Vera Institute of Justice

Vice President, Development (Brooklyn, NY, [preferable] DC or LA)

Development - Brooklyn, NY - Full Time

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of just over 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

The Position

Vera seeks an entrepreneurial, strategic, and experienced leader to serve as its next Vice President of Development (VP).  Reporting to the President, the VP is a member of the leadership team and joins Vera at a moment of ambitious organizational transformation, two years into a three-year strategic plan.  The new VP has a strong platform to build upon to take Vera to the next level. Vera has run surpluses over the last eight fiscal years, substantially increased revenue from a range of institutional philanthropies (from old line to Silicon Valley and Wall Street), corporations and increasingly from individuals. As part of the strategic plan, Vera is committed to a robust, systematic plan to build visibility and its brand, which will aid its commitment to greater philanthropic results.

The VP serves as a strategic partner to the President and will be the primary architect and executor of a comprehensive short and long-term development strategy. This is a role for a systematic, confident builder who can clearly articulate a vision for growth, thoughtfully and effectively implement best-practice strategies, and develop an operational structure to ensure a sustainable approach for fundraising within the organization.  The VP will help build new and existing relationships to expand the organization’s visibility, impact, and financial resources and significantly increase philanthropic results. They will be a leader, teacher and thought partner for the current team of eight development professionals (which we expect to grow). This individual will collaborate frequently with colleagues, cross-national and place-based initiatives, project development (impact pipeline) communications and operations.

Vera’s Development team has a track record of growth in unrestricted funds from institutions, and mega donors (see Page 9).  In addition to hiring its first Director of Principal Gifts, the development team is working to elevate Vera’s visibility and recognition through increased marketing and audience acquisition and is in the early stages of creating a major donor program, inclusive of digital fundraising.


Who you are:

The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial fundraiser with a collaborative spirit who enjoys designing and building a program and can think both strategically and tactically to drive revenue growth. This position is a great opportunity for a leader with experience in major gift fundraising from individuals and foundations, leadership and team management skills, and a passion that aligns with Vera’s mission to make a lasting impact on securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Design development strategy and timeline, working with the President to set fundraising goals, confirm strategy and identify target donors and approaches to execute
  • Expand and manage a growing development team to implement the strategy and execute critical fundraising tasks, with near-term focus on building an individual donor base and capacity to serve it (including conducting donor research/prospecting, developing and stewarding relationships)
  • Build out a major gift program and develop a robust pipeline of high net worth donors.
  • Coordinate with communications team to manage donors engaged through digital fundraising efforts
  • Serve as lead development relationship holder with Vera trustees and continue to build a culture of philanthropy
  • Develop tools and resources to equip other Vera senior leaders and board members in stewarding key donor relationships and participating in fundraising efforts
  • Create annual fundraising budget that corresponds with the Institute’s fiscal year and the annual fundraising plan, including forecasts and evaluations of fundraising potential for each activity and program
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with individual and corporate donors, foundations, and other sources of private funds
  • Work creatively with the team to identify opportunities for donor engagement and prospecting, including funder briefings, in-person gatherings, special reports, etc


Mission Critical Objectives | Year 1

  • Create blueprint for more diversified fundraising apparatus, providing a clear understanding of the year over year investment and build infrastructure, processes, procedures using best practices to lay the foundation for exponential growth
  • Integrate and collaborate with the executive leadership team, garnering a keen understanding of Vera’s mission and the complexity of the organization
  • Continue to build out a major donor program and ensure a seamless flow between the major gifts and digital fundraising programs
  •  Inspire confidence and trust with the board of trustees while working with them to access their networks
  • Partner with and support the President on his foundation and major gift portfolios
  • Work with the Chief Financial Officer and the President to shape short, medium and long-term revenue targets


What qualifications do you need?


  • Proven track record in development for a large nonprofit, including success in attracting seven- and eight-figure gifts
  • Experience in planning, leading, and managing development projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress
  • Strong capacity for strategic thinking and ability to integrate a high-level vision with a tactical execution and resourcing plan
  • Effectiveness in managing and coaching teams, building positive, results-oriented culture; and creating structure to support high-level performance of a diverse and growing team guided by principles of fairness and equity
  • Strong communication and influencing skills with the ability to represent Vera to key donor audiences
  • Demonstrated skill at navigating complex organizations and effectively managing change
  • A track record in building and growing an overall fundraising program during times of change and uncertainty
  • Vision and Purpose: Embracing and communicating Vera’s vision and goals, reflecting a dedication to social justice and equity
  • Leading by Example: Demonstrating and fostering, by example, a sense of urgency, strong commitment/accountability, and sound decision-making to achieve goals
  • Inspirational: Encouraging and inspiring colleagues and subordinates to stretch beyond what they thought they could accomplish
  • Ethics and Values: Adhering to a code of conduct with a moral compass focused on the highest level of integrity and ethics


Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is $200,000 – $250,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.


Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Vice President of Development
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2-A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit

Apply: Vice President, Development (Brooklyn, NY, [preferable] DC or LA)
* Required fields
First name*
Last name*
Email address*
Phone number*

Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or paste resume

Paste your resume here or attach resume file

Please attach a cover letter.*
The following questions are entirely optional.
To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.

Invitation for Job Applicants to Self-Identify as a U.S. Veteran
  • A “disabled veteran” is one of the following:
    • a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or
    • a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • A “recently separated veteran” means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
  • An “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran” means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • An “Armed forces service medal veteran” means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
Veteran status

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form CC-305
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 5/31/2023
Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition. Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson's disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression
Please check one of the boxes below:

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.

Your Name Today's Date