Development Director

Woodie Wheaton Land Trust

Job Description


Director - Development (“DD)

Woodie Wheaton Land Trust




The Director of Development, a new position, shall be responsible for securing contributed income for the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust. Duties include oversight and management of fund-raising efforts, building strong and successful relationships, maintaining communications with donors, and collaborating with staff, the Board, and volunteers. The Director of Development shall report to the President, collaborating with the President and Fundraising Committee to develop and implement the Trust’s fundraising strategy in three key areas: Operational Funding, Acquisition/Stewardship, and Endowment Funding. The Development Director will play a vital role in shaping and articulating the Trust’s vision, history, heritage, and accomplishments across all communication vehicles, including the website, social media, newsletters, electronic presentations, and brochures to potential funders.

           In the broadest sense, the Director of Development is responsible for projecting to the many publics of the WWLT, the history and heritage, achievements and accomplishments, programs and policies, and the goals and aspirations of the WWLT, combined with a vigorous and well-directed solicitation for funds so that the two together will be reflected in maximum support for the institution.


           The Director of Development is the head salesman in the very noblest sense of the term for the WWLT. To be truly effective, he or she should have a vital role in shaping the product. The Director of Development should work actively with the President and the Board of the WWLT in molding a vision of what the WWLT can and should become in its programs and initiatives. The Director of Development should have a broad, comprehensive overview of the total needs of the organization and how these needs can be met.


           Achieving the stated aims of the WWLT will require maximum effort from all personnel. It will be a busy time for the staff. Besides carrying out his or her primary function of generating funds for the WWLT, the DD should take as one of their prime responsibilities the obligation to maintain harmony, rapport, and cordial working relations, not only in his own department but throughout the organization.


Responsible for:

The Director of Development shall have the overall responsibility for the:


1.        Individual gift fundraising


2.        Oversight of grant writing and foundation solicitations


3.        Corporate gift fundraising (gifts over $1,000)


4.        Oversight of membership and direct mail fundraising


5.        Oversight of special event coordination


6.        Establishing and nurturing long term relationships with known and potential funders


7.         Selection and Oversight of Contract Grant Writer & Applications



Specific Duties and Responsibilities

           Specifically, the Director of Development will:


Be directly responsible for the overall management and coordination of the Development Office and all its solicitation programs.


In conjunction with the President and the Board Committee on Development, establish the goals and create action plans and objectives for the Development Office.


Be responsible for the organization and development of programs of solicitation for funds for operating capital, special projects, and other needs identified as having sufficient priority to merit his or her attention.


As necessary, serve as the liaison between WWLT and its basic constituencies by representing the organization at various meetings and gatherings of the WWLT, etc., through meetings with constituent leaders and other friends for the purpose of discussing special projects and specific needs of the organizations and through correspondence and the mailing of prepared materials of interest to members of the constituency.


Please act as an advisor to the President and Board on fund solicitations and, as needed, prepare reports assessing the fundability of the organization, including recommendations as to procedures for solicitation or fund development.


Overall management and coordination of development/fundraising programs to solicit and engage the support of individual donors, businesses, corporations, institutions, and Grantmakers.


Oversee the necessary Research, write and submit grant proposals to targeted organizations, or, when appropriate, oversee the activities of a contracted grant writer.


Define and create metrics of measurement to meet organizational goals and objectives (long-range and annual plans to achieve defined goals); provide reports and updates to the Board.


Serve as the liaison between WWLT and its various constituencies by representing the organization at various gatherings, public activities, and meetings with prospective donors to establish and maintain effective communications.


Develop and implement major gifts programs, including identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors to support varied special initiatives such as Land Acquisition and Stewardship.


Develop and implement a planned giving program, including bequests and other major funding avenues to grow the endowment fund.


Develop a direct annual fundraising program, including membership expansion, to increase operating support (by a minimum of $100,000).


Coordinate fundraising events with the President, Board members, volunteers, and staff.

Manage donor research activities.


Work closely with the Board President and Fundraising Committee to strengthen donor relationships and solicitations including scheduling personal visits, on-site meetings, etc.


Spreadsheet following the fundraising database as a tracking system for reporting.


Develop and maintain gift recognition, donor stewardship, and member benefits programs.


Authority and Responsibility

           The Director of Development is invested with sufficient authority to carry out the foregoing assignments. The DD is authorized to make contact with board members, staff and constituency leaders on working matters in order to enlist their support and assistance in the Development effort. All matters of policy will be discussed with the President first. Upon his/her direction, policy matters may be presented to the appropriate individual or group for further consideration.



