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Direct Response Manager

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to restore and revitalize our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

We seek a Direct Response Manager to join an ambitious, entrepreneurial, and collaborative Development Department. Our in-house team of nine professionals is charged with raising upward of $18 million annually from a solid, diverse base of supporters, including: national foundations and institutional funders; major donors and family foundations; direct response donors; and an annual gala event, the Brennan Legacy Awards Dinner. For the Center’s 20th anniversary we launched a special campaign for two long-term sources of support, the Brennan Legacy Fund and the Inez Milholland Endowment for Democracy, as well as a Planned Giving program.

Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the Direct Response Manager is primarily responsible for the Center’s direct mail and email fundraising programs, which raise more than $1 million annually. 


  • Manage and grow all aspects of direct response fundraising, including a robust direct mail program and a growing digital fundraising platform
  • Execute timely and effective renewal and acquisition mailings (12-16 per year) and a twice-yearly tailored in-house mailing 
  • Draft and edit written materials for fundraising mailings (letters, reply devices, acknowledgments, welcome kits, special supplements)
  • Manage portfolio of donors (who give up to $4,999), with an emphasis on deepening stewardship
  • Conduct research to identify prospects among these donors for major gifts and planned giving
  • Develop effective rapid response fundraising strategies, including conceptualizing and crafting e-appeals, email alerts, social media messages, etc.
  • Serve as Development liaison to the Brennan Center’s Communications Department, especially for envisioning ways to leverage digital platforms and social media for fundraising and ensure optimal database management
  • Manage donor and prospect mass communications including mailings of newsletters and reports, and coordination of donor-focused webinars and phone briefings
  • Correspond with and provide information as requested by donors (e-forms, financial information, etc.)
  • Attend program meetings and regularly track developments and activities in programs to inform fundraising materials
  • Work in collaboration with external (consultants, vendors) and internal (Brennan Center leadership and program staff) stakeholders
  • Report to Vice President for Development and work closely with Senior Development Officer and major donors team, as well as the digital team in the Communications Department


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 2-3 years of relevant experience, preferably in nonprofit development or communications 
  • Impeccable writing skills and the ability to communicate persuasively to audiences of varying expertise
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced atmosphere, write under tight timelines, and pivot gracefully to emergency needs while meeting a steady stream of deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to take direction and respond productively and quickly to feedback
  • Creativity, curiosity, flexibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of humor
  • Sound professional and social judgment in building relationships with internal and external colleagues
  • Ability to maintain confidential donor information with the highest integrity
  • Strong organizational skills, resourcefulness, initiative and self-direction, and attention to detail
  • Advanced proficiency in database and list management, and Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the Brennan Center

Salary: Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package.

Applications: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as exemplary candidates are identified. To apply, please visit Please upload the following application materials: cover letter (copy and paste where indicated), resume, and contact information for three references. No phone calls or faxes. Please reference where you saw this posting. 

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Direct Response Manager” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. Applying through our website, however, is strongly preferred.

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center: 

  • Hires staff that reflects this country's full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic identity; 
  • Considers and hires applicants who have been previously incarcerated; 
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged; 
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and 
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.
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