by Wild Seed Project

We’re hiring a Director of Development.

About the role:

We are seeking a creative fundraiser and dynamic community builder to join our leadership team as Director of Development. A new role in our growing organization, the Director of Development will serve as the lead strategist for a diverse and robust fundraising program, planning and directing all fundraising activities including our annual fund, major gifts, membership, corporate and foundation support, and special events.

The Director of Development will work in close partnership with the Executive Director (a seasoned fundraiser with extensive development experience) to build and execute a philanthropic growth strategy to support WSP’s programs, and ensure long-term sustainability for our organization.

This role is a key leader for WSP in developing, nurturing, and managing institutional and individual relationships, communicating our value to the community, and leading our fundraising efforts to secure individual, corporate, and other philanthropic support for WSP’s mission, programs, and long-term sustainability.

Wild Seed Project is committed to centering equity in all facets of our work, and it’s important to us that the Director of Development embody the principles of Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) (

Our fundraising profile:
Wild Seed Project is a ~$1M organization with a staff of 10, a Board of Directors with 10 – 15 members, and a wide network of volunteers. We are constructing a new Native Seed Center in Cape Elizabeth, which will serve as the hub for our seed collection and nursery operations. We are currently running a capital campaign to support this project. We have robust, diversified revenue streams, with retail sales accounting for roughly 25% of our operating budget. Our current fundraising revenue streams are fairly evenly split between major gifts, membership, and individual donations. Our grant funding is small but growing. This position will be pivotal in evolving and growing our fundraising strategies.


Primary Responsibilities:

Leadership, Planning, Strategy, and Collaboration

  • Design, implement, and track an annual development plan intended to grow WSP’s fundraising revenue through a deep understanding of WSP’s vision, values, programs, and operations
  • Plan and oversee all fundraising efforts including donor communications, engagement events and proposals
  • Create reports for Executive Director, Board, and staff that accurately reflect fundraising activity, performance and forecasts
  • Ensure that all donor communications, campaigns, and events are in alignment with WSP’s mission and values
  • Ensure the recording of all donor and gift information in EveryAction, acknowledging every gift in an appropriate and timely way, in partnership with our Development and Communications Coordinator
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to develop a long-term diversified revenue plan for WSP’s future

Individual Giving & Membership

  • Build strong relationships with donors and collaborate with the Executive Director to build individual donor plans and personally solicit gifts
  • Maintain an active portfolio of current and prospective major donors. Steward and solicit gifts of all levels while working together with the Executive Director to reach the fundraising goals for individual giving overall
  • Plan and lead the execution of major fundraising campaigns via mail and email
  • Foster increased connection and engagement with WSP across the donor network
  • Cultivate opportunities for donors to give through stock donations and DAFs
  • Design and implement monthly/recurring and planned giving programs
  • Regularly conduct face-to face meetings with donors, institutional funders, and other key stakeholders
  • Collaborate with the Director of Community Engagement to craft clear, compelling donor communications that reflect WSP’s voice and values
  • Contribute to strategy and implementation of Wild Seed Project’s membership program, which has grown from 700 to 1,800 members over the past year. Deepen engagement with existing members; develop strategy to grow membership base; and create member-to-donor pipeline strategy.

Foundation, Corporate, and Government Partnerships

  • Maintain grants calendar and apply for agreed upon funding opportunities
  • Connect with WSP’s current foundation and corporate partners to maintain and develop relationships
  • Track and update a yearly grant proposal calendar with submission deadlines, reporting requirements, and work with program staff to ensure that all funding requests align with program goals, planned programs and staff capacity
  • Seek new opportunities for foundation support, especially by exploring multi-year gifts, capacity-building requests, and state and federal grants
  • Manage grants received and deliver timely reporting in collaboration with program staff

Community Partnership, Events, and Engagement

  • Create and implement a corporate membership or sponsorship program
  • Develop and deliver fundraising engagement events that both raise funds and build community; engage corporate partners and individual volunteers to support fundraising events
  • Serve as the staff leader on the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Directors

What we’re looking for:

  • Deep experience in effective, holistic fundraising strategies including grant seeking, individual donor cultivation, corporate sponsorship, and special events, and demonstrated success with individual, foundation, and corporate donors
  • Experience working in/leading small (one- or two-person) development departments
  • A proven track record of cultivating prospects, soliciting major donors and securing large gifts
  • Experience planning and executing fundraising campaigns
  • Capacity and experience in developing authentic, long-term relationships with donors and community partners
  • Experience developing high-impact, engaging fundraising programs and events
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the capacity to tell compelling, mobilizing stories about Wild Seed Project’s mission and vision
  • Grant writing and reporting experience. Experience with state and federal grants is a plus
  • Experience working closely with a Board of Directors and mobilizing them to leverage their strengths and personal networks
  • Experience with donor management software (we’re currently transitioning to EveryAction)
  • Familiarity with the principles of Community Centric Fundraising and a commitment to the internal and external work of equity, justice, and decolonization, as well as the capacity to articulate how white supremacy shows up in the fundraising ecosystem
  • A relational approach to fundraising, and an authentic understanding that every contribution and every donor matters
  • A passion for environmental and climate justice

Work Location
Wild Seed Project’s office is located in North Yarmouth, Maine, approximately 25 minutes north of Portland and our new Native Seed Center is located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, approximately 15 minutes south of Portland. This role will require time at both locations. We are currently working via a flexible, hybrid model, with staff splitting time between home and the office/in the field as their role demands. We take COVID precautions seriously and will revert to fully remote work if circumstances require. This role requires occasional nights and weekends.

The Director of Development salary is $72,000, with a generous benefits package including 20 vacation days, 6 sick/personal days, 10 annual paid holidays, and 75% employer coverage of medical insurance premiums. Dental and vision insurance are available and paid 100% by employees. Additional benefits are planned for the 2024 calendar year including a retirement plan and sabbatical leave.

How to Apply
Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line: Director of Development. Attached cover letter and resume should be formatted as: Last Name – Cover Letter / Last Name – Resume. We will begin reviewing applications on October 27 and will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Ideally, the new staff member will start in early January 2024 or before.


About our Hiring Process:

Here’s what you can expect when you apply for a job at our organization:

  • All applicants will be notified of their status. We do our best to contact candidates as soon as they are no longer being considered. 
  • We conduct an initial phone interview with a large pool of applicants, a second Zoom interview with ~6 candidates and 3-4 of our team members, and a final in-person interview for 2-3 candidates with the same hiring team.
  • Interview questions are provided in advance for the Zoom and in-person rounds, and the phone interviews when possible. 
  • We commit to transparency throughout the process, and will share our timeline for next steps at the close of each interview.
  • We recognize that interview processes are necessarily extractive, and there are intense power imbalances between candidates and the hiring team. 
  • We commit to salary transparency throughout our organization and we do not negotiate salaries. 


For questions about this position, or the hiring process at Wild Seed Project, please contact Jess Gildea, Director of Community Engagement:


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