Background and Mission
Odyssey Networks is an inter-faith, multi-media non-profit that brings together organizations and individuals around powerful programming that supports people of all faiths and common values as they engage the world; they give faith a voice in the public square, showing the civic value of faith in action.
They bring together top talent from the world of filmmaking to create award-winning long and short form content to leverage their established faith-based and educational networks to join with secular organizations in using these films in their work to build a more just and compassionate world. Odyssey’s recent films have explored a wide range of issues including mass incarceration, gun violence, racial justice and military sexual trauma.
Odyssey Networks has used innovative media to tell stories of faith in action. Odyssey was founded in 1987 as a revolutionary cable channel that brought diversity to inter-faith media, giving America’s major denominations a platform to tell their stories. As the world of news, information and entertainment has become available on multiple platforms, Odyssey has morphed into a multimedia organization by distributing content everywhere: the internet, mobile devices, streaming platforms, and conferences. Odyssey has the unique capability to connect people of all religious backgrounds and bridge the divide with the secular world by highlighting the civic value of faith.
Additional information about Odyssey Networks and its wholly owned production entity, Transform Films, can be found on their websites at http://www.odysseynetworks.org and http://www.transformfilmsinc.com.
Odyssey Networks seeks an ambitious, dynamic, and inspiring strategic leader with superior relationship skills and demonstrated success in building capacity and increasing revenue to become its Director of Advancement. The successful candidate must have an authentic passion for the mission, demonstrated success as a revenue builder, and be a highly articulate communicator skilled at making a compelling case for organizational support.
Reporting to the CEO and collaborating with the Board, senior leadership and staff, the Director of Advancement plays a critical role in shaping and implementing the organization’s philanthropic revenue strategy. In this capacity, the Director has day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, and managing all annual and major-gift fundraising-related activities; developing new income initiatives; leading and collaborating on all donor-facing marketing efforts; and helping Odyssey to engage a broader, and more diverse audience. A critical priority for the successful candidate will be to achieve or exceed current annual goals and to build a program that ensures transformative growth.
As a member of the executive team, the Director of Advancement is an advisor to senior management regarding optimal philanthropic revenue strategies. In addition to providing internal leadership, the director will expand the reach and influence of Odyssey through interactions with vital public and private philanthropic leaders.
Odyssey’s new director will have the character, dexterity, and creative mindset to lead all advancement functions for Odyssey Networks, including cultivation and expansion of the donor base and other marketing and communications strategies with respect to philanthropy. The Director of Advancement will be a team player who will position Odyssey Networks to help achieve the greatest possible impact for success.
Organizational Leadership, Fundraising and External Engagement Strategy
- Building on Odyssey’s documentary filmmaking success to date, craft a sophisticated multi-year fundraising effort that will generate short-term results as well as deepen and diversify the funding base; increase restricted and unrestricted funds from all constituencies; carefully monitor the costs associated with fundraising by ensuring that internal resources are appropriately utilized;
- Create, lead, and execute fund development strategies that enable growth, including foundation, individual, and corporate donors. Building a substantial major donor base is a primary goal of this position through cultivation of foundation partnerships and the assemblage of a network of individual major donors;
- Working with the CEO, Board, and senior management, shape the organization’s development plan to raise $500,000 in revenue in 2017 and significant exponential growth in future years;
- Lead the philanthropic marketing of the organization, helping to ensure effective overall positioning of Odyssey before the public and within its field;
- Oversee the design, implementation, and management of a campaign to establish Odyssey’s brand recognition, visibility, media, and marketing efforts specifically for philanthropic fund development;
- Work closely with the CEO and executive team to articulate the case for each program’s funding priorities, and match those with specific individual donor and foundation interests to ensure that philanthropy meets targeted needs and goals;
- Partner with the CEO, Board, staff, and other stakeholders to create, build and engender an organization wide culture of philanthropy;
- Serve as an ambassador and spokesperson for the organization and articulate the mission to external constituents;
- Become the champion across the organization for revenue-centric strategies and work with the executive team to understand philanthropic revenue impacts of current and proposed programmatic strategies;
- Lead the use of public relations, community outreach, publications, and other marketing tools of Odyssey to promote growth in revenue and advocacy;
- Evaluate and drive the use of new technology funding vehicles including social media and eGiving, revamping the organization's online tools for supporters;
- Assist with the production of the annual report.
- Cultivate effective relationships with the Odyssey’s board, principal gift donors, foundations, and others who can positively impact the generation of new revenue streams;
- Partner with and support key organizational leaders offering support on donor prospecting, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness as the organization’s chief spokespersons and fundraisers;
- Enlist senior staff in educating current and prospective donors in ways that raise funders’ insights about the Odyssey mission and impact. Collaborate across divisions and departments to create an environment that nurtures and integrates a major-gift fundraising mindset throughout the organization;
- Identify new Board prospects who are key leaders with an affinity for the mission and programs of Odyssey, with an eye towards building the network; inspire current leaders to strengthen their connection and commitment.
- Lead institutional donor cultivation, serving as primary relationship manager for major prospects and donors. Maintain a significant portfolio of principal gift donors while facilitating relationships between donors and the executive team, and program leadership. Personally cultivate and solicit high level gifts from a portfolio of current and prospective donors;
- Systematically identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward new individual and institutional donors capable of making significant contributions to Odyssey;
- Maintain existing donor relationships and deepen those alliances through regular, relevant communications, and stewardship.
Internal Management, Infrastructure, and Team-Building
- Lead all aspects of the development department, including decisions regarding: strategic direction, cross-departmental relationships, and budgeting regarding philanthropy;
- Foster an environment of cohesiveness, collaboration and achievement, and ensure staff accountability for excellence through clearly defined and measurable goals;
- Develop and build Odyssey’s CRM/donor management system and build a best practices infrastructure to support the development and external engagement efforts;
- Focus on agency communications; ensuring consistent messaging and branding in all print and online donor communication vehicles; providing strategic and marketing oversight to all donor materials, and strategic support on the full range of external stakeholder communications;
- Collaborate with the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer to develop and produce regular analytic reports for senior management that synthesize the financial progress and trends of fundraising activities.