Director of Development

Position: Director of Development



Founded in 1996, Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia to ensure equal access to justice and strengthen Philadelphia’s communities. From our office at 718 Arch Street, our 70 employees and 35 volunteer law students assist approximately 8,000 clients each year. PLA provides direct legal representation, referrals to pro bono assistance programs, assistance in proceeding in court without an attorney, and legal advice and information. As a community partner, PLA offers training to community organizations, legal assistance on-site through court programs, education, and outreach. NOTE: PLA is currently working remotely until further notice.



The Director of Development provides the leadership, strategic direction, management and coordination of PLA’s Development and Communications functions. A new role in the organization, this position will work in close collaboration with the Executive Director, Communications Staff, and Program Staff. The Director of Development will spearhead all Development efforts, including cultivating and stewarding individual, corporate, government and foundation relationships with a goal to secure diverse streams of contributed revenue. This position also helps to raise the visibility of PLA’s mission by working with Communications Staff and Program Staff to create strategic marketing and outreach campaigns. 


The Ideal Candidate


PLA is a quickly growing organization that values creativity, collaboration, and accountability.  The ideal candidate possesses outstanding interpersonal skills, is enthusiastic, is a motivator, is detail-oriented and a quick learner, and is able to tackle many projects at one time. They have a passion for justice and possess a skill for communicating complicated legal issues and processes in a way that is clear, concise, and grounded in values. This person is adaptable and flexible, able to effectively work under pressure, possess good judgment, and is willing to take a fresh approach to produce quality work.


They should do best when working on a team, taking ownership over their own work while freely giving and receiving feedback to the rest of the Development Team. 


Skills and Qualifications


  • Bachelor's Degree and 5+ years relevant experience in a nonprofit fundraising environment, including at least 3 years of previous grant writing experience. Familiarity with regional and local funders a plus.
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to craft passionate, persuasive, and accessible written and oral stories.
  • Experience developing and implementing effective strategies, including coordinating others' participation. 
  • Good leadership, including the ability to clearly and fairly set expectations, inspire confidence and commitment, and address challenges head-on.
  • Ability to maintain high standards of ethics, integrity, and professionalism, including dealing with sensitive donor information.
  • Demonstrated success working with individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Experience securing major gifts is a plus.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful, creative, and able to work without significant day-to-day supervision 
  • Strong business and financial acumen with the ability to understand and work with budgets, adhere to non-profit funding requirements, assess financial management issues and interpret the organization's fiscal health for the Board and key stakeholders.
  • Exceptional organizational skills with strong attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with Little Green Light or similar CRM, Microsoft Office Professional Suite, Google Drive, and Asana- or the ability to learn software. 
  • Available to work nights and weekends, when necessary. 


Roles and Responsibilities:

Supervision and Strategy

  • Drive the work of the development department including long-term, annual, and day-to-day planning, prioritizing, and management of PLA’s development work. Create an annual fundraising plan in collaboration with PLA’s staff and board leadership.
  • Lead weekly Development Team Meetings
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to the Development Team

Grant Writing

  • Work with staff to develop grant proposals, including writing major grant and contract proposals, applications, and reports. 
  • Engage staff in evaluation and idea creation in order to promote best practices and implement  solutions  determined  through  this  process  to  enhance  PLA’s  mission  and staff buy-in.
  • Research, prepare and follow-up foundation, corporate and government grant proposals.
  • Maintain  and  adhere  to  a  timeline of  key dates  for  proposals, compliance  monitorig, reporting, and refunding
  • Work with program staff to develop Unit Priorities that will inform grant goals and objectives, projected outputs, and outcomes.
  • Create program budgets for proposals and applications. 
  • Meet periodically with the Finance Director  to  review  grant  and  contract  budgets,  including expenses and other revenue to date, and including invoice and payment history and status.
  • Submit reports for grants and contracts. This may be delegated on a case by case basis, with responsibility remaining with the Executive Director.
  • Maintain relationships with funders as appropriate on a funder by funder basis. 
  • Brainstorm and participate in additional activities that will advance the mission of PLA, including but not limited to conducting research for new or existing projects to determine needs, best practices and determining evidence to justify solutions.


Other Fundraising Support

  • Coordinate direct mail and online fundraising campaigns.
  • Develop and execute a plan and tactics for online mobilization, outreach and small donor fundraising.
  • Implement and monitor metrics and analysis of online fundraising. 
  • Support the management of the donor database and infrastructure to effectively manage donations, which include data entry, acknowledgements, queries, report building, and assessing donor trends and analytics.
  • Timely administration of donor acknowledgement letters.
  • Supervise and develop content for online and offline fundraising campaigns and newsletters (direct mail, social media, and email). Create content for PLA’s website, social media accounts, and print marketing materials.
  • Recognize and support strategic community outreach to educate stakeholders, raise funds, and create strategic partnerships.
  • Complete trainings or certificates to develop skills and job related best practices, upon approval of Executive Director.


Work Location


The successful candidate will be working from home in this position until further notice. When normal business operations resume, the position will be located at the offices of Philadelphia Legal Assistance.  All training will be done through video conferencing. Applicants will need to have their own phone with a Google voice account, a laptop or desktop computer and an internet connection.

Salary and Benefits:


Salary commensurate with experience and comparable to other non-profit rates. PLA provides excellent benefits including fully paid medical for employees and their dependents, a 403B retirement plan, and generous paid leave.

Application Process:


Send cover letter, resume and list of three references to


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until filled.  We encourage applicants to submit applications early.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer.  Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) is an equal opportunity employer. PLA values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness, and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. PLA invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.


Job Announcement: 
How To Apply: 

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