Voice of Witness (VOW) is an award-winning, San Francisco-based nonprofit that advances human rights by amplifying unheard voices. Through our oral history book series and education program, we center the voices of people impacted by injustice, teach our ethics-driven oral history methodology, and partner with human rights advocates to:

  • build agency within marginalized communities,
  • foster thoughtful, empathy-based critical inquiry and understanding of the issues faced by marginalized peoples, and
  • inform efforts to protect and advance human rights.

For over ten years, VOW has illuminated human rights issues in the U.S. and globally. Our oral history book series amplifies the voices of people impacted by the criminal justice system, migration, and displacement. Our education program serves over 20,000 people annually, and we provide oral history training to other nonprofits as well as to educators, advocates, writers, and journalists.

Voice of Witness was cofounded by author Dave Eggers, writer & educator Mimi Lok, and physician Lola Vollen.

Available Positions:

Full-time, exempt, salaried position

Salary: $80k – $90k DOE 

Medical, Vision, Dental and generous vacation time

Start Date: January 2nd, 2020

Voice of Witness is looking for an innovative and strategic development leader to build upon years of growth from current institutional funders, and expand upon new opportunities with private and public foundations, corporations, and consultancy prospects. 

The Director of Institutional Partnerships & Strategy will develop overarching strategy for foundation partnerships in collaboration with the Executive Director and Education Program Director, while also driving a research and development initiative to explore earned income models and opportunities. They will be responsible for researching, recruiting, and securing continuing and new institutional giving sources for unrestricted and programmatic needs, which represent the largest source of philanthropic income for Voice of Witness. 

This position is based in San Francisco and reports to the Executive Director. They will also help provide strategic guidance and work in collaboration with the current individual-giving focused development team composed of a Donor Relationship Manager and Development Assistant. 


Key Roles

35% Grant Writing 

  • Collaborates on developing long- and short-term private and public fundraising strategies with executive team for both unrestricted and programmatic needs.
  • Leads the research, organization, and writing of compelling proposals to solicit funding from institutional partners.
  • Authors letters of intent and inquiry and other required proposal-related materials. 
  • Writes interim and final reports for funded programs. 


45% Prospect Research & Institutional Partnership Management

  • Builds and manages the current portfolio of  institutional foundations; closes $2.5 million in institutional giving by 2022, with a goal of adding 5 – 7 viable prospects to the institutional portfolio. 
  • Broadens Voice of Witness’s base of support from foundations, corporations, and other institutions by preparing prospect lists, in-depth profiles, and briefings to assist in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies. 
  • Works to develop social justice-oriented alignment protocols to drive VOW’s partnerships with corporations in a way that honors our mission and the communities we work with.
  • Works with the Board of Directors and other key partners and donors to make connections with prospective institutional funders.


20% Research and Development Initiative – Business Development

  • Collaborates closely with the Education Program Director, Education Associate, and Community Partnerships Coordinator to gain a thorough understanding of the work and align potential consultancy partners with specific projects.  
  • Researches, identifies, and pursues earned income opportunities with nonprofits, universities, PR firms, ad agencies and corporate social responsibility prospective clients for oral history methodology trainings. 
  • Manages a modest  existing consultancy portfolio, maintaining and growing at least $210,000 in consultancy revenue by 2022. 



  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field such as English, Communications, Economics, Business Administration, etc. Master’s in Business Administration or Non-Profit Management a plus. 
  • 7+ years total in fund development experience, with at least 5 years of successful researching, writing, and securing funds from institutions. 
  • An innovative and strategic approach – you’re not only a skilled grant writer, but a leader capable of thinking outside of the box and generating new opportunities. 
  • Demonstrated ability to steward and maintain strong relationships with institutional funders and program officers.
  • Excellent writing, organization, and project management skills.
  • Proficiency with relational databases, word processing, spreadsheets, and online resources and research tools. 
  • Excellent working knowledge of the institutional giving landscape in the Bay Area.  


How to Apply

Qualified applicants may apply by emailing the following by December 3rd, 2019, 5pm PST:

Please write “Director of Institutional Partnerships & Strategy – (YOUR LAST NAME)” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls or follow up emails. Only candidates whose qualifications best meet the needs of the job will be contacted.