Director of Development

Georgia, United States
$80,000.00 - $84,000.00
Closing date
Oct 17, 2023

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

Overview and Description: SAAFON is a network of small-scale Black sustainable farmers in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Virgin Islands. The Director of Development will have the opportunity to play a significant role in shaping SAAFON’s next chapter by creating a development-focused community relations and supporting communications strategy alongside key fundraising goals. 


The Director of Development (DD) will lead and execute Development efforts and strategic planning in concert with the rest of SAAFON’s leadership team, ensuring an integrated and synchronized approach to the mission of SAAFON. The Director of Development will be responsible for cultivating our donor base to match SAAFON’s projected growth, in addition to maintaining our current funder relationships. Projects and plans will be developed in alignment with SAAFON’s continued goals of support for our farmer-members, and growing and strengthening our support base through strong development and communications strategies.   


This position requires a leader who has a passion for development, fundraising, and supporting Black liberation and sustainable and ecological movements in a Southern, predominately rural context; who is an organized and strategic thinker with excellent writing and communication skills. The successful candidate will be able to prioritize projects, and responsibly exercise individual initiative in a time of transition and change for the organization.  


Note: This is a new role within SAAFON and provides the opportunity to build, design and deliver development strategies from the ground up, taking SAAFON to the next level in alignment with our values, geographical context, culture, and history.  




Development (75%) – Development planning, prospect cultivation, grant writing, funder relationships, grant reporting 

  • Create and execute strategic and comprehensive development and donor communications plans to engage, retain and grow individual donors and create a diverse funding portfolio 
  • Guide and ensure the success of the organization’s immediate, short-term and long-term fundraising goals 
  • Grant writing, grant follow up and evaluation, in collaboration with the Director of Strategic and Programmatic Development (DSP) 
  • Prepare SOPs and templates for SAAFON’s development work, in collaboration with the team 
  • Prospect identification, cultivation and solicitations for development and fundraising: 
  • Create and execute plans for Institutional Giving, Planned Giving, Fundraising, Foundation, Individual, Government, and Corporate funders and prospects for current and potential revenue 
  • Directly solicit major gifts, and partner with senior staff on donor engagement opportunities 
  • Maintaining & monitoring relationships with SAAFON’s funders and potential funders; and engaging in regular communication with funders through individual meetings, conferences, and other events 
  • Track portfolio activity, communication and progress and create reports to reflect portfolio activity and performance 
  • Anchor conversation, creativity, thought leadership and implementation of approaches to SAAFON’s financial health, stability, and resilience 
  • Work with our CRM to help manage and track donors and donations 


Strategic Planning and Executive Function (15%) – Supports the organizational leadership team in planning and steering SAAFON’s overall course and management 

  • Alongside other members of SAAFON’s leadership, maintain a systems-view of SAAFON’s direction, culture, and management: offering vision, guidance, and leadership, with humility and support of a “leader-full” movement culture 
  • Lead the development and maintenance of an overall vision, plan, and calendar for SAAFON’s development and funding 
  • Ensure that development and fundraising are conducted in alignment with SAAFON’s goals and values 
  • Monitor SAAFON’s position in the overall funding “ecosystem” around Black agrarianism, agroecology, and sustainable farming 


Communications (10%) - Communications and Storytelling are strategic and cultural priorities for SAAFON and are closely tied to SAAFON’s overall development. This work will be supportive of and targeted partnership with staff in Storytelling and Communications (position to be filled). 

  • Represent SAAFON in appropriate external spaces (e.g., with movement partners and collaborators; at conferences; in external committees, etc.)-- noting that SAAFON’s external representation is shared amongst the entire staff depending on the specific opportunity, staff capacity, and relevant expertise and experience 
  • Work with other members of the team on editorial direction, writing, design, production, and the creation and distribution of print and electronic materials related to development and fundraising 
  • Partner with Communications staff to identify and maintain alignment in SAAFON’s narrative strategies, values, and work with regards to development and fundraising  



Required Qualifications:   

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university or substantial related work experience 
  • Minimum of three years of experience in a fundraising position, with strong preference for: 
  • Experience at the level of manager  
  • Proficiency with sponsorship solicitation 
  • Proven track record of successful fundraising and development for a mid-sized organization 
  • Previous examples of meeting or exceeding fundraising goals 
  • Experience with membership-based/grassroots fundraising 
  • Experience fundraising with, for, and from BIPOC-led institutions 
  • Experience with both individual and institutional fundraising 
  • Familiarity of all aspects of donor life cycle with 5-figure-plus gifts from individuals 
  • Knowledge of communications and marketing techniques, with preference for work experience in the areas of development, communications, or nonprofit marketing 
  • Knowledge of, and relationships with, high-end fundraising community 
  • Knowledge of both national and local (Southern) funders preferred 
  • Superior attention to detail 
  • Experience using Salesforce and/or other similar CRMs 
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Office programs, e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher 
  • Experience with MailChimp and Constant Contact or equivalent email management systems 
  • Expertise in using social media (including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) as fundraising tools 
  • Track record of successfully growing a fundraising pipeline 
  • Interest in mentoring other staff and volunteers in fundraising, and ability to help create a culture of philanthropy throughout an organization 
  • Excellent critical thinking/problem solving skills   
  • Emotional intelligence and deep listening skills  
  • Proof of right to work in the United States 


Desirable But Not Required: 

  • Proven success in developing and implementing appeals through both traditional and emerging methodologies strongly preferred 
  • Personal solicitation experience 
  • Familiarity/experience with sustainable/organic/afro/agroecological movements 
  • Deep experience working in the US South/Southern Black context 
  • Experience in group facilitation and coordination 
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute small donor cultivation events  

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