Director of Development at Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival (CS) is a global leader in advancing the world’s Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands, languages, and cultures.  We seek a Director of Development who will provide vision and leadership for the organization’s fundraising operation.

The Director of Development will join a management team focused on strengthening the organization’s programs and global reach, and furthering the goals of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will design and execute all aspects of development to address the short-term and long-term needs of the organization, building on a loyal base of supporters.  The Director will be a member of the senior leadership team.

The ideal candidate must possess a minimum of 5 years of increasing fundraising success, including leadership, comprehensive knowledge of all major advancement functions, and a superior ability to communicate and collaborate with supporters, partners, and leadership of CS. He/she will be an entrepreneurial fundraiser with a demonstrated ability to work with individual donors and solicit major gifts. Experience living and/or working with or on behalf of Indigenous Peoples is strongly preferred, as is experience in a human rights or similar advocacy organization. 

About Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival is a global leader in advancing the world’s Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands, languages, and cultures. The majority of the 370 million Indigenous Peoples lives in the world’s last biodiverse regions and speak the majority of the world’s endangered languages.

Indigenous Peoples experience neglect, racism, discrimination, or outright abuse from governments and/or corporate interests that usurp their power and perpetuate centuries-old patterns of colonization. These patterns disregard Indigenous Peoples’ rights, self-determination, control over homelands and natural resources, and governance. Poverty, isolation, forced assimilation, and relocation often go hand in hand with complex issues arising from land claims, degradation of the environment, theft of intellectual property, and loss of language and cultural traditions. Cultural Survival works with Indigenous communities to ensure that our efforts are in concert with local cultures and decision-making processes. We provide advocacy and capacity building to make sure their voices are heard around the world and support their efforts to strengthen their communities.

Currently we are partnering with Indigenous community based radio stations globally to disseminate programs on Indigenous rights. In addition, we support community-based and community-controlled radio stations to provide social, educational and locally determined broadcasting for remote Indigenous communities in Guatemala. We develop advocacy efforts for Indigenous Peoples’ whose homelands are threatened by large-scale development projects in places like the Philippines, Indonesia, Panama, Brazil, and the United States.  Cultural Survival partners with the United Nations and regional human rights bodies, supportive members of the U.S. Congress and Administration, nongovernmental human rights and environmental protection organizations, and, most importantly, national and local Indigenous leaders and communities. The efficacy of Cultural Survival’s work is promoted by transparency and by our accountability to an expert cohort of Indigenous leaders who serve on our Board of Directors.

The Position

The DOD provides leadership for fundraising among key constituents.  She/he will increase philanthropic giving, particularly by expanding the individual giving program and developing the major gift prospect pool.  However, he or she will also seek support from national and international foundations, governmental, and quasi-governmental agencies.  The Director will be a key spokesperson for the organization and must successfully engage diverse internal and external constituencies.

The DOD will serve as the chief advisor to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors on all matters related to institutional advancement, leading efforts to provide program leaders with significant opportunities to present their work to major donors, corporations, foundations, and community groups.  She or he will strengthen development across the organization, working collaboratively with the program directors and communications staff. 

Particular focus in the first year will be placed on building the major gift portfolio. CS has recently undergone a comprehensive development audit. A development plan and campaign structure has been suggested by fundraising consultants.  The DOD said will have the opportunity to evaluate this development plan and proposed campaign to make recommendations as needed before the plan is adopted by the Board. 

The DOD must have the willingness and capacity to work independently from a home location.  Significant travel is required.

We are seeking candidates nationally.  However, some preference will be given to candidates who can be based in Cambridge, MA, Santa Fe, NM or San Francisco, CA.

Key Responsibilities

  • -Oversee all development functions including major gifts, annual giving, foundation, corporate, and government relations, donor recognition and stewardship, special events.
  • -Meet prospective donors and establish effective communications with them.
  • -Set goals for the development program with the Executive Director.
  • -Galvanize Board, senior leadership, and supporters in promoting philanthropy to advance the mission of Cultural Survival.
  • -Individually and in partnership with the Executive Director and Board members, cultivate, solicit, close and steward major gifts.
  • -Serve as a member of the senior management team.
  • -Manage a small staff.
  • -Serve as an effective, knowledgeable spokesperson for Cultural Survival


The Director must be an accomplished, dynamic development professional with a proven track record of raising funds through major gift, foundation, corporate, and government grants and annual fund (memberships/subscriptions).  She/he must embrace CS’s mission and have the ability to effectively communicate it.

The candidate should have the following:
-Bachelor’s degree is required
-At minimum, 5 years experience in professional fundraising
-Demonstrated ability to garner support from individuals and major gift fundraising
-Leadership skills to work with and motivate board members
-A proven track record of developing strong donor relationships and building a comprehensive development program
-Evidence of a successful track record in securing grants
-Experience working on behalf of Indigenous Peoples is preferred; in the alternative, experience in a human rights or similar advocacy organization
-Strong planning, communication and project management skills
-High degree of professional demeanor
-Above average verbal and written communication skills
-Be goal driven and possess a high degree of motivation, maturity and energy
- Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability

Salary and Benefits:

  • Excellent benefits package including 100% employer paid health insurance for employees
  • The ability to work independently from a home location


Apply Now.

Cultural Survival is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. We particularly encourage Indigenous individuals to apply and to identify their Indigenous community, but we welcome applications from all qualified candidates.  For more information about Cultural Survival and its programs, please visit:

Job title: Director of Development

Location: From home

Closing date: Rolling application