Director of Development (Full-Time) - Make a Wish: East Tennessee

JOB TITLE: Director of Development (Full-Time)

REPORTS TO: President & CEO

SUPERVISES: Development Coordinator

JOB SUMMARY: The Director of Development is responsible for spearheading the annual growth of chapter revenues by identifying, cultivating and soliciting donor prospects for leadership gifts; major gifts; planned gifts (particularly bequests); corporate gifts; employee giving; and foundation grants. S/he will develop, lead, and manage the development team while personally focusing on major gift solicitation. The Director is responsible for prospect research, database integrity, and stewardship of donors in support of the goal of raising funds from individuals, corporations, and philanthropic foundations.

BACKGROUND: Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee seeks funding from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support the wishes granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in its 36-county territory. It receives no government funding. Success in fulfilling the mission and granting wishes is dependent on the effectiveness of the chapter’s development team and fundraising efforts. The development department is responsible for all aspects of the development program including major gifts, individual giving, corporate donations, workplace giving, event sponsorships, and cause-related marketing.


Major Gifts

• Oversee a major gifts program that includes leveraging existing donors, identifying new prospects, and stewarding supporters. Manage a personal portfolio of 100+/- major and planned gift prospects and donors. Conduct 20+/- face-to-face visits with prospects and donors on a monthly basis.

• Ensure excellence in relationship management. Work with the CEO and individual board members to cultivate relationships and present planned giving opportunities.

• Launch a catalyst campaign (with select co-chairs) to propel chapter growth and significantly increase the numbers of wishes granted and impact/profile of the organization.

Department Leadership

• Provide strategic direction to, and implementation of, the chapter’s overall development program. Challenge development processes and plans and present detailed alternatives and business plans.

• Develop and maintain a consistent process to manage donor cultivation and stewardship efforts. Seek constant improvement of the stewardship plan and approach.

• Supervise Development Coordinator’s work on internal and external events. Internal event management includes conceptualizing, securing sponsors, planning and logistics, and promoting. External event management includes processing fundraising agreements, providing branding support and resources, and stewarding relationships. Identify opportunities to maximize, recast, or reinvent events including sunsetting or launching events or event types.

• Design, implement, and oversee a donor recognition/retention plan for the chapter.

• Propose the type/frequency of donor communications to keep them informed and engaged.

• Build a diversified funding program, including multi-year approaches, workplace giving, and matching gifts.

• Establish fundraising goals for the organization and each individual staff member. Participate in the growth of the development staff and conduct performance reviews and coaching.

• Provide collaborative leadership on the management team, representing the development department’s initiatives, goals, and progress. Foster a culture of cooperation and collaboration among the chapter staff.

Board of Directors

• Work closely with the CEO to support board members in realizing their individual fundraising goals. Encourage board members to leverage their talent and networks to help the chapter achieve its mission.

• Serve as the staff liaison to the Development Committee. Provide the chairperson with analyses, meeting agenda, and overall strategic development direction.

• Assist in the creation of the development department’s annual operating budget and maintain timely reports for the CEO and Board of Directors.


• Ensure solid communication and trust is built between the development and program staff.

• Network with members of the business/nonprofit community to increase awareness for the mission, attract financial support, and discover/implement new initiatives adaptable for the chapter. Identify opportunities to partner with businesses to meet the needs and objectives of MAWETN and the company.

• Monitor monthly revenue and expense statements and prepare alternate plans of action when necessary to meet overall financial goals.

• Provide organizational leadership and model organizational culture and behavioral expectations. Define strategy as a member of the management team.

• Guarantee that all aspects of donor administration are conducted in a timely basis and that donor records are accurately maintained in Raiser’s Edge.

• Participate in internal fundraising events and represent the chapter at special events and public speaking engagements as requested by the CEO.

• Perform other duties as assigned by the CEO or requested by the Board of Directors.


The Director of Development receives supervision from the chapter CEO and Board of Directors. This position is responsible for supervising the Development Coordinator.


• Bachelor’s degree or higher. CFRE credentials a plus.

• Demonstrated (i.e. documented) record of successfully soliciting major gifts.

• 5+ years of development and fundraising experience in a nonprofit setting.

• Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills. Computer skills, including with Raiser’s Edge.

• Experience in managing and mentoring both new and experienced fundraising staff and volunteers toward achieving fundraising objectives.

• Willingness to work nights/weekends or travel as necessary.


Compensation includes a competitive base salary commensurate with experience and a package of employee and health benefits.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and three professional references to No calls or office visits. Applications will be accepted until a qualified candidate is identified.

Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals.