PEN America

Deputy Director of Development

To Apply

PEN America has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Debbie Farrell, Sr. Director of Leadership and Development
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY  10168


Please put “PEN America DDOD” in the subject line of your emailed application

PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers worldwide that make up the PEN International network whose mission it is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, convey information and ideas, express their views, and access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Its membership community of more than 7,200 novelists, journalists, nonfiction writers, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals, as well as numerous devoted readers and supporters who join with them, together carry out PEN America’s mission. PEN America is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

PEN America is in a period of growth and transformation working to meet the challenges of free expression in America and worldwide. To support this growth, PEN America is seeking a Deputy Director of Development (“DDOD”) who will work to help cultivate individual and major donors and ensure that there are strong and effective events and experiences to move those donors through the pipeline. The DDOD will be an integral player in the effort to deepen and broaden PEN America’s base of support.

Based in NYC and reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the DDOD will be a key member of PEN’s development team and thought partner to the CDO, building ideas to strengthen and expand all development efforts. The DDOC is at the center of all donor management, conceiving of new cultivation and stewardship strategies to bring individuals closer to the mission, with particular emphasis on converting event participants to annual donors and moving them through the pipeline. This is a challenging role that requires knowledge of events-based fundraising, pipeline-building, moves management, portfolio management and project management.

The right candidate brings love for and know-how of the art and science of fundraising. They join a like-minded team that shares wins and weathers challenges together. They are confident and comfortable bringing ideas to the table, can step in and take charge of major projects when needed, and go the extra mile to ensure the continued critical work of PEN America. They are data-driven and appreciate the value of utilizing technology to amplify a development team’s capacity. They possess positive energy, integrity, curiosity, sound judgment, an appreciation for diversity, and a terrific sense of humor.


  • Working with the Chief Development Officer, develop and implement fundraising strategies to increase the breadth and depth of giving from individual and major donors
  • Develop, manage and expand various fundraising events geared towards individual donors, including the annual Gala, Authors’ Evenings, and limited-invitation experiences
  • Develop systems and practices to identify and cultivate major donors and prospects from within the organization’s current portfolio of event participants
  • Facilitate the moves management process to maintain and deepen donor relationships, through regular communication, stewardship, and solicitation
  • Execute a strategic prospect research strategy that supports the individual and major donor program
  • Maintain and manage efficient organization of fundraising plans
  • Write and edit internal development briefings, status reports, summaries and other informational documents for senior staff
  • Work with staff, consultants and board members in a collaborative and effective manner


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience working in a strategic fundraising or related position
  • Demonstrated success in advancing donors using efficient moves management
  • Strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to form strategic relationships both internally and externally, including with a highly committed and active Board
  • Strategic thinker with proven success creating a donor pipeline, including corporate partnerships
  • Entrepreneurial, dedicated, and a self-starter
  • Creative and excellent writing skills
  • Skilled at articulate and persuasive verbal communication with diverse constituencies
  • Flexible with ability to multitask, prioritize, and anticipate and solve problems as they arise
  • Proficiency in donor management platforms, prospect research and wealth screening tools; Raisers Edge experience preferred
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team, fostering collegiality and a positive work culture
  • Strong work ethic and habits – quick, efficient, responsive, available, and constantly engaged
  • Commitment to PEN America’s mission

All positions at PEN America are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit https://pen.org           

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168