Director of Advancement and Philanthropy: VisionLink

About VisionLink:

VisionLink is dedicated to assisting adults who are living with vision loss to achieve greater independence through excellence in education and wrap-around support services that advance necessary skills, establish meaningful community connections, and enable those served to live their lives to the fullest.

VisionLink can trace its beginnings to organizations serving blind and visually impaired individuals in the 1870’s and had been operating as Associated Services for the Blind for nearly 40 years. Its recent rebranding as VisionLink communicates the organization’s role more clearly as a “bridge” and connection between adults experiencing blindness, low vision, and vision impairment with essential resources, programs, and providers. The organization seeks to improve accessibility on a macro level, working in tandem with local organizations to improve programs to better serve adults facing vision loss.

This is an exciting time for VisionLink, as the organization actualizes its new brand and mission and opens a new training and education center (with a Low Vision Resource Center) for individuals experiencing vision loss. This is an ideal position for an experienced development professional who is a) a leader and thought partner, b) adept at both setting and executing strategy, c) someone who can turn big ideas into action steps that move the team forward, and d) someone who can proactively identify solutions for complex challenges.

Position Overview

Reporting to the President/CEO, the Director of Advancement and Philanthropy will manage all aspects of fundraising strategy and execution for the organization and work to establish starting goals and processes for the organization’s grantmaking function. This is a new position, designed to advance the organization’s fundraising initiatives and expand the senior leadership team. (VisionLink is open to a Chief-level title and salary for candidates with extensive experience and an exemplary track record.)

The Director of Advancement and Philanthropy will lead the organization’s strategic fundraising agenda to exceed its revenue goals and effectively manage a $2.8 million annual budget through the solicitation of individual, corporate, and foundation support and grants. Managing a supportive team member and working with established marketing/communications consulting partners, the Director of Advancement and Philanthropy also builds VisionLink’s identity to raise awareness of the organization and its services, partnerships, and connections.

This position will have the opportunity to assess the development team’s infrastructure and advocate for appropriate resources to achieve short-term and long-term fundraising objectives. The Director of Advancement and Philanthropy will work closely with VisionLink’s President & CEO, Board, and Development & Marketing Committee.

The organization is poised to increase its fundraising activity and results and this is an incredible opportunity for a dynamic fundraiser to propel VisionLink to make an even greater impact by raising resources, forging relationships, and launching a philanthropic strategy.

Specific Responsibilities


  • Develop and implement a comprehensive 3–5-year development plan in collaboration with President/CEO, with targeted goals, objectives, methods, quantifiable outcomes, and detailed timelines for execution
  • Effectively manage $2.8 million annual budget and all active revenue streams, including individual contributions, foundation and corporate grants, government contracts, and event income
  • Evaluate and analyze current individual donor base for major donor potential, alternate solicitation strategies, and segmented approaches
  • Identify, vet, and research strategies to attract and retain new sources of individual support
  • Manage institutional fundraising efforts including grant and proposal writing for philanthropic foundations and corporate sponsors
  • Initiate, cultivate, and steward relationships with individual and major donors, and institutional funders, including foundations, corporations, and government entities
  • Establish performance measures/KPIs to monitor and evaluate individual giving program success and adjust as needed to adapt to the changing face of philanthropy


  • Collaborate with President/CEO and Board of Directors to develop a philanthropy strategy for the organization.
  • Identify approach to setting pilot strategies for external grantmaking, to potentially include the establishment of a Philanthropy Committee and/or engaging external stakeholders
  • Create optimal guidelines for grantmaking procedures to include requests for proposals, application guidelines, selection processes and timelines, eligibility requirements, and giving cycles


  • Serve as a thought partner to President/CEO and Chief Program Officer to strengthen senior leadership team and advance organizational strategy overall
  • Collaborate with Chief Program Officer to promote positive awareness of the organization and strengthen its reputation with community and cultural partners, the medical community, funders, and adults with vision loss.
  • Work directly with Board of Directors to support fundraising, set and articulate goals, assist with strategy and execution, and support all aspects of giving and relationship cultivation
  • Collaborate with marketing and communications consultants and ensure that fundraising strategies and approaches include opportunities to expand the organization’s visibility among a wide cross-section of potential supporters
  • Direct a supportive team member and assess the development team’s infrastructure in order to effectively advocate for appropriate resources to achieve short-term and long-term fundraising objectives
  • Create and nurture an organizational culture of accountability and philanthropy, helping to support diverse team members by reviewing and supporting their efforts to execute key roles and responsibilities

Skills and Experience


  • 10 years of resource development experience, including individual and institutional fundraising
  • Experience in setting strategy and serving as a thought partner to leadership
  • Ability to translate strategy into action steps and objectives
  • Supervisory and/or management experience
  • Ability to identify needs and opportunities and proactively offer solutions
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Nimble, collaborative self-starter
  • Motivated by social impact and supporting vulnerable populations
  • Experience in fundraising in support of individuals experiencing life-changing medical conditions
  • Commitment to and competence with diversity, equity, inclusion, and access


  • Understanding of the clinical and medical needs and interests of individuals experiencing blindness and low vision
  • Experience with managing or piloting a philanthropic initiative including grantmaking or re-granting operations and strategy
  • Experience leading a development department, ideally for a team of 2 or more
  • Proven track record in Board management and support
  • Ability to build organizational culture of philanthropy

Compensation, Benefits, and Flexibility

VisionLink does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.

Salary Range: $100,000 to $125,000, commensurate with experience

Benefits Package: Full medical and dental with optional vision coverage, vacation time, personal time off

Office Arrangements: This position is expected to maintain a consistent in-person presence both in the VisionLink office in Center City Philadelphia and throughout the community to meet with donors, funders, and partners. We are open to accommodating work from home time, when deemed necessary and appropriate.

Application Process

VisionLink is working with Fairmount Ventures to conduct this search. To be considered for this position, please submit your resume, cover letter, and two relevant work products to We will accept applications until Friday, September 30, 2022.