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Director of Development and Communications

Company: Community Legal Services, Inc.
Date Posted: February 6, 2018

Director of Development and Communications
Community Legal Services, Inc.

About the Position and the Organization

Community Legal Services (CLS) seeks a creative, strategic, experienced development professional with a strong commitment to access to justice to serve as its Director of Development and Communications (Development Director).

CLS is a non-profit Arizona law firm providing civil legal assistance to people with low incomes. We focus on helping survivors of domestic violence; assisting victims of consumer fraud and abuse; protecting tenants from unlawful/unfair practices by landlords; foreclosures; legal problems affecting agricultural workers, wage claims and other employment matters; and federal and state programs affecting peoples' health and economic stability.  Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, we serve people with low incomes living in La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, and Yuma counties.

The Development Director reports directly to the Executive Director and is a member of the management team.   The Development Director will work with the Executive Director to design and execute a strategic development plan for CLS, with emphasis on initiating a campaign to raise private funds, particularly from individuals.  The Development Director will also oversee the communication activities for the program.

Historically, CLS has received approximately 85% of its $7.5 million budget from federal and local government sources.  There is a separate collaborative campaign that raises funds from law firms for the three legal aid providers in Arizona.  With the potential for major reductions in public funding in the foreseeable future, the board and staff of CLS have made a commitment to increase revenue from private sources.

High priority roles and responsibilities for the new Development Director:

Work closely with the Executive Director, in consultation with the Board of Directors, and management team to:

Develop a private fundraising campaign.  Initial focus likely will be on the legal community, with expansion to a broader spectrum of individuals as the campaign develops.

Over time, develop a major gifts program, including donor identification, cultivation, stewardship and solicitation.

Identify and solicit appropriate foundation and corporate sources, including preparation of grant applications.

Design and implement appropriate friend- and fund-raising events.

Prepare and disseminate communications materials to support these fundraising efforts, utilizing multiple platforms (e.g. print, electronic, social media, etc.)

Provide training, prepare background materials, and otherwise assist volunteers in cultivating and soliciting peers for contributions.

Develop and maintain strong relationships with bar, bench, and access to justice leaders in communities throughout CLS’ service area.

Assist as needed with preparation of grant applications for public funding.

Supervise staff assigned to the Director of Development and Communications. Maintain donor database; prepare periodic analyses

Develop and update, as needed, fundraising portion of CLS website and social media posts.

Work collaboratively with funders to maximize and support focused funding opportunities. 

Serve as the media contact on behalf of CLS for all inquiries and work with CLS staff to respond, as appropriate.

Prepare or direct the preparation of CLS’ Annual Report.

Oversee all communications activities for Community Legal Services.

The successful candidate will possess the following experience and skills:

A minimum of five years of recent management-level fundraising experience.

A track record of generating increasingly larger gifts through personal cultivation and solicitation. Proven ability to build new relationships and nurture existing ones.

A strong non-profit background with experience in volunteer management, communications, and external relations.

Experience working with high-powered volunteers; comfortable relating to bench and bar leaders.

Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills, both oral and written (a writing sample will be requested of finalists).

Familiarity with internet trends and opportunities related to development and donor relations; proficiency utilizing related technology, including donor databases.

Demonstrated passion for the mission of legal aid and a commitment to helping people with low incomes.

Vision, imagination, and the ability to motivate and inspire others.

Organized, able to multi-task on a variety of projects with competing deadlines.

Experience both supervising and working collaboratively.

Politically and interpersonally astute, strategic.

Experience working with the legal community preferred but not essential.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing in detail why they are interested in the position. The letter should be accompanied by a current résumé and three references with up-to-date contact information. To assure consideration in the first round of review, your application must be received by February 20, 2018.  The position will remain open until filled.

Materials should be submitted electronically to Lilly Paniagua, Human Resources Administrator, Community Legal Services at in Microsoft Word format.  Do not send hard copy.

Candidates with questions about the position or the process are encouraged to contact Lilly Paniagua, Human Resources Administrator at She will either respond to questions or facilitate a discussion with the appropriate person(s).  

CLS offers a competitive salary based on experience. Exceptional employment benefits include generous leave, fully-paid health insurance, and retirement plan.  CLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.