Director of Philanthropy

The Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester is a special place, serving a unique purpose. The JCC has been enriching the cultural fabric of the Rochester community for 100 years, with a mission of strengthening and promoting Jewish identity through all stages of life. The JCC fulfills this mission by providing opportunities for meaningful cultural enrichment, physical well-being, and social, educational, and recreational experiences for individuals and families.

Protecting, preserving, and promoting Jewish values, traditions, customs, and history is woven into the fabric of many of the activities and programs within all Jewish Community Centers. While temples provide a place where members of the Jewish faith can worship, the JCC provides a neighborhood where members of the Jewish faith live, socialize and nourish a sense of community.

Director of Philanthropy Function:  Conceive and execute a long-term development plan that energizes existing and new donors to support the ongoing mission of the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester.

Required Experience: A minimum of five years of experience leading the development and fundraising efforts of a not-for-profit, meeting or exceeding goal requirements. Experienced with driving the success of a robust family of fundraising activities, from golf tournaments and galas, to major gifts and legacy giving programs.

Position Location: Rochester, NY

The successful candidate will be joining the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester at an ideal time, as the organization is well-prepared for its next stage of growth. The leadership team and Board of Directors of the Organization are in the final stages of completing a very successful capital campaign, having raised $14 million to date of their $17 million goal. Proceeds of the capital campaign have primarily been used for the aforementioned expansion and efficiency improvements of the fitness facility. Rather than fatiguing the donor base, the capital campaign renewed dormant relationships and strengthened the resolve of the Organization’s core donors to ensure the success of the JCC for years to come.

This opportunity should be particularly appealing to development leaders who have energy and ideas but haven’t experienced adequate leadership support in prior roles for the implementation of those ideas. Leadership of the JCC is seeking a creative Director of Philanthropy, an individual who possesses the confidence to advocate for and execute new fundraising initiatives, large and small, to compel support from the Greater Rochester Community. The successful candidate will also benefit from an important leadership initiative that is well underway, namely a shift towards a culture of philanthropy for the entire organization. The new Director of Philanthropy will benefit from, and be expected to evangelize, this culture of philanthropy in all endeavors, from board interactions to staff training. JCC board members and staff are aligned with the mission of the organization at a deeper level than ever before, and are eager to support the success of the successful candidate.

The new Director of Philanthropy will possess a rare blend of strategic thinking, attention-to-detail, and willingness to jump-in at all levels, as the organization has limitations to available staffing resources for the execution of fundraising initiatives. JCC staff has a great reputation for coming together to assist with organization-wide fundraising events like galas and golf tournaments, but the successful candidate must be willing to role his/her sleeves up and do whatever needs to be done to ensure the success of all fundraising initiatives.

Senior management will be looking to the new Director of Philanthropy for the creation of an integrated fundraising and development strategic plan, one that is based on research and fact-based decision-making, rather than anecdotes and a repeat of “what’s been done before.” Past, current, and potential individual, corporate and foundation donors must be re-qualified and incorporated into a long-term plan for relationship development that leads to fundraising success over time. The strategic plan will include recommended methods and supporting goals to achieve success, drawing from a full toolbox of proven fundraising techniques including: annual appeals; major gifts; legacy/planned giving; existing and new events; giving societies; grant writing; social media outreach; and synergistic partnerships with corporations and not-for-profits.

The Director of Philanthropy will manage an Associate Director of Development, and will also direct the activities of select staff who assist the two-person development team with fundraising activities as needed throughout the year. The position reports directly to the Executive Director of the JCC and the successful candidate will be a member of the Organization’s senior management team. The Director of Philanthropy will have the full support of an engaged volunteer Development Committee to assist with related goals. He/She will team with the Chair of the Development Committee to direct the volunteer efforts of this Committee.


The successful candidate will possess the following:
• A Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited college or university.
• A minimum of five years of experience leading the fundraising efforts of a not-for-profit. Experience must include leading the entire process for annual appeals, major gift solicitations, fundraising events, and grant writing. Major gifts officers with well-rounded fundraising experience will be considered.
• A record of accomplishment for meeting or exceeding fundraising goals within pre-determined expense budget parameters
• Experience with independently soliciting and bringing in individual gifts of $50,000 or more
• Demonstration of creativity with prior approaches to meeting goals – moving beyond existing processes and events
• A track record for training and motivating colleagues, senior managers, and board members to support a culture of philanthropy
• A record of accomplishment for creating and maintaining up-to-date and accurate donor records. Demonstrated great habits of timely follow-up
• A history of conceiving, defending, and implementing fundraising strategies with senior managers and board members
• A natural "bias for action" and self-directed management style
• Experience and a comfort level with addressing board members, business leaders and foundation managers, earning their support for strategy execution
• Experience with identifying, writing and winning grant support from foundations and government agencies for relevant programs and services
• A sense of urgency and ability to adapt to unexpected changes posed by senior management, donors, and external market forces, quickly re-focusing efforts to solve new challenges at hand
• An approachable management style and a reputation for fostering collaborative environments
• Unquestioned professional and personal integrity
• The successful candidate must reside in the Greater Rochester, NY area or relocate to the area within 4 months of hire.
This description is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of position scope.

This retained search is being conducted exclusively by Patty Phillips of Clarity Recruiting and Career Management, Inc., for the JCC. Please contact Patty directly with a cover letter and resume directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. All applicants and inquiries, regardless of how sourced, will be forwarded to her attention. In your cover letter, please explain the basis for your interest in the position, and highlight relevant experience for the role.