Director, Philanthropic Partnerships

The American Journalism Project’s Director, Philanthropic Partnerships stewards a portfolio of supporters and funders, and forges new relationships to build AJP’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the future of local news and support the next generation of civic news leaders. They will work diligently to identify, pursue, engage and ultimately secure new funders to support local news. 

The Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will own a portfolio of major donors with a primary goal of bringing in new six- to eight-figure support. The Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will also oversee our Lede Campaign, our effort to bring in more individual support to local news, and will lead on both the strategy for this and oversee the portfolio of donors. 

Our ideal candidate is an experienced and strategic leader who has a track record of pursuing and securing at least six-figure contributions and grants, and working collaboratively on a fundraising team. 


Who we are

We’re a small but entrepreneurial team working to re-shape the future of local news in our country. We’re passionate about journalism, civic engagement, and how local news plays a unique role in shaping our democracy. We help build and grow sustainable local news organizations all over the country — through financial investment, venture support, and movement building — that are governed by, sustained by, and look like the public they serve. Learn about our grantees. 

AJP has raised over $175 million for the cause so far, and aims to catalyze enough investment in nonprofit local news to create a $2 billion sector by 2040, full of thriving, equitable, public service-oriented newsrooms that increase civic engagement and make communities work better for their residents.

Our team is deeply connected to our mission and supportive of each others’ goals and overall well-being. We aim to be an organization where everyone feels heard, respected, and valued. We are an entirely remote, distributed team and strive to maintain a healthy, fun, and productive workplace, working alongside smart, energetic colleagues who enjoy one another and the work. Meet our full team.


Our values

  • Local First: We know that local journalism must serve and be led by local communities. We make a practice of listening to, and making decisions with – not for – those communities, and connecting them to find strength in each other. 
  • Bold Leadership: We understand the severe economic challenge facing local news and thus democracy, and we embrace a sense of possibility with courage, urgency, and perseverance.
  • Constant Learning: We recognize the unknown in front of us. Therefore, we operate with humility and a commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration.
  • Commitment to Equity: We commit to creating a better, more diverse, and more inclusive news media that advances human and civil rights. We actively fight against injustice and racism, and that starts with doing the work ourselves.
  • Integrity: We accept the responsibility of earning trust every day. We operate with honesty, transparency, dignity, and respect, and without allegiance to party, ideology, profit, or power.


Your team

The Advancement Team at AJP works to galvanize support towards rebuilding local news, communicate more about our work and progress, elevate our grantees, and provide fundraising operations, cultivation opportunities and tools across the organization. This team has supported the organization to raise more than $150 million for local news, secured significant press wins and developed outstanding thought leadership.  

The Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will report to the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), and work closely with the other members of the Advancement team. This role will manage a Senior Development Analyst. 


Position summary

The Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will contribute to our vision for how to expand and diversify AJP’s donor base and pipeline, working closely with other team members to secure funding for our efforts. They will also work closely with our programmatic teams to collaborate on potential supporters for both AJP and the local news organizations in our portfolio. Your leadership will help to rally  support for local news, playing a critical role in helping to rebuild local news for our democracy. 


Compensation & benefits

Our total compensation package is competitive in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and we are committed to supporting our team with what they need to show up every day ready to bolster the local press our democracy deserves.

We benchmark our salaries against similar organizations, and use a scale that considers job complexity and magnitude of responsibility to determine role levels and corresponding base salaries, as well as regular cost-of-living adjustments. The salary range for this position is $141,433 – $155,576. Read about our benefits here.


Job responsibilities 

The Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will have the following responsibilities:

Fundraising portfolio management

  • Oversee a significant funder portfolio
    • Identify and pursue new major funders with the potential for significant investment
    • Craft strategic partnerships that maximize opportunity for AJP and our portfolio of grantees 
    • Advance a significant pipeline towards ambitious and multi-million dollar revenue goals 
  • Serve as the lead strategist on fundraising leads
    • Provide leadership throughout cultivation and stewardship efforts, ensuring every element of engagement is strongly executed towards securing revenue
    • Be proactive as the primary decision maker for leads in your portfolio 
    • Build new external relationships as appropriate, thoughtfully advancing complex partnerships and demonstrating excellent presentation and communication skills to connect prospects to the mission of AJP
    • Appropriately leverage CEO, CAO, and/ or appropriate program team members through various points of engagement 
    • Lead on external collateral development for portfolio of donors 
    • Work closely with our Advancement Associate on grant reporting, research, prep and follow up related to portfolio of supporters  

Contribute to our fundraising strategy 

  • Support the CAO and CEO in the development of the overall fundraising and stewardship strategy, leveraging them as appropriate  
  • Develop fundraising and cultivation events applicable for your portfolio
  • Collaborate with other fundraisers across AJP and our portfolio of grantees to help advance leads and share learnings 
  • Contribute to defining our fundraising goals and meeting them 
  • Stay abreast of journalism philanthropy and sector-related trends and advances

Team collaboration 

  • Play an active role on the Advancement Team; ensure your efforts and priorities align to the overall team goals
  • Act as a strong cross team player across programmatic and operational colleagues 
  • Be an effective project manager for initiatives that require engagement from across the organization

Staff management

  • Manage, coach and develop a full-time Senior Development Analyst, which supports development operations and infrastructure for the Advancement Team  


Who you are

We know not all strong candidates will have all the skills we list. That’s OK. Research shows that women and people of color are less likely to apply for a position if they don’t meet every skill listed. At AJP, we are committed to creating a better, more diverse, and more inclusive news ecosystem, and that starts with doing the work ourselves. So if your past experience doesn’t align perfectly, but you know this is the role for you – please tell us! 

This role might be a fit if you are…

  • Experienced fundraiser: An ideal candidate would have significant philanthropic experience, a demonstrated track-record of seeking and securing at least six-figure gifts, and tangible experience expanding and cultivating existing donor relationships over time. Knowledge and experience in the field of journalism preferred.
  • Excellent communicator and relationship builder: You excel at written and verbal communications. You are able to effectively communicate strategy and distill impact in a way that can inspire our board, grantees, and external stakeholders. 
  • Strategic thinker and executor: You thrive at understanding and navigating through complexity and setting clear strategy and prioritization. You are not afraid to dive into the details and be an individual contributor while also getting on the balcony to set strategy.
  • Thrive on feedback: As part of your collaborative nature, you bring others into your work for their feedback. You understand that a team approach makes your work stronger, and you don’t shy away from hearing and incorporating solid advice, whether from your manager, your peers, your direct reports, or external partners. This learning orientation means you love to try something, learn from it, and do it better the next time. We encourage risk-taking and constant learning is one of our values.
  • End to end ownership: You see your projects through and you take full responsibility for achieving high-quality outcomes, without waiting to be directed.
  • Goal and mission oriented: You live and breathe our overall fund goals. You manage against personal goals regularly. You manage and track yourself to goals consistently but you also think very holistically about how we are bringing in new support. 
  • Collaborative and agile: You love people and bring tremendous energy to a meeting. You excel at collaborating across teams without direct authority. You see fundraising as a team sport and leverage others appropriately. You bring others into your thinking on how to advance leads. 
  • Systems-thinker and pattern-spotter: Our goals are cross-organizational and very little can be accomplished without the input and collaboration of others. You love working across teams, spotting patterns, and facilitating processes that enable effective collaboration. You think critically about the way you bring in new supporters and engage them. 
  • Bold and mission-oriented: You wake up every day terrified about the future of local news in our country but boldly optimistic that we can reimagine our country’s local news infrastructure. You work with urgency to get us there faster. 
  • Fun and supportive: We are working hard to reimagine the future of local news and our mission is vitally important to the future of our country. But, we also take the time to enjoy each other’s company and lift each other up. 
  • Committed to equity: You bring experience of managing across lines of difference. You’ve worked with organizations led by BIPOC and/or nonprofits that have a track record of serving diverse communities and bring a fluency that has been shaped by those experiences. 
  • Ready to travel if needed but also excited to work for a remote organization: We are a fully virtual team. However, travel is occasionally needed to achieve the overall objectives of this role – we estimate this person would need to travel 6-8 times a year. 


What to expect in the hiring process

Our approach to hiring is to create a consistent and transparent process for all candidates. We hope to fill this role as soon as possible, though the hiring process can typically take from a few weeks to several months. We will do our best to communicate with you about timing expectations throughout the process.

Candidates who advance to later rounds of this process can expect multiple interviews with members of our hiring committee. Semi-finalists will be asked to complete a hiring exercise designed to help us understand your thinking and approach to the role. We aim to truly get to know you, to help you fully understand the role you’re applying for, and to get to know your prospective team.

We will hold a webinar-style information session on Wednesday, July 10 at 6pm ET. During this session, you will hear directly from the hiring manager and other key staff at AJP, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions. To register, please click here. The session will be recorded and posted on our website. 

To apply for this role, please submit an application through our link. Download the full job description here. If you have any questions please feel free to email with “Director, Philanthropic Partnerships” in the subject line.


The American Journalism Project is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. AJP encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.