Vice President of Development and Communications

Vice President of Development and Communications

SOS Children’s Villages USA

Washington, DC   |   March 12, 2020


SOS Children’s Villages, one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to the care of orphaned and vulnerable children, operates in 135 countries, including the United States. Our comprehensive approach – strengthening families and communities, providing long-term care for children, educating and empowering youth, and advocating for children’s rights – transforms the lives of millions of children and families each year. And when humanitarian crises strike, we provide affected children and families with the supplies and support they need.

The SOS model works; in the US, 100% of SOS youth graduate from high school, and SOS alumni are 6 times more likely to graduate from college than youth in traditional foster care. According to the Boston Consulting Group, every $1 invested in SOS programs returns $14 in benefits to society. Over the last 70 years, our work has been supported by leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, and we have been recognized with numerous international awards and honors, including 14 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Strategic Context and Position Summary:

SOS Children’s Villages USA is at a critical juncture in defining its future successes. SOS USA has built from decades of knowledge and experience and is ready to carry out an aggressive and integrated fundraising and marketing strategy to diversify the revenue portfolio of the organization. This growth of both strategic investment and unrestricted funds will increase funds raised in the US that is channeled to support SOS programs in the US and worldwide. We believe that our program and model have tremendous potential to support rapid growth of SOS USA over the next several years.

SOS USA is seeking a Vice President of Development & Communications to play a critical role in: a) continuing to strengthen current philanthropic relationships; b) expand SOS-USA’s individual and institutional donor base; c) lead the development and marketing teams in building new campaigns with existing and new markets to garner increased investment in our mission; and d) co-create with staff and leadership SOS USA’s theory of change, detailing the expected results and impacts of scaling a proven model of successfully improving children’s lives across the USA and in other countries. The VP will serve as a member of the Executive Team. The VP’s team will consist of 4 – 5 direct reports that manage staff and consultants. This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports directly to the CEO.

In partnership with the CEO and the SOS USA staff, the VP will grow a sustainable fundraising, marketing and communications team that can leverage the positive social impacts made by SOS Children’s Villages into the US market.  The immediate goal is to ensure 2020 is a year that sets a strong foundation that meets revenue targets while increasing unrestricted funds that bring new visibility and financial support to SOS USA, in line with the strategic plan. SOS USA’s current donor base consists of child/village sponsorships, individual donors, foundations, corporations, and major donors.

The Vice President of Development and Communications will also work to advise on organizational strategy and direction to ensure that philanthropic objectives are considered throughout. Critical to the success of SOS USA, they will be responsible for setting the direction of fundraising to build a strong foundation for lasting fundraising success. This is truly an amazing opportunity for someone to play a vital role supporting the lives of vulnerable children and youth around the globe.

The ideal candidate will thrive in a high-energy, hands-on, fast-paced, and entrepreneurial organization as part of a collaborative, cross-matrixed, and committed team. They will have a positive, can-do attitude; practice innovative thinking; and be flexible and team oriented. They will further possess a high degree of initiative, take calculated risks, measure performance, and demonstrate an overall drive to build lasting fundraising success for the organization.

This position is located in Washington, DC, and will require occasional travel.

Role and Responsibilities

The Vice President of Development and Communications is a high-level position that helps to set the fundraising direction to ensure the financial health of SOS Children’s Villages USA. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record as a fundraising leader, be extremely successful at closing large gifts, and will genuinely build and grow a team that can sustain the success of SOS USA into the future.

The Vice President of Development and Communications will:


  • Oversee the design and management of strategy for multi-channel donor and sponsor acquisition and retention, including digital, direct marketing, telemarketing, and other offline initiatives to grassroots, mid-level, and major donors.
  • Lead collaborative, creative, and strategic integrated segmentation/communication strategies across all channels, with an especially high focus on integration of digital throughout.
  • Assess market trends and develop innovative ways to attract donors at all levels, retain them over time, and engage them in meaningful ways in the work of SOS USA.
  • Developing strategic, proactive relationships with foundations and corporations as well as identify foundation and corporate interests that align with SOS multi-year program priorities.

