Director, Development

Posted on 01/20/2021

Smile Train


Smile Train is an international nonprofit headquartered in New York. Our mission is to transform the life of every person impacted by cleft lip and palate. We train and support doctors and medical professionals to provide free life-changing comprehensive cleft treatment to our beneficiaries. Our sustainable model has allowed us to reach 1.5 million children in 90+ countries to date and we’re just getting started. We are truly changing the world one smile at a time.

We are looking for a Director, Development to join our team. The Director, Development, in coordination with the Senior Director, Development, will establish goals and strategies to drive philanthropy and activities that reflect the priorities of Smile Train. The Director will drive change by securing major gifts in support of Smile Train and achieve short- and long-term goals for various programs and activities that advance our impact around the world. The Director will design and implement strategic development plans to cultivate, solicit and steward individual donors, maintain a well-designed and documented prospect portfolio. The Director will maintain and grow a high volume of significant donor relationships, meaningful contacts, and solicitations. The Director will work with a defined, robust portfolio of approximately 150 high-level donors and prospects to advance the mission of the organization.

This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated, energetic fundraiser to roll their sleeves up to raise funds for an organization that does excellent work.

This is a full-time engagement starting as soon as possible. Domestic travel (post-pandemic) will be required (up to 50%). Our ideal candidate will be based in California, though consideration will be extended to candidates based outside of these geographic regions based on experience level.


  • Collaborate with senior leadership and colleagues across the organization to influence and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan that increases revenue to support Smile Train’s strategic direction and programs
  • Foster a culture of gratitude across the organization and within its diverse constituent groups to advance and sustain support for Smile Train’s core programs and services
  • Conceptualize, develop, and execute effective strategies to practice moves management and increase fundraising results
  • Plan, develop, and manage relationships with major gift prospects and maintain a well-designed and documented prospect portfolio
  • Provide recommendations and assist in executing effective strategies to practice moves management and increase fundraising results
  • Maintain a portfolio of major donors and prospects by creating and implementing strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors with the capacity to make 5- and 6-figure annual gifts and 6- and 7-figure leadership gifts
  • Conduct 75 to 100 face-to-face meetings with donors and prospects annually through one-one meetings, site visits, etc.
  • Strategize on portfolio assignments and fundraising goals to maximize gifts to Smile Train
  • Write customized proposals and presentations for major gift level donors
  • Ensure that senior staff are supported in their donor relations work by developing strategy briefs and leading prep meetings
  • Work in close partnership with other members of the Smile Train team to refer or share relationships by offering multiple channels for engagement
  • Help produce cultivation and stewardship programs for prospects and donors at the mid- and major levels
  • Share knowledge, time, and expertise to assist other members of the team


Our ideal candidate has/is:

  • Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent, advanced degree preferred
  • 10+ years of relevant experience, with exposure to major gift donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship processes preferred. Proven history of securing gifts of $25,000 or more is a plus
  • Experience working with and growing a major gift level donor portfolio. Demonstrated success in fundraising, developing substantive donor relationships and in supporting senior management, program staff, to execute donor and engagement strategies
  • Strong technological aptitude with advanced skills using Microsoft Word, Excel and donor management systems. Knowledge of Salesforce is preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with both management and direct reports
  • Extremely detail-oriented with strong organizational skills
  • Able to take ownership of a process and to use problem-solving skills to resolve issues
  • Able to make sound decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment
  • Able to function both independently and as part of a team – showing initiative, motivation, flexibility, and attention to accuracy of projects and tasks

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

Smile Train is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates from all groups and communities to apply.

To apply for this job please visit