The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization covering America’s criminal justice system. Our newsroom was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and 2021, and has won most of the country’s top awards for journalism. We maintain a rigorous independence from the world of advocacy, but our work has a measurable impact on criminal justice, rendering the system more fair, effective, transparent and humane.

The business model for journalism, and for investigative journalism in particular, faces huge challenges. The Marshall Project has been successful in building philanthropic support for a news organization focused on a single, urgent issue of social justice. We draw support from communities who care about criminal justice, as well as communities who care about the survival of independent media and therefore, of democracy itself.

Having nearly tripled in size in six years, The Marshall Project has ambitious plans to grow further. We have announced the first of what we hope will be a series of local news operations focused on criminal justice in communities where the resources for investigative journalism have dramatically dwindled. Our national newsroom will also grow, both to build upon the journalism we are already producing, and to support local news operations with our considerable experience and expertise -- including in fundraising.

We seek a Chief Development Officer who is ambitious, experienced, and creative. The position will report to the President and be responsible for guiding the growth and expansion of our funding, of our fundraising team, and of our overall capacities to make The Marshall Project second to none in the quality of its output and impact of its journalism. This is a job for a pioneer.

The position will also work closely with our Chief Strategy Officer in operationalizing our expansion into local news, finding partners to help build financial support for new criminal justice newsrooms where none has been before. They will collaborate frequently with our Chief Financial Officer to build budgets that are both ambitious and realistic, and ensure the smooth financial operations of The Marshall Project overall. They will work with and help find new members for our excellent Board of Directors, devising new advisory boards and committees of support where appropriate. They will build a fundraising team that is both local and national, managing the excellent staff already in place and designing a strategy for the expansion of the team. They will collaborate with newsroom leadership while respecting the division of business and editorial sides of the house that safeguard our journalistic integrity.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Guide, direct, and participate in all fundraising efforts, including major gifts, all individual giving, foundation support, and a burgeoning membership program.
  • Maintain relationships with top donors and prospects.
  • Oversee the management of day-to-day operations of the Development Department, including all giving mechanisms, tools, and databases.
  • Work in coordination with the CFO to set annual budgets and fundraising goals.
  • Ensure that all deadlines are met, acknowledgements are sent and potential supporters are engaged. 
  • Build a growth plan for foundation support and work with a team to draft or edit top-level grant proposals and reports.
  • Work with the President to plan board meetings, work with select board committees, build strategy and execute board development activities, and deepen board members' engagement in our mission.
  • Devise and execute on a strategy to secure financial support in cities and regions where The Marshall Project seeks to establish a news operation; develop the language and approach to attract philanthropic support for journalism in places where that may never have been done before.
  • Collaborate with others in the nonprofit media world to share experiences and learning among a hardy but dynamic cohort of independent journalism organizations.


We seek candidates with at least 10 years' experience in development and fundraising, including experience managing and supporting teams, especially if geographically dispersed.

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of identifying, personally soliciting and landing major gifts, including in the six- and seven-figure categories. They should be familiar with the operations of a nonprofit board and able to engage and persuade our closest supporters in our mission.

Candidates should have at least a B.A. degree, and some familiarity with basic tools and software commonly used in the fundraising business.  Knowledge of and experience with Salesforce as a fundraising tool is strongly preferred.

Who We Are

The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering America’s criminal justice system. In 2016 and 2021, The Marshall Project was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. We have also been honored with the Goldsmith Prize, multiple National Magazine Awards, and for General Excellence from the Online Journalism Awards. We are not advocates—we follow the facts and we do not pander to any audience—but we have a declared mission: to create and sustain a sense of urgency about the criminal justice system. We do not generally cover breaking news (although we curate the reporting of other news outlets in our morning newsletter). Our work includes investigative and explanatory projects and shorter pieces aimed at highlighting stories that other news organizations miss, underestimate or misunderstand. To assure our work reaches a larger audience we partner or co-publish with other media outlets on almost all of our work; we have partnered with more than 200 newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and online sites.

We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity. We welcome qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, physical abilities, genders and sexual orientations, including people who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system.

How to Apply

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