Director of Development

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Close Date: September 30, 2019
  • Hiring Organization: Eno River Association
  • Job Website

Job Description

The Eno River Association (ERA) seeks a Director of Development (Director) with a passion for the environment and the assertiveness to grow the fundraising program at this highly respected grassroots organization to a new level of success. Celebrating more than 50 years of conservation success and built on a deep connection to the community, the ERA is one of North Carolina’s oldest 501(c)(3) nonprofit land protection organizations, an organization with a strong reputation that honors its past yet is excited to reach forward and tackle new challenges and opportunities.

The next Director of Development will be an experienced fundraiser able to create, implement and monitor a comprehensive and diversified fundraising plan that expands membership, creates an active prospect pipeline and moves existing donors to higher levels of commitment.

The new Director of Development reports to the Executive Director and will be responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive and diversified fundraising plan to increase individual, foundation, and corporate contributions. The ERA has a dedicated and loyal donor base with the capacity to give more. Membership and individual contributions have been trending positive during the last five years with an average of $199,320 including a total of $242,234 in CY2018. Giving will continue to increase with a more sophisticated plan for identifying, cultivating and soliciting the best major donor and planned giving prospects as well as creating a better system for encouraging larger annual gifts from the organization’s most consistent donors. The Director of Development and Executive Director will each carry a portfolio of major donor prospects, but it will be the Director of Development’s responsibility to prepare the Executive Director for calls with the organization’s key donors and prospects. Creating a successful major donor effort will depend on the ability of each to work well together as a team.

Creating a more robust prospect pipeline will need to be one of the new director’s primary goals. The annual Festival on the Eno, hikes and camps offer a great opportunity to encourage memberships and contributions as will more specific and targeted outreach into the community. The new fundraising leader will need to develop strategies for vetting the prospect pipeline and the existing donor base for top prospects and to create plans for their cultivation and solicitation.

Foundation grants and corporate contributions are both areas with room for seizing more opportunities. The Director is responsible for writing and submitting grant applications (with support from other staff where applicable) and for cultivating new and existing corporate contributions In the past five years foundation grants have averaged $158,000 while corporate contributions have averaged approximately $18,000. Of the two, corporate giving has the potential for the greatest growth in both outright gifts and sponsorships. Many corporations today are looking to match their giving with employee volunteer opportunities and the ERA is well positioned to provide these opportunities through the Festival, conservation and land stewardship workdays, hikes and other activities. The Director will work closely with staff to explore ways to enhance these activities while growing the fundraising program. The new fundraising leader will have the opportunity to raise the bar on philanthropy across the organization by engaging and educating staff and volunteers on the role they can play in opening doors to prospects and assisting with solicitations.

The Director will also have overall responsibility for communications. Working with the Associate Director of Development and Communication, the new director will ensure that a forward-thinking communication plan is developed that supports the organization’s mission and strategic plan. This effort will include taking a leading role in ERA’s social media strategy, event planning, and other initiatives with the support of the rest of ERA’s small team where applicable. The Board of Directors is supportive of allocating funds for a revamp of ERA’s website, as well as for improved donor management software.

This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and talented fundraising professional to take a fundraising program to new heights in support of one of the Triangle’s great natural and cultural


• Provide visionary, strategic and operational leadership for all fundraising activities.
• Create, implement, monitor and evaluate an ambitious, diversified, written development plan and calendar with clearly defined goals, objectives, timelines and assignment of responsibilities, including, but not limited to, strategies for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual, foundation and corporate gifts in order to move donors to higher giving levels.
• Participate in membership and major donor recruitment, retention and stewardship events.
• Build an improved prospect pipeline with an eye towards expanding the donor base to be more reflective of the community.
• Identify and maintain a personal portfolio of top donors and prospects and provide support for managing the Executive Director’s portfolio.
• Supervise the Associate Director of Development and Communication.
• Ensure that all communications and marketing materials are of the highest standards created with clear goals and audiences.
• Oversee ERA’s social media presence with collaboration and support from other staff.
• Must be available on July 4th and the nearest Saturday to July 4th each year for the Festival for the Eno, as well as preferably for New Year’s Day.
• Be a passionate and informed advocate for ERA and serve as one of its key spokespersons, actively seeking opportunities to participate in events that position the organization for improved visibility and fundraising.
• Prepare accurate, and timely reports for the Executive Director and Board on progress towards fundraising goals.
• Seek ways to maximize the Board’s personal giving and participation in fundraising.
• Serve as a member of the Executive Director’s leadership team.
• Oversee and evaluate all processes and procedures related to fundraising including stewardship activities (donor database, acknowledgements, and recognition), gift acceptance policies and contributions management.
• Create, manage and monitor an annual development program budget.
• Train, mentor and support colleagues and Board members in their fundraising responsibilities and activities.
• Encourage collaboration among the staff to ensure that the work of the Association routinely and creatively supports fundraising and communication goals.
• Stay current on fundraising best practices, provide or secure fundraising training as needed for the Board and other volunteers and ensure all staff members receive training and resources needed to support ERA’s development efforts.
• Develop a thorough knowledge of ERA’s history, programs and major milestones and the key leaders, volunteers and donors who have contributed to its success.


• Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in a related field.
• At least five years of successful fundraising experience in a nonprofit organization with a working knowledge of all areas within development, including major gifts, annual giving, membership, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving campaigns and research.
• Experience with conservation or land trusts is a plus.
• A proven record of personal achievement exceeding ambitious revenue targets including securing gifts of five-figures or more and creating new and/or reinvigorating existing fundraising programs.
• Exceptional planning and organizational skills. Able to construct, articulate, implement and evaluate written development plans and budgets.
• Record of successful individual donor identification, cultivation and solicitation.
• Excellent writing and communication skills; able to listen as well as speak and write in a clear effective manner to a unique audience.
• Experience effectively using social media to reach new audiences and promote an organization’s brand and mission.
• Knowledge of philanthropy in the Triangle: individuals, foundations, corporations and other potential funding opportunities is a plus.
• Experienced networker, enthusiastic about making connections, attending events and being visible in places that benefit the organization.
• Proven ability to work effectively with a nonprofit board of directors.
• Self-starter who can work independently as well as part of a team
• Results-oriented with the ability to set and meet deadlines while managing competing priorities.
• Excellent computer skills and database management experience with strong user knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Google Docs, and CRM platforms
• Working knowledge of fundraising databases and social media.
• Knowledge of natural resource conservation or conservation-related organization is preferred, but not required.
• Comfortable being outdoors for extensive periods in all weather conditions (heat or cold).
• Must be able to lift and load 30 pounds in and out of a vehicle and hike in hot or cold weather on uneven terrain.
• Able to work evening hours, weekends and holidays (specifically July 4th and New Year’s Day) when necessary to support the Association’s special events.
• Emotional maturity, energetic, creative, with confidence in abilities and a sense of humor.
• Adherence to the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards.

Salary / Compensation

Commensurate with experience and abilities and reflective of salary levels in area nonprofit organizations.

Applications Instructions

Submit one document that includes your cover letter (providing your salary requirements and how you learned about the position) and your resume and send via email to:

Ms. Holly Reid and Mr. Joe Liles
Co-Chairs, Search Committee
Eno River Association

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2019 or until the position is filled. The Eno River Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workforce.

Writing samples, a short presentation to the Search Committee and five references will be required from finalists. Academic, credit and criminal checks will be conducted before a final offer is made.

The consulting firm of moss+ross ( has been retained to assist with the search.