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Director of Development

The Rural Center is an independent nonprofit with a mission to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina. For 30 years, the Center has operated from the core belief that our rural communities have inherent cultural value and are vital to the overall economic health of our state. The Center supports North Carolina's 80 rural counties by advocating for sound public policy based in data-driven decision making; engaging communities in planning for their future and connecting them to the critical resources they need to be successful; and promoting inclusive leadership and nurturing a new generation of rural leaders.

The Center recently completed a comprehensive feasibility study in preparation for the expansion of philanthropic support and the launch of a comprehensive capital campaign. The Rural Center now seeks an energetic and visionary director of development to create a dynamic development program and prepare for the launch of an impending capital campaign to coincide with the Center's 30th anniversary. The director will be one of five members of the Center's leadership team, reporting directly to the president of the Rural Center.

Role of Director of Development

The ideal candidate must have a deep appreciation for and understanding of rural communities and the state's current philanthropic climate. Capital campaign experience is preferred and a strong background in major gift fundraising is a must. The candidate must thrive on working entrepreneurially and independently to create a vibrant development function and be able to lead the board, leadership, and staff to embrace private philanthropy as a critical component of the long-term sustainability of the organization.

The director of development will be responsible for managing the strategic direction and tactical implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program with individual, corporate, and foundation objectives. This new position will work closely with the president and the Rural Center Board of Directors in building a diverse set of donor prospects across North Carolina and establishing a culture of philanthropy for the Rural Center. The development director will have the support of a communications/development assistant and will be a member of the organization's executive leadership team.

Essential Duties and Functions

  • Collaborate with the president, Board of Directors, and Rural Center staff to create a fund development plan that increases funding to support the Center's strategic direction—special attention toward establishing a network of individual donors is critical;
  • Build upon and expand relationships with stakeholders across all North Carolina to attract philanthropic support;
  • Plan and execute effective donor cultivation, recognition, and stewardship;
  • Work with the senior director of public affairs to coordinate regular articles and financial information to educate donors and encourage their support;
  • Work with the leadership team to develop proposals for corporate gifts and foundation grants;
  • Develop and implement strategies to create a philanthropic culture throughout the organization and with the Board of Directors;
  • Research public and private grant sources (e.g., government, corporations, and foundations) to identify sources of restricted and unrestricted funding;
  • Supervise and coordinate activities to maintain complete and accurate records of all contributions and grants using a donor database;
  • Interface with the finance office to fulfill information requests and maintain reporting accuracy of all income;
  • Dedicate on-going attention to personal professional development through trade organization networks.

Desired Qualifications

The Rural Center offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications and traits:

  • A proven track record in major gift fundraising with a minimum of five years of experience, (emphasis on individual fundraising and donor relations);
  • A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required and professional certifications are preferred;
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently with little administrative support;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain major donor and executive-level relationships on behalf of the Center;
  • Superior written communication and proposal development skills;
  • Familiarity with the North Carolina and national philanthropic community, especially those funders supporting community and economic development;
  • An affinity for the mission-driven approach to rural community economic development, small business development, and leadership development; and
  • The ability to travel up to 50% as needed, mostly in-state.

Procedure for Candidacy

The Rural Center has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment. Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications must be submitted via email to or online by clicking here. Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references. All material will be confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 x 208.