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Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships

The American Journalism Project’s Managing Director of Strategic Partnership stewards a portfolio of supporters and funders, and forges new relationships to build the American Journalism Project’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.

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.

Since 2019, the American Journalism Project has committed more than $33M of investment in 32 nonprofit news organizations across the United States. Learn about our grantees.

Our team is deeply connected to our mission and supportive of each other’s 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 Philanthropy Team at American Journalism Project works to galvanize support towards rebuilding local news. This team has led the organization to raise more than $53 million dollars for our first philanthropic fund and has launched our second fund with ambitious goals to rally significant contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. 

The Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships will report to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), and work closely with our Director of Growth Strategy & Investor Relations and Development Analyst. We also expect to hire a Major Gifts Officer this year, whom the Managing Director would supervise.

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 $169,320 – $186,252. Read about our benefits here.

Your impact
Your leadership will help to rally local and national support for local news, playing a critical role in helping to rebuild local news for our democracy.

The position
The Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships will contribute to our vision for how to expand and diversify American Journalism Project’s donor base and pipeline, working closely with other team members to secure funding for our efforts. They will also work closely with our Strategy & Startups team to raise funds for launching new news organizations, and with the entire program team to support fundraising across the grantee portfolio.

Our ideal candidate is an experienced and strategic leader who has a track record of pursuing and securing six- to eight-figure contributions and grants, as well as experience engaging local (place-based) communities and constituencies.

The Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships will have the following responsibilities:

Fundraising portfolio management

  • Oversee two main fundraising portfolios:
    • Pursuit of new major funders with the potential for significant investment in the American Journalism Project – playing a big role in meeting our overall revenue targets
    • Pursuit of local philanthropy partnerships (in collaboration with our Strategy & Startups Team) to help build local investment across the country
  • Serve as the lead strategist on both of these fundraising portfolios:
    • Provide leadership throughout cultivation and stewardship efforts, ensuring every element of engagement is strongly executed towards securing revenue
    • Build new external relationships as appropriate, thoughtfully advancing complex partnerships and demonstrating excellent presentation and communication skills to connect prospects to the mission of the American Journalism Project.
    • Appropriately leverage CEO, CDO, and/ or appropriate program team members through various points of engagement 
    • Lead on external collateral development for portfolio of donors 
    • Work closely with our Development Analyst and contract support to drive research and new prospecting of donors

Contribute to our fundraising strategy 

  • Support the CDO and CEO in the development of the overall fundraising and stewardship strategy, leveraging them as appropriate  
  • 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 Philanthropy Team; ensure your efforts and priorities align to the overall team goals and provide thought-partnership on cross-portfolio work 
  • Work closely with the Strategy & Startups Team; collaborate in pursuit of new local philanthropy partnerships. Provide strategic guidance on raising runway capital for startup launches.
  • Deeply understand the local philanthropy ecosystem and serve as an internal expert to support our efforts and those of our grantees. Work closely with Success Partners (who directly support our grantees) to build their knowledge and skills.

Management & coaching 

  • Lead the hiring and onboarding of a Major Gifts Officer in 2022; coach and supervise this new role on our team
  • Provide our grantees with direct coaching in best practices for fundraising portfolio strategy, organizational storytelling, and building a compelling case for support

Who you are
What background and skills do you have? We know not all strong candidates will have all the skills we list. That’s OK. What else do you bring to the table? 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 six- to eight-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 leader: 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.
  • 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. 

Please submit an application through our portal. Download the full job description here. If you have any questions please feel free to email careers@theajp.org with “Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships” in the subject line.

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