SELC seeks a Director of Development, Philanthropy to join our
four-person fundraising leadership team. Reporting to the Director
of Advancement, this person manages the daily operations of SELC’s
major gifts and special events program. The heart of this position
is supervising a regional team of development officers,
coordinating with them and the development operations team to build
portfolios that encompass four- to seven-figure donors and
prospects, and guiding their approaches and solicitations to
broaden SELC’s funding from individuals and family foundations with
a special focus on $10,000+ gifts. The successful candidate will
have proven management skills, a deep connection to SELC’s mission,
at least ten years in a professional fundraising program, and
personal experience in developing prospect strategies; working with
high-net-worth individuals; mobilizing board members; and
identifying, engaging, and soliciting new prospects.
This is a full-time position. We prefer for the position to be
based in our Charlottesville, VA Headquarters office, but will give
consideration to qualified candidates near one of our offices in
our six-state region. SELC currently has a hybrid work model that
offers employees the flexibility to work at home two days a week.
We require all staff to be vaccinated and boosted and to provide
proof of vaccination in order to come to work in our offices.
Be Part of Something Powerful at a Pivotal Time for the
Solutions start in the South: using law, policy, and
communications to champion the air, water, communities, and natural
treasures of the South, the Southern Environmental Law Center is
raising the bar for environmental protection and enforcement for
the entire nation. This is an organization that thinks big and acts
boldly to take on the major issues of our time, particularly
addressing climate change and righting environmental
Our consistent, 37-year track record has earned SELC a
reputation as one of the most effective non-profits in the U.S. And
due to our professionalism and solid fiscal management, we have
enjoyed 15 straight years of 4-star Exceptional rating from Charity
It is a particularly dynamic period in the Southern
Environmental Law Center’s history—which brings exciting
challenges. We recently adopted a new ten-year strategic plan, and
it will be the development team, enhanced by this new Director of
Development, Philanthropy position, that will organize, deploy, and
lead SELC’s willing board and staff to raise the foundation grants,
annual revenue, and endowment gifts needed to achieve SELC’s
ambitious long-range vision. SELC’s current fiscal year budget is
- Be a collegial, collaborative member of the leadership team
headed by SELC’s Director of Advancement and including our Director
of Development, Operations and Director of Foundations. It is this
group that charts the fundraising plans, goals, activities, and
budget that align with SELC’s ten-year strategic vision and yearly
program implementation—and ensures coordination and top performance
in and among all areas of the program.
- Under the guidance of the Director of Advancement, help to
create and realize a multi-faceted fundraising and engagement
program that continues to broaden and deepen SELC’s base of annual
major gift and future-oriented endowment support.
- Supervise a team of eight development officers. This includes
working with the leadership team to set performance metrics, then
tracking, assessing, and giving individual feedback on performance
- Work closely with the development information systems team to
ensure that good leads are coming out of the database and into
development officer portfolios, and that important information is
coming “out of the field” and captured effectively by development
offices to inform future plans. SELC uses a moves management
approach in Salesforce.
- Collaborate each season with the development leadership team to
set the conceptual framework for SELC events (mainly in-person, but
also digital). It is then this position’s responsibility to oversee
both the event team’s implementation of the planning and hosting,
and the development officers’ post-event face-to-face follow-up
calls. High-touch and carefully curated, SELC special events are a
crucial vehicle for cultivating existing donors and, even more
importantly, identifying and engaging prospects.
- Have a seat at the table for many concept and strategy-setting
meetings relating to relationship building and fundraising, then
take the lead in ensuring that development officers faithfully
implement these strategy decisions. This is a central hub position
that needs to work effectively with SELC fundraisers, SELC’s
Executive Director, Management Committee members, attorneys,
trustees, longtime donors and other volunteer leaders to synch our
program priorities to potential donor interests.
- With approximately 20% of his/her time, manage a portfolio that
includes current and prospective donors. Some, but not extensive,
travel is required for this position.
Desired Background & Personal Attributes:
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Minimum ten years of professional fundraising experience. We
are seeking someone who has both managed a portfolio of current
major/leadership donors and done prospecting to qualify
interest/capacity and bring in first-time gifts.
- Previous experience managing frontline fundraisers, preferably
during a period of revenue growth or institutional expansion.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically, particularly in
the context of donor/prospect actions.
- Strong environmental interest. Connection to or familiarity
with the Southeast is a plus.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ease with
picking up the telephone and welcomes face-to-face contact.
- Intellectual curiosity, and ability to quickly grasp and
thoughtfully articulate complex concepts a must.
- Proven ability to work with a wide range of individual styles,
both in the office with colleagues, and externally with donors and
- Demonstrated success in setting priorities, coordinating
multiple projects, handling details, and working effectively under
- Proficient in Outlook, Word and Excel and donor management
software. Familiarity with Salesforce a plus.
- Previous experience as a member of a management team a
Scope and Opportunity
The Director of Development, Philanthropy is a chance to pioneer
a newly created management role, with a successful nonprofit known
for its effectiveness and results, at a time that has never been
more critical for our region’s environment and health. Thanks to
the loyalty and generosity of our supporters, the Southern
Environmental Law Center has tremendous momentum, and the
successful candidate will have the opportunity to partner with
SELC’s executive leaders, office directors, and program heads to
continue building the relationships and revenues that will keep
SELC strong and robust into the future.
The position will be joining a seasoned, sophisticated
fundraising and engagement team that includes senior development
officers with leadership gift, planned giving, and campaign
expertise; an accomplished development information systems/research
team; event staffers who plan and execute dozens of high-touch
events a year; a foundations staff including writers and
administrators; and in-house designers and writers who create
customized print and digital materials for our use. With a 37-year
track record of raising money for this unique organization, we have
a lot of successful approaches to share, and we look forward to
your good ideas.
This is a role that requires a high level of management
expertise, sophisticated fundraising knowledge, and project
management. The ideal candidate must be able to guide direct
reports on successful strategies and best practices for all aspects
of frontline fundraising and donor relations. This person must also
collaborate effectively with colleagues to create a cohesive and
highly functioning department. The ideal candidate will be
friendly, confident, curious, and flexible; have a demonstrated
knack for being a strategic planner and creative problem solver;
and display emotional intelligence, managerial courage, and a
strong interest in SELC’s environmental mission.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s
most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South.
With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental
challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to
protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and
people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of
over 170, including more than 80 attorneys, and is headquartered in
Charlottesville, VA., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta,
Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and
At our core, we are place-based, rooted in our region, and
connected with the communities and clients we serve. We believe in
an equitable and inclusive workplace that reflects the rich racial
and cultural diversity of our region and allows diverse
perspectives to come to the forefront. We approach our work with
the highest level of integrity, holding ourselves to high standards
with an emphasis on honesty, accountability, and thoughtfulness. We
value collaboration and camaraderie, realizing we are strongest
when we work together and knowing that everyone has a critical role
to play. We strive for impact through a strategic, bold, pragmatic,
and ambitious outlook that is dedicated to achieving powerful
results. We believe in these values and in the power of SELC. We
hope you consider joining us. Learn more at https://www.southernenvironment.org/.
SELC offers salaries competitive with other leading
environmental non-profits nationally and provides an excellent
benefits package. The starting salary range for this position is
$135,000-$155,000, commensurate with experience. For more details
about our benefits, please visit our Careers page.
To apply, click on the link below to be directed to an online
application where you may upload your application materials.
Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume. Cover letters
should be directed to the Director of Development, Operations.
Interested persons should apply immediately, however applications
will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is
SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering an
inclusive workplace environment. We are eager to welcome new team
members who share this commitment. We still have much progress to
make, but our goal is to create and maintain a staff that, at every
level, reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of the
communities where we work and the clients that we serve. Persons of
all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with
disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly
encouraged to apply.