Swing Left & Vote Forward

Head of Development

Full-Time in United States - Remote OK - Development - $155k - $165k


The Head of Development will develop strategy and oversee fundraising––across major, mid-tier, and grassroots donor programs––for Swing Left and Vote Forward’s annual operating budget. They will manage donor relationships and meet independently with high level donors. This position will also oversee fundraising strategies for Swing Left’s target candidates and civic organizations, in close partnership with the political department.

The Swing Left and Vote Forward team is fully remote, but there is an expectation for the Head of Development to attend in-person meetings and events in various locations around the country. Candidates should have the ability to travel regularly––approximately 2-5 days per month. Travel ebbs and flows throughout the year and isn’t necessarily a regular occurrence every month, but candidates should have the flexibility to travel as needed.

About Swing Left

Swing Left is a national grassroots organization working to elect Democrats in the most competitive federal and state elections. We make it possible for anyone to make a big impact on the elections that determine the balance of power in our country, by volunteering and donating in key races. Since launching in 2017, Swing Left volunteers have raised more than $80 million for Democratic candidates, civic organizations, and voter mobilization efforts, and made more than 44 million combined phone calls, door knocks, and handwritten letters sent to voters via its affiliate Vote Forward and their partners.

About Vote Forward

Vote Forward is a nonpartisan organization that builds tools to encourage Americans to vote. We work to increase the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in the electorate, and to increase civic engagement among the public at large by supporting the volunteers working to engage these voters. Since 2018, more than 250,000 grassroots volunteers have used the Vote Forward platform to send handwritten letters to more than 30 million prospective voters to encourage them to register to vote and turn out for elections. Vote Forward is closely affiliated with Swing Left.

Hiring process overview

  • All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
  • This process will include a written exercise in addition to two interviews via Zoom
  • We aim for first round interviews to begin in mid-February
  • We aim for an expected start date in April - May
  • NOTE: This is an approximate timeline and may be adjusted as the process moves forward. All candidates should expect to receive communication from our team regarding their application status and our expected timeline. Our intention is to keep candidates in the loop as we work through each stage equitably and as efficiently as possible


Oversee and lead the development, implementation, and execution of fundraising strategies for Swing Left and Vote Forward

  • Oversee and lead the development and implementation of cross-cutting fundraising strategies to drive goals––operational fundraising for Swing Left and Vote Forward, and fundraising for targeted candidates, campaigns and organizations, including via online fundraising platforms
  • Directly manage the development team, including consultants and full-time staff
  • Collaborate cross-functionally to develop and implement digital fundraising strategies with the communications and digital team
  • Oversee and lead the assessment of the organization’s existing strategies to identify priorities for program development and updates, and identify, develop, and implement new and improved strategies for fundraising
  • Establish and manage goals for fundraising; define systems and processes to measure success and track progress toward goals and work cross functionally to develop and implement strategies for meeting goals

Oversee and lead the development, implementation, and execution of mid-tier ($1K-10K) and major ($10K+) donor programs for Swing Left and Vote Forward and manage relationships with the organizations’ donors

  • Oversee and lead the major donor program in collaboration with the Development Director; prepare materials, manage relationships, execute communication and follow-up, coordinate major donor meetings and events, and attend donor meetings and events
  • Oversee the mid-tier donor, grants, and corporate sponsorship programs
  • Collaborate with the Development Director to create a finance committee and manage day to day logistics; lead recurring meetings to provide status updates, answer questions, facilitate collaboration, and manage asynchronous follow up and communication
  • Oversee the research of potential donors to gain insights into needs, beliefs, and donation habits to understand how to engage them in donating to Swing Left and Vote Forward
  • Oversee cross-functional collaboration on fundraising projects and programs
  • Develop programs that will engage and retain new and existing donors
  • Develop fundraising messages and collateral that are compelling to potential donors and consistent with the Swing Left and Vote Forward brands
  • Work with the executive team to set and manage fundraising goals and projections, and report on progress
  • Oversee the planning and execution of fundraising events; evaluate success of fundraising events and make adjustments to strategy as necessary
  • Oversee the tracking and maintenance of donor information records and ensure accuracy of donor information through tight systems for tracking and management; identify and implement improvements to systems for tracking fundraising data
  • Collaborate with the compliance team and Development Director to track income, adjust goals, and ensure proper source coding of contributions
  • Oversee and lead preparation for and execution of principal fundraising call time time in collaboration with the Development Director; draft language for donor communication, staff call time, and track progress to goals
  • Develop donor and legal reporting documentation to ensure requirements are satisfied
  • Prepare agenda for and execute weekly fundraising call to provide status updates, answer questions, and facilitate collaboration for creative fundraising solutions and prospective strategies

Lead cross-functional coordination, programmatic cohesion, and execution of org-wide priorities with other members of the leadership team

  • Oversee the development department and collaborate with leadership team members to establish org-wide priorities and programs based on departmental objectives; coordinate to ensure programmatic cohesion and the success of cross-functional initiatives
  • Lead, contribute to, and promote org-wide strategies for culture, staff engagement, effectiveness, and overall team satisfaction at Swing Left and Vote Forward
  • Collaborate with other leadership team members to analyze feedback from staff, identify areas of improvement, and help implement solutions
  • Attend weekly leadership team meeting and maintain an active awareness of asynchronous leadership team communication

Successful Head of Development candidates will have

  • A strong interest in Swing Left and Vote Forward’s mission and values
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills that demonstrate an ability to convey a compelling understanding of Swing Left and Vote Forward’s mission and impact, and translate our data, research and analysis on strategy and electoral impact into persuasive narratives
  • Mastery of donor, principal, and key stakeholder relationship-building and management; excellent interpersonal skills
  • Very strong attention to detail in both written and verbal communication, relationship management, and project management
  • At least 2 – 3 cycles (4 – 6 years) of increasing responsibility in a fundraising environment, with a proven track record of securing significant gifts from individuals, organizations, foundations, etc.
  • Experience leading the creation and implementation of effective and successful donor cultivation and engagement programs
  • Experience with major donor fundraising in electoral, 501c(3), and 501c(4) contexts
  • Strongly prefer experience with digital fundraising in electoral, 501c(3), and 501c(4) contexts
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate effectively across teams in a remote environment
  • Ability to work under pressure and balance multiple priorities at once
  • Ability to diagnose problems quickly and foresee potential issues, and a strong solutions orientation
  • Demonstrated success managing and leading staff and building an impact-driven, collaborative team culture
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and belonging across all identities including but not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability. A specific track record of a commitment to BIPOC communities.
  • A keen interest in being an intentional organizational leader, trusted thought partner to executive leadership, and critical individual contributor

Working at Swing Left and Vote Forward

The Head of Development position is a full-time, exempt and remote position. There is regular travel expected for this role (see more information in the Overview section of this posting). The pay range for this position is $155,000 – $165,000 on an annualized basis. We provide cost of living compensation increases at the beginning of each year.

In addition to health, dental, vision, and retirement benefits, Swing Left and Vote Forward’s benefits package includes a professional development fund, a remote work fund, and a technology stipend for all employees. We have an unlimited time-off policy, a flexible medical and parental leave policy, and our office is closed for approximately 25 business days each year. We are happy to answer any questions you have about our benefits and policies in interviews.

We are an equal opportunity employer and seek applications from all qualified candidates who are eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. We use E-Verify during onboarding to complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.

We welcome all applicants regardless of age, citizenship, gender identity or expression, national origin, pregnancy status, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other differences.

Please note the best way to express interest in this position is to submit an application––this is the most effective way for our team to review and process applications fairly and efficiently.