Director of Development

Upstate Forever Published: May 29, 2024
Remote, SC
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Fundraising / Membership

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Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina. Since 1998, Upstate Forever has built a solid foundation and reputation as a thoughtful and deliberate research-driven organization seeking to balance growth with the protection of the region’s natural resources.

We have worked to protect some of our region’s most important assets – our wild and working farmlands, rivers and clean air, and rural character – and to ensure that our Upstate communities are vibrant and retain their unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl.

Upstate Forever has two offices located in Greenville and Spartanburg, SC. UF’s employees work on a hybrid remote schedule. With coordination and approval by their supervisor, UF employees may regularly work remotely up to four days per week and are required to work from one of UF’s offices one day per week, in addition to attending necessary internal and external in-person meetings. When working remotely, employees must communicate their availability and means of being contacted. Likewise, employees must be reasonably accessible and responsive to internal and external communication. Employees are responsible for their own phone and internet expenses enabling remote work.

Position Overview

The Director of Development is responsible for leading and managing the overall effort to raise funds for the organization. The Director oversees all components of major and planned giving, membership/annual giving, cultivation events, and member activities. The Director also supervises the Associate/Assistant Director, who supervises the Development Associates.  The Director actively backs the Program Directors in pursuing restricted grants and gifts while primarily dedicating their time to securing unrestricted grants and gifts, particularly from major donors ($2,500 and above). This role operates in close collaboration with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. It’s a full-time position.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in seeking and obtaining major donor gifts ($2,500 and higher) primarily from individuals.
  • Periodically seeks funding from businesses, foundations, and government sources.
  • Develops an annual development plan working closely with the Executive Director.
  • Provides leadership in determining the timing and climate for campaigns, working closely with the Executive Director and in consultation with the Board of Directors.  Leads a best-practice oriented approach to campaigns.
  • Provides leadership in determining the purpose and effectiveness of cultivation events and secures sponsors as appropriate.  The organization does not engage in event fundraising.
  • Works closely with the communications team to request collateral as needed, coordinate necessary promotion/fundraising efforts, and execute shared goals.
  • Understands and supports the efforts of the Program Directors in seeking restricted grants and gifts for the organization’s program.
  • Creates and manages opportunities for board members and individual donors to participate in fundraising efforts mainly centered around relationships and networking (bringing people into engagement with the organization).
  • Supervises the management of board meeting logistics for quarterly board meetings.
  • Oversees the continual development of the organization’s donor database to ensure that it continues to meet the organization’s needs in terms of data management and reporting.
  • Manages the development budget, set annually in consultation with the Financial Director.
  • Works closely with the Executive Director on the organization’s planned giving program.
  • Reviews fundraising materials distributed to current and prospective major donors, including but not limited to letters, emails, newsletters, proposals, PowerPoint presentations, and reports.
  • Reports directly to the Executive Director.
  • Ensures that all reports required by the Executive Director and Board are submitted accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Represents the organization at appropriate public and private events and seeks opportunities to participate in events that will enhance the Director’s professional qualifications and standing.
  • Performs such additional tasks as may be assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Four-year degree from an accredited college or university (advanced degree a plus)
  • 7-10 years of experience in best practices for development operations, with a focus on major and planned giving
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate, ask for, and close major gifts
  • Experience in developing donor strategies and cultivation plans
  • Effective leadership and management skills
  • Attention to detail and effective organizational ability
  • Effective problem-resolution skills with a focus on solutions
  • Proficiency with Blackbaud/Raiser’s Edge database software

Compensation and Benefits

  • Salary negotiable depending on experience.
  • Benefits include health and dental insurance, paid time off/paid holidays, paid sick time, and a 401K with employer contribution.
  • Flexible workplace and scheduling (in accordance with company policy – the normal expectation is that staff are available during the standard workday for meetings and responses to time-sensitive requests).

COVID-19 precautions: To protect the safety of our employees considering the recommendations from the State and Federal Governments because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Upstate Forever strongly encourages all employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

DEI Commitment: Upstate Forever is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are taking deliberate steps to build authentic community partnerships and cultivate new leaders at all levels of our organization – from our membership to our staff to our board – to ensure we better represent the community we serve.

Click here to Apply

Upstate Forever has engaged Capital Development Services (CapDev) to conduct a search for this position. Candidates are required to submit a cover letter and a resume. All materials will be kept confidential. Application materials will be reviewed as received. Additional inquiries may be directed to

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