Aug 27, 2021

Manager, Donor Relations

$45.00 hourly
  • Upstander Project
  • Remote (East Coast (flexible))
Part-Time Fundraising/Development

Job Description

Organizational Summary 

Upstander Project was founded in 2009 by filmmaker Adam Mazo and educator and curriculum designer Dr. Mishy Lesser. Upstander Project films focus on ignored social histories, past and present, and their companion teaching guides support educators committed to using film in classrooms to teach hard history. Dawnland, First Light and Dear Georgina – about the historic Maine-Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Commission and healing from trauma – focus on the forced removal and assimilation of Wabanaki children in Maine while illuminating the survival and diverse cultural heritage of Native American societies. Our films have won numerous awards including the 2019 National News & Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Research for Dawnland. The films have been seen by millions on PBS’s Independent Lens, at international film festivals, online screenings, conferences, and museums and the standards-aligned teaching guides are used in thousands of classrooms. 

Upstander Academy is the flagship program of the Boston-based Upstander Project. Now in its sixth year, the Upstander Academy is an intensive 6-day professional teacher development program for 30 K-12 humanities and museum educators primarily from Greater Boston and southern Maine. Our documentary films and teaching guides form the cornerstone of our teacher training program. We also explore the meaning of and strategies that support anticolonial teaching and learning to create more welcoming and inclusive curricula and schools. 

Upstander Project is funded primarily through philanthropic donations and foundations, as well as fee-for-service work.

Position Summary 

The Manager of Donor Relations will play a key role on Upstander Project’s team, ensuring the effective stewardship of current donors and cultivation of prospective donors. Reporting to the senior leadership team, the Manager will develop and implement individualized stewardship plans for Upstander Project’s donors, prospects and key stakeholders including the preparation of a broad range of written materials and presentations. 

Indigenous, Black, and other People of Color are especially encouraged to apply. While Boston-area candidates are preferred, this position is open to U.S.-based candidates who can work remotely. 

Investor Stewardship 

  • Develop and implement individualized stewardship plans for major donors ($100,000+) and all donor levels 
  • Conduct research and relationship cultivation to identify new donors
  • Develop and support engagement opportunities for existing and new donors
  • Support investor communications, engagement and related follow up 
  • Set, monitor and adhere to goals and work plans related to frequency for investor communications 
  • Draft and manage internal and external communications related to development, including personal emails, reports, and other presentations as needed 

Board of Directors Support 

  • Serve as internal project manager for annual board meetings, in partnership with the executive team


This position commences in early September. We seek a collaborator who is excited to work with Upstander Project for at least two years, after an initial 3-month trial period. Understanding that the nature of development work is relational and takes time, qualified candidates will be asked to confirm their interest and availability to commit to this duration.


20 hours per week, flexible schedule, though a majority of hours should occur Monday - Friday between 9am-5pm ET. Room to grow in the future, based on the organization’s growth.


Compensation & Benefits

Hourly rate starting at $45, commensurate with experience.

Hiring Organization

Upstander Project


Required Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 

  • 6 – 8 years of experience in donor relations and/or nonprofit operations, development and governance with increasing levels of responsibility 
  • Superior relationship-building skills including verbal and written communication 
  • Experience with personal investor and/or donor communications
  • Proven record conducting research that contributes to new major donor relations 
  • Ability and willingness to make decisions and set priorities while managing competing work streams 
  • Keen attention to detail  
  • Demonstrated ability to operate with a high-degree of urgency, self-motivation, focus on goals and commitment to high-quality work 
  • Ability to synthesize complex information and communicate to a diverse set of stakeholders 
  • Experience and comfort with Little Green Light or similar donor management applications 
  • Excellent relationship manager, especially in complex settings 
  • Comfort working independently and operating as a team player 
  • Demonstrated ability and understanding of how to handle confidential information 
  • Commitment to Upstander Project’s mission and to mission-driven work 
  • Ability to effectively deliver and receive both positive and constructive feedback 
  • Sense of humor 

Industry/Service Area

Education, Media/News, Social Justice


Mid-Senior level


Upstander Project offers the ability to work from home, retirement contributions, unlimited paid sick and vacation time.

At Upstander Project, we embrace culturally sustaining practices. This benefits our society, community and organization. Our goal is to attract, develop and retain exceptional people, and to create a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential.  Upstander Project is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, ability, genetic information, or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and compensation requirements to:

Qualified applicants will be asked to complete a writing exercise.

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