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Development Director

Student Press Law Center
District of Columbia, United States
$95,000.00 - $110,000.00
Closing date
May 22, 2024
Development Director


Company: Student Press Law Center 

The Student Press Law Center promotes, supports and defends the First Amendment and free press rights of student journalists and their advisers. We’re looking for a dynamic and organized fundraising professional to lead our development efforts, with an emphasis on individual giving and major gifts. You’ll also support and advise our executive director with institutional giving, including foundations and corporations. 

You’ll be a member of the senior leadership team of our 50-year-old nonprofit that works to empower high school and college students to tell the stories of their school communities and the world around them. Increasingly, the students we serve are reporting in “news deserts,” communities where traditional print publications have closed, and these young journalists are filling a vital First Amendment role. Help us find supporters for this important work.

You should have at least 7 years of development experience and be confident in your ability to steward existing donors and develop major gifts. You don’t need journalism or law experience, though you should have an appreciation for both. You’ll collaborate with team members who know how to mine our Salesforce database and who produce online and email campaigns to raise funds. You’ll benefit from the experience of the development committee of the Board of Directors to support your work.

Founded in 1974, the Student Press Law Center is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., that works at the intersection of education, journalism and law. The Student Press Law Center envisions a world where all student journalists are respected, know their rights and are protected by law to express themselves freely as full and essential members of a healthy democratic society.

This executive-level role will lead our revenue diversification strategy to support SPLC's long-term sustainability.

Status: Full-time exempt (not eligible for overtime), with 90-day introductory period. 

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: Remote within USA

Organizational and Department Leadership 

    Manage, coordinate, and provide leadership on the implementation of a comprehensive, diversified development strategy and work plan to build a steady pipeline of individual donors, foundations, and corporations.  Guide and support the senior leadership team and board of directors in their prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities.  Participate in the annual organizational budget development process by estimating revenue based on past and potential support.  Lead the fundraising team, including supervising and coaching the development associate, making recommendations for fundraising team expansion as required, and supervising any additional fundraising hires.  Coach, mentor, and supervise department staff with an emphasis on individual professional and personal growth. 


    Diversify SPLC’s revenue streams with an emphasis on individual giving and major gifts, while identifying other fundraising opportunities including institutional giving, events, sponsorships and earned income. Oversee the day-to-day fund development activities of the organization and department staff.  Oversee the maintenance of an accurate donor database, including giving and outreach history.  Monitor and analyze fundraising data and make recommendations for new strategies and tactics in response to changing circumstances and unexpected opportunities.  Work with the development associate to conduct research and identify new funding prospects and ensure the maintenance of an accurate calendar of grant processes, due dates and reporting requirements.  Serve as the point of contact for current and prospective institutional supporters as appropriate.  Serve as the point of contact for current and prospective major donors as appropriate.  Develop persuasive and compelling donor-focused materials, including marketing documents, acknowledgement letters, fundraising emails, and other correspondence.  Develop and coordinate mid-level and online donor strategy. 


We recognize that not every candidate will possess every qualification on this list. If you have some combination of what we’re looking for — visionary leader, excellent fundraiser, dynamic spokesperson, experienced manager, First Amendment advocate — we want to hear from you.

    7+ years senior-level fundraising experience with increasingly responsible fundraising experience within the non-profit sector, including developing and implementing a multi-layered development strategy and building strong major donor, foundation, and corporate relationships Proven track record of securing major gifts, including individual donors, foundation grants, and corporate partnerships; experience with securing planned gifts preferred Enthusiasm for, and comfort with, contacting and interacting with donors and prospects  Experience writing successful grant proposals and reports  Strong organizational, time-management, and problem-solving skills  Experience with motivating and engaging board members a plus Database management experience (we currently use Salesforce, but experience in any donor database is helpful) Demonstrated commitment to a team-oriented work style with the ability to train and coach staff to increase their comfort level and success in fundraising  Effective communication skills, including verbal and non-verbal presentation and writing skills  Knowledge of online fundraising best practices and strategies a plus  Previous experience in a senior leadership team  Personal qualities of integrity, credibility and a commitment to and passion for SPLC’s mission

Compensation and Benefits

The anticipated salary range for this position is $95-110K, contingent on experience. Benefits include health, vision and dental insurance (100% coverage for employee / 50% coverage for spouse/domestic partner/dependents).

    403(b) plan (up to 3% employer match) Long-term and short-term disability insurance Paid family leave  Vacation: Three weeks paid Sick days: Five days paid Paid holidays: Seven standard holidays, plus one floating holiday; Thanksgiving plus day before and day after; office closed Dec. 24-31

SPLC seeks to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences. We support all aspects of diversity and provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or status as a veteran. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply.

How to Apply

Please submit the following in PDF format:

    Cover letter that specifies how your experience aligns with our needs and why you are uniquely qualified for this position. Please also describe an initiative you have led and a challenge you have overcome. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Updated résumé Three references upon request

Submit all materials via this form. (

Review of applications will begin on May 1, 2024, and continue on a rolling basis. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply early. 

We strive to achieve excellence through a diverse and inclusive workplace that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each person. We actively seek people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. As an EOE/AA employer, the Student Press Law Center will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status or any other factor prohibited by law. 

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check. 

Student Press Law Center
1717 K Street NW Suite 900 Washington, D.C. 20006
Web:"> | Twitter:">@splc | Instagram:">@studentpresslawcenter | Facebook:">/studentpress

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