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Development Officer

Southern Environmental Law Center
North Carolina, United States
$95,000.00 - $110,000.00
Posted Date
Aug 30, 2023

The Southern Environmental Law Center seeks an experienced development professional to join our Chapel Hill, NC. office. This new Development Officer will manage a portfolio of current major donors and prospective individuals and family foundations, and to build the relationships that fund SELC’s program work. This is an excellent opportunity to join a highly successful, nationally recognized organization that is effectively addressing some of the most pressing and challenging environmental issues throughout the South and the nation.

You will be joining a dynamic team that includes seasoned fundraisers with leadership gift, campaign, and planned giving expertise; a sophisticated development information systems/research department; event staffers who handle logistics for 10+ high-touch special events a year; and on-staff writers, designers, and administrators who create a full range of customized proposals, reports, printed handouts, and digital materials that capture SELC’s goals and accomplishments. Having this strong support leaves you free to spend your time on customized cultivation and solicitation plans; networking; and partnering with SELC staff and board leadership to identify leads, make the entrée, and bring in the revenue. 

It is a particularly dynamic period for SELC as we have adopted a new ten-year strategic plan. The development officer position is an exciting career opportunity that allows you to participate in this forward-looking brainstorming and implementation; to actively partner with SELC’s top-notch attorneys and board members; and to get mentoring from senior development colleagues.

From our Chapel Hill office, this person will fundraise across the state of North Carolina. This position requires consistent, well-planned travel. SELC currently has a hybrid work model that offers employees the flexibility to work at home two days per week. This is a full-time, exempt position.

Primary Responsibilities:
  • Manage a portfolio of donors and prospects mostly in North Carolina. Must be skilled at the full range of identification, entrée, engagement, solicitation, and cultivation strategies.
  • Partner strategically with the state director for North Carolina on donor outreach, cultivation, and stewardship to increase the donor base and dollars raised in both states.
  • Individually or as part of a call team, solicit a range of gifts from individuals and families with emphasis on five to six figure gifts. Like all SELC front-line fundraisers, the development officer will also be comfortable asking for first-time, entry level gifts as part of qualifying and establishing new relationships. 
  • Complete a minimum of 10-15 calls or visits per month, many of which will require overnight trips. Plan ahead to fill your schedule with multiple face-to-face calls along with special events or other productive activities.
  • Build and manage a network of advisors and helpers, including SELC’s engaged and supportive Board of Trustees.
  • Through effective networking and collaborating, identify and qualify new pools of major gift prospects in SELC core territories and beyond. 
  • Be an effective spokesperson for the SELC’s mission and why it is worthy of significant philanthropic support.
  • Partner with SELC’s event logistics team by co-leading on invitation list, turnout, and meticulous post-event follow-up.
  • Be a collaborative, supportive partner at the table as our development leadership charts the implementation plan that can sustain the big, robust, multi-faceted organization that SELC is today and realize our long-term program vision.   
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Minimum of 5 years of professional fundraising experience with a track record in developing relationships with high net-worth individuals and securing major gifts. This should be combined with an ability to bring in new prospects and grow their investment over time.
  • Strong environmental interest and intellectual curiosity. Connection to or familiarity with the Southeast is a plus.  SELC fundraisers’ success depends on their ability to grasp complex environmental and legal concepts and turn them into inspiring stories about how our work impacts this region’s natural areas, air and water, and communities—and helps steer national law and policy. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Has ease picking up the telephone, welcomes face-to-face contact, and can smoothly navigate challenges such as talking your way in the door for a visit. 
  • A genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC create and foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
  • Highly organized, with an appetite for action and results. You are a natural self-starter, self-disciplined, and have good time management skills. You are skilled at setting and tracking short- and long-term plans and priorities, juggling multiple schedules and projects, and thriving in a fast-moving, goal-driven environment.                                             
  • Collegial, collaborative team player. Ability to work with a wide range of roles and styles, both in the office and externally. A key point of collaboration is with the development information systems team to ensure a free exchange of information between your portfolio and the database. You enjoy brainstorming and creative problem-solving and can think on your feet.
  • Travel proficiency, with a proven track record of planning robust trips of donor/prospect appointments to maximize time spent on the road and produce successful results.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office required, familiarity with Salesforce donor management software a plus.
About SELC:

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 200, including more than 100 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, DC.

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


SELC offers salaries competitive with other leading environmental nonprofits nationally and provides an excellent benefits package. The starting salary range for this position is $95,000- $110,000, commensurate with experience. For more details about our benefits package, please visit our Careers page.

To Apply:

To apply, click on the application link 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, Philanthropy. Interested persons should apply immediately, however applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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.

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