Director of Development – Boston, Dedham and Cape Cod

Organization Overview

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect.  As a humane society, ARL provides: animal sheltering and adoption services, including behavioral and medical rehabilitation; veterinary services, including a community clinic, shelter care, and mobile spay/neuter services; emergency rescue services, advocacy and humane law enforcement throughout Massachusetts.

 About the Role

The Director of Development will work with the President as a senior member of the Animal Rescue League of Boston staff. She/he will be a key thought leader within the organization and will work closely with a range of internal and external stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, Leadership Council, and staff management and development teams.  The Director leads the overall fundraising effort for the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  S/he will be responsible for retaining and expanding existing funding streams and creating and implementing new models of income generation in order to scale philanthropic initiatives and raise increased revenue from individual, foundation and corporate donors. The Director will cultivate relationships with and solicit gifts from high-net-worth individuals, corporations, and foundations.  The Director provides intellectual, managerial and entrepreneurial leadership to grow the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s financial resources by implementing the highest quality programs in annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, institutional giving, donor relations and development operations.  The Director oversees a team of five staff members.

As a front-line fundraiser, the Director is primarily responsible for establishing transformative relationships with donors and prospects and ensuring every donor enjoys an excellent philanthropic experience when contributing to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  The Director serves as the ARL’s lead major gifts officer.  The Director will personally manage a portfolio of donors and prospects with significant giving potential, stewarding the relationships from the research and identification stages through the engagement and solicitation of gifts.

As a representative of Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Director will articulate the priorities and initiatives of the organization, highlight its past successes, build and sustain a culture of philanthropy and create a sense of shared goals and values.

This is a full-time role, located in Boston, MA, reporting to the President.  Occasional early mornings, evenings, and weekends are required for Board meetings, donor events, and program events.  Travel throughout eastern MA is also required.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Staff Management:  Provide leadership, direction, training and mentorship to the development staff team.
  • Collaboration and Partnership:  Support and advise the President on her efforts to build relationships and secure major support from individuals and institutions.  Partner collaboratively with the development and program staff and volunteer leadership in Boston, Dedham and Cape Cod to build and sustain a productive and successful philanthropic culture.  Represent Animal Rescue League of Boston in funding partnerships to support achievement of programmatic goals and to ensure strength in relationships with funders and partners.
  • Fundraising Strategy, Leadership and Result:  Design and implement fundraising plans and increase multi-year and annual revenue from individuals and families, corporations and foundations to ensure Animal Rescue League of Boston meets annual philanthropic fundraising goals.  Lead future fundraising campaigns to attract support to fund operational and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Individual and Institutional Giving:  Develop a best practice major gifts program to attract 5, 6, and 7-figure gifts from high net worth individuals and families.  Provide thought leadership to the design and implementation of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s institutional giving program.  Lead the planning, development, assessment, and execution of strategies designed to retain and build the base of donors.
  • Annual Giving:  Provide leadership to the annual giving direct marketing and mail programs to increase awareness, donations and the number of donors.  Increase membership in the Animal Rescue League’s Champions Circle, ARL’s continuous/monthly giving program.
  • Events:  Design and implement a comprehensive event strategy that will engage and solicit supporters.  Develop events that will serve as friend raisers and fund raisers, deepening the pipeline of future contributors, expressing appreciation of current supporters’ generosity, and raising increased funding from corporations, individuals and families.
  • Donor Engagement and Stewardship:  Design and implement comprehensive stewardship plan to maximize donor retention and to ensure excellent donor philanthropic experience.
  • Portfolio Management:  Manage a portfolio of major donors (high-net-worth and high-potential donors and prospects) capable of donating $10,000 and above.
  • Volunteer Management:  Lead the engagement of volunteers to support ARL’s development efforts.  Support staff management of the Leadership Council.  Work collaboratively with the Board Chair and Board of Directors, as well as a future Development Committee if established, to inspire maximum participation and leverage support through volunteers’ extensive networks. 
  • Regional Fundraising and Leadership Management:  Staff and support any regional fund raising committees.  Lead and increase fundraising efforts to support Dedham and Cape Cod programming.
  • Partnership Management:  Work in partnership with other key business functions at the Animal Rescue League whose work is critical to development success, including, but not limited to, marketing, communications, public relations, program, finance, technology, and human resources.  Where necessary, support the partnerships with external constituents who share in ARL’s focus on animal welfare.  Work to support the outreach and relationship building efforts with community partners by attending events and making connections as appropriate throughout eastern Massachusetts.
  • Planning and Organizational Leadership Support:  Participate in organizational initiatives as a member of the senior leadership team and work with ARL’s President and board leadership on other organization-wide projects and initiatives.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree desirable
  • Minimum of 7 to 10 years of development management experience, preferably with a proven track record in major gifts fundraising
  • Strong mission-driven focus
  • Demonstrated commitment to Animal Rescue League of Boston’s mission, programs and core values
  • Excellent organization, time management and people management skills
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills
  • Proven and consistent track record of increasing revenues by designing and implementing best practice fundraising initiatives and programs
  • Familiarity with all aspects of development, including major and leadership giving, direct mail/marketing, event management, annual giving, on-line giving, planned giving and institutional giving (including corporate and foundation grants)
  • Proven ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and close six- and seven-figure gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, within an environment that does not have a traditional, built-in constituency
  • Experience working with board members and board committees
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively to maximize teamwork and camaraderie across the organization
  • Creative, resilient and strategic in approach
  • Outstanding customer service, detail-orientation and donor relations skills
  • Trusted partner to leadership and colleagues at past organizations
  • Possess a high level of integrity and ability to handle confidential situations without compromise.
  • Polished and authentic presence with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience working with diverse team in a variety of situations.  Must be able to evaluate problems accurately and display good, sound judgment.
  • Experience working in a data-driven and process-driven organization.  Ability to plan, conduct and evaluate promotions, programs and projects, analyzing data and measuring ROI on activity.  Comfort and familiarity with computer information technology and working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft software.
  • Animal welfare experience a plus.
  • Must successfully complete a six month performance assessment period.
  • Must be insurable with the Animal Rescue League’s insurance policy and maintain a valid Massachusetts driver’s license.
  • A sense of humor

 How to Apply

 Please email your resume and a letter of interest to  Please indicate where you saw the job posting in your cover letter.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an equal opportunity employer, and we make all employment-related decisions without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status or any other protected characteristic.