Back to top

Development Manager

This job is no longer available

Oakland, California, USA

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming people, elders, and young people. After five years of year-over-year organizational growth, we are looking to increase our fundraising capacity to catalyze the accessibility of our program to reach 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy. We are seeking an accomplished and values-aligned Development Manager to join our team.

The Development Manager is a clear and persuasive writer who relishes the opportunity to uplift meaningful movement work to philanthropic partners, enjoys thinking empathetically about audiences, and is above all motivated by a deep belief in the leadership development and liberation strategies of directly impacted people. A perceptive and careful listener, the Development Manager is adept at identifying big and small opportunities to strengthen connections between our supporters and our organizing and advocacy work. The ideal person in this role is an experienced manager of institutional funding relationships and is also excited by the opportunity to be involved in a variety of development projects including collaborations with influencers, creatives, and elected officials. In 2019, in addition to managing grants, individual donor engagement, and coordination of Essie’s Board of Directors day to day, the Development Manager will co-lead the planning of Essie’s five year anniversary benefit celebration and help create a multi-year fundraising strategy to support Essie’s three to five year campaign and organizing vision.

Areas of Responsibility: 

Core Responsibilities

Institutional Grants Management

  • Articulate our organizational accomplishments and aspirations in grant applications and reports.  
  • Manage all deadlines and workflows for LOIs, grant applications, and reports including internal deadlines for collection of information from other staff ensuring on-time submission and high rate of successful funding requests.
  • Evaluate and recommend new funding opportunities in alignment with Essie’s strategic priorities and programmatic work.
  • Manage Grant Writer and up to one intern.

Philanthropic Relationship Management

  • Establish and maintain relationship management systems that increase our capacity to attract, develop, and maintain meaningful relationships with grant partners and philanthropists.
  • Prepare materials to communicate with supporters including thank you letters, event reports, and annual reports.
  • Plan and coordinate creative, strategic, and meaningful fundraising events and activities including management of project timelines, logistics, guest lists, materials, and programming.
  • Create and update supporter appreciation content on our website.
  • Maintain all donor and fundraising digital and hardcopy files, including utilizing Essie’s  Salesforce instance.

Strategy Development & Board of Directors Coordination

  • Participate in the development of fundraising strategy by providing reports, insights, and strategic thinking.
  • Research viability of new fundraising tactics and strategies in preparation for development of multiyear fundraising including grassroots fundraising.
  • Assist the Founder & Executive Director in coordinating the Board of Directors including scheduling and preparing materials for meetings, preparing quarterly fundraising updates, and supporting Board engagement in program, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Ideal Qualifications

  • 5+ years of relevant fundraising experience including grant writing and management, individual donor engagement, and event planning.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including ability to translate complex issues and multiple programs into cohesive funding proposals.
  • Experience preparing non-profit budgets for funding applications including applications for purpose-restricted funds and lobbying.
  • Experience evaluating and recommending foundation funding opportunities that align with organizational strategic priorities.
  • Experience planning fundraising events.
  • Experience writing and preparing personalized funder communication materials (e.g., thank you letters, reports, invitations).
  • Impeccable organization skills and ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines.



  • A uniquely skilled advocate. You are someone who uses your highly developed sense of empathy to tap into the root of people’s desire to improve the material conditions of others, and can translate that insight into an invitation to contribute to a cause. Because of your belief that everyone benefits from the type of future for which our membership fights, you are able to find ways to make meaningful connections to our work for individuals who may not have had any direct experience with poverty, incarceration, or race, gender, or heteronormative bias. You hold central the humanity of funders and donors, while carrying a healthy dose of awareness of the complexities of approaching philanthropy to fund movement work.   
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Values people, process, and results. You are an exceptionally hard worker. You thrive in  inspiring environments in which stuff gets done with speed, great impact, and focus.
  • Discernment we can trust. You are a thoughtful communicator who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The salary for this position is between $72,000 - $74,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend.

How to Apply: 

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal ( )

Additional Information: 

The Development Manager is a full-time exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Strategy. The position is not remote, and is based either in Oakland or Los Angeles,California.

Organization Info

Essie Justice Group

Oakland, CA, USA
1-10 employees
About Us

Essie’s mission is to harness the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones to end mass incarceration’s harm to women and communities.


Healing to Advocacy Program

The incarceration of a loved one is a life altering experience. Women with incarcerated loved ones take on an extraordinary financial and emotional toll as we strain to bring resources into our families in the context of often overwhelming criminal justice costs (phone calls, prison visits, commissary bills, attorney fees, bail bonds debt, and more). Moreover, the separation from a loved one by prison or jail is traumatic. Although millions of people experience the effects of mass incarceration, social support for women with incarcerated loved ones can be hard to find due to the intense stigma surrounding incarceration. The result is isolation. Women with incarcerated loved ones experience significant or extreme isolation, which is a barrier to our health, joy, and power to create change in our families and communities. Read more in our report “Because She’s Powerful: The Political Isolation and Resistance of Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones.

Breaking Isolation from Healing to Advocacy

Our nine-week Healing to Advocacy model works to break isolation, increase wellness, and facilitate personal and community transformation among women with incarcerated loved ones. Women who join one of our cohorts commit to nine-weeks of 3 hour weekly sessions. During the nine weeks,12 -15 women move together through individually held pain to begin journeys of collective healing, share resources that offer beams of support to families during crisis, and gain confidence to advocate for change. To reduce barriers for women’s leadership, Essie provides transportation support, childcare, and meals. All cohorts are facilitated by graduates of our Healing to Advocacy program and follow three pillars: advocating for self, advocating for family, and advocating for community.

Our Nominations Process

Joining Essie begins with a nomination. Incarcerated men and women serve as the organization’s most important partners, writing nomination letters about the women in their lives, which they mail to us. The women they write about are then invited to join our Healing to Advocacy cohorts. If you are a woman with an incarcerated loved one, you can also nominate yourself. Formerly incarcerated people, or members of the community may also nominate.

Why Work For Us?: 

About Essie

Today, we live in an age of mass control. Patriarchy, racism, and punitive criminal justice policies are devastating women’s health, resources, and civic engagement. This is especially true for women who are low-income, women of color, queer and trans women, and all women whose loved ones are caged and criminalized. Essie Justice Group is building a nationwide bold and loving network of women with incarcerated loved ones to end all state-sponsored violence against women and communities of color, and queer communities. We work through holding nine-week Healing to Advocacy cohorts, leading local and statewide campaigns to bring all of our loved ones home, and building platforms to uplift the thought leadership of women with incarcerated loved ones who are creating transformative visions for how we will end mass incarceration’s harm to women and communities.

We are looking for exceptionally hard working applicants who have a fierce commitment to race and gender justice to join our Team. We strongly encourage people with incarcerated loved ones, people who are formerly incarcerated, people of color, queer people, and people who are trans, gender variant, or gender nonconforming to apply.

Embedded thumbnail for Essie Justice Group
Connect With Us

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Jun 19 2019
Active Until: 
Jul 19 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Essie Justice Group