Endowment Director

San Francisco, CA, Washington D.C. or Remote Advancement



The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia – one of the most popular websites in the world, serving nearly half a billion users every month – and its sister sites. It is the only non-profit in the top 50 companies, supported by a community of millions of individual donors. 

In 2016, we launched the Wikimedia Endowment in order to provide support to the WIkimedia projects in perpetuity. To date, we have grown the Endowment fund to $58 million through a mix of individual contributions, corporate giving and planned giving. This position will lead the team towards their goal of raising $100 million by 2026. 

The Endowment Director will report to the Senior Director of Development.  Succeeding in this environment will require taking a hands-on approach to connecting with a broad array of donors using traditional development methods, strong people management skills, and leading the ongoing development of the infrastructure required to support the endowment. 

The Endowment Director can be based in Wikimedia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco, our Washington D.C. office, or work remotely.  The ideal candidate will be located with convenient travel into US East Coast or West Coast major metros and have the ability to travel domestically and internationally.  

You are responsible for:

  • Leading the development of sustainable support for the Endowment, including leading a team of 2: the Senior Endowment Development Manager (Major Gifts Officer) and the Planned Giving Specialist. 
  • Further developing the endowment fundraising strategy, including building the planned giving program, and leading the implementation of the annual fundraising plan. Further development of the events strategy to boost individual and planned giving fundraising; strengthening the stewardship and donor recognition program, with the objective of establishing a life-long, relationships with major and planned giving donors
  • Retaining, recruiting and managing a team of development professionals and consultants; establishing work plans, performance objectives, and goals for each team member and regularly reviewing performance; providing professional development and training required to cultivate staff skills and professionalism
  • Recruiting and partnering with the Endowment board of directors to provide governance for the Endowment fund
  • Ensuring the cultivation and stewardship of a diverse portfolio of existing donors and donor prospects, including undertaking direct individual donor solicitations and cultivating high value relationships.  As appropriate, working closely with top-level executives and board members on these efforts, by matching senior leaders to development opportunities and specific donors
  • Managing prospecting efforts to identify and secure new donors
  • Maintaining a proactive funder communications plan that regularly educates our funders about the organization’s progress, in addition to complying with each donor’s reporting requirements
  • Ensuring successful adherence to grant agreements
  • Tracking contact with donors in our CRM

Skills and Experience:

  • Seven plus years of successful fundraising experience, including direct experience and success in raising money from individual major donors and through planned gifts in the 5 to 7-figure range
  • Experience creating and implementing successful fundraising strategy, ideally for an endowment and/or planned giving
  • Broad-based knowledge of various development campaign activities including: direct solicitations, planned giving, event planning and management, institutional grantmaking, and leveraging fundraising databases
  • Experience building relationships through mission-supporting ventures;  a comfort with major donors and a respect for and understanding of their goals and objectives;
  • Ability to create and maintain strong internal relationships and balance the needs of multiple stakeholders
  • Demonstrable track record as an exceptional communicator, in writing as well as verbally; adept at writing solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other kinds of material for publication; experience preparing and making effective presentations to diverse groups large and small
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and accountability 
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of donor information and a finely-tuned sense of discretion 
  • Desire to work in a dynamic and mission-driven organization
  • Comfort and experience in a technology-driven environment

Qualities that are important to us:

  • We are an international organization serving an internationally distributed audience. A strong international perspective with personal experience in cross-cultural communication is highly valued
  • Compassionate communication, both in speaking and writing, and particularly able to recognize the alignment of a donor’s interests with the value of Wikimedia Foundation programs, communities, services and events
  • Active listening and strategizing; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to act on information to develop increased support
  • Detail-oriented, able to maintain systems, track progress, and follow-up in a timely fashion 
  • Sharing a culture of constructive criticism and respect

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience working with technical and/or scientific donors
  • Experience working in an organization with a distributed workforce

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Eligible international workers' benefits are specific to their location and dependent on their employer of record

More information

Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia 2030
Wikimedia Medium Term Plan
Diversity and inclusion information for Wikimedia workers, by the numbers
Wikimania 2019
Annual Report - 2017 

This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Fundraising Report



Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world.

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