The Institute for Jewish Spirituality ( IJS) envisions a world in which spiritual practice is a vital part of Jewish life, leading to compassion, justice, and peace. IJS’s mission is to develop and teach Jewish spiritual practices so that individuals and communities may experience greater awareness, purpose, and interconnection.
IJS has just completed a strategic planning process and is about to launch a 4-year campaign to raise a total o f $13 million, including $6.8 million in foundation grants. This position offers the opportunity to play an essential role in an organization that is about to transform Jewish life.
IJS teaches the core practices of mindfulness meditation, Torah study, prayer, tikkun middot (the development of ethical character traits), chant and yoga as embodied practices. These practices provide participants with valuable skills for effective leadership while creating opportunities for them to deepen their inner lives and connect meaningfully with the Divine.
IJS utilizes traditional and contemporary forms f authentic Jewish practice to enrich everyday life with Jewish wisdom, link the search f or inner wholeness with tikkun olam (repair of the world), and create a vibrant, enduring Judaism now and for generations to come.
IJS offers a wide range of programs for learners of all backgrounds, both online and in-person.
The flagship Clergy Leadership Program has helped over 500 rabbis and cantors develop a spiritual practice, deepen their leadership, and begin to transform their communities. Programs for educators, social justice leaders, and Jewish professionals have reached hundreds in recent years.
Propelled by dynamic leadership and an entrepreneurial and caring staff, the pandemic catalyzed rapid growth at IJS as it offered free online meditation sits, yoga classes, and contemplative Torah study. Since March 2020, the Institute’s e mail list has grown nearly threefold, to over 20,000. Its free resources have been accessed over 1 50,000 times. In its most recent fiscal y ear, IJS grew individual gifts by 126 percent.
About the Role
Reporting to the Director of Development, the Manager for Foundation Relations and Special Projects will be a critical member of a team that includes the Director and two Development Associates. This team is responsible for raising funds from individuals and foundation funders, representing the bulk of I S’s operating income. The manager will also work closely with the Executive Director, program faculty and staff, and finance team.
IJS’s development budget h as expanded dramatically, from $1.5 million last year t o $3 million for the current fiscal year, with additional gradual increases projected over the coming four years. A key part of that growth has been the development of new major donors and foundation grants. In the last three months, IJS has submitted nearly $4 million in six-figure proposals to major foundaons both within and outside the Jewish funding world. (As of this wring, we are a waiting word on these proposals.)
The Manager will thus build on a strong platform and will work closely with the Executive Director and other staff to maintain and strengthen existing funder relationships, identify and cultivate prospective funding partners, write grant proposals, provide updates to funders, and strategically and creatively seek opportunities to expand foundation support.
In addition to managing IJS’s foundation portfolio, this professional will work closely with the Director of Development and Executive Director on a variety of other special projects which may include overseeing development of the Annual Report, donor newsletters, press releases, and other communications.
The ideal candidate should be able to work well as part of a team and work collaboratively on projects, while also be able to work independently on projects with energy, passion, and an entrepreneurial spirit. They should have an understanding of and dedication to IJS’s mission and be open to deepening their own spiritual practice.
? Write grant proposals. This requires the ability to work with the Executive Director and the program staff to understand IJS’s vision and work, and the ability to distill information in order to capture the essence of the grant proposal. It also requires the ability to work with the finance team to provide the necessary financial information.
? Compile data and provide reports and updates to foundations as required. This requires maintaining a calendar to track deadlines for grant proposals, reports and renewals.
? Present reports and updates on grant requests to the Board (and others) as needed.
? Work closely with the Executive Director to build strong working relaonships with foundation funders.
? Conduct prospect research to ensure IJS has a robust pipeline of local, regional, and national grant opportunities to pursue.
? Maintain foundation data in IJS’s donor database. This requires maintaining and updating electronic files of donors and prospects including copies of correspondence, proposals, reports, and notes on significant conversations and meetings
? Develop regular written updates to send to foundation supporters and prospects.
? Attend weekly staff meetings in order to contribute ideas and participate in the planning of team-wide projects and overall development operations.
? Assist with writing for public relations materials, including annual reports, newsletters, press releases, and other publicaons.
? Contribute positively to organizational culture and reflect the Institute’s values.
? Attend and serve as staff support for fundraising events, as needed.
? Actively engage with IJS staff and program participants to truly understand IJS’s mission and vision and to gather stories from program participants for use in development communications.
? Manage other special projects as needed.
To be maximally successful in this role, you need to be:
? A superior writer.
? An experienced project manager.
? A team player who is comfortable doing your own work and also enjoys collaborating with others.
? A stickler for details and quality.
? A natural people person who appreciates that everyone has an important story to tell.
? A creative thinker willing to test o ut new ideas.
? A strong self-motivator.
? Someone with a “can-do” attitude and ability to thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment that is simultaneously rooted in contemplative practice.
? Dedicated to data and ready to utilize and strengthen the Institute’s systems.
The ideal candidate will have:
? A Bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of demonstrated success as a grant writer.
? Experience working remotely and independently.
? A passion for doing transformative work with exceptional people while not taking yourself too seriously.
? A meditation or mindfulness practice is preferred.
This position is geo-flexible with a preference for professionals based in the New York area.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary range: $ 95,000 - $110,000 based on experience. IJS offers a competitive benefits package that includes vacation, sick leave, medical, dental, vision, life insurance and 401(k) match.
How to Apply
Candidates should send the following
- Cover letter
- Current resume
- Wring sample: A successful grant application, grant update, or fundraising communication you have written.