Director of Development

Washington D.C.
Sep 12, 2017
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Non-Profit Organizations & Associations
Institution Type
Other Organizations

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a dynamic higher education advocacy organization with a 20–year history of success, seeks a personable, creative, well-organized, and strategically focused development professional to join our team as Director of Development. Founded in 1995, ACTA works to advance academic excellence, academic freedom, and accountability through research, public education, and outreach to policymakers and trustees.

The Director of Development works to advance ACTA’s core message through the creation and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising strategy that includes corporate and foundation grants, individual donor support and engagement, major gift and planned giving programs, in-kind resources, and strategic partnerships. The Director of Development collaborates with senior program staff to educate donors about ACTA’s initiatives and successes, and to solicit their support. The Director of Development manages a staff of two, reports directly to ACTA’s President, and works extensively with both the President and the Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations.


Fundraising Plan Development

  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors, President, Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations, and the Associate Director of Development to create a development plan that increases revenues to support ACTA’s strategic growth and advance ACTA’s mission.
  • Analyze movements in the annual giving campaign, identify opportunities and challenges, and develop strategies to ensure fundraising goals are achieved.
  • Research and monitor current fundraising trends in the non-profit and higher education community and adapt fundraising strategies as necessary.

Fundraising Plan Implementation

  • Develop an operational plan for the development department to achieve the department’s long-term and annual goals.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit new foundation prospects and steward existing foundation funders.
  • Manage administration of current grants, including tracking deadlines; collecting information from program staff and operations department; and writing, reviewing, and submitting timely proposals, reports, and updates.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Director of Development, grow and maintain the major gifts program, including research and identification of potential donors, developing the case for giving, and stewarding current relationships.
  • Manage and expand ACTA’s planned giving program, including stewardship of the Legacy Society.
  • Enhance organizational opportunities by cultivating and expanding strategic partnerships and corporate relationships.
  • Meet one-on-one with donors in collaboration with the President, and represent ACTA at conferences and events.
  • Promote donor engagement through volunteer opportunities.
  • Oversee development staff management of direct mail program, annual event sponsorships, donor events, fundraising database, and acknowledgement of gifts.

Fundraising Plan Reporting

  • Review and analyze development results (number of donors giving, dollars raised, churn rate, and strategies used) and report to senior management on a quarterly basis.
  • Report on development department activities and results (metrics) to the Board of Directors.



The Director of Development must approach these tasks as an entrepreneurial enterprise, requiring an understanding of and proactive approach to ACTA’s programmatic activities. The successful candidate will demonstrate tangible experience in cultivating and expanding existing donor relationships over time; securing major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations; and excellent skills in research, writing, and fundraising messaging. He or she is expected to be personable, innovative, well organized, highly motivated, and principled, as well as to exhibit the highest degree of personal responsibility, accountability, and honesty.

A Bachelor’s Degree and minimum of 5-7 years of experience in development (fundraising/donor relations) are required. Knowledge of higher education issues and policy and experience in the non-profit sector are strongly preferred. This is a mid-senior appointment, so experience managing and mentoring staff is essential.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to Nick Barden at

Similar jobs

Similar jobs