Development Director

Huron River Watershed Council
Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Reports to: Executive Director

Hours: Full-time with benefits

Salary: $80,800

Close Date: Open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About Us
The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is a coalition of watershed residents, businesses, and local governments. HRWC is the oldest regional river protection organization in Michigan. Our mission is to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities. We work with a collaborative and inclusive spirit to give all partners the opportunity to become stewards; generate science-based, trustworthy information for decision makers to ensure reliable supplies of clean water and resilient natural systems; and passionately advocate for the health of the river and the lands around it.

HRWC is committed to diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We are committed to prohibiting discrimination against volunteers, clients, and applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental handicap/disability, social economic class, ethical values and/or political beliefs.

Position Description

The Huron River Watershed Council is seeking a Development Director to oversee our donor relations program and manage fundraising initiatives. The Development Director is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic plans to raise funds for the organization. HRWC has an annual operating budget of $2.2 million and 13 staff. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing fundraising campaigns, developing and maintaining relationships with current and prospective donors, and building a strong development team for the organization. This position involves managing individual and non-individual gifts as well as our annual fundraising event and planned and annual giving campaigns. If you have a strong background in non-profit fundraising and development and a passion for environmental protection, we encourage you to apply.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Set and achieve ambitious fundraising goals.
  • Focus on long-range strategic priorities, advance HRWC’s goals, and communicate a broad vision to others.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, Development Associate, Finance Manager and other staff and the board of directors to establish and meet fundraising goals.
  • Manage the development staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Identify and evaluate prospective donors for specific projects, major gifts, and planned giving gift solicitations and establish a process for cultivating relationships with donors.
  • Maintain strong relationships with existing donors.
  • Manage and oversee individual and business membership prospecting, stewardship, and cultivation.
  • Develop and maintain a significant professional presence throughout the local community.
  • Manage all major-gifts functions, which include planned giving, principal gifts, donor prospecting and research, and special multi-year fundraising campaigns.
  • Establish secondary development mechanisms including investment portfolios, estate planning, endowments, etc.
  • Arrange special events and other activities designed to generate prospect/donor enthusiasm and interest, including our annual Suds on the River event.
  • Ensure the appropriate stewardship of all major-gifts donors, creating annual stewardship plans, in order to strengthen ongoing relationships with major donors.
  • Work collaboratively with marketing and communications team and produce strategic donor messaging and materials.
  • Write compelling and inspiring pieces of communication to convey HRWC’s story, vision, purpose, strengths and successes.

Huron River Watershed Council Functions:

  • Participate in production of a high-quality newsletter, website, and other traditional media and social networking outlets.
  • Assist in developing and implementing any needed procedures to continually improve the effectiveness of the organization.
  • Participate in staff meetings, and other organization events and activities.
  • Contribute to strategic planning and annual planning processes and measuring impact.

Qualified candidates will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5-8 years of fundraising experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Sound fundraising judgement.
  • Strong record of success asking for and closing major gifts and building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents such as major donors, foundations and corporations.
  • Proven ability to manage, track, and maintain relationships with multiple prospects and donors.
  • Knowledge of current trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of major gifts and Planned-giving.
  • Some knowledge of and strong interest in environmental issues.
  • Experience with Salesforce or similar software, Microsoft Office suite, SharePoint and social media platforms is desirable.

 Additional desired qualifications include:

Problem solving and decision making

  • Ability to design, implement, and direct fundraising initiatives, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies.
  • Experience negotiating complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Experience making connections between ideas and funders.
  • Ability to make strategic decisions based on analysis, wisdom, experience and judgement.

 Communications/interpersonal skills

  • Strong written, communication, and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of HRWC to diverse groups including donors, corporate executives, board members and others who are important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Experience leading and producing strategic donor messaging and materials.
  • Ability to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Capacity to build constructive and effective relationships with board of directors, staff and volunteers. 


  • Experience developing multi-year fundraising strategies and goals, evaluation and adaptive.
  • Highly organized management of fundraising activities including processing, tracking, follow up.
  • Experience managing staff including goal setting, problem solving, performance reviews and professional development.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a teammate to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone.
  • Specific vision abilities required include close vision requirements due to computer work.
  • Light to moderate lifting is required.
  • Event work may entail all-weather physical activity and lifting as much as 30 pounds.
  • Some evening and weekend work required.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license in the State of Michigan and a vehicle.

Please submit an application, cover letter, resume, and three references to .

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Download a pdf of this position announcement: HRWC development director Job Description Oct 2019.