The Workmen’s Circle

Director of Development and External Affairs

To Apply

The Workmen’s Circle has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, Managing Partner
Debbie Farrell, Senior Director of Leadership and Development
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168


Please put The Workmen’s Circle in the subject line of your emailed application.

Background: The Workmen’s Circle is a leading social justice organization that powers progressive Jewish identity through activism, cultural engagement, Yiddish language learning and multigenerational education. The Workmen’s Circle has a long and rich history of creating coalitions in furtherance of social justice and has provided programs and services for nearly 116 years.  Founded by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, the organization initially helped aid Jewish immigrants transition to life in the US as a fraternal benefit society.  Today, as a 21st century nonprofit, The Workmen’s Circle unifies socially progressive Jews through celebrations of Jewish heritage and culture. In particular, The Workmen’s Circle connects and engages people who are not otherwise affiliated with Jewish communities or synagogues to the growing Jewish social action movement.

In the years since its founding, The Workmen’s Circle has evolved its outlook and offerings, but remains committed to a range of progressive programs for all ages – food-focused Jewish cultural program series, activist book talks, teen social justice convenings, Yiddish classes and cultural programs, Jewish Sunday schools, summer camp, retreats and community-based schools activist programs.  With a dynamic new board governance structure and strong name recognition, The Workmen’s Circle has untapped potential to grow its fundraising and brand visibility.  The organization is looking for an energetic development professional who can build and market a compelling case for support, lead new fundraising initiatives, and strategically position the organization for its future.

The Director of Development and External Affairs will design and implement a comprehensive fundraising and external communications program that builds visibility, impact and financial resources to support The Workmen’s Circle short and long-term strategic goals.


To achieve the aims described above, the Director of Development and External Affairs is responsible for carrying out the following duties and responsibilities:


  • Provide strategic planning, direction and oversight to The Workmen’s Circle development efforts
  • Supervise the development function and team in the implementation of a development plan focused on identifying and securing funding from high-net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, government sources, and bequests
  • Develop a pipeline of prospects and arrange cultivation meetings for the ED
  • Oversee and execute the Winter Benefit and develop at least one other annual fundraising event
  • Cultivate new and expand existing grants, partnerships and sponsorships from foundations, corporations and public entities to build and extend the reach of The Workmen’s Circle with the goal of achieving increased revenue, brand awareness, reputation and relevance
  • Personally cultivate and steward donors while serving as a strong external advocate for the organization’s mission and programs
  • Oversee and manage The Workmen’s Circle fundraising database and donor tracking systems, and oversee staff responsible for data entry and gift processing
  • Work with the Executive Director to build and cultivate the board including recommendations for new board leaders
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization by ensuring that the organization’s culture, systems, and procedures support fundraising

External Affairs & Communications

  • Oversee the development of consistent messaging across the organization that promotes The Workmen’s Circle mission, vision and fundraising needs
  • Support the Executive Director in proactively positioning The Workmen’s Circle as a social justice leader in the Jewish communal space
  • Lead the development of an annual communications and marketing plan which provides a cohesive message for donor engagement
  • Work with the consulting PR firm and The Workmen’s Circle staff to articulate a compelling and persuasive case for support in written and electronic communications, including social media, press releases, op-ed pieces, newsletters, annual reports, the website, and promotional materials
  • Create and execute a marketing strategy to promote a strong public image including seeking opportunities for public speaking engagements at high profile events (e.g., marches, conferences, meetings, etc.)
  • Utilize all communications and marketing efforts to support and strengthen development goals


  • Motivate, mentor and manage a small development and communications staff and lead cross-functional teams/projects
  • Together with senior leadership, implement a strategy to continue to grow The Workmen’s Circle vision and reputation as a leader in fostering social justice activists within the Jewish community


  • 7+ years of senior level experience demonstrating progressively increasing responsibility with proven success in all external affairs, strategic messaging, fundraising, and communications
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong sense of purpose and commitment to The Workmen’s Circle mission; knowledge of labor movement, activism and social justice
  • Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of effective donor communication
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at the same time; highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Professional demeanor and interpersonal style that elicits trust from leadership, funders, staff, and partners
  • Strategic and entrepreneurial thinker
  • Skilled in planning and project management
  • Exceptional writing, verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work with Jewish communal leaders and/or experience in non-profit community based organizations
  • A hands-on management style and the ability to address and solve problems or issues as they arise
  • Comfortable with taking chances when appropriate and able to implement desired change and motivate others to follow
  • Integrity, judgment, and discretion
  • Proficient computer skills: MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access) and Outlook; Proficiency in development software; Knowledge of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or similar contacts-database-software preferred

Salary is commensurate with experience.  The Workmen’s Circle is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information about The Workmen’s Circle, please visit their website at www.circle.org

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