Development Director

On-Site | Syracuse, NY| Full-Time

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Marketing & Development Officer, the Development Director is responsible for leadership and direct support for all fundraising initiatives at The Reading League, which includes general operating campaigns, special events, and donor stewardship.

General Responsibilities

  • Oversight and management of the fundraising development plan that addresses goals and activities of TRL
  • Generate donations, meet with current and potential donors, and develop effective fundraising campaigns
  • Work with the Marketing and Development team to create marketing and communication plans for special events and fundraising campaigns directed to the general public and those that are directed to potential donors, volunteers, and guests in order to inform them of events and activities
  • Work with the Chief Marketing & Development Officer and Board Advancement Committee to build and empower the boards capacity, capability, consistency, and confidence in fundraising
  • Collaborate with TRL’s management to develop a comprehensive annual fundraising plan
  • Generate support, including in-kind donations, from individuals, corporations, and foundations for special events, annual campaigns, and other program fundraising
  • Supports strategies and programs to encourage and increase individual giving and in-kind donations of materials and services
  • Research new grant opportunities and apply as appropriate. Prepare and submit all grant applications and reports, both new and existing within deadlines
  • Cultivate new, first-time donors by researching and identifying potential donors and sponsors and implementing strategies to foster positive relationships
  • Report post-event data to determine the marketing effectiveness of the fundraising program
  • Increase revenue and investor longevity by creating new and exciting ideas for fundraising programs
  • Manage and execute the gift acknowledgment process
  • Manage the implementation of the donor database and maintain the accuracy and integrity of the database by ensuring that all information is kept current and up to date
  • Plan and execute key fundraising events including direction of volunteers and support staff
  • Develop and execute annual giving campaigns


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing or not-for-profit management preferred
  • Five to ten years of not-for-profit fundraising and development experience required
  • Three to five years of senior leadership preferred
  • Experience in professional fundraising/development which included fundraising strategies and donor relations with foundations, individuals, corporations, and other sources unique to not for profits
  • Experience with fundraising or donor database, Raiser’s Edge preferred
  • Grant writing experience required
  • Demonstrated experience raising funds, applying for foundation grants, and examples of positive outcomes
  • Experience, interest, and a proven track record with major gift fundraising
  • Strong management and organizational skills including attention to detail and commitment to excellence
  • Excellent time management and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize workload
  • Computer literacy with knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and Google Workspace
  • Ability to work both independently and as an effective team member
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of individuals
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with donors, vendors, sponsors, board members, and community partners
  • Experience cultivating and securing major gifts and/or high net worth individuals
  • Passion for the vision and mission of TRL and the ability to communicate the passion to others
  • Some nights and weekends may be required during TRL events and board/committee meetings


  • Competitive pay
  • 403b with match
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Generous PTO

This position description in no manner states or implies that these are the only duties and responsibilities to be performed. Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds. Work is performed in a typical office environment with little or no exposure to extreme weather conditions.

The Reading League is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Questions? Please contact us at

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