Executive Director (Fundraising, Board/Volunteer Development)

Company Description


JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.

Vision: A world without type 1 diabetes

Mission: Improving lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications

To accomplish this mission, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers in 29 Chapters throughout the United States and our five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.

The Nebraska and Iowa Chapter  plays a vital leadership role in JDRF's success, with pre-COVID, fiscal year gross revenue budgets in the $5 to $7 million range.   The recently completed fiscal year budget had been reduced due to the challenges associated with the pandemic, yet 85% of pre-COVID revenue had been outstandingly retained - a testament to the strength of supporter and staff leadership and the communities unwavering commitment to the vision and mission of JDRF.   The Chapter engages 3 strong, dedicated, Community Boards, a Chapter Executive Council, a variety of focused committees and additional volunteer key stakeholders, all of whom are actively engaged and passionate supporters of JDRF.  The Executive Director reports to the area's Regional Director at JDRF, and partners with and works very closely with the Executive Council and Boards.

JDRF supports a diverse and inclusive workforce and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Job Description



The Executive Director  is responsible for creating an atmosphere for the volunteers and staff to succeed in meeting the objectives of JDRF's mission.  He or she accomplishes this through leadership, financial management and growth of the Chapter including annual budget development, planning, implementation and evaluation of all operations and events in conjunction with the Regional Director, Executive Council and Boards.  The Executive Director develops and sustains effective volunteer Boards, leads relationship building with C-suite corporate executives and major donors and provides inspired leadership and oversight to all assigned staff. 

The Nebraska and Iowa Chapter covers the states of Nebraska and Iowa, and currently has three robust business entities (communities) in Nebraska, Eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids) and Greater Iowa (Des Moines). The Chapter office in Omaha, NE, supports the telecommuter staff based in Iowa.   Including the Executive Director, the Chapter staff currently consists of seven staff members (four in NE and 3 in IA) who work collaboratively to serve the mission effectively and efficiently through relational revenue development, stewardship and community building to support life altering research and advocacy efforts.  All of this is done in partnership with phenomenal volunteer leaders and supporters, without whom we couldn't accomplish our goals.

For more information please visit  jdrf.org   and   https://www.jdrf.org/nebraskaiowa/

Please note that there is flexibility of location within the Chapter's geography (Nebraska/Iowa).

Résumés without a cover letter will not be considered.  


Strategic Leadership
  • Provides inspired and motivating leadership to the staff and volunteers while planning for and delivering year over year growth by serving as a visionary for the region and assigned territory.
  • Marshall the varied talents and resources available to meet and exceed fundraising goals. 
  • Develops overall goals, timelines and budgets in partnership with the Boards, Executive Council and National Office/Regional Director, and ensures goals are achieved and performance meets or exceeds expectations. 
  • Understands JDRF's core program metrics and key indicators and effectively uses JDRF systems to aggressively monitor year over year trends and impact on performance.
  • Maintains a comprehensive understanding of JDRF's mission and research strategy.

  • Executes strategic revenue plans to drive profitable, diversified and sustainable year-over-year growth in the Chapter
  • Consistently delivers against established revenue/expense targets.
  • Evaluates human and financial resources and develop plans which support maximum market penetration and increased efficiency.
  • In conjunction with the Regional Director and with support from national partners and volunteer leadership, develops and implements annual operational/fundraising plan
  • Develops a Cultivation and Stewardship plan for all levels of Chapter positions to ensure appreciation and ongoing relationships key to Chapter success are achieved
  • Manages, coaches, and develops direct reports, ensuring that the responsibilities, authorities and accountabilities are well-defined in the functions of constituent relationship management, stewardship, cultivation, prospect management and pipeline development.   
  • Develops and executes fundraising initiatives across programs in partnership with regional and national staff (Leadership Giving, Peer to Peer, Signature Events, Corporate, Community and Volunteer Engagement). 
  • Develops and executes major gift fundraising initiatives across programs working with staff partners and volunteer leadership and key stakeholders, actively developing and stewarding relationships with existing and potential major donors.
  • Identifies and develops opportunities to engage C-level and other senior corporate executives to grow and diversify corporate sponsorship income.  Provides year-round stewardship of corporate relationships, developing a more continuous approach to corporate relationships as opposed to transactional/event-specific engagement.
  • Directs the cultivation and meaningful involvement of volunteers at all levels of income.
  • Partners with volunteer leadership to solicit funding and other support from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources of funding and/or influence.  Develops prospect solicitation strategies and proposals.
  • Provides leadership and professional staff support for donor-centered and special events fundraising programs.  Works to assure the fundraising priorities of the JDRF International Board are incorporated and successfully implemented.

Board & Volunteer Development:
  • Serves as the staff manager/partner to the Executive Council and at minimum, one of the three Boards, providing leadership, support, materials, reports and assistance in building and implementing annual plans and ensuring the on-going development of a strong and engaged Board Members.
  • Develops and maintains processes and procedures that promote a good working relationship between staff teams and volunteer leadership.
  • Serves as co-chair of the nominating process and provides direct support and leadership in attracting and retaining high-impact Board members.
  • Keeps Board leadership current on all JDRF International Office communications and programs.

