About First Look Media
Boundary-defying innovation. Fierce independence. A deep passion for exploration and excellence defines First Look Media (FLM). We are a unique enterprise with one purpose and two missions. Our nonprofit work breaks stories through fearless, investigative journalism and produces documentary cinema that explores the world through fresh new perspectives. Our for-profit enterprise houses an award-winning entertainment studio that operates across film, television, and podcasts and brings to the screen some of the most culturally significant stories of our time, and we recently launched a new streaming service with premier, original, and hand-selected content from around the globe. We are founded on a fundamental belief in the power of storytelling to hold the powerful to account. Our purpose is based on the pursuit and vivid portrayal of truth.
When eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar launched FLM in 2013, his investment was just the beginning. Becoming a strong, sustainable media company requires diverse sources of support. During our first years, that vision and our values were repeatedly and rigorously tested. We have grown from a startup news site into a well-established, multifaceted media company.
Today, the nonprofit organization — First Look Media Works (FLMW) — is home to The Intercept, renowned for its dedication to fearless, adversarial journalism; Field of Vision, the filmmaker-driven documentary unit; and The Press Freedom Defense Fund, supporting journalists, whistleblowers, and others standing up for press freedoms and public access to information of public concern.
The Intercept has published hundreds of stories that have reverberated through the corridors of power, including some of the earliest reporting on the Russian government’s interference in US elections and vulnerability in our voting systems; the story that first revealed the existence of a letter detailing sexual assault accusations against then-US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; a George Polk award-winning exposé of a US military raid gone wrong in Yemen; a series of exclusive stories about Google’s secret plan to launch a censored version of its Dragonfly search engine in China, which sparked a concerted protest campaign by a global coalition of 60 human rights groups; and an explosive investigative series from The Intercept’s team in Brazil based on a leaked trove of materials about political bias and ethical violations on the part of the prosecutors and judges behind the imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Field of Vision
Field of Vision has supported a number of inspiring filmmakers and produced numerous award winning documentaries including: the Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated Strong Island, which tells the story of a family across history, geography, and tragedy beginning in the Jim Crow South; the Oscar-nominated short A Night at the Garden based on archival footage that brings to light the shocking gathering of 22,000 Americans for a Nazi rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1939 that has largely been forgotten; the award-winning Crime + Punishment, which chronicles the remarkable efforts and struggles of a group of black and Latino NYPD whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest; and the Oscar-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening, a dreamy and intimate, richly detailed glimpse into life in America’s Black Belt.
The Press Freedom Defense Fund
The Press Freedom Defense Fund has supported several key cases over the past few years, including the defense of Reality Winner, the first whistleblower prosecuted under the Trump Administration’s “war on leaks.” The case became a catalyst for media lawyers, national defense experts, and academicians to develop a new First Amendment theory specifically for the defense of whistleblowers. The PFDF has also provided legal support to defend against Duterte government’s prosecutions of Rappler, founded by the highly regarded Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa, who was named one of Time’s 2018 Persons-of-the-Year for her decades-long work in investigative journalism and combatting misinformation.
FLMW’s collective work is even more essential today than when we began. We are redoubling our efforts to ensure its illumination of transparency and truth endures and can be expanded.
This is a rare occasion for a development leader to help move the needle on democracy and freedom on a global scale. FLMW is operating at the cutting edge of the movement to hold those in power to account and to defend democratic values in the US and abroad without regard for party or political affiliation. In this newly created role, the Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO) will be at the forefront of some of the greatest challenges and threats of our time, and will support FLMW’s growth by mobilizing new levels of philanthropy for the organization.
As a member of the senior leadership team, the CPO will design and execute a new and comprehensive fundraising strategy with the aim of diversifying the organization’s funding streams. In this respect, the primary focus will be on establishing and growing a community of high-net-worth individuals and institutional funders, and to anticipate where and how FLMW can successfully position itself to activate new levels of philanthropy that will enable ambitious plans for growth and impact.
- In partnership with the CEO, COO, senior leadership, and FLMW’s Board of Directors, the CPO will design and implement a sophisticated development strategy to diversify funding streams by establishing a major donor program, identifying opportunities within new and existing networks to initiate new funder relationships.
- Define clear engagement/participation roles and support needs to effectively deploy the CEO, COO, and senior leadership team of FLMW. Additionally, the CPO will seek to understand and then design engagement tailored to FLMW’s Board of Directors to leverage the unique value and networks they bring to the development strategy.
- Convene leaders across the organization to build and curate new or enhanced program pillars for FLMW in a way that will be compelling and aligned to donors’ philanthropic objectives.
- Align the emergent major donor program with The Intercept’s young, but remarkably successful membership effort so that prospects for increased giving from the membership pool are skillfully upgraded to major donors.
Fundraising and Communications
- Steward and grow relationships with institutional funders and principal/major donors in alignment with the overall development strategy, including building a progression track for donors to promote higher levels of giving over time.
- Staff senior leaders to support engagement of top prospects, conduct due diligence, and prepare briefing materials.
- Partner and collaborate with content experts across verticals and with the Communications team to craft clearly articulated narratives around FLMW’s mission and work, tailoring messaging in particular to high-net-worth and institutional prospects and donors.
Operations and Infrastructure
- Oversee existing development and membership staff, and build the team and systems required to support frontline development efforts.
- Manage development program performance and report out to senior leadership and the Board of Directors, as needed.
- Create and implement best practices around sophisticated donor cultivation, stewardship, and engagement to ensure consistency and efficiency throughout all funder interactions.
First Look Media Works seeks a bold and innovative fundraising professional who is deeply passionate about taking an unabashed stance against forces that infringe upon democratic values. The successful candidate will bring impeccable leadership and people management skills as well as a demonstrated track record of diversifying funding streams for mission-driven organizations, movements, or causes.
Candidates must bring a nuanced understanding of how to engage an organization in developing a culture of philanthropy that prioritizes cross-functional collaboration. Given the unique structure of FLMW and its for-profit commercial counterpart, First Look Productions, the CPO will partner closely with senior leaders across the organization to honor the integrity of the FLMW environment while leveraging the power of storytelling and the unique company-wide assets to create compelling giving opportunities for discerning funders. The ideal candidate will bring a sophisticated development/advancement and professional campaign background with an acute understanding of high-net-worth gift progression.
While domain expertise in FLMW’s areas of focus is not required, candidates must possess a genuine desire to understand its work and the intellectual curiosity and horsepower to ramp up quickly, as well as the ability to articulate its unique mission. The CPO will move seamlessly between high-level strategy and tactical implementation, thriving in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that values bold and audacious thinking. The position requires an agile strategist and fundraiser who is skilled at moving initiatives to scale quickly and effectively, and is an expert in collaborating and communicating with a diverse set of partners. In navigating the complex yet powerful structure of First Look Media, the CPO must display flexibility, humility, and relentless drive to pursue the truth and operate with the utmost integrity.
The ideal candidate is a poised and refined professional who inspires funders and individual donors with significant wealth. Supportive, respectful, discreet, and service-oriented, but not star struck, the CPO should be an effective listener, thoughtful, well-spoken and warm, with the intellectual prowess that is needed to pull multi-issue, cross-sector stakeholders, strategies, and content areas together to generate diverse support from the philanthropic community.
Candidates must possess a minimum of ten to fifteen years of executive fundraising experience in mission-driven organizations. A demonstrated track record of architecting philanthropic support strategies and securing principal gifts in the six and seven-figure range is necessary. Experience leading through influence, building teams, and diversifying funding streams with an eye towards growth is essential.
The Chief Philanthropy Officer position is based in New York. Frequent domestic travel is required.