Hiring: Development Director- CISA

Job Opening: Development Director

Status: 40 hours a week (full-time)

Time Frame: Review begins January 12, 2022, position open until filled

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is a nonprofit that strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy. We run the Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown® marketing campaign, educate the public about buying local, offer technical assistance trainings and workshops for farmers, and support programs to increase access to local food in our region.

Our team has a range of skills and life experiences and is a mix of trainers, former farmers, communicators, and administrators. We work to build a diverse and resilient food economy with viable farms, fair and just working conditions, strong environmental stewardship, and accessible and available local food in all our communities. We are committed to understanding the history and current impacts of racism in the food system and actively work towards equity. We are committed to recruiting and retaining creative, ethical, smart, and innovative people.

CISA’s Development work is an integral part of our mission to strengthen local farms and engage the community in building the local food economy. We seek broad community participation in our development activities and work to develop long-term relationships with our supporters.


The Development Director works with the Executive Director and the management team in carrying out the mission of the organization, and in close collaboration with the Executive Director and Board members to achieve CISA’s fundraising goals. Development Director roles include:

  • Providing strategic direction and management for CISA’s individual and corporate fundraising efforts;
  • Managing the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major gifts;
  • Planning and managing donor events;
  • Creating strategies to increase support from donors, businesses, and other sources; and,
  • Writing and managing foundation grants and some government grants.

Our ideal candidate enjoys engaging donors and garnering support for the mission work; managing events, campaigns, and other fundraising strategies; and providing strategic direction as part of a dynamic team. The candidate is a capable project manager and can juggle and prioritize multiple projects and think strategically.


  1. Provide strategic leadership for the creation of the development program in collaboration with the Executive Director. Lead in the planning and execution of all fundraising initiatives and events.
  2. Develop and track annual Development budget; work with Executive Director to set annual fundraising goals; coordinate with Program Director and bookkeeper to ensure financial transactions, reports, and the annual audit are accurate.
  3. Plan and coordinate strategies for fundraising, including identifying, cultivating, and soliciting individuals, businesses, and foundations; manage efforts to upgrade donors’ annual gifts and planned giving commitments.
  4. Research, write, and manage foundation grants.
  5. Analyze/report on fundraising progress with/to Executive Director and the Development Committee.
  6. Take an active role in the management team and contribute to strategic planning and other initiatives relating to CISA’s mission and vision.
  7. Create and manage/oversee all of CISA’s fundraising events, including donor cultivation events. Work collaboratively with others in the organization to create and execute friend-raising events.
  8. Grow the community of people who understand CISA’s work and want to engage with the organization.
  9. Keep current with program work.
  10. Represent CISA at events and meetings and be in contact with donors and potential donors.
  11. Work closely with communications staff to help develop consistent messaging to donors and the public; lead development of donor-focused communications.
  12. Manage the Development Committee of board and community members.
  13. Supervise the Office Manager, who provides key administrative support for processing gifts, some event management, and office infrastructure.

Other Duties

Perform other related duties as assigned by the Program Director.


This position reports to the Executive Director and provides direct supervision to the Office Manager. Other supervision, as assigned.


Strong candidates for this job recognize the value of fundraising to a strong organization. They are strategic thinkers who have comfort engaging donors and asking for support. They have strong communication skills and the ability to manage budgets and campaigns.

Specifically, we are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, or four years of equivalent experience PLUS:
    • At least three years of proven experience managing a development program or owning or managing a business, including direct or transferable experience in soliciting major donors, annual fund drives, planned giving, stewardship, and prospect research;
    • Experience with donor or client management databases; and,
    • Experience with grant writing.
  • Proven development or sales experience: ability to identify, cultivate, and solicit current and potential donors through one-one-one asks, written appeals, and events.
  • Ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage staff.
  • Ability to delegate responsibility and authority and clearly define expectations for supervisees and other staff.
  • Networking and listening skills that allow the Development Director to bring other perspectives and ideas to the organization.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely in writing and verbally.
  • Excellent planning, prioritizing, and organizing skills with a track record of achieving financial goals.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people and diverse racial, cultural, professional, and economic backgrounds.
  • Teamwork skills – brings up issues of concern and works towards solutions with others.


It’s a plus if you speak Spanish or have other skills or experience that can help further CISA’s mission to more equitably serve those working in agriculture and local food businesses. You don’t have to already be tapped into how amazing local agriculture is but if you are, that’s great!

Salary is $73,000-$80,000, depending on experience. This is a full-time, exempt position. Health care, vision, dental, long-term disability, 401K matching, sick time, 10 paid holidays, four personal days, and 15 vacation days in the first year are offered. Access to a car and some weekend and evening availability are required.

CISA is currently operating with a hybrid office model with at least two days a week in the office and up to three days from home. We allow staff flexibility in their regular schedules and understand that flexibility can support a healthy work-life balance. Travel within CISA’s service area (Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, MA) for donor meetings and events will be required.

Writing samples and references may be requested.

CISA is an equal opportunity employer. CISA will not engage in discrimination against, or harassment of any person employed or seeking employment with CISA on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, status as a protected veteran, or other characteristics protected by law. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.

Please complete applicant questions and attach your resume via our online application form. Questions can be directed to Jennifer Williams. Cover letters are not required and will not be reviewed.

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