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Director of Donor Engagement (Major Gifts Officer)

Company: Read Aloud Delaware
Date Posted: July 12, 2017

  • Do you share our vision of all Delaware children having a strong literacy foundation to ensure school success?
  • Do you yearn for a role laser focused on working with individual donors?
  • Do you thrive on the challenge of shaping a newly created position into one that can have a profound and lasting impact on children for years to come?
  • Are you passionate and experienced fundraising professional who is driven to help donors achieve their philanthropic goals?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, we look forward to learning more about you.


About Read Aloud Delaware

All Delaware children need a strong literacy foundation to ensure school success. To this end, our mission is to ensure that each preschool child in Delaware is regularly read to one-on-one.

Academic research and real-life outcomes prove that regular exposure to books and reading instills a love of stories and the desire to read. Both are so important to becoming a lifelong reader and successful in school. Reading directly affects a child’s brain development, vocabulary, speech development, knowledge of the world, and attention span.

Our signature initiative is our Volunteer Reading Program, in which volunteers of ages 16 and up regularly visit sites statewide to read to children one at a time. We also work to achieve positive outcomes through our:

  • Reading Buddies Program, in which young volunteers (ages 9-13) are paired with children in preschool or kindergarten for one-on-one reading.
  • Parent Empowerment Program, through which adults learn about the importance of reading to the children in their lives.
  • Clem Bowen Storytelling Program, which brings to childcare sites statewide a highly participatory performance that makes stories come alive, simultaneously raising the interest as well as the confidence level of beginning readers.
  • Read Aloud Delaware Professional Development Day, a state-approved, in-service education opportunity that offers motivation, new ideas, and resources for childcare providers, administrators, librarians, teachers, Read Aloud volunteers, and parents from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

About The Opportunity

Working closely with our Executive Director and Board of Directors, the full-time Director of Donor Engagement will develop relationships, solicit contributions, and steward philanthropic investments from individual donors throughout Delaware and the surrounding region.

We have a loyal group of individual donors who give annual gifts to support our mission. We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced professional to create a major gifts program to dramatically enhance individual giving to the organization.

While we anticipate the selected candidate will help shape the position, the primary responsibilities will include:

  • Evaluating our donor database to create a prospect list of those believed to be willing and able to contribute a major gift level, currently defined as an annual commitment level of $1,000 to $10,000.
  • Qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding these donors.
  • Building the prospect pipeline by proactively building relationships with our board members, volunteers, and community leaders.
  • Preparing proposals, letters, and other correspondence to solicit and acknowledge contributions while providing an exceptional giving experience for donors.
  • Maintaining clear and active communication with stakeholders throughout our organization to build the major donor program.
  • Championing AFP's Donor Bill of Rights and promoting best practices in fundraising.

About You

We are seeking candidates with a demonstrated track record of success and a passion for cultivating, soliciting, stewarding, and closing major gift commitments. Ideally, you will have at least 5 years of experience in working with high net worth individuals and leadership-level volunteers. Persuasive and diplomatic communication skills are essential to achieve success in this role.

Since we are dedicated to promoting the value of literacy and education, a bachelor's degree is required. An advanced degree and/or CFRE would be preferred, but not required. We believe in AFP and value professional development, so you'll have time and resources to for these activities.

Since this is a newly created position with no established prospect pipeline, you must be an organized self-starter who can work independently and as part of a small team. You'll need data analysis skills but, more importantly, you will be a "people person" with an entrepreneurial edge.

This position is not a "behind-the-desk" role. Once you spend some time in the office to establish the initial prospect pipeline and plan of action, you will be travelling throughout the State and possibly adjacent parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. And it may not be a 9-5 role, since prospective donors may want to see you outside traditional business hours. We're all about work-life balance, so we certainly want you to take care of yourself. We all know how fundraising can be a burnout-ridden profession, don't we? We don't want this to happen.

How to Apply

If this position sounds like a perfect fit for you, please send your resume and one-page cover letter as a single PDF document to Mary Hirschbiel, Executive Director, at In your cover letter, please tell us why you're excited about this opportunity and how you believe you can succeed as the Director of Donor Engagement. For best consideration, please apply no later than August 1, 2017.

This position is funded for two years through the generous support of a local foundation. Continuation of the position is contingent upon renewed funding and/or your success in the role, hence all this talk about being entrepreneurial working within an established nonprofit organization.