DRi is leading the search for a Director of Philanthropy for the Guardian, a 200-year-old global media organization embarking on a plan to rebuild revenue models for the modern news industry.
The Guardian has a 200-year commitment to exceptional reporting and investigative journalism. Its award-winning original coverage, from national security phone hacking to the Panama Papers, has consistently fought to hold power accountable and to make the world a better, fairer place. Based in the U.K., The Guardian began operating in the U.S. in 2011, bringing high-quality independent journalism and a global perspective to the most pressing challenges facing the country. Its pledge to protect Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press at all costs have made the Guardian a standard-setting leader in reporting and investigative journalism.
As one of the longest-standing media organizations in the world, the Guardian has weathered multiple major transitions in the media landscape. Today it is continuing this tradition by launching a trail-blazing initiative to build a new revenue model for independent journalism as traditional ad-driven media models collapse. The Guardian has to date relied on advertising and print revenue to sustain its coverage. In response to the massive shifts in the market, however, it has embarked on a 3-year plan called the Relationship Strategy that puts readers at the heart of its business model and its journalism through an ambitious membership program. To chart an innovative path forward that combines broad access, financial strength, and unfailing quality, the Guardian is also in the final stages of publicly launching theguardian.org, a new 501(c)3 non-profit organization that will be dedicated to making philanthropic partnerships a reliable form of support for independent commercial journalism. This new effort builds on a philanthropic program that has grown to annual revenue of $8M over the past 3 years; in its first year, it has already secured commitments of $1M.
The Guardian is seeking a Director of Philanthropy to play a critical role in building this new model. Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Vice President, Philanthropic and Strategic Partnerships/President of theguardian.org, the Director will help develop and implement a comprehensive prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation plan designed to foster long-term partnerships that advance the Guardian’s editorial priorities. S/he will simultaneously help build internal relationships—with editorial and commercial staff and with the Guardian’s various Boards—that are critical to the new funding model’s success. The Director will play a key role in articulating the value proposition of editorial independence as well as of key Guardian initiatives, developing giving vehicles that advance these goals, and securing and deepening relationships with key individual and institutional partners who share a commitment to them.
- At least 5 years of experience in a fundraising or sales role, including some experience within a media or media-affiliated organization.
- Record of securing 6-figure and larger funding agreements, including major gifts, sponsorships, and/or advertising agreements.
- Strong relationship management skills that have demonstrably led to increased philanthropic and/or sales revenue.
- Knowledge of funders in the philanthropic and business worlds in key media markets, including Washington DC, New York City, and/or the Bay Area.
- Exceptional communication skills necessary to discuss complex issues in a way that energizes prospective funders in writing, in person, and in presentations.
- Possession of the legal right to work in the U.S.; located in—or prepared to relocate to—the Washington DC Metro or Greater New York City area.
- Bachelor’s degree is required.