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Civil Eats, the award-winning, nonprofit news organization, seeks a skilled, experienced director of development to join its small, hard-working team. Since 2009, we have committed to promoting critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems with unique, in-depth reporting that thoroughly and fairly explores the complex stories of our food. Now, Civil Eats is seeking a world-class fundraiser to help us expand our reach and grow our team.
Under the direct supervision of the editor-in-chief and the board of directors, the director of development’s primary role is to generate income through fundraising activities including cultivating foundation, corporate, and individual donors, and managing special events, online fundraising, and an annual giving campaign.
The ideal candidate for this role will be a proven, results-oriented frontline fundraiser with a comprehensive understanding of, and commitment to, best practices in the profession. Additionally, experience building development operations and processes is essential. Leading candidates will have an understanding of and passion for food systems and food justice, as well as experience or commitment to nonprofit journalism and an interest in and fluency with efforts to advance equity. The ideal candidate is a graceful relationship-builder with diverse constituencies who is skilled at growing and leveraging relationships to advance strategic objectives and secure funding.
Civil Eats recognizes that relevant qualifications of a successful candidate will come from a broad range of lived experiences, education, and areas of expertise. As part of the organization’s commitment to advancing equity within our organization and through our work, we are committed to an equitable hiring process.
We believe that when our organization reflects the communities we report on—including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and more—that Civil Eats is at its most impactful and effective. We strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other historically marginalized communities. Desired experience includes the following, but candidates will not be screened exclusively based on these qualifications:
• Ten years of outstanding experience in professional fundraising, with a focus on foundation and individual giving—with five years in a leadership role or equivalent experience and education.
• Experience in a leadership or management role at an organization with a philanthropic budget of $1M+ or equivalent experience and education.
• Demonstrated experience with large, national foundations, high net-worth individuals, and membership drives.
• Work closely with the editor-in-chief and the board of directors to develop goals and strategies related to fundraising, membership, marketing, and special events.
• Train staff, board members, and volunteers in philanthropic giving solicitation techniques.
• Serve as information resource for all fundraising issues.
• Working collaboratively with editor-in-chief, board, and staff, organize an annual fund development plan and calendar to coordinate all fundraising and marketing activities that maximize resources and results.
• Research and identify individual prospects for solicitations to increase donor base. Prepare background reports on donor giving and interests and develop proposals for donor consideration.
• Develop guidelines for planned giving, fundraising, and marketing campaigns.
• Evaluate overall results of fund development plan and recommend modifications or new
approaches to support successful achievement of development goals.
• Cultivate potential major gift prospects, develop proposals, and conduct solicitations of individual donors.
• Collaborate with editor-in-chief, board, staff, and volunteers to engage them in donor solicitations based on donor interests, personal relationships, expertise, or other criteria.
• Plan and implement fundraising and special event activities.
• Manage fundraising and special event expenses within budget.
• Manage record keeping for planned gift donors, assuring effective administrative and operational support functions are in place. Help generate and manage donor database.
• Keep current with laws, statutes, fundraising materials, and organizational literature.
• Write grant proposals for foundation support.
• Recognize contributions with acknowledgement letters and special recognition events.
• Develop partnerships with donors, community leaders, and related organizations.
• Work closely with editor-in-chief, board, and staff to determine best audiences and approaches.
• Develop strategic alliances with donors, prospects, attorneys, financial advisors, accountants, and others with an interest in fundraising opportunities.
• Develop partnerships with community organizations and agencies, as appropriate.
• Explore earned income and new business development opportunities.
Marketing and Public Relations
• Develop and maintain public relations to increase the visibility of programs, services, and activities within the organization and the community.
• Conduct in-person and online presentations.
• Prepare correspondence, proposals, and reports.
• Develop fundraising materials to support solicitations and increase understanding of philanthropic gifts.
• Work with social media editor to create online fundraising opportunities.
Internal: Maintain oral and written contact with the editor-in-chief, board, staff, and volunteers to receive/provide information, discuss challenges, explain guidelines/instructions, provide direction and advise/counsel.
External: Maintain oral and written contact with external groups, donors, prospects, media, and others to achieve program goals and objectives, manage costs, share information, and resolve problems, as well obtaining referrals and help solve technical issues. Frequent contact with community members including financial planners, accountants, and law firms to maintain current knowledge in the field and to discuss donor interests and appropriate giving methods.
• Four-year degree from an accredited college or university, or equivalent experience.
• A minimum of 10 years work experience in relevant fundraising activities and a proven track record of accomplishment in this area, specifically in nonprofit news media and/or food systems nonprofits.
• Grant-writing experience with foundation and corporate grant requests, and stewardship and acknowledgment of donor gifts.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work with all types of people.
• Strong communication skills, both oral and written.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, board, volunteers, community groups, and other related agencies.
• Experience accessing and utilizing a donor database.
• Working knowledge of proposal preparation, reporting, and solicitation.
• Technological proficiency, and experience using Mailchimp, Eventbrite, and webinar platforms.
• Demonstrated ability in working with donors, volunteers, and community leaders.
• Commitment to the highest standards of journalism ethics.
• Passion for and/or knowledge of food systems.
• Comfortable performing multi-faceted tasks in conjunction with day-to-day activities.
• Ability to get along with diverse personalities; tactful, mature, and flexible.
• Ability to work independently.
Civil Eats offers a competitive and comprehensive salary and package of employee benefits. This position starts at $100,000 per year, plus benefits.
Civil Eats operates a virtual newsroom, with the senior management team based on the West Coast. This position can be located anywhere in the U.S.
All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter, CV, writing sample, and three references. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Civil Eats. Civil Eats is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring diverse employees. People of color, women, LGBTQ+, and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. The position will remain open until filled.
To apply for this position, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries will be held in confidence.
Since 2009, Civil Eats, an independent, nonprofit digital news site about the American food system, has focused on high-quality, original journalism that breaks news, educates leaders and policymakers, and serves as a resource for broader mainstream media. Learn more about our work here.