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Director of Development

Public Citizen is the nation’s leading public interest organization taking on corporate power across a broad range of issue areas. Founded in 1971 to advance health, safety, justice and democracy, we use all available advocacy tools – including research, grassroots mobilization and advocacy, lobbying, litigation, administrative petitioning and strategic communications – to influence policy debates. Over our four decades, we have compiled an extraordinary record of achievement.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, Public Citizen operates with an annual budget of $15 million and a staff of 85, and has more than 300,000 members and supporters. Public Citizen does not accept money from corporate or government sources -- we fiercely guard our independence -- and relies on the support of members and private foundations, and publication sales.

At a time of mounting public concern with corporate influence over elections and policymaking, Public Citizen sees an opportunity to significantly expand our fundraising base. We are seeking an experienced and dynamic individual to fill the position of Director of Development, to build on our current fundraising strengths and enable us to grow the organization.

Role and Responsibility:

Public Citizen maintains a diversified fundraising program, including direct mail/membership support, major gifts, online giving, planned giving and foundation support. The Development Director is responsible for overseeing and managing this diverse program, providing guidance and strategic vision.

While current fundraising initiatives are flourishing, we see significant opportunity for expansion, and hope to see development revenues increase 15 percent annually. This is an ambitious but attainable goal. The deepening public concern with excessive corporate power affords opportunities to broaden our funding base significantly. And Public Citizen's uncommonly broad advocacy portfolio affording an opportunity to seek funding support from new and varied sources. We particularly see opportunity to expand our major gifts and foundations programs.

Specific Development Director duties and responsibilities include:

•    Coordinating all fundraising activities for Public Citizen, including effectively using the President, senior leadership and the Boards of Directors to meet Public Citizen’s fundraising goals.
•    Ensuring that all fundraising plans are developed, integrated, supported and successfully implemented across the organization.
•    Managing a very talented 10-person development team and empowering them to become even more effective.
•    Working with senior leadership to increase the organization’s efforts to market Public Citizen, including particular products and programs.
•    Leading the Development Department’s annual planning and budgeting process.
•    As a member of Public Citizen’s senior management team, helping set the organization’s long-term strategies and objectives.


The Director of Development will be an experienced and accomplished fundraiser and an energetic leader with a passion for the mission of Public Citizen. Succeeding at the Development Director position requires a deep understanding of and commitment to Public Citizen's values and advocacy program. In addition, the ideal candidate should demonstrate the following:

•    At least 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in a related nonprofit fundraising position, preferably at the Director level, with a specific emphasis on membership/direct mail, major giving, foundation support, and online giving.
•    At least two years of experience managing and developing a development staff.
•    Demonstrated ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors of high wealth, $25,000+ donors.
•    Ability to successfully plan and execute regional and national events.
•    Demonstrated experience in budget development and management.
•    Ability to serve as a strong, compelling ambassador for the organization.
•    Experience developing solid working relationships with Board members to further fundraising and other high level organizational objectives.
•    Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written).
•    Demonstrated ability to multi-task, be organized and flexible in a demanding environment, and meet deadlines and prioritize job responsibilities.
•    Ability to travel as necessary.
•    Creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility and a good sense of humor.

To Apply:

CVs and a detailed cover letter should be sent to Aileen Walsh at awalsh@citizen.org, subject line: Development Director. No phone calls, please.

Copyright © 2015 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


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