Director of Development
Grist, the nation’s leading green news platform, seeks a Director of Development to oversee and expand our fundraising operations at a key inflection point for our organization. We are growing by leaps and bounds, with an audience in the millions and partnerships with the nation’s leading media outlets. Our staff and board have created a bold strategic plan that will transform the climate and sustainability conversation and are now evaluating the feasibility of launching a major fundraising initiative to support that work. All we need is you.
As a member of Grist’s senior management team, the Director of Development will work closely with the CEO and other staff members to shape and implement organizational strategies and to achieve contributed income goals. You will manage a small team responsible for raising funds from institutional sources and major donors. Our preference is for this position to be Seattle-based, but we will consider candidates based elsewhere.
- Design and manage the overall strategy, plan, calendar, and budget for Grist’s fundraising program to meet its annual budget of $4M and growing
- Build a high-performing team to implement Grist’s fundraising program, leveraging the organization’s donor database and other technologies. Currently this team includes a Foundation Relations Manager, Major Gifts and Events Manager, and Membership/Development Assistant
- Lead the effort to evaluate, design, and implement a major capital campaign to support Grist’s new vision
- Working in collaboration with Grist editorial team, develop proposals to solicit funding from high-level major donors, foundations, and other identified targets
- Serve as a member of Grist’s senior management team, contributing to the development and implementation of the organization’s operating and strategic plans
- Expand and manage the major individual-giving program, including the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects; the organization of fundraising events nationwide; and the creation of appropriate collateral, both print and electronic, to support a robust major donor program
- Maintain a portfolio of individual and institutional major gifts prospects and donors and work with Grist’s CEO and Grist’s founder to manage and track the progress of their portfolios of top individual major gift prospects and donors
- Provide direction and supervision for the foundation and corporate relations manager to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors; oversee the creation and production of all fundraising materials, including letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and reports.
- Work with appropriate staff to design and run regular reports for staff and board that track Grist’s fundraising results against its fiscal year goals and past giving history
- Design, plan, and execute donor cultivation and stewardship activities designed to advance the organization’s strategic priorities and fundraising goals
- Serve as the fundraising liaison to Grist’s board, preparing agendas and materials for meetings; staffing the board fundraising committee; and assisting with special board projects.
- Oversee use of Salesforce platform, including creation and analysis of reports, timely logging of communications and contacts, and system improvements as needed
- Supervise the timely and accurate processing of gifts and acknowledgements
- Perform other tasks, as appropriate, to achieve Grist’s fundraising goals
- Some travel and flexible work schedule required
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or CFRE certification preferred
- 7+ years solid fundraising experience, with proven success in the areas of institutional and individual giving
- A track record of creative, innovative approaches to fundraising — as an environmental news organization, Grist doesn’t always fit neatly into pre-defined program areas
- Demonstrated ability to build, expand, and manage a development program responsible for raising at least $3.5 million annually
- Dynamic and capable of organizing and leading strategic meetings with funders and board members; at ease driving an agenda and pivoting in real time to achieve a successful outcome
- Strong leadership and management experience navigating and motivating people across the organization to engage in fundraising activities
- Experience managing and motivating boards and volunteers for fundraising initiative.
- Proven experience opening new doors with funders, waltzing through them, and walking away with funding commitments (bonus points for a record of multi-year gifts/grants)
- Truly outstanding written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
- Attention to detail; strong time-management and organizational skills
- Experience with fundraising databases (Salesforce preferred) and strong comfort with presentation software like Google Slides and PowerPoint
- Strong financial skills, including the ability to develop and review budgets and to develop management reports that present a clear financial picture of fundraising activities
- Comfort (and ideally experience) working in a nimble organization in which innovation and experimentation are prized and rigidity isn’t
- Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with colleagues
- A sense of humor never hurts!
To apply, please send a cover letter to email@example.com with “Director of Development” in the subject line. We are looking for a thoughtful, personalized cover letter that displays your qualifications, enthusiasm, and communication style. No phone calls, please. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer.
Chief Executive Officer
Grist, the nation’s leading green news site, is seeking a CEO.
Grist was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit organization to give the world a fresh take on all things green. We are an independent, irreverent online media platform that uses unexpected approaches to inform and engage a broad audience. Grist has established a new way of talking about the environment that has changed the national conversation on the issues. Today, we have a staff of 35 people and an annual budget approaching $4 million. Grist reaches a total monthly audience of more than 2,000,000, and 65 percent of our users report taking action based on our content, from the classroom to the community to the boardroom. Our innovative approach has earned Grist many distinguished honors including being ranked as a top website by TIME, The Guardian, and many others. We are on a path to dramatically increase our reach and influence over the next several years.
For the position of CEO, we are seeking an entrepreneurial, strategic, and innovative leader with proven fundraising experience who is deeply committed to sustainability and equity and who spurs individuals and groups to new creative heights. The CEO will lead the nation’s most influential environmental news source through an exciting period of growth, working closely with the Board and founder to make Grist a more influential, nimble, creative, and resilient organization—with a big impact. The incoming CEO must believe thought-provoking journalism, new forms of communication, and the occasional hearty guffaw are critical tools in the climate fight.
