Director of External Affairs

IFP; Independent Feature Project
DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Oct 26, 2017
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)

  • Position:  Director of External Affairs
  • Reports to:  Executive Director

Job Description

The Director of External Affairs raises funds across the entire organization’s properties and programs including—The Gotham Awards, The Made in NY Media Center by IFP, IFP Week, the IFP Filmmaker Labs, year-round programmatic initiatives that arise (e.g. Screen Forward Film Series), and Filmmaker Magazine.  The position is responsible for leading the identification, solicitation, close and stewardship of prospects and funders and for leading a team of approximately four as well as consultants to secure contributed revenue.  As an integral part of the senior management team, the Director of External Affairs executes and manages the organization’s fundraising efforts among corporate, foundation, government and individual funders while providing guidance and assistance to the organization’s year-round marketing, branding, and communications.  The role is external facing and involves interaction with a wide variety of external stakeholders.


  • Serve as primary point of contact for major funders of IFP, in addition to Executive Director.
  • Establish and build effective relationships with IFP’s existing funding base, that result in contributed income streams for the organization.Consistently seek ways to increase support and secure longer term funding partners. Solicit, close and deliver on funding agreements.
  • Serve as a voice for funder needs within the organization.Educate staff on strategies to increase support and work with marketing to develop sales materials that generate income.
  • Cold call.Prospect new potential funders.Seek ways to cultivate qualified prospects with the interest and capability to support IFP. Update sales materials annually.Create a variety of customized proposals for prospects with higher giving potential.Manage prospect pipeline.
  • Secure funds for the Gotham Awards, which serves as IFP’s annual fundraising gala–secure sponsorships, sell tables and tickets to the event, sell ads, work with Gotham Awards producer to maximize revenue from auction and develop individual giving appeals as appropriate.
  • Secure funds for the Made in NY Media Center by IFP.Prospect.Solicit new company partners.Upgrade existing partners.Explore companies that participate in the Media Center in year-round ways (Experts, rentals, panelists, etc.) to identify those capable of providing support.Work with Media Center staff to develop new offerings and customize partnership agreements to fulfill sponsor requirements.Seek ways to provide value so supporters can provide ROI to their stakeholders.Write wrap reports.
  • Secure funds for IFP Week and year-round IFP Filmmaker Labs.Recruit new funders and solicit, close and steward existing funders.Provide guidance to sponsors on how to maximize their support while meshing IFP’s needs with sponsor goals if possible.
  • Secure funds for Filmmaker Magazine.Develop sales materials, work with Editor to finalize editorial themes that generate new revenues (e.g. Film Schools, Below-The-Line awards coverage, Locations).Seek opportunities to leverage advertisers as new event sponsors.Ensure minimum magazine circulation and website impression quotas that justify ad rates are achievable.Manage clients when publishing issues arise that affect their media buys.
  • Provide reporting to sponsors and walk them through results gaining the ability to paint a picture beyond the data.
  • Provide input into strategies to increase IFP’s profile, serve as a brand steward ensuring IFP is consistently marketed with its signature programs.Advise on the development of creative and visual identity campaigns that ensures a call to action is included.
  • Provide input into strategies to also increase IFP’s earned income opportunities—Film Week admissions and registrations, membership. Magazine subscriptions, etc.
  • Be a voice among Senior staff to reinforce programmatic enhancements that increase IFP’s revenue potential, (e.g. categories at the Gotham Awards, programs within the Media Center, organization of Film Week programming, venues and visibility for funders that deliver ROI)
  • Manage a staff that includes Associate Director of Development, Grants Manager, Ad Sales Consultant, Media Center Associate Director and various consultants who seek new sponsorship.Set clear fundraising goals, with budgetary minimums, and track progress against them.Mentor staff.Help them achieve their role within the organization’s fundraising initiatives.Serve as an effective communicator by regularly updating remote staff and consultants.
  • Priorities and meeting schedules adjust frequently.Be flexible and dedicate time to communicating changes and managing their impact.


  • Strong fundraising/people skills
  • Experience closing sponsorships and/or gifts
  • Excellent communication, management, organizational skills or abilities
  • Ability to work as part of a team and manage people
  • Awareness of fundraising and marketing best practices

Desired Competencies:

  • Strong understanding of the entertainment and media industries
  • Customer focus
  • Persistence/tenacity – not giving up
  • Initiative & Resourcefulness – going beyond the call of duty, achieving despite the lack of resources and showing a bias for action.
  • Setting clear and fair goals
  • Bachelors degree

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