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Director of Development at The Trace, Nonprofit Journalism

The Trace
Virginia, United States
$100,000.00 - $140,000.00
Posted Date
Jul 1, 2024

The Trace is looking for a director of development to help sustain and expand our high-impact, award-winning reporting on gun violence.  


At our growing nonprofit media organization, we’re building the only team of journalists dedicated to reporting on one of the most critical issues facing our country. Our stories are making a difference, and our financial support has increased during these uncertain times. As we plan for the future, we’re seeking a talented development leader to accelerate our fundraising, particularly in major gifts.  


We hope you’ll consider applying if:  

    You believe in the power of journalism and storytelling to drive positive change 
    You enjoy building relationships to support organizations you’re passionate about 
    You love spotting new opportunities — and making them happen  


In this full-time position, you’ll collaborate with The Trace’s Managing Director on establishing and expanding revenue programs essential to our long-term sustainability and impact. Ideally, you both excel at strategically raising funds for mission-driven organizations and are comfortable with the nitty-gritty of nonprofit development work — we’re a small shop, and this is a hands-on role.  


The Trace has been successful in diversifying its revenue sources across roughly 35 institutional funders and a growing membership base. The person in this role will work to further cultivate these sources but will focus first on expanding The Trace’s major donor program.  


Core Responsibilities 

    Creating and implementing a comprehensive development strategy and fundraising plan. You’ll use your experience and historical data from The Trace to create and maintain a development strategy and actionable fundraising plan that leads to increased revenue. Essential to this task is building streamlined systems to accurately track and report progress and make adjustments when necessary.  
    Scaling up a major giving program. For most of its nine years in operation, The Trace has been funded primarily by grants from institutional donors. In partnership with the Managing Director, you’ll develop a strategy for steadily increasing the share of our $5.25 million operating budget funded by major gifts. Working from an initial list of prospects, you’ll facilitate the outreach, relationship-building, and requests that increase our revenues from individual supporters. As our major gifts program gains momentum, you’ll identify and research new prospective donors and help add them to our growing community of patrons.  
    Expanding our membership program. More than a thousand of The Trace’s loyal readers help to sustain our journalism by making one-time or recurring donations. You’ll organize the digital marketing and email campaigns that lead to new members and renewals, conduct capacity screenings, and ensure every gift is promptly and warmly acknowledged. You’ll also work with our audience team, membership consultants, and development coordinator to expand our donor funnel and track key conversion and retention metrics.  
    Coordinating with our successful grants program. You’ll contribute to the continued growth of our grant revenues by coordinating with our grant-writing firm, Managing Director, and other colleagues to strategize new institutional funding opportunities and track the progress and outcomes of grant-funded projects.  
    Testing new revenue lines. The development director will scope opportunities in new revenue streams (e.g., sponsorships, events, consulting services) and run pilot projects to assess their ROI and scalability.  


Required Skills and Qualifications 

    At least 5 years of experience as a fundraising professional in a nonprofit organization, and at least 10 years of overall work experience  
    Demonstrated success in setting fundraising strategy, leading a comprehensive and efficient development program, and preparing work plans to achieve goals  
    Experience leading and managing coworkers and/or consultants and ability to coach, support, and advise others in becoming more effective fundraisers 
    Ability to see opportunities, think creatively, and execute new approaches for development 
    Excellent communication and writing skills, with an ability to connect with people virtually, in-person, and in thoughtfully composed letters and emails   
    Track record of taking initiative and working independently  
    Excellent organization, prioritization, and time-management skills, consistently leading to deadlines met and goals achieved  
    Attention to detail  
    Familiarity with optimizing Salesforce as a CRM 
    Willingness to travel and occasionally work during the evenings or weekends for donor meetings and events  


Preferred Skills and Qualifications  

    Availability for in-person work at The Trace’s Charlottesville, Virginia business office 2 to 3 days a week. Outside of the Charlottesville area, preference will be given to candidates from locations where The Trace has staff (New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago) or that are home to significant philanthropic communities.  
    Experience managing a portfolio of major donors, including making substantial asks and securing transformational gifts    
    Direct experience in raising funds for nonprofit journalism or public media  


Compensation and Benefits 

    $100,000 – $140,000 annually, depending on experience and location 
    Full medical/dental/vision paid by employer 
    20 PTO days, 10 sick days, and 2 personal days annually, plus federal holidays 
    401(k) with employer match  
    12 weeks of fully paid family leave 
    Professional development funding 


To Apply 

    The deadline for applying is July 26, 2024. We will review materials on a rolling basis and encourage interested candidates to apply without delay.  
    Questions about this opportunity? Email Please do not contact us to ask about the status of your application before we have contacted you.  

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