Giving Circles Catalyst / Community Philanthropy Specialist

Location: New York City
Industry: Resource Development
Employment Type: Full-Time Regular
Reports To: Director of Strategic Engagement/ Major Gift Levels

JDC is seeking a creative and innovative development professional to play an integral role in creating and facilitating meaningful collective giving opportunities. These opportunities will support our humanitarian and capacity building work around the world.  In this role you will bring donors together by developing and launching a variety of Giving Circles. Through Giving Circles you will attract new supporters, create a pipeline for major and principal gift donors, and offer stewardship and leadership opportunities to existing funders, deepening their engagement with JDC.  Your creative skills will be used to build out a wide range of options for Giving Circle themes, your attention to detail will be critical for success, and your networking and people skills will be central to the role.

Your goal will be to initiate five giving circles in North American and internationally in 2018, expand to nine in 2019, and build out a scalable model for the future. Some Circles will focus on common thematic interests— art, food, or reading— and offer a chance to access JDC’s global work and build community with like-minded people through that experiential lens. Others will hone in on a subject of special interest- history, a specific region, or a type of humanitarian aid – and promise in depth exposure to JDC experts and partners from across the world and Israel.

This position requires approximately 20% travel, both domestically and globally, and availability to work evenings as needed (approximately 1 evening/week).

What will you do as a Giving Circles Catalyst / Community Philanthropy Specialist?

  • Build out existing Giving Circles and create and codify globally scalable models of JDC Giving Circles
  • Train development colleagues in how to use the scalable model for Giving Circles
  • Develop content and curate a meaningful, educational, and high quality experience to engage donors
  • Become an expert in JDC’s work in the field and bring your expertise in Judaism and Israel to the table, able to speak with authority and present our work compellingly
  • Partner with JDC colleagues, volunteer leaders, donors, Federation, philanthropic advisors, and other external partners to build and grow Giving Circles
  • Develop relationships with rabbis, scholars and other Jewish community members and connectors to support Giving Circles as educators, speakers, and networkers
  • Directly support giving circle members/donors throughout the full-cycle process from recruitment through ongoing engagement; create individual donor plans for next step engagement
  • Solicit gifts from giving circle members as appropriate
  • Plan Giving Circle meetings, from conceptual framework to scheduling to logistics, including acting as a facilitator when needed
  • Work with the Resource Development Operations team to create and implement a tracking and measurement system for Giving Circles
  • Track processes and outcomes and report on results to RD staff and volunteer leaders
  • Build a group of stakeholders from the JDC board for the giving circles expansion project

What Does the Giving Circle Catalyst / Community Philanthropy Specialist Look Like?

  • Pro-active self-starter who can run with a project and navigate hurdles
  • Thoughtful, quick learner who takes suggestions and can effectively implement feedback
  • Creative big-picture thinker with drive for excellence
  • Networker and connector, diplomat and mensch
  • Personable team player with the ability to build strong relationships
  • Patient and resilient communicator, thought partner
  • Engaging and educational facilitator, able to read a room and adapt for an audience
  • Understands Giving Circles within the big picture of fundraising and development, and sees development as an essential tool for nonprofit success
  • Passionate about Jewish life overseas and development work

What qualifications do you need to be our Giving Circle Catalyst / Community Philanthropy Specialist?

  • 4-year degree required, relevant degree a plus
  • 5-10 years of experience with front line program development and/or fundraising
  • At least 2 years of proven success in fundraising
  • Previous experience with both 1-1 communication and group facilitation
  • Knowledge of fundraising and communications systems, experience with event planning
  • Knowledge of Judaism and Israel; understanding of the nuances, diversity, and generational differences in relationships to Judaism and Israel of potential donors within the Jewish community
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Ability to travel 20% in this role and availability to work evenings as needed
  • Experience using Raiser’s Edge or other donor database programs/CRMs strongly preferred
  • Passion for humanitarian work and/or global Jewish service strongly preferred
  • Proficiency in Hebrew, Russian, and other languages a plus

What are the compensation and benefits for a Giving Circle Catalyst / Community Philanthropy Specialist?

  • This a full-time, salaried position paid bi-weekly. This role is exempt per the FLSA.
  • We offer a highly competitive benefits and compensation package, including but not limited to:
    • 100% paid medical and dental insurance for employee coverage
    • PTO, including vacation days, sick and personal days, and Jewish and national holidays
    • 403(b) with JDC contributions of up to 6.5% of salary
    • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), commuter benefits, and life insurance
    • Food Perks: Bagel Fridays in the winter, Ice Cream Fridays in the summer, and beverages/snacks in the office

Why work at JDC?

  • The People – What we hear most from our team members is that they enjoy working with others who share their passion for doing good; Our staff aim to use their skills to make a positive difference in the lives of others
  • A Global Environment – you will have the opportunity to develop a global perspective, working with staff from the U.S., Israel, the Former Soviet Union, and all over the world
  • Tikkun Olam – This Jewish value of “repairing the world” is deeply important to us. Together, we are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of others

 Apply Now!

Send your resume, salary expectations and cover letter to

About JDC

Join The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Our reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters worldwide.

JDC has over 100 years of experience providing social and humanitarian services to Jewish people. You can learn more about JDC at



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