Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) Position Announcement

Development Director

About IPNO:

Founded in 2001, IPNO is a nonprofit legal office that frees innocent people who are serving life sentences, supports them living well and fully in the world after their release and advocates for sensible criminal justice policies that reduce wrongful convictions. IPNO has freed or exonerated 36 innocent people who have spent more than 873 years in prison between them.

IPNO uses its cases to expose the causes of wrongful convictions and advocates for policies and practices that will prevent or reduce the number of wrongful convictions. IPNO works with legislators, judges, lawyers, law enforcement, policymakers, and community advocates to transform the criminal legal system.

Position Summary:

The Development Director is responsible for leading and expanding IPNO’s ongoing fundraising initiatives and activities to fully support the work of IPNO. The Development Director will lead all aspects of individual giving, oversee and grow IPNO’s diverse funding portfolio including federal and state funding, private grants, major gifts, special events, individual giving and more.

The Development Director will report directly to the Executive Director and will work closely with the Director of Communication and Operations on special events and messaging. This position requires strong skills in relationship building, grants administration, writing, project management, financial tracking, communication and collaboration.

This is an opportunity for a person who wants to be part of a dynamic public interest, nonprofit law firm working to free the innocent and change the criminal legal system to be more equitable, fair and just.

Staff are currently working remotely. The physical office is located in Mid City, New Orleans.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Develop an annual fundraising plan and manage the execution of the plan.
  • Coordinate and manage annual giving campaigns, special fundraising events, and targeted fundraising and cultivation events by developing/sending mass mailings, crafting ask letters, segmenting donor lists, social media outreach, and other efforts.
  • Support, engage and recognize key major donors, including law firms and corporations.
  • Grow major donor portfolio through identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Also, identify, cultivate, solicit and steward new, current and lapsed donors.
  • Oversee grant portfolio. Research and draft persuasive, clear solicitations, proposals, and reports.
  • Manage all components of the grants cycle, including pre-award budget development, post-award monitoring, sub-contract management, reports, renewals, and closeout procedures. This will require collaborating with legal and advocacy staff to monitor active grants and prepare reports. Liaison with grants managers.
  • Work with the Executive Director and the Finance Manager on audits and other financial reporting requirements.
  • Direct capital campaigns and other major fundraising drives.
  • Work with the Fund Development Committee of the Board, and volunteers.
  • Manage CRM system.
  • Maintain gift recognition programs.
  • Assist in the preparation of the annual budget and budget modifications.
  • Persuasively write other communication materials in support of fundraising activities.

IPNO is a small nonprofit organization so, in addition to their primary duties, the Development Director will be expected to assist as necessary with other aspects of IPNO’s work such as public education and advocacy, policy efforts, office administration and operations, and post-release assistance of clients. IPNO is a client-focused office where teamwork and collaboration to ensure IPNO’s overall effectiveness and success are expected and valued.

Requirements for the role:

  • At least 5-7 years of experience, with strong preference for 7-10 years of experience, in financial or grants management in nonprofit organizations, or comparable experience.
  • Fully embrace and be committed to the mission of IPNO, and is able to clearly articulate our values and vision to a variety of constituent groups.
  • Knowledge and experience in fundraising best practices, particularly major gift fundraising and grants management.
  • Experience with special event management and planning.
  • Clear understanding of ethics and use of discretion with donors, prospects, volunteers and others.
  • Goal driven to initiate donor engagement. Desire to get out of the office (once travel can freely occur again) and build external relationships.
  • Extreme orientation towards detail and organization.
  • Exhibit consistent, reliable follow through on tasks and goals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to listen and assess interests of various audiences, and communicate in clear manner to compel individuals to action.
  • Ability and comfort with prioritizing competing deadlines and managing multiple projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act strategically, tactically and creatively.
  • Flexibility to work in the evenings and/or on weekends to support or attend meetings and events.
  • Ability to work in a team and receive constructive feedback.


  • Experience managing federal grants.
  • Skilled event planner with experience planning events attended by 500 attendees.
  • Experience with QuickBooks, Bloomerang, Constant Contact and social media platforms.
  • Experience fundraising in the criminal justice landscape.

Salary and benefits:

The salary range for this position is $55,000 – $70,000, commensurate with applicant’s experience. IPNO offers a highly competitive and generous benefits package, including medical/dental/vision, five weeks of paid vacation, Federal holidays, 401k match, and cell phone reimbursement. IPNO provides a work environment that encourages health and self-care. IPNO is a family and pet friendly workplace.

Application :

Start Date: Immediate. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, including salary requirement, resume, three references, and a writing sample (no longer than 10 pages) to Do not call. Please include the job title in the e-mail subject line.

IPNO is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse work force reflective of the diverse communities we serve and support, with regard to race, culture, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, caregiver status. IPNO works to advance racial justice and equity. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and legal system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.