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Ithaca Children's Garden-Development Director-Mon, 05/22/2023 - 11:20am

Development Director


Ithaca Children's Garden
Ithaca , NY 14850
United States
New York US

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Job Details

Job Description 

About Ithaca Children’s Garden
Ithaca Children’s Garden is an award-winning, 3-acre public children’s garden designed for kids, enjoyed by all, and driven by a mission to connect children to nature to create a more beautiful, resilient and just world. Our vision is that every child has the basic human right to play, learn, grow outdoors, and develop a life-long relationship with the living world.

Position Summary
Ithaca Children’s Garden seeks a full-time, permanent Development Director to lead Ithaca Children’s Garden’s (ICG) development department and advance the mission of ICG. The Development Director provides leadership and oversight of individual, corporate, foundation, and government giving, including annual, major, and legacy giving. This position oversees development communications and fundraising events. The successful candidate will have the passion to advocate for ICG’s mission and the skills and experience to cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts.

This position reports directly to the Executive Director. Compensation for this full-time (35-40hr)/wk, non-exempt position is $24/hour. Benefits include paid time off, health care, retirement plan, and other limited benefits. This position will be based out of ICG’s office in Ithaca, NY; some remote work is possible. Candidates with diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Duties & Responsibilities 


- Provide vision, planning, oversight, implementation, and evaluation for all of ICG’s giving programs.
- Coordinate departmental budget and work plan, and monitor progress.
- Serve as principal liaison to the Development Committee.
- Motivate and maintain accountability and excellence within the department through professional development training and excellent interpersonal communication.
- In close coordination with the Executive Director, set ambitious, achievable targets to meet annual and special project budget goals, and create the strategy and tactics to reach them.
- Regularly evaluate strategies and results, incorporating lessons learned into future plans and operations.

Oversee, manage, and support annual, legacy, campaign, and major giving through individual and corporate gifts, foundation and government grants, and fundraising events.
- Plan and establish a major gifts program. Collaborate with and support the Executive Director to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift donors.
- Develop and implement strategies to promote planned giving opportunities at ICG, including gifts of stock and appreciated securities, beneficiary designations, bequests, trusts, and other vehicles.
- Identify and cultivate planned gift prospects, solicit and acknowledge/recognize donors.
- Plan and implement annual fundraising programs: Scholarship Fund Campaign, Year-End Appeal, the Hive monthly giving program, and ICG’s participation in Giving is Gorges and other community philanthropic partnerships.
- Oversee all donor stewardship and cultivation activities. Ensure that all donors receive prompt and appropriate gift receipts, acknowledgments, and recognition.
- Plan, organize, and implement special project campaigns as needed.
- Oversee the full range of activities required to research, prepare and submit grant proposals, and to manage grants awarded to ICG
- Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward annual corporate sponsors/brand partners.
- Oversee and support planning and implementation of ICG’s regular and special fundraising events

- Manage all development communications and ensure that all outreach methods and materials align with ICG’s mission, vision, and values.
- Work in partnership with the Communications Coordinator on philanthropic marketing. Provide information and guidance on the creation of all materials that publicize and promote gift opportunities and impacts at ICG. This includes the “Support” information and online giving web pages, mailings, email messaging, print publications, social media, e-news, press releases, and advertising.

Other Responsibilities
Perform other duties to advance the mission of ICG, as assigned.

Education and Experience 

Experience and Skills
The Director of Development will be a highly motivated self-starter with at least five years of related work and supervisory experience in non-profit fundraising or related area, and will possess the following qualities and attributes:
- Culture and mission-driven: Passionate about ICG and increasing opportunities for all children and families to connect with nature.
- Ability to work with minimal supervision and an entrepreneurial spirit, taking initiative, being responsive to new opportunities, and creating value in the face of obstacles.
- Experience leading and managing a team: Ability to set direction, delegate responsibilities, and follow up.
- Exceptional communication skills including written, verbal, listening, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
- Superb organizational and time management skills with strong attention to detail.
- Excellent critical thinking and problem solving, and the ability to be a systems-thinker, always attending to process improvements to best utilize and leverage existing and new resources.
- Skilled in relationship building and listening with an ability to model a strong work ethic, exceptional ethical standards, and a collaborative spirit.
- Enjoys and excels working independently and collaboratively with a diverse group of staff members, volunteers, and community partners.
- Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends, as needed, in support of development events and organizational/departmental priorities.
- Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, and to supporting ICG in its goal to be an inclusive, multicultural, and anti-racist organization, authentically welcoming to all.
- Proficiency with Google Drive and Microsoft Office Suite
- Experienced in Neon or other CRM systems

Fundraising event planning experience
Capital campaign experience

Application Instructions 

To Apply:
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Please email your resume and cover letter to with “Development Director” in the subject line. Cover letters can be addressed to Richard Lansdowne, Operations Manager. In your cover letter, please briefly describe any relevant experience you have, and your interest in working with Ithaca Children’s Garden, including experience and commitment related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

If you require any assistance or accommodations to submit your application, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may assist you.

Ithaca Children’s Garden respects, values and embraces the characteristics and attributes that make each individual unique. We strive to provide an environment that attracts, retains and celebrates people from the rich cultures and walks of life within the communities we serve. ICG is an equal opportunity employer.

What to expect once you apply
Our team is ICG’s greatest asset; we want to find the candidate who is the best fit for organizational goals and is a complement to our existing team. Once we receive your cover letter and resume, they will be filed for the search committee to review. You will be thanked for your application. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified, an interview will be scheduled, and the interview questions will be shared with you ahead of time. The first interview will be conducted, either in person or remotely, by the Executive Director. There will be a second round of interviews, in person, for the top few candidates with the Executive Director and a member of ICG’s Board of Directors. Once there is a recommendation for hiring, references will be checked. Employment will be contingent upon clearance of a required background check. Applicants who are not selected for an interview, or were not advanced to second interviews, will be notified once the position is filled.

We appreciate when candidates become familiar with ICG’s mission, vision, values, programs, and ethos. Learn more at

Full Name 
Candice Meade