Vice President Resource Development
Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. We tackle the root causes of poverty to create lasting solutions. We help people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters.
We work towards a world that provides opportunity for all, a world where people can influence the decisions that affect their lives, where justice and equality make poverty impossible. In short, our vision is a just world without poverty.
Working in more than 90 countries, the global Oxfam confederation is an interdependent network of affiliate organizations with massive reach. Working with thousands of partners and allies, we reach tens of millions of people directly each year. With more than 70 years of experience, we have learned a lot about what it takes to end poverty, and we mobilize people and resources worldwide to make it happen. In 2017-2018 Oxfam spent $1.14 billion and reached more than 22.2 million people (more than half of them women) in our long-term development, advocacy and humanitarian assistance programs.
One of 20 members of the Oxfam confederation, Oxfam America is an $80+ million organization with more than 250 staff in the US. We hold a critical responsibility for US advocacy, fundraising and domestic programming for the global confederation. Oxfam America plays three roles in joint efforts with Oxfam country offices, affiliates, allies and partners all over the world:
Advocate. We use our access to governments, corporations, multilateral institutions, and influencers to leverage change. Our advocacy is grounded in the priorities of partners and allies and in lived experience of communities paired with research and analysis. We mobilize our supporters to create change.
Connect. We use our reach and access to convene unlikely allies to negotiate differences and create new opportunities for change. We connect dots, analyzing trends to inform collective action. We connect US supporters to Oxfam’s global work so they can bring their resources—voices, money, and ideas—to bear.
Amplify. We help the voices of people and communities experiencing marginalization be heard by the powerful and the public. We engage and support the agendas of our partners and allies with our capacities, expertise and access.
We do not accept U.S. government funding and instead build broad-based independent support.
This is a time of celebration and transformation at Oxfam America. Oxfam America’s 50-year anniversary is in 2020, and we have just completed a new 2030 strategic framework that focuses on fighting inequality.
To fight inequality, we will tackle imbalances in power and put marginalized people —especially women—at the center of our work. We will work towards fair economies and equal rights and for the rights and dignity of all people in humanitarian crises. We will join others to address the climate crisis, which poses an existential threat to communities we work with.
We will leverage the power of the US for positive impact in the world and work to curtail its harm. We will fight inequality in the US. We recognize that inequality and humanitarian crises cross borders and make connections between our domestic and global efforts.
We aim to increase our revenue to fuel this ambitious strategy and to direct resources to the movements, partners, and networks that create change. We will maintain a high percentage of flexible program funding to ensure our independence and our ability to respond quickly to emerging issues.
We intend to grow our current donor base and explore new groups of donors through current channels and strategies and select investments in new revenue generation opportunities. We will invest in market research and data analysis to understand our supporters and create better defined target audiences and more relevant supporter experiences. We will create meaningful opportunities for our supporters to engage with us and help shape our work.
About the Role
The Vice President Resource Development (VP RD) will be a highly effective and proven leader that is deeply motivated by Oxfam’s mission to end the injustice of poverty and by the goal of growing revenue and supporters in the competitive and disrupted landscape of US philanthropy. The VP RD will play a critical role in advancing Oxfam’s commitment in our new strategy to transform systems that drive inequality. They will bring the vision, experience, curiosity, creativity, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm to support a well-recognized international NGO to leap to a new level of donor engagement that fuels an ambitious strategy.
Reporting to the CEO and as an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the VP RD will embrace challenges and change to support the evolution of a high performing organization working in a rapidly changing world. They will be responsible for providing progressive thought and practice leadership to drive Oxfam America’s fundraising strategy to a new revenue floor of $100 million and beyond. They will continue to strengthen Oxfam America’s diversified funding base through compelling supporter journeys for all levels of donors and strong institutional relationships, playing a hands-on role in securing transformational seven and eight figure gifts. They will support their teams and the organization to embrace digital and data-enabled strategies and practices. The VP RD will be an inclusive leader that values and promotes open and collaborative approaches – within the organization as well as with external stakeholders – needed to achieve important goals in a complex context.
The VP RD will support the organization to develop, implement, and adapt emergent strategies that enable Oxfam America to navigate and thrive in a volatile donor and political context in order to deliver on our 10-year strategic vision. The VP RD will develop a deep understanding of Oxfam America’s strategy, approach, values, and stakeholders in order to develop fundraising strategies that will fuel Oxfam’s contribution to impact.
