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Development Director, Nonprofit News Organization

San Francisco Public Press
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 11, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Direct Marketing, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Membership, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising
Other Fields, Public Broadcasting
Employment Type
Full Time
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The San Francisco Public Press, a 12-year-old independent nonprofit news organization producing web, print and radio journalism, seeks a full-time Development Director to work with the Publisher and Executive Director on the design and execution of a diversified fundraising strategy.

This is an opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to publishing and broadcasting reliable, relevant and professionally produced investigative and community journalism for diverse and often under-served communities in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. 

We are looking for a high-energy fundraising professional who believes in our public-service journalism mission and shares our desire to improve the lives of people in our region. 

The San Francisco Public Press is committed to a path that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within our organization, and through our journalism and community engagement. These tenets are fundamental to supporting a culture of trust between our organization and the communities we serve. We seek to hire colleagues who are committed to these values.

We will help the new Development Director get up to speed on the world of nonprofit and mission-driven media via direct training, conferences, newsletters and industry-specific professional development opportunities.

Since our founding in 2009, the Public Press has been fortunate to receive funding from such California-based funders as the San Francisco Foundation, the California Endowment and the James Irvine Foundation, as well as national funders, including the Reva & David Logan Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Our independent model for journalism has from the start relied on building a broad base of public support through a membership program, with individual donors making up about a quarter of our total revenue. 

We are eager to expand our funding base to include more support from major donors, corporate underwriting, local family foundations and donor-advised funds.

We are looking forward to meeting candidates with diverse lived experiences and training.

We are dedicated to improving our newsroom by working with people with backgrounds that reflect the population of the Bay Area. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all identities and ages. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

Deadline for applications is Aug. 6, 2021. Please send a resume and cover letter highlighting relevant experience to with “Development Director Job” as the subject line.

About the organization

The San Francisco Public Press is a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization that publishes independent public-interest journalism about under-covered topics, with a focus on under-served audiences. Our project-based team reporting approach has attracted attention as a model for local investigative and solutions reporting. Coverage areas include housing affordability, public health, transportation safety, homeless services, digital privacy, environmental equity, immigration and elections.

Our ad-free quarterly newspaper and website feature original, nonpartisan reporting based on public records and deep sourcing. We operate a community radio station, KSFP 102.5 FM, featuring “Civic,” our flagship daily news and public affairs radio show and podcast.

The Public Press is a founding member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Local Independent Online News Publishers. We have won dozens of national and local awards from organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, the Education Writers Association and the San Francisco Press Club.

Experience and qualifications

Our ideal candidate will have:

  • a background in nonprofit development and a keen understanding of the civic, economic and ecological issues facing the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • a high level of technological and organizational skill, with experience using cloud-based collaboration tools, spreadsheets, presentation software, customer relationship management software, donor databases and other fundraising technology.
  • clear written and spoken communication skills.
  • demonstrated professional growth in revenue development or related field.
  • 2+ years in hands-on, face-to-face revenue development experience ideally in mission-driven organizations.
  • passion for the work we do.  
Specific responsibilities

The Public Press’ new Development Director will be expected to create, execute and measure the effectiveness of a diversified revenue development plan that builds upon previous efforts and relationships.

It is our objective to grow foundation, membership and major gift revenues year-over-year for the next decade. To that end, management will hold the Development Director accountable for meeting or beating quarterly and annual revenue targets.

Major gifts

In establishing a major gifts program, the Development Director will:

  • manage a strategically targeted, donor-centered fundraising program with a focus on cultivating major gifts.
  • develop and manage relationships with a portfolio of potential major donors, as well as track potentially revenue-generating relationships with leadership.
  • oversee prospect research and actively lead identification and engagement of donor prospects.
  • develop cultivation strategies and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring personalized service.
  • carry out face-to-face solicitations and manage ongoing relationships with existing donors with a focus on securing additional commitments.
  • draft donor messaging strategies and solicitation materials. 
  • initiate correspondence with donors and prospective donors and track all interactions.
  • generate and analyze fundraising data across platforms to provide leadership with accurate revenue projections on an ongoing basis.
  • Research and periodically track gifts made to other similarly positioned nonprofits in the region to identify new prospects. 


The Development Director’s focus in this area will be primarily placed on securing funds from local and regional donors, private family foundations and donor advised funds:

  • research and maintain an expanded portfolio of foundation prospects and collaborate with leadership on relationship cultivation and solicitation.
  • draft solicitation letters, letters of inquiry and proposals in conjunction with management, and submit those materials via the required systems by required deadlines.
  • keep track of all reporting requirements on all secured grants, including maintaining a shared calendar to track due dates for all grant reports.


The Development Director will be expected to:

  • work with the Public Press’ management and community manager to identify and convert standard members into higher-paying tiers.
  • design and execute campaigns and test membership conversion programs focused on identifying, targeting and converting a larger percentage of standard members into high-yield members.
  • make recommendations to management and staff on longer-term membership growth strategies focused on mutually increasing the value of membership for the member and the organization.
  • evaluate and implement technological solutions to guide members through the donation process, thank donors, respond to queries, record interactions and report membership growth to management.


The Development Director will be responsible for developing a sponsorship strategy that is consistent with the organization’s mission and values by:

  • researching and reaching out to other mission-driven nonprofit or trade organizations that have facilitated successful underwriting for radio, events, web and print programs to identify best practices and bring them back to the Public Press.
  • designing and testing a corporate sponsorship program that appeals primarily to local and regional organizations that are consistent with the Public Press’ mission.


In performing several management functions, the Development Director will be expected to:

  • participate in staff meetings to gain a detailed understanding of program goals to better target project-specific grant applications.
  • supervise grant writers or other revenue consultants retained by the Public Press and track their progress toward organizational goals.
  • oversee gift processing and gift acknowledgment execution.
  • ensure departmental activities conform to all company policies and financial accounting practices.
  • maintain accurate records of progress for use by leadership and the Board of Directors.
  • attend board meetings if and when requested by leadership.
  • participate in the budgeting process and monitor departmental expenditures.
  • maintain working knowledge of local and regional issues and important news stories that are of interest to our members, funders and the general public.
Compensation and Benefits

Salary for this position is commensurate with experience and background, and based on comparable roles at nonprofit organizations of our size in the region. The Public Press offers its full-time employees health, dental, vision and other benefits and four weeks of paid time off (accrued plus holidays).

We highly value lived experiences in the issues we cover as a news organization. We are open to accommodating people with flexible work requirements. Eventually, we hope to be able to return to our office in Hayes Valley neighborhood in San Francisco, but as of now the position will be largely remote. 

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