           Periodically, and in conjunction with the President, the DD will meet with the Board Committee on Development to make reports and presentations on the work of the Development Department.


Report on the progress of the development program, including the officer's own individual assessments and recommendations.


Be responsible for conducting evaluations of the solicitation process and programs of the Development Office and assume the responsibility for formulating recommendations for the improvement thereof. Initially, this will include an evaluation of the Operational & Program funds.


Be responsible for the implementation programs that will train and utilize board members and volunteers in the solicitation process to ensure that the development effort may be multiplied and that the results may be increased.


Requisite Experience, Knowledge, Abilities, Skills & Technical Competencies:

Most Development Directors have at least a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit administration, business administration, communications, or a similar field. Some Development Directors hold a Master of Business Administration or a master’s degree in fundraising, which may substitute for some experience and training. 

There is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive certification for these professionals, though it is not a minimum requirement. A CFRE demonstrates a candidate’s ability to apply fundraising techniques in a role. Director of Development often receives training as they gain experience in lower-level fundraising roles. They could also seek training to become more effective managers since it is a leadership position.

The Director of Development must enthusiastically support the mission of the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust and its Code of Ethics and other related policies and will:


●     Have strong interpersonal and writing skills.

●     Have knowledge and successful experience in fundraising, particularly major gifts and membership development.

●     Have strong organizational skills and follow through on tasks and goals.

●     Possess the skills to work effectively with staff, Board members, and volunteers.

●     Be a goal-driven self-starter, willing to work under flexible circumstances on-site,

●     and/or remotely.

●     Display a positive attitude with concern for people, community, and the natural environment; demonstrate self-confidence, common sense and good listening skills.

●     Possess a bachelor's degree.

●     Have a minimum of 5 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit development.

●     Furnish references demonstrating achievement in the area of fundraising in prior roles.




           The Director of Development, in conjunction with the Executive Director, will prepare a budget for the Development Office prior to the start of each fiscal year. The significant responsibilities delegated to the Development Office imply a commitment to support its efforts adequately. Every attempt will be made to secure adequate funding for its operations.


           The Director of Development will be held responsible for the efficient administration of the entire Development Office budget and for maximizing a return on each dollar spent in the solicitation and cultivation process. A rule of thumb is that Development costs should not exceed 20-25% of private gift income.


Criteria for Evaluation

           The progress of the Development Office will be evaluated frequently. The Director of Development may request from time to time an evaluation from the President and should feel free to consult with the President on matters of doubt. In addition, the DD will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:


1.        Are the goals and objectives established for the Development Office being met?


2.        What is the ratio of dollars expended for collecting or raising gift and grant monies to the number of dollars received through the gift and grant process?


3.        Are special gifts being stimulated as a result of the work of the Development Office and the mobilization of volunteer solicitors?


4.        Does the DD demonstrate competence in carrying out the duties assigned to him? Is his office administered efficiently and well? 


5.        How is the DD viewed by peers in the administration and by members of the Board?


6.        Does the DD demonstrate initiative and creativity in his work? Does he exhibit the natural abilities essential in fund-raising and promotion?



Location, Housing, Hours, Workload & Work Environment

           Location - The DD shall be based in their primary city of residence utilizing a “home office” with office and travel reimbursement based upon an approved budget and with the consent of the President. The DD shall be required to be present at the headquarters of the Trust as needed but no less than at the annual meeting of the Trust and as necessary to oversee and or host fundraising activities.

           Housing – temporary housing shall be provided for the DD whenever they are in attendance at the headquarters


Salaried – Exempt

The DD position shall be “Salaried Exempt” with hours and workload as necessitated by the needs of the organization and position, however it is expected to be a full-time position and thus available and working to fulfill the positions obligations a minimum of forty (40) hours per week.


Attendance – The DD shall be expected to attend the following events and activities.

           : Annual Meeting

           : Fund raising/development committee monthly meetings

           : Other meetings pertinent to development activities or at the request of the board.




Out-of-pocket expenses for prior approved necessary travel will be reimbursed by the WWLT on a monthly basis. DD shall submit a budget for travel as part of yearly budget accompanied by reasonable justification and timeline for such travel to the President for approval.  



: Candidates will submit a cover letter including a summary of work directly relating to this position, a resume, and written references.


Process of Candidate Evaluation

: The appointed Hiring & HR committee will review candidate packets.

: Any candidates deemed to have met minimum requirements will be interviewed.

: A background investigation will be completed. 

Posted 1 year ago
Forest City Township, Maine
Education Requirement
Master's Degree
Experience Requirement
5-10 years