The VP RD will work in productive partnerships with diverse constituencies -- the SLT, the division they lead, the Advancement Committee of the Board of Directors, the Leadership Council, major donors, and others - to assure current understanding of philanthropic trends, continuously explore and adapt proven and new approaches, and successfully position Oxfam America in a crowded and fast-changing market. The VP RD will set strategic direction and parameters to enable talented staff to innovate and execute.
The VP RD will support both Oxfam America’s 501c3 and 501c4, the Oxfam America Action Fund, which is an increasingly important tool for Oxfam’s advocacy initiatives. The VP RD will develop a strategy for raising funds for this small but growing fund.
Donor Stewardship and Expansion
The VP RD will responsible for stewarding Oxfam America’s relationships with long-time donors while continuously networking and cultivating a new cohort of committed donors. In partnership with the VP of Public Engagement, they will bring intuition, curiosity, and data analytics to understanding the values and interests of these different cohorts.
They will be responsible for stewarding strong and diverse institutional relationships and cultivating new institutional and corporate partnerships to achieve shared goals in support of programming across the global Oxfam confederation. These relationships are particularly important because Oxfam America maintains a longstanding policy that we do not take US government funds in order to maintain our independent voice and influence of US international development aid and policy.
The VP RD will be responsible for expanding Oxfam America’s network of high net worth donors and securing transformational high sum gifts, working with the President and CEO and the Major Gifts team.
Innovation in Fundraising Approaches
The VP RD will bring, cultivate in teams, and source from networks: proven and innovative approaches that respond to changing donor expectations. They will apply a keen understanding of both opportunities and regulatory and financial constraints, and value the tenets of Oxfam America’s rights-based approaches to development, humanitarian action and social change.
They will play a key role in fostering and leading organizational culture and practice that values data as a critical resource for decision making.
In partnership with the VP of Public Engagement, they will leverage their knowledge and passion for practice and promise of digital fundraising as a means of deepening relationships with current donors and engaging new ones. They will support the transition from traditional Direct Marketing approaches such as direct mail to online approaches, balancing the value of proven channels with the need to leverage new options to adapt to changes in donor preferences.
In all above, they will embrace the challenge of limited resources – experimenting with different approaches to see which ultimately bring the greatest return.
Divisional and Organizational Leadership
The VP RD will lead a highly talented and motivated division of approximately 50 staff responsible for individual giving (major gifts, planned giving, Leadership Council, donor services), direct marketing, and institutional giving (foundations, corporations, partnerships and non-U.S. government donors).
They will create conditions for success as their teams continue to use advanced teaming and distributed leadership approaches to advance shared goals in divisional and cross-organizational teams.
The VP RD will play an important role in modelling and cultivating an organizational culture that is foundational to the 2030 strategy and consistent with Oxfam’s values. We are committed to advancing gender justice and incorporating feminist principles throughout our work—including in how we work. We aim to be a humble and equal partner with country offices, external allies, and supporters and to unlock the power of Oxfam America staffs’ collective expertise, moving from a culture of experts to one of experimenters. The VP RD will excite and incorporate opportunities for all Oxfam America staff to learn, lead, and innovate.
Collaboration and Representation
The VP RD will develop highly effective partnerships with all members of the Oxfam America Senior Leadership Team. The role requires an individual who places high value on collaboration and has a passion for Oxfam’s policy, advocacy, campaigning, and programming work. They will partner with the VP of Public Engagement to advance shared organizational goals, digital approaches and using data analytics to inform planning, investment and learning.
The VP RD will work closely with the Chief Financial Officer for revenue and expense forecasting, and with their VP counterparts in Policy and Advocacy and Global Programs on proposal development and donor engagement.
The VP RD will serve as an expert advisor to the Oxfam America President and CEO on fundraising strategies and asks, donor stewardship, campaigns, and philanthropic trends, and as a working partner for outreach in the US.
The VP RD will represent Oxfam America on key Oxfam International (OI) working groups and initiatives, developing strong working relationships will OI Public Fundraising and Oxfam affiliate counterparts in order to advance global fundraising goals.
