Director of Development, The Appellate Project

Position Title: Director of Development

Reports to: Founder / Executive Director

Position: Full-Time, Exempt

Location: Washington, D.C.

Salary: $140,000 – $155,000

About The Appellate Project

Founded in 2019, The Appellate Project is the first organization focused on empowering law students of color to become the next generation of attorneys and judges in our highest courts.

Appellate attorneys and judges make decisions that affect all aspects of our personal lives: our ability to vote, how we are policed, our religious freedom, the quality of our education, our workplaces, healthcare, immigration protections, and much more.

Although many appellate decisions disproportionately impact communities of color, people of color remain greatly underrepresented as both attorneys and judges in our highest courts. TAP’s mission is to change that. Learn more at

The Role

The Appellate Project (TAP) is expanding its team with the addition of a Director of Development. This individual will set the vision and strategy to secure funding from public and private philanthropic sources towards a $1M+ annual budget. This newly-created position will work closely with the Founder/Executive Director, an active and engaged Board of Directors, and a Board-led Development Committee. The ideal Director of Development will be a high-performing professional who thrives on the innovation, creativity, and collaboration required in a start-up nonprofit environment.

TAP has successfully developed strong partnerships with law firms, individual donors, and foundations. TAP has also invested in building a robust fundraising infrastructure. The Director of Development will have the support of administrative staff, consultants, and volunteer board members. 

The Director of Development is integral to TAP’s success, particularly over the next 3-5 years as the leadership team sets an ambitious growth and expansion plan into action. If you are excited to support programming that aims to redefine how we think about racial equity in our highest courts, we encourage you to apply!


The Director of Development reports to the Founder/Executive Director. Primary duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Organizational Growth and Administration

  • Create, develop, and implement a comprehensive strategic development plan to maximize funding streams and reach annual goals through a varied portfolio of public, private, and corporate philanthropic support.
  • Create and oversee the annual department budget, building metrics to measure progress towards established goals.
  • Play a key role in the development of the organizational budget and specific program budgets.
  • Serve as staff liaison for the Board-led Development Committee.
  • Hire, mentor, and supervise team members.
  • Stay abreast of nonprofit fundraising trends and best practices.

Individual Donors

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward all prospects and donors, providing an exceptional experience that attracts new supporters and regularly engages donors in TAP’s mission.
  • Organize fundraising, cultivation, stewardship events, and campaigns.
  • Maintain donor database, ensuring the timely and accurate acknowledgement of all gifts and pledges.
  • Collaborate with the Founder/Executive Director and Board of Directors to build on and support TAP’s major gifts program.
  • Develop and implement communication strategies and materials to increase visibility, reach new and diverse donors and audiences, and enhance understanding of and financial support for TAP’s mission.

Grants and Institutional Support

  • Actively work with the Founder/Executive Director to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy to include corporate, foundation, and government grants.
  • Develop and monitor grants calendar to ensure that all proposal and reporting deadlines are met.
  • Prepare and submit letters of inquiry, proposals, and reports in collaboration with the Program Director and with the Founder/Executive Director.
  • Monitor donor information, providing and presenting statistical analysis and reports to board and senior leaders.
  • Staying abreast of fundraising and philanthropic trends to help position TAP ahead of major funding changes and new developments.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit corporate gifts and grants, in partnership with the leadership team and Development Committee.
Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise

The Director of Development will be a core member of our leadership team. We are looking for a collegial, collaborative teammate with a minimum of 10 years of substantive development experience, which includes a successful track record of closing major gifts, developing sponsorship pipelines, building and/or leading a team, and diversifying revenue streams (particularly fee for service models).

We recognize that an individual’s experience is gained through a wide and diverse range of personal, professional, and educational opportunities. When reviewing applications, we take a broad look at the combined experiences of each candidate. These are the skills and values we prioritize:

  • A demonstrated commitment to racial equity, which is the heart of our work, as well as cultural competence when working with our diverse group of donors and program participants.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising strategy and principles, with a demonstrated track record of identifying, cultivating, securing, and expanding donor relationships over time.
  • Proven track record of soliciting gifts in the $5,000-$100,000 range.
  • Proven ability to develop mutually beneficial and equity-driven relationships with corporate partners. 
  • Demonstrated ability to activate and support board members and volunteers for the purposes of fundraising. 
  • Demonstrated expertise in diversifying revenue sources, including fee for service models.
  • Eagerness to learn, take initiative, anticipate problems, and develop creative solutions as a vital member of a small but powerful team.
  • A proven background in soliciting and closing large gifts, in addition to developing, implementing, and managing annual giving campaigns.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, with the ability to build relationships and represent TAP to funders, external partners, and the general public.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills; demonstrated attention to detail, including financial oversight and strategic planning capabilities.
  • Experience managing and growing a team with a focus on maintaining a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive work environment.
  • Strong technical skills, including experience with database/CRM tools (e.g., Bloomerang), website editors (e.g., Squarespace or WordPress), email communication platforms (e.g., MailChimp), and design platforms (e.g., Canva, Adobe Creative Suite)
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and amplifying and centering the voices and experiences of our students.
  • Familiarity and experience with the legal system, and in particular the appellate system, or a willingness to learn.

This is a full-time exempt salaried position. The salary range is $140,000 – $155,000 and is commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid vacation, health benefits, paid sick leave, paid holidays, generous stipends for technology and a home office, and robust professional development resources.   

The position is remote, but preference will be given to candidates based in and around the Washington, DC metro area. If a remote candidate is hired, it will be expected that they travel ~2-3 days per month to Washington, DC. Occasional evening and weekend work will also be required, as well as willingness to travel approximately 15-20% of the time to other places in the country.

The Appellate Project is an equal opportunity employer. We prohibit unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation and/or identity, criminal record, marital status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Research has shown that traditionally marginalized communities (people of color, people with disabilities, etc.) often don’t apply for jobs if they don’t meet every single qualification. If you think you can do this job but don’t meet every qualification, we encourage you to still apply.

How to Apply

The Appellate Project  has retained the exclusive services of Charity Search Group to coordinate the search for this position. To discuss your suitability for this role, please contact Tanya Henry ( or visit

Apply Now:

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Closing Date:

Open until filled


Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis; early application is strongly suggested.

Tanya Henry

Senior Search Consultant

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