Development Director, Beyond Plastics

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time | Fully remote

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Beyond Plastics is seeking an entrepreneurial Director of Development with strong major gifts fundraising experience to lead the organization’s effort to double its $2M budget over the next two years and build on the early success of attracting both individuals and foundations to support its work.

Reporting to Beyond Plastics’ Managing Director, working closely with the President and Founder Judith Enck, and supervising a talented current Foundation Relations Manager, the Director of Development will develop, plan, and implement a fundraising strategy, with a strong focus on building out major donor engagement and giving.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in building relationships with, and securing donations from, major gift funders and foundations and be a persuasive and strategic communicator. They will have the ability to collaborate effectively with people inside and outside the organization, and will have the experience, maturity and self-direction to work autonomously in this fully remote organization. Proximity to New York City or greater metropolitan New York City area is strongly preferred.

ABOUT BEYOND PLASTICS

Founded in 2018 by Judith Enck, Beyond Plastics is a growing project housed at Bennington College with the mission to end plastic pollution everywhere. Currently a team of 13 deeply committed individuals working remotely, Beyond Plastics focuses on policy and advocacy, building a grassroots movement and educating the public in order to further its mission. You will be an employee of Bennington College, working only on issues related to Beyond Plastics.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Oversee the management of every aspect of Beyond Plastics’ fundraising.

  2.  Grow the donor base.

  3. Develop and execute a major gifts fundraising strategy with a focus on finding new major donors, closing gifts, and maintaining major donor engagement. 

  4. Leverage existing organizational relationships and actively recruit new supporters for the organization.

  5. Support events and donor engagement opportunities.

  6. Tend to stewardship and relationship management with foundations contacts, large donors, and key prospects.

  7. Plan and execute donor cultivation events.  

  8. Work closely with Beyond Plastics President and other team members on donor identification, recruitment, cultivation, strategy, solicitation and stewardship. 

  9. Ensure the consistent and effective maintenance of donor records, including updating the database with accurate and detailed notes to serve as the electronic repository of institutional history of donor communication and giving.  

  10. Prepare written materials, presentations, and resources that lead to securing new and increased major gift and foundation support.

  11. Collaborate with the Beyond Plastics’ Digital Director and supervise the Foundation Relations Manager to ensure coordination on fundraising at all levels and that you are supplied with the stories and materials needed for effective donor communication.

  12. Oversee the drafting and editing of major gift donor correspondence, such as renewals and acknowledgment letters, donor bulletins and announcements, stewardship, and event-related materials.

  13. Promote a positive, collaborative, and efficient working environment where team members enjoy working together, deliver impact, and grow professionally over time, including through regular feedback.

  14. Coordinate with Bennington College’s Office of Institutional Advancement and any other relevant college offices.

Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success and community cohesiveness. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.

This position requires successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

QUALIFICATIONS

Commitment:

  1. A strong interest in ending plastic pollution and a commitment to the goals of Beyond Plastics. 

  2. A demonstrated commitment to social equity and racial justice and an eagerness to understand how these issues are related in communities impacted by plastic pollution.

  3. Grounded in the connections between climate, economic, and racial justice and the ability to speak fluently about these issues. 

  4. Ability to work well within a team of motivated individuals.

Education/Experience:

  1. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of minimum five years of experience in the fundraising field, including with major gifts fundraising for nonprofits, with demonstrated ability to personally cultivate and close individual gifts of $25,000+.

Skills:

  1. Demonstrated ability to lead strategic development efforts and deliver a clear vision.  

  2. Entrepreneurial, innovative, strategic, and able to build a portfolio of high-net-worth individuals from the ground up. 

  3. Experience maintaining donor records and conducting donor research.

  4. Strong interpersonal skills.

  5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including through email communications, written narratives, proposal development, meeting facilitation, and presentations.

  6. Ability to independently plan, prioritize, and manage projects, take ownership of high-quality and timely delivery, and quickly surface and resolve roadblocks as they arise.

  7. Experience working effectively with internal and external stakeholders. 

  8. Excellent problem-solving skills and a solution-oriented approach to work.

  9. Ability to project a professional presence and conduct relationships in an ethical manner with a high degree of tact, sensitivity, confidentiality and respect. 

  10. The position requires the successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

ADDITIONAL PREFERRED SKILLS/EXPERIENCE

none

WORK ENVIRONMENT AND REQUIREMENTS

60% of work performed in a home office environment with substantial activities completed using a computer; sedentary work. 40% of work will be in-person meetings and presentations. Travel required, mostly within the New York metro area, but also to other major U.S. cities for donor meetings and presentations. Must be able to work occasional evenings. 

COMPENSATION:

$120,000-$125,000, commensurate with experience. Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits package (to eligible full-time staff) that includes medical insurance, dental insurance, life and long term disability insurance, retirement, generous time off benefits (4 weeks vacation, 10 sick days and 17 paid holidays) and educational benefits including Tuition Exchange.

The position is open until the position is filled; interviews will happen on a rolling basis. 

The College

Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and tuition benefits including Tuition Exchange scholarships. The College also offers an on-site fitness center as well as generous time off benefits.

Bennington College is a laboratory for innovation in higher education. At Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable, and its graduates are noted for their outsized impact on the world’s stage. This campus celebrates the ongoing making of work—shared on walls, in shows and performances, in lectures and readings, and in conversations—and believes that equity, diversity, and inclusivity are vital to a collaborative community. This position captures, contributes to, and reflects the ethos of this creative community.

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.  From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.