Development Director

Website Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a fast-growing, national network of more than 200 nonprofit news organizations, has an immediate opening for a Director of Development. This is an outstanding opportunity for a visionary, rising leader in fundraising  who seeks to run their own show and likes the idea of advancing a young and dynamic field in philanthropy: nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism.

The development director we seek is passionate about the role a free press plays in our democracy and can be an ambassador for public interest journalism as well as the mission of INN.

INN has doubled its membership and more than tripled its programs over three years. Building on the rapid growth in this media sector, we’re now diversifying a strong grants portfolio and starting a national major gifts program. As development director, you will be responsible for growing the revenue base by working with the board and CEO to build a sustainable major gifts program, extending the breadth and range of foundation funding, and manage the mid-level and major donor portfolio. We kick off the effort with a special campaign around INN’s 10th anniversary in 2019 to fund a News Futures Fellowship program now being developed with university partners.

Our development director can be based in any major US metro area.


Responsibilities and opportunities

The Development Director reports to the executive director. With input and collaboration from the board of directors and ED, you will lead an update of the organization’s revenue strategy and own the deliverables for an executable three-year plan. You’ll spend at least 50 percent of your time on major donors. This position also oversees grant diversification and a small digital donation and sponsorship portfolio, while retaining a clear focus on developing new major funders. The development director supervises a contract grants officer and a part-time development administration assistant. Development work also is supported by a full-time communications and marketing director and the finance/operations director, and is a core focus of the executive director.

Specific work would include:

  • Oversees and manages all aspects of development with a focus on major gifts , new foundation support and special campaigns.
  • Sets up systems and best practices for managing INN’s prospecting, cultivating, research and communications aimed at major individual donors.
  • Serves as the hands-on manager responsible for qualifying, soliciting, cultivating and stewarding individual mid-level and major gifts, from the 4-figure to 7-figure level.
  • Personally cultivates, solicits, and stewards major gifts from a portfolio of high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations; supports the CEO, board members and staff in doing the same. As the program ramps up we’d expect this position to work with a portfolio of about 50 major donors.
  • Supervises a part-time grants officer and works alongside the officer, CEO and program managers to identify funding needs, strategies, targets and approaches to fund and expand key programs
  • Establishes and manages INN’s processes and reporting around fundraising. Creates a structure and manages monthly, quarterly and annual cultivation and planning processes with the CEO and board members as well as other staffers.
  • Increases the visibility and recognition of INN’s work. Works with the CEO and Marketing/Communications Director to coordinate messaging, stewardship and cultivation communications and events for current, former and potential funders. Works with marketing/communications director to ensure online fundraising messages are aligned with overall donation strategy.
  • Represents INN at various industry events and functions; organizes major donor gatherings.



  • A minimum of five years’ direct fundraising and solicitation experience, including donor development for national organizations and causes.
  • Fundraising for news or a relevant field, such as civil society causes, public media, communications and journalism education, social justice or other public affairs organizations.
  • Experience fundraising for a network or alliance would be beneficial.
  • Outstanding writing and presentation skills. Many of INN’s supporters are journalists, and in this young philanthropic field, the development director also will be educating, building a knowledge base and engaging people’s interest in the news field overall, as well as in INN’s own mission. Experience as a journalist or in marketing communications/public relations writing would be a plus.
  • Comfort working  independently and collaboratively. You’re good at managing your own time, creating your own structure and solving problems — but not shy about hitting Slack, Zoom, phone, text or email if there’s a question. INN staff frequently work remotely, so this job can offer flexibility to a self-directed professional who can mix in-office and remote work.
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and project management skills. You have the ability to anticipate risks and set and achieve goals; prioritize among pressing issues and synthesize information to make decisions. Able to implement processes across many roles in an organization.
  • Resourceful, with a creative approach to problem solving
  • You’re a capable user of DonorSearch or similar, CRM systems, Google Documents and Microsoft Office. Comfortable with financial projections and spreadsheets.
  • Ability to travel about once a month on average, depending on location.


About INN

INN, founded in 2009 by 27 investigative news organizations, is a backbone organization serving the fast-growing field of independent investigative and public service news. Across the U.S., news entrepreneurs and communities are founding and growing these public service newsrooms. They share some DNA with public media and are increasingly vital in our democracy, preserving government accountability and public access to information. Today the membership has grown to more than 200 independent news outlets across North America, covering everything from local community news to global issues.

Together they are creating a new civil society news network and strengthening the sources of trusted news for thousands of communities. The development director joins a staff of 12 who are passionate about supporting this work.

More information about INN can be found at and about the nonprofit news field in the INN Index.


Compensation and conditions

INN offers a competitive salary and benefits including generous vacation benefits, retirement savings contributions, equipment and learning allowances. We value diversity, work in the open and do everything we can to give back to the journalism community (Read more about our team values). INN is an equal opportunity employer and we seek to increase diversity in our own operation and in the news media and nonprofits. We encourage applications from communities traditionally underrepresented in either field.

TO APPLY: Send a resume and application letter to

To apply for this job email your details to