- Refine, communicate, and execute our board-approved strategic vision; define and implement the organizational changes that will be necessary
- Develop, maintain, and support a strong board of directors; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction
- Serve as a lead for Grist’s fundraising operations, expanding Grist’s funder base through networking, relationships, and convenings
- Recruit and retain a talented, diverse, mission-driven team; supervise all senior staff
- Foster a culture of creativity, experimentation, inclusivity, and excellence; build a team that responds swiftly to changing technologies and takes advantage of emerging digital trends
- Cultivate a collaborative learning environment that rewards individual and team initiatives
- Lead the organization through substantive changes including the management of communications (internal and external), transition planning, and implementation
GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY
- Expand and deepen Grist’s existing products to increase audience, deepen engagement, and create new sources of revenue
- Oversee comprehensive marketing and branding work across Grist to increase reach and influence
- Maintain ultimate responsibility for expanding and diversifying revenue streams, both contributed and earned; e.g., play a key role in fundraising efforts, including identifying and meeting with major-donor and foundation prospects, and drive efforts to increase sponsorship dollars
- Assume full P&L responsibilities, including developing long- and short-range financial plans, and ensuring sound financial controls
The ideal candidate for this position is a strategic professional with a passion for and experience running a mission-based organization or business unit and delivering on strategy. You should have a history of increasingly responsible executive management positions and a track record of thought leadership, team-building, and revenue expansion.
LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS
- Experience in leading a mission-based organization and delivering on programmatic goals in support of the organization’s mission
- Strong ability to lead an organization through phases of sustainable change and transformation
- Demonstrated success in building and leading senior teams
- Successful track record of raising money and expanding funding opportunities
- History of identifying strategic opportunities and delivering on initiatives, projects, and products
- Experience managing a P&L for a high-growth business and leading the development and management of an organizational or business-unit budget
- Highly developed critical thinking, problem-solving, and priority-setting skills
- Experience in both established and entrepreneurial/start-up environments
- Skilled working in a nonprofit and/or a mission-driven organization (with a focus on the environment and equity strongly preferred)
- Experience in a new media or technology company in which digital media is a significant component of daily operations and business strategy
- Demonstrated capabilities to bridge programmatic work with funding opportunities and to tack creatively as needed in support of the mission and financial requirements
- Experience expanding and engaging audiences, especially through social media; ability to push an organization forward by staying abreast and connected with new media and technology trends
- Ability to set direction, drive buy-in around competing priorities, and ensure that people are accountable for moving action forward once decisions are made
- Ability to establish a high-performance work ethic and culture that is committed to growth, creativity, inclusion, innovation, and achievement of clear and ambitious objectives
- Confidence making decisions that are supported by disciplined, logical thinking and documented conclusions
Qualified candidates should send their resumes and cover letters to Kassie Wilner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Foundation Relations Manager
Grist, the nation’s leading green news site, is seeking a Foundation Relations Manager to help sustain and increase our institutional support. We are growing by leaps and bounds, with an audience in the millions and partnerships with the nation’s leading media outlets. Our staff and board have created a bold strategic plan that will transform the climate and sustainability conversation and are now putting the building blocks in place for an invigorated fundraising effort to support that work.
You will be responsible for building relationships with current and potential foundation supporters, including prospecting, cultivating, proposal and report writing, and ongoing stewardship. Playing a key role on our small-but-feisty fundraising team, you will work in coordination with the Development Director, Founder, CEO, and Board of Directors to create strategies that allow our organization, which uses irreverent storytelling to engage next-generation audiences, to grow and thrive. You must be an exceptional writer (as a media organization, we’re extra picky), a creative thinker, and a fearless fundraiser who can open even the most fiercely guarded doors. Our preference is for this position to be Seattle-based, but we will consider candidates based elsewhere.
Some travel is required; an understanding of green issues, journalism, and the environmental funding landscape would be helpful; and a sense of humor never hurts.
- Work with Development Director and other staff to design and implement plans to increase Grist’s base of foundation support
- Conduct preliminary funder research and evaluate foundation and corporate prospects
- Partner with the Development Director to develop strategies to engage, solicit, and steward these prospects
- Participate in face-to-face meetings with funders across the country and manage relationships with foundation staff
- Write compelling communications for funders at all stages of the cultivation process, including correspondence with staff, letters of inquiry, proposals, and reports
- Collect and synthesize information about Grist’s programs from other departments as needed to make the case for support and report on organizational progress
- Provide support to the Development Director, Founder, CEO, and Board of Directors for in-person meetings with current and potential funders
- Support efforts to raise Grist’s profile in the funder community, including funder briefings and other speaking engagements
- Manage organized and efficient operational systems to ensure accurate records and timely communication with funders; oversee all foundation and corporate database records
This is a full-time position. Other qualifications include:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- 3+ years of experience with fundraising and/or grant writing
- Exceptional writing and editing ability
- Strong organizational skills and detail orientation are a must
- Strong project-management skills
- Ability to work well with external audiences and staff across the organization
- Strong research and database skills (experience with Salesforce is a plus)
- Sound and accurate judgment and decision-making skills
- Exceptional ability to juggle multiple tasks, prioritize, work and problem-solve independently
- Commitment to and track record of meeting deadlines
- Ability to travel
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample (ideally not a boring grant proposal – we’ll get to that later) to email@example.com with “Foundation Relations Manager” in the subject line. We are looking for a thoughtful, personalized cover letter that displays your qualifications, enthusiasm, and communication style. No phone calls, please. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer.
Grist is an independent nonprofit media organization that shapes the country’s environmental conversations, making green second nature for our monthly audience of 2,000,000 and growing. We reach the next generation by cutting through the noise to connect big issues like climate change to daily life, and by spotlighting the people and ideas leading us to a more sustainable future. (Also by posting videos of baby animals.) Founded in 1999, Grist has been featured by media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC’s Today show, and Time, and has won many prestigious awards for its pioneering media work. Learn more.