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Development Director

Company: StrongMinds
Date Posted: February 13, 2018

StrongMinds ( is a dynamic and fast growing 501(c)(3) social enterprise based in Maplewood, N.J, that focuses on one of the most underserved populations and one of the most pervasive mental illnesses in the world.  We treat depression among women in Africa, where access to mental health treatment is extremely limited and we are guided by a goal to treat two million depressed African women by the end of 2025.   

Since commencing field work in Uganda in 2014, StrongMinds has treated over 25,000 women with depression. We are the only organization scaling a solution to depression in Africa with a potential to serve millions of people in the next ten years.

StrongMinds is closely affiliated with StrongMinds Uganda which directly provides services and is looking to expand to other countries in Africa in the future. Uganda is a post-conflict and highly impoverished country where one out of every four adults suffers from depression. We provide a simple, innovative and cost-effective approach called group interpersonal psychotherapy which is facilitated by trained community workers. The therapy is a proven technique which helps these depressed women return to and maintain their full mental health and restores their ability to care for their families.

StrongMinds has earned an impressive reputation in the global mental health space. In addition to media coverage in New York Times and Foreign Affairs, we are partnered with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) following our selection in the MIT Solve Global Challenge for Brain Health.  We have received numerous fellowships including from the Cordes Foundation, Rainer Arnhold Fellows and SOCAP.  UK organization Founder’s Pledge has described StrongMinds as the most cost-effective mental health organization working in the developing world. We are also proud to be a founding partner of citiesRISE, the new global mental health movement.


Position: Director of Development

The Director of Development will report to the Executive Director and partner closely with the Development Committee of the StrongMinds Board of Trustees. The incumbent will provide strategic fundraising leadership with an emphasis on procuring major individual gifts and aggressive fundraising growth.

This exciting role is integral to StrongMinds’ ambitious growth trajectory as we dramatically scale our program. Specifically, the Development Director will lead efforts to raise $6 million + over the next three years by creating new streams of revenue, developing creative strategies for individual and foundation donors.

The Director of Development will lead all fundraising efforts, championing StrongMinds’ mission and goals with existing philanthropic partners and identifying and establishing new relationships to significantly grow our revenue sources. Key to this role will be the development and delivery of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies.

StrongMinds’ fast growth and ambitious goals demand substantial, multi-year philanthropic investment including $6 million in the next two years. The Director of Development will lead this growth, in partnership with the Executive Director, Board of Trustees and the Development Associate, who will report directly to the Director.   


  • Maintain and grow StrongMinds' current philanthropic pipeline which exists almost entirely of small- to mid-size foundations.

  • Develop and execute a strategy for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major individual gift prospects.

  • Lead all development activities including oversight of donor research, identifying new major individual gift prospects, communication activities, reporting requirements, and solicitation – in partnership with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees.

  • Work closely across various organizational departments in the United States and Uganda to prepare donor materials and reports, and coordinate site visits on occasion.

  • Ensure existing processes and communications address fundraising priorities to the greatest extent possible, collaborating with the part-time StrongMinds Marketing & Communications Manager.

  • Manage and oversee records of communication, donor research and reporting requirements for current and prospective funding partners.

  • Manage staff including a full-time Development Associate, a part-time Marketing & Communications Manager, and periodically, interns.

  • Prepare briefing materials and guidance to the Executive Director on major individual gift prospects to maximize likelihood of successful partnership.

  • Oversee all donor diligence, reporting and evaluation efforts to ensure compliance with grant-maker and sponsor agreements.


  • Bachelor’s degree essential.

  • Master’s degree preferred.

Skills, Abilities & Experience Required:

In addition to the responsibilities and the required Qualifications/Education, there are a number of skills, abilities and experience that the successful candidate will possess:

  • 7-10 years of professional development/fundraising experience with significant background in individual major gifts.

  • Proven experience cultivating high-net-worth individuals, especially in a ‘start from scratch’ environment.

  • Proven success at achieving fundraising goals including cultivating, soliciting and closing major gifts.

  • Experience managing a diverse portfolio of major gift prospects to be approached for gifts each year.

  • Experience building fundraising systems and processes to achieve funding growth.

  • Superlative oral and written communication skills particularly in relation to donor interactions.

  • Adept at multi-tasking; one who thrives in an environment of rapid change.

  • Exceptional organizational and time-management skills.

  • Strong strategic, problem-solving and analytical skills

  • Strong work ethic, positive attitude and ability to make things happen.

  • Ability to train, develop and lead staff, particularly the Development Associate.

  • Team player and consensus builder who collaborates with others to achieve common goals.

  • Dedicated to the mission of StrongMinds.

  • Experience in mental health or global health a bonus.

  • World-class sense of humor.

Location and Travel

  • Willingness to travel up to 10-20% of the year to Uganda and domestic/international conferences.

  • This position is based in the Maplewood, NJ offices of StrongMinds.  We are open to other U.S. locations and/or flexible work arrangements for an exceptional candidate.

Start Date

On/about March 12, 2018.   



To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and résumé to Susan Ryan, Administrative Assistant, via email at Include ‘Development Director’ in the subject line and mention where you heard about this position.

StrongMinds offers competitive benefits and is an equal opportunity employer.