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Director of Development
Category: Manager


American Horticultural Society
Alexandria, Virginia

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014

Director of Development

American Horticultural Society


The American Horticultural Society (AHS), a nonprofit national membership organization located in Alexandria, Virginia, is seeking a full-time Director of Development.

The AHS has nearly 20,000 members across the country and around the world.  Through membership in the Society, members receive a variety of benefits (including The American Gardener magazine, complimentary admission to gardens across North America, an annual Member’s Seed Exchange, and exclusive on-line content) as well as help support the Society’s vision of “making America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens.”  The Society’s national headquarters is located at River Farm, a historic 25-acre property in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a direct report to the Executive Director and a key member of the Society’s senior leadership team, the Director of Development is expected to establish and achieve fundraising goals and proactively lead the institution’s advancement in this area.  He/she is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing a comprehensive program designed to secure ongoing operating support and special gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.  The Society is seeking a creative, self-motivated, critical thinker to join our leadership team and work closely with the staff, Board, and volunteers to help facilitate an exciting reinvigoration of the AHS that is underway in anticipation of the institution’s centennial in 2022.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with both regional and national constituencies, generate increased interest and involvement in the work of the American Horticultural Society, with the goal of fostering openness to current and future opportunities for support
  • Actively lead a multifaceted development program that achieves and sustains a minimum annual goal of $1 million in contributions and earned income, as determined annually with the Executive Director and Board leadership
  • Create, organize, and execute related programs, projects, and events
  • Develop effective programs to expand existing partnerships with corporations and foundations;  strategically cultivate, solicit, and provide stewardship for major corporate and foundation gifts and sponsorships
  • Support programs related to seasonal and annual fund appeals as well as membership development
  • Cultivate and grow a pool of loyal donors and prospects, including directing the AHS President’s Council program and Travel Study program
  • Produce communications and materials tailored to members/donors, being attentive to each step of the relationship, including engagement, cultivation, acknowledgement, and recognition
  • Partner with staff and other stakeholders to identify and pursue grant opportunities in support of operations, strategic initiatives, and capital projects
  • Develop a strategic plan and set in place a framework to foster long term support through a comprehensive planned giving program
  • Provide strategic direction and day-to-day leadership in support of capital fundraising initiatives and the stewardship of major donors
  • Forge constructive partnerships with other staff members;  contribute to, and serve as a resource for the Society’s programs and activities;  foster productive interdepartmental teamwork
  • Empower organizational leaders as needed by sharing with them your knowledge and experience in institutional development philosophy and practice
  • Partner with Board leadership, Development Committee members, consultants, and vendors on planning, management, production, and evaluation of activities and projects
  • Collaborate with other members of the AHS staff to ensure timely and accurate flow of information, efficient processes, and the highest level of member/donor service
  • Provide analysis for, and support development of related budgets and institutional reports;  actively monitor performance to budget objectives


Desirable Qualities, Qualifications, and Experience:

  • 5+ years hands-on experience and demonstrated success in positions responsible for developing and managing a comparable fundraising program in a similar membership organization or cultural institution
  • Experience working with organizational leaders and high-level volunteers
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills;  self-assurance in making presentations to small and large groups
  • Excitement and passion for the importance of gardens and gardening, environmental sustainability, and related quality of life considerations
  • Demonstrated good judgment, personal integrity, and a well-developed sense of discretion
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and professional demeanor
  • Ability to balance and excel in both strategic and tactical thinking -- able to see the big picture yet have a keen appreciation for the importance of the details
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, manage multiple tasks, and meet deadlines;  goal oriented, collaborative, efficient, and results-driven work style
  •  Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as required
  • Exceptional leadership and developmental skills to effectively manage, develop, and foster diverse teams
  • Proficiency with Outlook, Word, Excel, Raiser’s Edge and related programs, and online fundraising/communication tools
  • Familiarity with research tools and resources available to the fundraising community
  • Awareness of charity registration requirements, non-profit effectiveness and efficiency assessments, and charitable giving regulations
  • Positive, can-do outlook, with an entrepreneurial spirit that can help our team envision the possibilities
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred;  CFRE desirable


To be considered, please send cover letter, resume, and three references to:
Sue Galvin
American Horticultural Society
7931 East Boulevard Drive
Alexandria, VA  22308
Fax:  703-768-8700
E-mail:  sgalvin@ahs.org

Position is open until filled.  To find out more about the AHS, please visit www.ahs.org

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