Development Director

For Love of Water (FLOW)
Traverse City, MI, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

POSITION STATUS: Full-time, 40-hour per week, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt and salaried position with benefits, including paid-time-off and health care, as determined by the board of directors.

POSITION SUMMARY: The FLOW Development Director is responsible for design, oversight, and implementation of FLOW’s strategic fund development plan, with a special emphasis on major donor growth/stewardship, donor events, and keeping the organization on track to achieve its financial goals. To do this, the Development Director will work closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, President, Senior Advisor, Program Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, board of directors, interns, and volunteers to manage development operations and to drive and increase contributed revenue from all streams.


  • Reports to: Executive Director
  • Supervises: Volunteers and interns
  • Works with: All FLOW staff, board, interns, volunteer coordinator, constituents, partners, and vendors.
  • Employment is at-will


  • Adhere to the Code of Professional Fundraising Ethics, APRA Code of Ethics and A Donor’s Bill of Rights.
  • Serve as the lead in developing annual fund development plans to meet fiscal goals.
  • Work with the Executive Director and members of the board to determine quarterly priorities and action plans for cultivating existing donor relationships and pursuing new streams of funding.
  • Serve as lead for grant funding: conduct grant research, network with foundation staff, draft letters of inquiry, track grant deadlines, assist in grant writing and grant reporting, and continue to develop/steward foundation relationships.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with donors, prospective donors, board members, volunteers, all representatives and supporters of FLOW, and local community members, organizations, and businesses.
  • Develop weekly donor communication lists for Executive Director and staff members.
  • Help identify prospective individual and corporate funders and secure face-to-face solicitation meetings for Executive Director, Development Director, other staff, and key board members.
  • Manage oversight and tracking of donor communications and donations.
  • Strategically engage FLOW staff, board members, and volunteers to connect with donor base in an effective, engaging, and efficient manner.
  • Provide targeted monthly and quarterly funding updates to stakeholder groups (staff, board, others).
  • Work with FLOW staff and board members to develop and implement short- and long- term goals for expanding the geographical reach and awareness of FLOW.
  • Oversee and execute design and planning for major donor events.
  • Provide oversight and support for annual giving drives.
  • Facilitate the tracking and evaluation of results against stated objectives to assure that goals are met or exceeded each year.

Major Gifts

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop an overall plan and direction for local major donor activities, with an associated work plan detailing short and long-term goals, specific action steps, and deliverables, and a process for monitoring and evaluating the success of the major gifts program.
  • Develop an ongoing communications plan for prospects and donors.
  • Collaborate, write, edit, print, and send solicitation letters.
  • Manage and monitor contacts in CRM software to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.
  • Organize face-to-face donor meetings and gatherings as needed.

Annual Giving

  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director, staff, board, and Resource Development Committee to plan and execute annual giving programs.
  • Assist with the planning, development, and implementation of a strategic plan of action with objectives, timelines, and evaluation measures for the Annual Fund program that includes identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of constituents.
  • Prepare, with Program Coordinator, solicitation materials and lists for delivery to vendors.
  • Coordinate with Program Coordinator and vendors to ensure timely delivery of direct mail according to solicitation schedule.
  • Prepare internal and external reports using NEON CRM database and work with Executive Director to measure progress against stated goals and objectives.
  • Ensure that gifts and grants are securely and promptly received, and send acknowledgement receipts and thank you letters in a timely manner with maximum efficiency.


  • Manage grant application process from beginning to end in collaboration with staff.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, identify new foundations aligned with FLOW’s mission, assist in cultivating old, current, and new foundation relationships.
  • Edit and collaborate on letters of inquiry, grant applications, and interim and final grant reports.


This position will be based at FLOW’s downtown office in Traverse City, Michigan, and will require occasional night and weekend work for events and gatherings.


Bachelor’s degree required and a minimum of 3 to 5 years in a fundraising, marketing, or community-organizing position. The ideal candidate loves people and water, is dynamic, a great strategic thinker, organized in thinking and writing, storyteller, passionate about raising resources and connecting donors to a nonprofit cause. Must be able to demonstrate an understanding and commitment to FLOW’s mission to protect the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin. Prior nonprofit experience is desirable. The Development Director will exhibit personal and professional characteristics that include, but are not limited to, superior verbal and written communication and problem solving skills, strong familiarity at the local and regional level, generalist fundraising knowledge and skills, ability to work effectively with limited administrative assistance, sound judgment, ability to engage in the community on behalf of FLOW, willingness to travel, and working knowledge of Microsoft Office and Google software programs. Knowledge of NEON or similar CRM database required.


Everything we do is reflected in our name: For Love of Water or simply, “FLOW.” Our mission is to safeguard the Great Lakes, the planet’s largest freshwater lake system and the very lifeblood of the Midwest, by advancing public trust solutions and cutting-edge policy work. Through our targeted policy initiatives, FLOW has built key partnerships with state and regional Great Lakes groups, leveraged our expertise to influence agencies and impact state and federal legislation, and grown to be a trusted source of current information on issues affecting our freshwater seas. For more information about FLOW’s history, programs, staff, or board visit: FLOW is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate in employment, promotions, or compensation on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, handicap, or veteran status.

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and three writing samples to: Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

Click below for a downloadable version of this posting:

FLOW Development Director July 2019