundation. S/he will also inherit a Development Cluster with bench strength, displaying a diversity of skills, individual and collective initiative, and passion for the work of the Ms. Foundation and its grantees. The Development Cluster has benefitted from successful leadership to date in developing an infrastructure to attract and retain Major Donors, Foundations and Corporations. Its annual Women of Vision (aka Gloria Awards) event in May shares the successes of grantees, makes connections among supporters of the Ms. Foundation and raises funds like few others. The Foundation’s data system (Raisers Edge) has the dedicated focus of staff to help frame and generate sophisticated requests for information.

Lastly, the Development team, the leadership and staff of the Communications Cluster and the entire organization are committed to using new technologies and social media to reach younger and more diverse donors and promoters of the mission.

The Vice President for Development Position

The Ms. Foundation seeks a seasoned fundraising professional who is able to lead and manage a growing fundraising program. The Essential Responsibilities of the role are to:

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of strategy to meet the Foundation’s fundraising goals.
  • Model and articulate the Foundation’s commitment to diversity, collaboration and a culture of
  • Manage a staff of seven, including Director of Major Gifts, Senior Corporate and Foundation Officer, and Senior Development Officer, as well as consultants as needed.
  • Manage the effective stewardship and solicitation of all donors, including personally cultivating and making the “asks” of prospective donors and funders.
  • Support the President & CEO, other staff members, and Board members in donor/prospect cultivation
  • Collaborate closely with Communications to support the strategic use of on-line and social media.
  • Staff the Development Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • Manage the Development Cluster’s budget.
  • Strengthen and broaden the Foundation’s systems and processes to better serve funders and donors; and maintain strict donor confidentiality.
  • Ensure excellent tracking and recording of all relevant information in Raisers Edge.
  • Ensure that the Foundation is in compliance with all pertinent Federal and State laws and regulations as well as Foundation policies in regard to fundraising.


  • Proven track record of meeting fundraising goals.
  • Attuned to the world of social justice, preferably with a sound understanding of women’s funds and relationships with potential new funders.
  • Proven track record of integrating Development and Communications planning and implementation.
  • Familiarity with the success that on-line and social media can have in creating multiple pathways for
  • Proven track record of being a skilled and successful manager, delegator and developer of staff.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills for wide range of audiences.
  • Bachelors degree required, Masters preferred, plus at least seven years of successful fundraising leadership. CFRE a plus.

In addition, it is desirable that the VP for Development be someone who:

  • Is adaptable and flexible, receptive to change.
  • Has managed a moderately-sized or large team
  • Enjoys and has been successful at personal cultivation.
  • Enjoys spending time with others, internal and external to the organization.

How to Apply:

All inquiries, nominations and applications should be directed to:

Steven Schall
Schall & Russo Planning Works, LLC
Tel: 917-207-7191

Interested candidates are asked to send a thoughtful cover letter for this position and a resume, in confidence, to Steven Schall at Please note “Ms. Foundation VP Development” in the subject line.

Additional information can be found at as well as

Download the Print-Friendly PDF Version

The Ms. Foundation has a longstanding commitment to diversity in its leadership, staff, grantees and partners. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search, including but not limited to age, race, ethnicity, class, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and religion.

  About Schall & Russo  |  Who We Are  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map  |  Home