Vice President of Development

About Harness

Harness was started by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams as a gathering of friends in a living room in response to the 2016 presidential election and the following period of tremendous social upheaval. Since its founding, Harness has grown into a national, intersectional community of high-influence artists, activists, and entertainment industry leaders that amplify the experiences of historically disinvested communities to reach millions of people.

With a vision of a world where human rights are protected by the power of the people, Harness educates, inspires, and activates an interdependent community of Cultural Organizers to use the power of  storytelling to imagine and create a more equitable world. Harness seeks to advance racial justice, gender justice, and civic justice by applying an intersectional lens to all its work and centering the priorities and needs of those most impacted by injustice.

Harness’ programs and campaigns have catalyzed wide-scale support, prominent media coverage, inclusion in pop culture storylines, and transformative partnerships for frontline leaders from historically disinvested groups. In addition to its artist engagement, industry impact, and community building programs, Harness incubates several timely culture change and civic engagement initiatives: Protect the Sacred, DEAR Hollywood, Gender Justice Entertainment Hub, and Poderistas.

Our Values

1. Community

We harness the power of an interdependent community of Cultural Organizers to facilitate education, inspire co-creation, and catalyze action to shift culture and create a more equitable world in which everyone can thrive. We lead with a human-centered approach, because we trust in the expertise of those who are most impacted by injustice and excluded from systems of power.

2. Social Justice

We practice anti-racism in our public work and internal operations. We center diversity, equity, inclusion, and intersectionality in our decision-making, programmatic designs, and community-building strategies. We work to dismantle white supremacy and systemic imbalances that exclude historically-marginalized communities. We reimagine and help create a world where human rights are protected by the power of the people.

3. Active Learning

We facilitate learning opportunities and prioritize the personal and professional development of our staff and Harness Community to foster imagination, stimulate growth, and nurture interdependency. We encourage taking risks and experimentation, and view most mistakes as learning experiences. We assume good will and lead with care in uncomfortable moments; we are call-in, not call-out.

4. Service

We work with integrity to deliver measurable impact through programs, culture change campaigns, field building, leadership development, and systems change. We are accountable to the Harness Community and partners by implementing network-driven evaluation and impact tracking processes. We learn from our findings and adjust course as needed; every experience is fuel for refinement and reimagination. 

5. Sustainability

We invest in the whole-person health and well-being of our staff and Harness Community to empower long-term culture change rooted in joy, creativity, safety, and mutual care. We encourage self care to strengthen community care. We strive to operate in ways that protect and honor the land and communities in which we are present. 

The Opportunity

Harness is seeking a Vice President of Development, a newly created position, to work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Harness team and Board of Directors to plan and implement a diversified fundraising program to provide sustainable philanthropic revenue.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Vice President of Development will lead all fundraising activities including major gift fundraising from foundations and individuals, corporate partnerships, earned income work, stewardship, fundraising budgeting and reporting, fundraising events, Board fundraising development, and other fundraising innovations not listed here that the VP will create. In addition, the Vice President of Development will be responsible for building relationships with the organization’s constituents, including its current and prospective donors, stakeholders, and partners, and managing a team as Harness’ development department grows. 

As the primary responsibilities of the role, the Vice President of Development will:

  • Lead and manage organizational development strategy, including developing a multi-year strategic fundraising plan;
  • Drive a significant expansion of organizational budget and reserves;
  • Develop a close working relationship with the Executive Director, Harness team and Board of Directors and support their fundraising efforts;
  • Manage development consultant and any future development department members;
  • Lead and manage organizational strategy and system for timely and effective donor tracking, acknowledgement, and reporting, including Salesforce and other development platforms;
  • Collaborate with organizational leadership to co-develop annual revenue and expenditure budgets;
  • Build a personal portfolio of ~70-100 major gift prospects;
  • In partnership with communications team, create dynamic in-person cultivation events, remote gatherings and social media engagement strategies for prospects, donors and advocates;
  • Think creatively about how to leverage a remote team based in multiple cities for fundraising;
  • Be an excellent steward of all donors and maintain integrity, trust and confidentiality at all times.

The Individual

The successful candidate will be a proven fundraising leader with a strong personal commitment to racial justice, gender justice and civic justice.

Essential Qualifications

  • Effective strategic planner with experience in development program planning and implementation;
  • Collaborative, innovative, and engaging leader who excels in an entrepreneurial environment;
  • Desire to serve as an ambassador of Harness who is committed to developing fluenc in Harness programs, relevant issues, and rapid response efforts;
  • Growth mindset and willingness to learn;
  • Demonstrated success securing major gifts;
  • Suggested (not required) 7 years of experience in nonprofit and/or advocacy/political fundraising;
  • Strong detail orientation, start-to-finish execution, and high organizational skills;
  • Familiar with nonprofit accounting regulations and ability to communicate financial information clearly; and
  • Excellent writer and communicator.

Education + Requirements

  • Remote work, ideally based in Los Angeles, New York, or Greater San Francisco area;
  • Bachelor’s Degree suggested (not required);
  • Ability to travel periodically;
  • Ability to attend events and activities after regular business hours, as needed; and
  • Willingness to learn and growth mindset required.


The salary range is $120,000 – $140,000, along with a robust benefits package.

Application Process

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to by August 7, 2022. Within your resume or cover letter, please specifically detail your experience, accomplishments (including specific amounts and sources, if applicable), and expertise with fundraising and donor management systems.

Harness’ organizational values and deep commitment to racial justice, gender justice, and civic justice are embedded into our hiring and candidate evaluation processes. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, women and gender expansive individuals, and other candidates from diverse and/or historically underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. Harness welcomes and embraces applicants regardless of documentation status.