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Director of Emerging Initiatives

Regular, Full Time


United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s (United Way) mission is to end poverty and expand opportunity for all. We are focused on new approaches to harnessing the collective power of our region to help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty, and new ways of engaging and investing in the communities we serve. We deploy several tools to that end, including: 

  • Convening local and national leaders to build and execute high-impact strategies to reduce economic insecurity in the region.
  • Motivating individual, corporate, and institutional philanthropy.
  • Investing in evidence-based programming to increase opportunity and employment, ensure financial empowerment for families, and resource high quality early education. 
  • Measuring progress and strengthening the nonprofit sector in data/evaluation, leadership, and organizational effectiveness



The Director of Emerging Initiatives will play a key role in supporting the identification, engagement, and management of key philanthropic relationships to secure high-impact investment in ambitious, early-stage projects with the potential to make a tangible contribution to the alleviation of poverty in Philadelphia. Internally, the Director will serve as the project manager and communications lead to ensure that processes, timelines, and articulation of the emerging/refined initiatives (including associated objectives and KPIs) are integrated fully across functions on an ongoing basis. Externally, the Director will support cultivation and management of investor engagement through pitch development, updates and feedback loops, and ongoing prospect communications. Ideal candidates will have a demonstrated background in stakeholder communications, project management, and/or fundraising focused on testing receptivity, discerning funder priorities, and closing major gifts. A bonus for this role is the possession of a strong understanding of poverty alleviation and the Greater Philadelphia philanthropic landscape. 

The Director reports directly to the Chief Development Officer and closely supports the Chief Impact Officer and Chief Executive Officer to ensure that new United Way initiatives are driving internal and external alignment and built to maximize impact, collaboration, and financial viability. The Director also works regularly with the broader Mission Delivery, Business Operations, and Finance Departments to ensure that the full organization is aware of and engaged in high potential opportunities.  

The Director is an at-will employee of UWGPSNJ. The organization’s primary work location is in Center City, Philadelphia and offers a hybrid work environment. 


Investor Engagement (60%): Support the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer to identify, acquire, and cultivate relationships with key investors for new, high-impact initiatives. Responsibilities include:

  1. Prospecting: work with prospect manager to research potential investors/donors, including analyzing profiles and preferences, supporting leadership to design prospective investor tables, and representing United Way in meetings and networking events.
  2. Pitch development: work across Mission and Development to lead the creation and maintenance of compelling pitch decks and presentations on United Way emerging initiatives, including developing storylines, crafting core content, and tailoring based on specific investor interest areas.
  3. Prospect engagement: provide support for initial meetings with select prospects to test interest in continued cultivation and investment.
  4. Relationship management: support UW leadership to build and maintain relationships with critical stakeholders, including leading regular scheduling and updates, responding to inquiries, following up on investor/donor outreach to obtain and compile feedback, defining and tracking progress towards next steps, and continued investor engagement to ensure relationship satisfaction.

Project Management (20%). Know on a day-to-day basis the current state and deep working knowledge of all emerging initiatives, and own responsibility for moving them forward. Responsibilities include:

  1. Setting project goals and timelines: support United Way C-suite to define and track goals and timelines with respect to emerging initiatives and investor/donor engagement, including any needed pivots, refinements, or reprioritization – with specific objectives and KPIs.
  2. Project execution: build the internal infrastructure to get and keep initiatives and investor/donor engagement moving through the pipeline, including building detailed plans, assigning action items, identifying any resource requirements, and managing potential risks/mitigation strategies.

Communications (20%). Support the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Impact Officer to design impactful, tailored, and evolving communications regarding emerging initiatives to reduce poverty in greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region. Responsibilities include:

  1. Materials development: convert strategies into clear, professional deliverables for internal and external use, including solution summaries, budgets, impact measurement plans, etc.
  2. Cross-departmental & organizational coordination: work closely with Managing Directors in the Mission department and across other support functions to ensure that emerging initiatives and ongoing refinements are clearly understood, to support proper resource allocation and alignment with existing United Way work.
  3. Executive communications: ensure that key stakeholders are aware of the status of emerging initiatives, including coordinating meetings, creating progress reports and presentations, and supporting C-suite leadership in meetings and presentations.
  4. Board communications: create Board materials such as meeting “pre-reads”, presentations, and leadership talking points regarding emerging initiatives and identification/activation of new prospects.



  • Project management: proven experience managing and coordinating simultaneous projects with different timelines, objectives, partners, and funders, and successfully prioritizing across tasks.
  • Business development/non-profit fundraising: entrepreneurial; proven experience supporting the development of new business in the for-profit and/or nonprofit sectors.
  • Detail oriented: close attention to detail, with the ability to produce materials that are ready for external presentation with limited review/oversight from United Way leadership.
  • Executive communication: exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with an ability to analyze, distill, and translate complicated, technical information with clarity to resonate with and engage high-level stakeholders (e.g., C-suite, Board, investors, donors)
  • Strategic thinker: proven ability to think strategically about project design and development, including creating compelling, concise visions tailored to different audiences.
  • Fluency in tools: extensive experience in the Microsoft suite – with a focus on PowerPoint and Excel – designing pitch decks, and analytical models.
  • Collaborative: ability to work with cross-functional teams (e.g., finance, HR, development, business operations) and a diverse range of people
  • Adaptive: able to organize, prioritize, manage, and monitor multiple projects to successful completion while adapting to shifting priorities.


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, or nonprofit management (master’s degree strongly preferred)
  • Experience: 8-10 years of related experience strongly preferred
  • Commitment to poverty alleviation: experience – lived, professional, and/or academic – that advances United Way’s mission and improves its practices, with a strong understanding of racial inequity and strategies to build inclusive and equitable solutions.



$120,000-$150,000 The hiring range for this role accounts for the many factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to skill sets; experience and training; licensure and certifications; and other business and organizational needs.


UWGPSNJ promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse backgrounds. UWGPSNJ does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected factor.