Fundraising Leadership

  • Increase organization-wide understanding of SOS’s supporter base through robust insight and analytics, in partnership with the other team members
  • Set and monitor clear metrics for success for revenue generation, branding, and communications.
  • Negotiate and manage vendor contracts to support fundraising objectives and analytics.
  • Serve as the internal fundraising team lead; lead data and digital teams concerning analytics, to meet fundraising objectives and collaborate with and engage key staff from other departments.
  • Ensure consistent and effective use of databases for the accurate recording of data, donor information, and all management activities undertaken to obtain philanthropic investments from outside entities.
  • Liaise with SOS Children’s Villages International to ensure that SOS USA development team have all the support they need, funding priorities are clearly communicated, and effective collaboration is happening across the federation.
  • Ensure that all donors are communicated with on a regular basis in a way that is both donor-centric and aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization to increase revenue generation and lifetime donor value over time.
  • Writing foundation and corporate proposals for solicitation of established prospects and provide guidance and assistance with the preparation of gift proposals to others. Identifying and analyzing information pertinent to relationship development with potential foundations and corporations. Preparing and presenting reports for internal and external audiences.
  • Managing an appropriate portfolio of foundation and corporate prospects that have the ability to make a grant of $1 million or more.


  • Facilitate external engagement task force to filter all requests for SOS USA participation in external events, thereby ensuring that organizational priorities are met and setting the tone and position for SOS USA with external audiences.
  • Collaborate with SOS Children’s Villages International to establish clear brand guidelines for SOS USA and ensure consistent implementation across all teams internally.
  • Create and implement a brand-building strategy that will increase household awareness of the SOS brand and SOS programs and services offered domestically and abroad.
  • Position SOS USA’s CEO as a thought leader and leverage the CEO’s time to represent SOS USA in ways that maximize building relationships with potential funders.

Collaboration & Culture

  • Key responsibilities also include collaborating with the SOS International office in Austria; offices in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; and SOS affiliates in the US. The CEO anticipates dedicating a significant portion of his time to development; therefore, the VP must be able to collaborate with flexibility, agility, and speed to establish, reinforce, and grow philanthropy efforts to meet critical financial goals. The VP will be expected to promote a resilient, revenue-oriented culture centered on market-driven targets, supporting the CEO in cultivating high-capacity donors on a consistent basis. The VP will also lead efforts in blueprinting and executing impactful fund development strategies for high-net-worth, mid-level and small donors. The VP is responsible for the planning and implementation of all short- and long-range development and fundraising initiatives.
  • Understanding of, and some experience with, the context and issues of global development and childcare, with the ability to passionately articulate the work and mission of SOS USA to current and potential donors.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions. Experience should include work in most functional areas (sponsor acquisition and retention, including digital, direct marketing, telemarketing, and other offline initiatives to grassroots, mid-level, and major donors) for a child-focused nonprofit, higher education, or other nonprofit environment of similar complexity with multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction, with at least 5 years of significant supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget.
  • A history of building new funding pipelines and increasing the effectiveness of a development program and staff through established objectives and performance standards, with strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex fundraising plans, as well as executing those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Familiarity with managing sustainer or monthly membership models of fundraising a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to shape messaging in order to move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donors’ interests.
  • Demonstrated history of securing 6-, 7-  figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual fund strategies to effectively groom the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement advancement initiatives and achieve goals.
  • Ability to understand and distill technical and research information, and to weave such into compelling narratives for external audiences.
  • Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating board or other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective fundraising network.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with marketing and creative teams and to manage brand awareness and marketing strategies for major supporter audiences.
  • Skill at setting goals and measuring success, and agility in addressing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary.
  • Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Additional Qualifications

  • Passion for the work of SOS Children’s Villages and the vital role we play in the lives of vulnerable children and youth.
  • A team player who welcomes and models collaborative decision-making.
  • An articulate, polished, and sophisticated individual who can interact comfortably with high-level individuals and groups and with persons of high wealth and intelligence.
  • Diplomacy and ability to engage individuals in a variety of social and business settings.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including leaders at the CEO level, development staff, board, and donors.

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter, along with the online application, and include salary requirement.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit