Director of Development

San José Spotlight

San Jose, California

Date Posted September 03, 2021
Industry Nonprofit
Specialty Local News
Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Job Status Full-time
Salary $75,000 - $100,000


POSITION TITLE: Director of Development

REPORTS TO: Executive Director




San José Spotlight seeks a full-time Director of Development to execute a fundraising strategy alongside the Executive Director and CEO. This position is an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of a growing news and information organization in a city ripe with opportunity. Previous experience in media is not required. We will encourage the director to become immersed in the world of nonprofit journalism by building relationships with other organizations and attending journalism conferences. The ideal candidate will be a skilled leader and a strategic thinker with experience working in San Jose and Silicon Valley and building strong relationships with various stakeholders, supporters, and community members. Application instructions can be found at the end of this document.



San José Spotlight is a local asset and a national model of service journalism. We’re hiring a Director of Development to work with our small, but powerful team as we grow to serve Silicon Valley and reimagine local news as an essential service. Our newsroom is growing, and we need a skilled and thoughtful Development Director who can help us create a strong financial position to help.



The Director of Development will be expected to create and execute a development plan that builds upon our previous efforts with foundations and membership while developing a major gifts program. San José Spotlight has received funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Facebook Journalism Project, eBay Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The Davidson Family Foundation, and others. Specific responsibilities include:


Major Gifts

 • The Development Director will help build a major gifts program through identifying prospects with the leadership and managing the outreach and solicitation.

• Manage a comprehensive, strategic, donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets, with a focus on cultivating major donors.

• Manage relationships with individuals in a robust portfolio, including a significant personal portfolio of major gift donors and prospects as well as those assigned to the leadership.

• Support the Executive Director’s donor engagement and carry out face-to-face solicitations and other direct engagement with donors and prospects.

• Develop goals, strategies, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring that each one receives frequent personalized contact.

• Identify new prospects for the major gifts portfolio and opportunities for increased giving by current donors. Oversee prospect research and actively lead identification of major gift prospects to bring new supporters into the organization.

• Draft donor correspondence and maintain primary responsibility for developing messages, strategy memos, talking points, and donor materials.

• Generate and analyze data to ensure that fundraising is done in the most efficient and effective ways.

• Utilize Salesforce and other systems to track, evaluate, and report on the performance.


Foundation Relations

• Maintain a foundation grants calendar of submissions and reporting cycles.

• Identify and cultivate strategic partnerships with corporate foundations in coordination with the leadership.

• Build on the organization’s work in this area by maximizing existing relationships while identifying new opportunities managing the grant writing process.

• Maintain and expand a portfolio of additional foundation/grant prospects and execute the submission of grants.



• Develops, implements, and evaluates fundraising campaigns utilizing direct mail, email, and online drives.

• Oversee the operation of the database software.

• Secures or collaborates with external vendors for fundraising tools and initiatives, ensuring effective partnerships, communication, deliverables, and compliance management.

• Maintain accurate records using development software.

• Oversee gift processing and acknowledgment distribution.

• Ensure development activities conform to organizational policies and financial accounting practices.

• Refresh and implement an annual development plan that incorporates short- and long-range goals.

• Maintain accurate, confidential records of progress and activity reports for the leadership and the Board of Directors.

• Attend Board meetings as requested by the leadership; work with Board members to identify and connect with new donors.

• Participate in the budgeting process, monitor development expenditures.

• Maintain working knowledge of national and state priorities and issues, including major breaking news stories that are of interest to our supporters.



The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

• 5+ years of experience in nonprofit development or political fundraising with an interest in the worlds of journalism and equity building.

• Have experience with donor databases and other fundraising technology.

• Proven ability to be flexible, manage change creatively, and lead by example.

• Experience working with a team to build a fundraising strategy that incorporates both traditional and non-traditional methods to ensure diversity of individual donors and community support.

• Demonstrated success in fundraising and working with diverse funding sources.

• Self-starter with a strong collaborative work ethic and the ability to work independently.

• Superior interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills that can be adapted to build relationships wide range of individuals and can be used to build consensus.

• Experience working with multigenerational audiences and diverse cultural communities.

• Proficient with Microsoft Office, and an ability to quickly learn new software programs for office operations.

• Willingness to travel within the region and to work some weekends and evenings when necessary.



San José Spotlight is a small team of dedicated professionals. We work hard and expect high-quality work from ourselves and each other. However, we also support learning, growing, and stretching. We support each other’s professional and personal goals and create healthy boundaries to ensure our work environment helps avoid burnout rather than hobble through it. The starting salary for this position is $75,000 - $90,000 based on experience. In addition, it includes a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, 401K, generous vacation, flexible Paid Time Off, and holidays and funded and supported professional development opportunities.



Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. If interested, please submit cover letter, outlining interest and qualifications, along with resume to


San José Spotlight is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The organization values and celebrates diversity and work towards equity. Candidates of all backgrounds and identities are encouraged to apply

When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at