Within the INGO sector, the VP RD will collaborate with colleagues to learn, share and, where appropriate, develop collaborative fundraising approaches such as the Global Emergency Response Coalition of which Oxfam America is a member.
The VP RD will utilize strong political acumen, be passionate about partnership and collaboration, recognize complexity, and embrace joint problem solving to navigate organizational challenges for progressive outcomes.
Board and Leadership Council Engagement
The VP RD will partner with the Chair of the Board Advancement Committee to set ambitious but realistic targets and to assure meaningful Board engagement in and oversight of Oxfam America fundraising.
The VP RD will leverage Board members networks to cultivate new donor prospects.
The VP RD will ensure a strong and vibrant Leadership Council as a platform to deepen relationships with loyal donors. The Leadership Council is a group of individuals who help guide and promote Oxfam America by serving as donors, advisors, and ambassadors to the organization.
The ideal candidate has a contagious passion and curiosity that translates into enthusiastic and successful collaboration with colleagues and external stakeholders to achieve audacious goals. They will have the innate ability to empower donors to invest deeply in Oxfam programs and policy advocacy for systemic change. They will have a proven track record of leadership of diverse high-trust, high-performing teams, especially in a wide-reaching and networked organizational context such as large matrixed organizations, international alliances, or confederations.
Other qualities and competencies include:
Fundraising Skills and Networks
Ability to personally source, attract, and steward large transformational seven and eight figure gifts. Extensive established network with strong external relationships that can be leveraged to grow fundraising through introduction of new target donor markets, increased channel opportunities, and increased breadth and depth of current donor and supporter base. Respects donor privacy needs.
Demonstrated ability to champion and motivate staff and organizations to embrace new approaches, such as the personalization of fundraising, the use of new platforms to reach donors, etc.
Track record in building and implementing practices, systems and incentives that enable effective use of data to support excellent supporter engagement.
Excellence in Senior Leadership and Developing High Performing Teams
Builds meaningful and high-trust cross-divisional relationships with team members. Experience participating in, leading and creating diverse high performing teams that work across disciplines on joint goals.
Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and the capacity to simplify and communicate complex concepts to diverse audiences.
Builds strong working relationships with Board of Directors. Adept at Board level communications and working groups.
An approach to risk that fosters creativity and innovation while maintaining the health of organizational revenue.
Outstanding oral and written communication and presentation skills. Passion for and ability to represent Oxfam in public venues as both a thought-leader and an inspirational ambassador.
Unquestionable integrity and unbridled humility.
Optimism and a sense of humor.
A genuine affinity for the mission of Oxfam America displayed by empathy for people living in poverty aligned with an impatience with the injustices wrought on human rights. Excited about joining an organization that employs policy, advocacy, campaigning, private sector engagement and international and domestic programming to contribute to addressing the root causes of poverty and injustice.
A deep and compelling passion to make an impact on the world and a willingness to overcome formidable obstacles to accomplish this goal.
A strong gender champion, drawn to the prospect of learning with an organization that is committed to practicing feminist principles.
Education: A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalency, exceptional relevant practical experience can substitute.
Experience and Core Competencies:
At least 15 years of progressively more responsible roles in leadership and management in one or more development disciplines (major gifts, institutional, direct marketing, campaigns)
At least 3 years of senior management and leadership experience with significant span of control in a complex multi-cultural environment, including: strategic planning and execution; facilitative and collaborative management and leadership of large diverse teams; change management; and budget development and management, including financial reporting and analysis
Proven track record in developing and achieving aggressive fundraising goals. Particular specialty in raising transformational gifts and attracting new donors.
Strong network of donor prospects
Experience in fundraising to support advocacy and campaigning
Outstanding written and verbal communication and presentation skills
Deep commitment to equity and gender justice in the workplace
Demonstrated effectiveness as team player and collaborator; ability to engage other senior staff and co-create new initiatives
A successful track record in taking calculated risks and encouraging others to do the same in pursuit of expanded channels, approaches, and donor bases
Up-to-date professional network in fundraising, supporter engagement, youth, digital and/or innovation.
Proficiency in Spanish, French, or Arabic a plus
Location: Boston MA or Washington DC
In line with our workforce diversity policy, all persons from any indigenous or minority groups and/or persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The salary is competitive with the market rate and commensurate with the seniority of the appointment.