Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts (West Coast)


Title:  Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts (West Coast)        
Type:  Full-time
Supervisor:  Managing Director of Development
Department:  Development
Location:  Los Angeles Office
Last Day to Apply:  Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts (West Coast) reporting directly to the Managing Director of Development.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good.  In its vision of the future, individuals will not be punished simply for what they put into their bodies, only for harm done to others.  DPA fights for drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and seeks to promote dialogue on cutting-edge drug policy issues around the country. Its work spans issues from ending marijuana prohibition and promoting more honest and effective drug education to reducing the many harms of drug use and drug laws.  DPA works to ensure that our nation’s drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions of nonviolent people, especially people of color.

DPA’s work encompasses a wide array of policy issues, including:

  • Sentencing reform and alternatives to incarceration
  • Harm reduction (HIV, hepatitis C and overdose prevention)
  • Ending marijuana prohibition, marijuana decriminalization, medical marijuana
  • Drug education, youth and drugs
  • Race and the drug war
  • Effective drug treatment
  • Civil liberties and rights
  • International drug control
  • Alternatives to prohibition and pragmatic steps for ending the drug war

In the last 14 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 60 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, 35,000 dues-paying members and more than 250,000 online subscribers.  It has a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles.  (For more information, see

The Position

Reporting to the Managing Director of Development, the Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts is responsible for the development of strategies for engaging donors with the mission and work of the Drug Policy Alliance and for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of $5,000+ gifts from a portfolio of high net worth donors and prospects. The Drug Policy Alliance’s development department is based in New York and has a team of eight, including this position.

Primary Responsibilities

Reporting to the Managing Director, Development, the Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts, is responsible for the following:

  • Manage a portfolio that includes no more than 100 high net worth donors and prospects.
  • Develop individual donor strategies to renew and upgrade large gifts.
  • Solicit and secure gifts at the major gift level, including multi-year gifts.
  • Work in partnership with the Managing Director of Development, the Executive Director, and key Development staff to enhance departmental operations and strategies.
  • Collaborate with members of DPA’s Board of Directors and other volunteer leaders to develop fundraising strategies.
  • Shape and edit donor correspondence such as letters, emails, funding proposals, and reports.
  • Maintain accurate records of donor outreach and solicitation plans through regular upkeep of donor database and submission of call reports.
  • Participate in departmental portfolio review process.
  • Meet or exceed the expected level of donor activity each week and month, i.e., number of face-to-face visits, asks, calls, personal correspondence, etc.
  • Become familiar with DPA’s programmatic needs for the purpose of effective donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, using available resources and opportunities.
  • Partner with Special Events staff on local donor events and attend special events, as needed.
  • Handle special projects and other responsibilities, as needed.
  • Travel periodically and work evenings and weekend hours as needed.


Our ideal candidate has a depth of knowledge and experience in drug policy and/or related social and political issues. He or she must be a great talker and storyteller, a strong and fast writer, a thoughtful and empathic listener, and organized, methodical, and relentless. We are looking for someone with the spirit of an entrepreneur or salesperson and not necessarily a development professional, though we welcome applicants with experience in major gifts fundraising.

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the Los Angeles metro area. Part-time telecommuting will be allowed in some cases. Some travel required.


DPA offers a competitive salary, based on experience, and a benefits package including health, dental, long-term disability and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and 25 days paid time off.


Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter with your resume and salary requirements by email to hr [at] drugpolicy [dot] org.  Reference Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts (West Coast) in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts (West Coast)
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33th Street
15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.