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BirdNote Is Seeking a Director of Development

BirdNote Director of Development

BirdNote tells remarkable stories about birds and nature. BirdNote programs are distributed to 200-plus public radio stations reaching listeners in over 400 markets, and growing. In addition, BirdNote reaches millions of people around the world through digital distribution.

BirdNote is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, in operation for over 15 years. Because stations don’t pay for BirdNote, we depend upon financial support from individual donors, foundations, businesses, and modest earned revenue from the BirdNote travel program and sales of BirdNote branded products such as calendars, books, and notecards.

BirdNote seeks a full-time director of development to plan and oversee the implementation of fundraising initiatives to meet an annual revenue budget goal of approximately $898,274. The director of development will oversee annual giving activities and assume primary responsibility for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors and foundations contributing $1,000 and more annually. The director of development will report to the executive director and supervise the development manager (who manages fundraising initiatives for gifts under $1,000 annually), a contract Salesforce data entry specialist, and a contract corporate underwriting associate.

We seek an enthusiastic, driven professional with at least five years of experience in major gifts fundraising who is passionate about BirdNote's mission. Superior communication skills and the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team are required. Experience with public media or the environment is an asset. Specific responsibilities include:

Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Fundraising Initiatives
•    In partnership with the executive director, development manager, and fundraising committee, create an annual development plan that engages staff and board members in appropriate fundraising roles.
•    Oversee the planning and implementation of annual giving activities conducted by the development manager, including the annual fund plan, direct mail appeals, online campaigns, special appeals, special events, gift processing and acknowledgment, donor recognition and donor stewardship.
•    Oversee the work of the Salesforce data entry specialist, ensuring accuracy and
•    Plan cultivation and solicitation strategies for participants in BirdNote’s travel program, when travel is once again permitted.
•    Work closely with board and staff members to create individualized plans for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual major donors and foundations.
•    Prepare all materials for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors (e.g., proposals, budgets, presentations, newsletters, brochures, and reports). Contribute to the annual report and other donor communications, as appropriate.
•    Work closely with the executive director and corporate consultant to generate corporate underwriting leads, prepare solicitations and track results.
•    Provide monthly fundraising progress reports to the executive director and board treasurer for presentation at board meetings.
•    Evaluate all fundraising strategies annually.

Stewarding Major Donors
•    Ensure that major donors are informed of important BirdNote news and the impact of their giving through effective stewardship strategies and compelling communications.
•    Conduct donor visits virtually or in person, when possible.
•    Acknowledge gifts with timely notes and phone calls, involving board and staff members as appropriate.
•    Plan special events, as able, or recognitions that honor donors and deepen their relationships with BirdNote.

Engaging the Board in Major Gifts Fundraising and Stewardship
•    Staff the board development committee and board fundraising committee.
•    Coordinate board involvement in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors.
•    Train and coach board members to best fulfill their roles in fundraising.

Managing Donor Information
•    Document all interactions with major donors in the Salesforce database, including notes from donor visits and records of correspondence, phone calls, and emails.
•    Oversee the work of the Salesforce data entry specialist to ensure that all gifts are entered accurately, major donor profiles and communication preferences are up-to-date, and that donation records are accurate.
•    Ensure that all gifts are acknowledged in an efficient and timely manner, and all donor records include appropriate and accurate information.

Expanding the Major Donor Base
•    Set strategy to expand the base of major donors and raise the funds needed with available resources.
•    In partnership with members of the fundraising committee, strengthen the major donor prospect list and identify new sources of major gifts revenue, including individuals, foundations, and corporations.
•    Prepare materials for major gifts fundraising initiatives and develop related collateral to build support for the organization.

Supporting BirdNote’s Goals and Vision
•    Participate in board meetings, strategic planning, and budgeting.
•    Contribute to the work of the development and finance committee, as needed.

BirdNote staff work from home and communicate electronically, coming together for conversation and camaraderie via BlueJeans, Skype, and Seattle-based coffee houses. 

Desired Qualifications/Skills
•    5+ years’ development experience (significant major gift experience required) with proven success in program growth.
•    Passion for BirdNote’s mission and work
•    College graduate, or equivalent experience
•    Excellent written and interpersonal communications and organizational skills; impeccable customer service skills
•    Exceptional attention to detail
•    Proficient in Microsoft Office and G-Suite; experienced with online databases, especially Salesforce
•    Social media proficiency
•    Positive, self-motivated, responsible, results-oriented – a team player
•    Ability to work collaboratively with staff, volunteers, board members
•    Self-motivated to meet deadlines and maintain productivity while working remotely
•    Ability to learn from experience and a good sense of humor

Working conditions
BirdNote staff and contractors work from home and communicate electronically, coming together virtually for conversation and camaraderie via BlueJeans, Skype, or in the future, meetings at Seattle-based coffee houses, as needed. 

The person in this position will work 40 hours per week, schedule TBD
•    Extensive computer and phone work
•    Ability to work some evening and weekend hours (with advance notice)
•    Occasional lifting up to 50 lbs.

Hire contingent upon passing a background check.


Salary range: $85,000 to $111,000, negotiable, depending on experience, skills and qualifications.

A competitive benefits package includes 12 paid days of vacation per year with 1 to 2 years of continuous service; 15 days of vacation per year with 3 to 5 years of continuous service; and 4 weeks of vacation per year after 6 years or more of continuous service.  In addition, BirdNote observes 9 days of paid holidays. Group medical insurance, life and disability insurance, and vision insurance is offered to employees with no premium cost. Dental insurance is also available with the cost of the premium shared by BirdNote (at 75%) and the employee (at 25%). For employees who earn $5,000 or more per year, BirdNote contributes a matching contribution in an amount equal to the employee’s elective deferrals which do not exceed 3% towards a SIMPLE IRA of the employee’s choice.

To apply, please send resume, cover letter, salary history, and sample fundraising materials (including a writing sample) to Sallie Bodie, Executive Director at with the subject line: BirdNote DD. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until the position is filled.

BirdNote is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities.