Development & Communications Manager

Circle for Justice Innovations | New York, New York


The New York based Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI) is searching for a full-time Development & Communications Manager, who will provide direct support to the Director of Development in shaping and implementing the organization’s mission to strengthen the infrastructure and capacity of CJI through fundraising and communications. CJI is a fund comprised of several collaborative giving circles including the leadership of formerly incarcerated people and other people impacted by the injustice system, as well as an array of individual, justice-loving donors. CJI Circles include people with differences across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, experience of incarceration, and age-ranging from 25 to 85.

CJI brings together community organizers and donor-activists to identify, fund, and nurture grassroots organizations that engage communities in transforming the U.S. criminal legal system. Over the last 20 years, CJI has funded more than 300 grassroots organizations in 30+ states who are impacting a diverse set of criminal justice issues from shackling imprisoned women during childbirth, eradicating stop and frisk, closing private prisons, the school-to-prison pipeline, juvenile justice, solitary confinement and family separation and immigrant detention.

We’re seeking a development and communications professional with a passion for criminal/social justice who can help us expand our work in support of a growing network of grassroots organizations and movement leaders. Previous justice-involvement and/or those who have been impacted by the incarceration of a family member or loved one is a plus.

Job Summary

The Development & Communications Manager will be an experienced and skilled writer, a strong project manager, excellent communicator, detail-oriented, and able to meet deadlines and adapt to changing needs and opportunities. As a member of a small team that requires extensive collaboration within the department, across the organization, and with external consultants who support us, this position will play a key role increasing and diversifying CJI’s funding and refining our messaging to external partners and donors. A passion for social/racial/economic justice and an understanding of criminal justice and its intersecting issues is required.

As a new role at CJI, the Development & Communications Manager will:

 1) Assist the Director of Development in the coordination and administration of CJI’s development operations;

2) Assist the Development Director in the coordination and administration of donor/funder cultivation, solicitation, and engagement;
3) Exercise judgment, sensitivity and discretion in the execution of assigned responsibilities; and
4) Present a positive image of CJI in all internal and external contacts.

Reports To

Director of Development



  • Co-lead individual donor cultivation and solicitation efforts alongside the Director of Development;
  • Assist the Development department in the creation of internal processes for tracking fundraising/donor activities;
  • Support the Development department in maintaining accurate, up-to-date donor records in Donor Perfect database;
  • Prepare and write grant proposals and applications, concept and white papers, and grant reports;
  • Support the Development department in creating a system to collect and track program/grantmaking data and key organizational outcomes;
  • Prepare and send donor acknowledgment and thank you letters;
  • Maintenance of the Development calendar for tracking deadlines for grant applications, reports, and other related time-sensitive projects;
  • Assist with prospect research and donor qualification activities;
  • Assist the Director with planning and execution of special events including donor cultivation and solicitation events, and CJI’s 20th anniversary gala;
  • Maintain contact with the offices of corporate and foundation funding sources, key private donors, of their staff;
  • Liaise with other departments as required or directed; and
  • Assist and lead other projects and activities as assigned by the Director of Development.


  • Oversee the execution of CJI’s comprehensive communications plan;
  • Develop a quarterly donor-facing newsletter;
  • Maintain up-to-date postings and oversee CJI’s social media accounts and presence; and
  • Identify external opportunities, including partnerships, affinity groups, conferences, etc., for promoting CJI’s work to raise visibility and profile.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Temporary personnel or interns as needed during peak periods.



  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Work Experience

  • Must have a 5-7 years’ development and/or communications experience, preferably in a non-profit philanthropic environment.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be able to prioritize and multi-task, while remaining unflappable.
  • Professional, maintaining grace under fire, with a well-developed and appropriate sense of humor.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to deal effectively with a wide range of persons; in particular people with different levels of access to wealth and class, people of different ages, races, cultures, religions, sexual orientations and identities; people with a history of incarceration, and people directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
  • Excellent administrative skills.
  • Comfortable and proficient with professional correspondence and editing, on OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, mail merge functions, document formatting, etc.
  • Experience with donor database and/or electronic admissions programs a plus.
  • Experience with Zoom or other webinar and conferencing tools a plus.
  • Experience with social media platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Excellent research skills.
  • Able to take direction, work in a team, and work independently.
  • Able to maintain discretion with confidential information.
  • Demonstrated alignment with the movement for CJI’s mission of ending mass incarceration and mass criminalization is a plus.


Salary range is $65,000 to $75,000, depending upon experience.


The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) is a program of NEO Philanthropy Inc. It is the policy of NEO to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of history of incarceration, race, color, religious creed, national origin, age, military status, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression or gender.

How to Apply

Please email your resume and one-page cover letter to by September 21, 2020.

Circle for Justice Innovations

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Organization: Nonprofit organizations