Hiring: Development Director – Backyard Growers

Backyard Growers is hiring a full-time Development Director. Click here to learn more and apply by 10/21:


Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots community-based organization in Gloucester, MA. We are a small but mighty group of committed people who love what we do, and have fun while we work hard. Our mission is to cultivate healthy, connected, environmentally sustainable communities and to fight for food justice by teaching people how to grow their own food. We provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools, and offer learning opportunities in growing and preparing fresh produce.

BYG serves low- to moderate-income residents and public school children in Gloucester, and share our scalable and reproducible school program models regionally through a consulting practice to increase our impact. Our goals are to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, help support attitude and behavior changes in making healthy food choices, reactivate neglected urban spaces through food production, and build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations. We believe that by growing some of our own food, we are empowered, connected, and strengthened.


As our Development Director, you are responsible for our vital revenue streams, which allow us to achieve our mission and maximize our impact in the community. You plan and organize fundraising activities, manage the development budget, and assemble team members to raise funds. Duties include:


– Develop and execute our annual fundraising plan with the goal of raising $450K+ annually, and with a focus on building our major donor base
– Communicate fundraising goals throughout the organization and equip staff, board, and committee members to reach them
– Generate new ideas that increase revenue and donor loyalty
– With Program Director, co-manage the Communications & Outreach Manager to advance development goals through external communication

Individual Donors & Appeals

– Help our donors accomplish their philanthropic goals and ambitions through a relationship with our organization
– Manage current donor stewardship and retention and provide support to the Executive Director to help build our individual donor base
– Identify new donor prospects and devise communication plans and fundraising goals for each prospect
– Manage all aspects of the DonorPerfect database and maximize our use of this fundraising tool
– Manage all aspects of our established spring and year-end appeals to meet fundraising goals
– Through our appeals, focus on building our monthly giving program
– Make direct, face-to-face solicitations

Sponsorships & Events

– Solicit business sponsors for our suite of annual programs and events and ensure we are complying with our sponsorship packages
– Manage all aspects of our annual fall fundraiser—The Great Gloucester GrowDown

Grants & Volunteers

– Maintain annual grant writing schedule and research new funding opportunities
– Assist with grant strategy and complete multiple grants and final reports
– Work closely with any contracted grantwriters to meet fundraising goals
– Monitor and interpret inputs and performance data you receive from program staff for reporting purposes, and offer suggestions on how to improve measures
– Recruit, manage, and support our Development Committee and other volunteers who assist with development efforts
– Work with program staff to build out new systems for volunteer management and retention through DonorPerfect

Attributes & Qualifications

– Excellent communication skills
– Engages and inspires diverse audiences through writing and speaking
– Self-starter who crafts creative solutions and opens doors to new donor relationships
– Enthusiastic leader capable of managing diverse teams to reach a common goal
– Able to thrive in a small, grassroots organization work environment
– Five years of high-level experience working in development for nonprofit organizations
– Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive, and DonorPerfect; Experience with Constant Contact and social media a plus
– Knowledge of growing food and/or North Shore communities are pluses

Hours, Compensation & Benefits

– Exempt, full-time position at 40 hours per week
– Occasionally will need to work evenings or weekends for events
– Annual salary range is $62,000-$68,000 and is commensurate with experience
– Benefits include a QSEHRA Tax-Free Health Reimbursement Plan (Eligible employees are responsible for acquiring and maintaining their own health insurance); 12 paid holidays; Unlimited Time Off policy; Flex Schedule policy; Paid Sabbatical policy; Work from home opportunities; Professional development opportunities; Personal technology use reimbursement; Employee discount at our on-line garden shop

Apply by Thursday, 10/21/21; Anticipated start date is 12/1/21 (negotiable)

Please send resume, cover letter, and contact information for two references to Lara Lepionka, Executive Director at (include “Development Director” in the subject line)

We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact only those individuals selected to continue in the search process–No calls please

We look forward to hearing from you!

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