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28 Dec 2023

Full-Time Director of Development

Savanna Institute – Posted by SavannaInstitute Anywhere

Job Description

Job Opening: Director of Development

The Savanna Institute invites applications for a Director of Development. This position will lead the Savanna Institute’s fundraising efforts in our work to scale up agroforestry as a nature-based climate solution. As a member of the Executive Team, this position will work closely with the Executive Director, the Outreach and Partnerships team, and other leadership. The Director of Development will lead overall fund development strategy for the organization, and focus on growing and diversifying sources of philanthropic support, which is integral to building the organization and realizing our vision – a multifunctional agriculture based on agroforestry systems of integrated trees, crops, and livestock and fostering ecological resilience, water quality, soil health, and vibrant rural communities.

We seek applicants who share our passion for ecological and equitable agriculture as a climate solution and who are motivated to widen the circle of who has the opportunity to inform, support, and benefit from its development. To that end, we are seeking a diversity of voices at the table and strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans  to  apply.


Who We Are

The Savanna Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Madison, WI and Urbana, IL. Established in 2013, we work in collaboration with farmers, businesses, and scientists to lay the groundwork for widespread agroforestry in the Midwest US. Inspired by the native savanna ecosystems that once covered much of this region, we envision a transformed agricultural system, centered on trees and other perennial crops, that fosters ecological resilience, climate stability, economic prosperity, and vibrant, equitable communities. For more information, please visit savannainstitute.org.


Job Description

Hours: full-time

Location: Wisconsin, Illinois, or the surrounding area, with flexible remote work options

Start Date: May 1, 2024

Salary: Salary starts at $90,000 or greater, commensurate with experience 

  • This position is eligible for the Institute’s benefits package. Benefits for full-time employees include 30 days paid time off per year, 3 weeks of paid family leave, a health reimbursement arrangement that can be applied to insurance premiums and approved healthcare costs, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, and a monthly home office stipend.
  • This position reports to the Executive Director



As the Director of Development, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the financial future of the Savanna Institute. Your responsibilities will include:

  1. Department Leadership: Set the vision and strategy for Development at the Institute. Define department staffing needs, and hire and supervise staff. Work collaboratively with staff to plan and implement a successful fundraising and donor relations program. 
  2. Major Gifts Strategy and Donor Engagement: Develop and implement a major gifts strategy to secure significant financial support from individual donors, private foundations, and corporations. Connect with and develop networks of high-net-worth, philanthropic individuals passionate about sustainable agriculture and climate justice. Qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of major and planned gift prospects.
  3. Pipeline Development: Build and manage a robust donor pipeline in coordination with the Development Manager, identifying and cultivating prospective donors to develop a robust source of revenue.
  4. Collaboration: Work closely with the executive team and program staff to align fundraising efforts with organizational priorities and ensure effective communication of our impact to donors.
  5. Events: In collaboration with the events team, plan and execute fundraising events with a focus on donor stewardship and major donor cultivation.
  6. Data Analysis: Utilize data-driven insights to evaluate and adjust fundraising strategy, ensuring continuous improvement and success in fundraising efforts.


Required Qualifications

  • Experience building and leading a team
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, with a proven track record of securing major gifts
  • Strong understanding of donor qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to build and maintain relationships with donors and key stakeholders and communicate Savanna Institute’s mission in a clear, compelling, and persuasive manner
  • Experience with donor databases and fundraising software
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic and growing organization
  • Willingness and ability to travel (not more than 10% of time)


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience planning and managing capital campaigns
  • Demonstrated success securing planned gifts using a variety of giving vehicles
  • Experience writing grant proposals and creating impact reports for post-award grant management
  • Strong critical and strategic thinking skills, with the ability to develop departmental goals, strategy, and priorities


If you’re excited about this job, we’re excited to learn about your experience! Please be sure to address each of the following qualifications in your cover letter — paint us a picture of how your unique skills, experiences, and/or education meet or exceed the qualifications. Cover letters should be no longer than 1 typed page. 


How To Apply Submit a resume/CV and cover letter to the position on our jobs page: https://www.savannainstitute.org/jobs/

Deadline All applications must be received by 11:59 pm CT on March 3rd, 2024.

Questions? Email Kathleen Fitzgibbon, Operations Manager, ka******@sa**************.org.


Diversity Commitment

The Savanna Institute affirms the value of diversity of staff and stakeholders, and aims to foster inclusive environments and equitable outcomes of our work. We seek individuals who are committed to these goals.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law.

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How to Apply

Submit a resume/CV and cover letter to the position on our jobs page: https://www.savannainstitute.org/jobs/

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: agricultural, development, Environmental, Fundraising, nonprofit, and regenerative. Salaries: 80,000 - 100,000.

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