Community Development and Public Outreach:
  • Serves as the Chapter's lead staff representative of JDRF in the community's serviced; building strategic relationships with stakeholders and donors on behalf of JDRF while expanding JDRF's footprint in the philanthropic community. 
  • Provides leadership for the cultivation of productive relationships with the media and various constituent and related groups including professional, educational and political leadership
  • Through Chapter staff and volunteer committees, ensures support for JDRF's Public Outreach Programs (e.g. Family Network activities, Type One Nation Summit, Bag of Hope, etc.)
  • Assists the Government Relations Committee as a source of information about the market's states and districts  leadership while providing support to the Chapter's Advocacy Team Chairs. Acts as a liaison between the JDRF International Government Relations office and the Chapter.

Staff and Financial Management and Development:
  • Directs and manages resources including staff and volunteers. Cultivates and sustains a strong team-oriented culture, with an emphasis on collaboration, results and accountability.
  • Models JDRF Volunteer/Staff Partnership including staff to staff/volunteer to volunteer management.
  • Accountable for the development, management, and attainment of annual budgets, the maintenance of its fiscal records, and the timely and accurate submission of JDRF financial and forecast reports. Ensures efficient and appropriate utilization of JDRF equipment and facilities.
  • Ensures that staff and volunteers follow all financial policies and guidelines necessary to achieve zero significant or repeat violations on Internal Audits.
  • Performs and/or facilitates personnel management functions in accordance with JDRF policies and procedures, including, but not limited to performance management, training, supervision and hiring/termination.
  • Ensures and oversees the preparation of Chapter status reports, plans and activities. Ensures confidentiality and security of all information under supervision.

Liaison with International Office:
  • Represents JDRF International Office at designated functions as a JDRF professional and attend meetings as requested.
  • Represents interests, professionalism and integrity of JDRF in all activities and relationships through a unified message of the JDRF mission and a commitment to organizational standards and leadership by personal example.
  • Ensures that the policies adopted by JDRF are understood and followed by all staff.
  • Provides leadership in building confidence and a strong working relationship between the field offices and the International office.




  • Minimum of 8 years of professional non-profit fundraising experience, with a clear record of achievement in a complex, mission-driven organization; 5 years in a supervisory capacity.  For-profit experience combined with non-profit experience will be considered.
  • Record of success in a fundraising leadership role, particularly in large scale events (walk, gala, etc.) and major gifts ($10,000+).  Consultative sales experience preferred.
  • Experience and ability to partner with strong and active volunteer leaders is critical, as is the ability to work successfully with a large network of passionate volunteers.
  • Strong skills in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, portfolio management and on-going stewardship of major individual donors and corporate partners. Strong sales aptitude - the ability to build rapport and trust, make the ask, and maintain long-term relationships.  
  • Proficiency in Salesforce or other customer relationship management (CRM) tools and MS Suite.
  • Exceptional management skills and the ability to inspire, lead and motivate a talented staff team; develop and sustain an inclusive and respectful work environment through all interactions with staff. Commitment to staff development and ability to create career/development plans for staff, with a view toward retention.
  • Team player that has the experience and ability to interface with all levels of staff and volunteers.  Must develop, grow, manage, and utilize relationships.  Capability to leverage relationships and negotiate agreements.
  • Ability to develop and successfully maintain an extensive network of strategic relationships (donors, volunteers, community partners, etc.) in the local market and other markets in the Chapter area.  Existing network in the local market desired.
  • Successful experience leading through and managing change.
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership technique, production methods, human behavior and performance, and coordination of people and resources.  Proficiency in non-profit fiscal and strategic management.
  • High degree of energy, integrity, courage and creativity as well as the intellectual, organizational, and personal qualities to quickly earn respect and cooperation from all program constituencies.
  • High capacity to assess the value, importance, and/or quality of activities and people.
  • High level of comfort communicating complex information (e.g. JDRF research, goals, etc.) to a wide range of audiences, from high-net worth individuals to corporate and governmental leaders, the press and the public. 
  • Superior active listening, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Effectively multi-task, establishes priorities, and work in a fast-paced environment.  Highly efficient in time management and can meet deadlines under pressure.  Ability to work and make judgments independently and take initiative.  Well-disciplined and a self-starter that is extremely resourceful.
  • Talent for and commitment to working with and through others.
  • Executive presence.
  • Ability to be a passionate spokesperson/representative of JDRF's mission.
  • Proven track record of success and stability.
  • Evening and weekend work required as needed.
  • Ability to travel locally required.  Occasional overnight travel as needed.
  • To protect the health and safety of our employees, all new hires are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 7, 2021.  The only potential exception to this rule is for applicants who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief.



Additional Information


JDRF is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Our JDRF Values and Guiding Principles

We arepassionate, innovative, collaborative, respectful, trustworthy, appreciative, results-oriented.

We will persevere and be unstoppable.

We will engage, involve and be stronger together.

We will own and act with courage.

We will make and see a real difference.

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