The Poynter Institute

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Development Director
Posted on: 
February 14, 2013

Development Director    
POSTED: Jan 31
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Employer: The Poynter Institute   
Type: Full Time - Experienced
Required Education: 4 Year Degree


The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter’s belief in the value of independent journalism in the public interest.EOE


Department:   Poynter Foundation
FLSA Status:   Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried
Reports to:   Poynter Foundation President

Overall Job Responsibility:

The Development Director works with the Poynter Foundation President and the Poynter Foundation Board to establish and execute a comprehensive, long-term development strategy on behalf of the Institute, engaging Poynter’s administration, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, supporters, donors and friends.  The Development Director is charged with helping to build and coordinate advancement strategy and efforts to identify, cultivate and maximize philanthropic support from all segments of Poynter’s constituencies, including individuals, corporations, and foundations. In addition, the Development Director, working under the direction of the Foundation President, is responsible for growing community and external relations to acquaint the public with the mission and vision of Poynter and to engage a variety of constituencies in constructive dialog with the media. In addition to working closely with the Foundation President, the position requires close interaction with the Poynter Foundation Board, the Foundation staff, the Institute’s Board of Trustees, faculty, volunteer leadership, and major donors. The position requires the ability to exercise a high level of discretion, confidentiality, and diplomacy.

Position Responsibilities:

• Works with the Foundation President and the Foundation Board to develop and execute strategies and campaigns for development in coordination with Poynter’s President and in line with Poynter’s mission and values.
• Works with the Foundation President and the Foundation Board to create and implement a comprehensive development plan – outlining goals, objectives and activities – assuring aggressive completion of the plan’s goals and timelines.
• Coordinates all aspects of development for the Foundation, including a comprehensive major gifts program to generate current gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, and deferred gift commitments from individuals.
• Works with the Foundation President, to identify priorities for private support consistent with the specific resource requirements of the Foundation and the Institute, and to establish and maintain operational goals while defining budgetary requirements for each development activity initiative.
• Works with the Foundation President and Board to identify potential donors, determine possible levels of support, and to match prospect interests with the priority needs of Poynter.
• Works with the Foundation President, Foundation Board and Poynter President to set fundraising goals.
• Works with the Foundation President to prepare and administer a Foundation and Advancement budget.
• Leads special projects to achieve Foundation goals.
• Works closely with the Foundation President, Chairman, Board, Poynter Trustees, Poynter President and other Poynter groups for the purpose of increasing funds.
• Under the direction of the Foundation President, manages the Foundation office in a way that creates harmonious teamwork, effective departmental and organizational communication, and maximum production from all employees resulting in a spirit of enthusiasm and continuous improvement.
• Under the direction of the Foundation President, develops and executes a plan to generate annual gift revenue for the Institute through direct mail, directed campaigns, special events and web engagement.
• With the Foundation President, plans, organizes, and directs the logistic functions of the Foundation within Poynter’s strategic plan, developing and conserving resources as appropriate.
• Under the direction of the Foundation President, plans and organizes comprehensive, fundraising programs and multi-year campaigns that include ongoing evaluations. Oversees the administration and operation of the donor database as a tool to manage the fundraising process.
• Coordinates all development and advancement efforts to comply with all Foundation reporting and accountability standards.
• With the Foundation President, oversees the planning, organization and execution of special events to cultivate and recognize donors and to build ongoing relationships between Poynter and its Advancement constituents.
• Assists the Foundation President/Vice President for External Relations, and the Foundation Grants Coordinator in the production of persuasive and compelling funding proposals, case statements, and other donor education information and collateral materials.
• Manages top-level major gift volunteers and support volunteer development committees.
• Develops, participates and supports others in the execution of major and planned gift solicitation strategies.
• Plans and executes a comprehensive program of donor relations, recognition, and stewardship.
• Ensures the development program is in compliance with current regulations, and tax laws governing charitable gift accounting administration and counsel senior leadership, Board of Trustees, and volunteers on regulations and trends.
• Generates reports from donor database and reconciles them with Finance Office.
• Analyzes the performance of the development program and its components and produces concise and informative reports to illustrate that performance.
• Effectively works with members of the faculty, senior administration, Board of Trustees, National Advisory Board, former employees and trustees and other organizational leaders to involve them in development programs as both ambassadors for the Institute and as donors.
• Oversees the development and maintenance of effective relationships with the legal and financial advisory communities and provides effective service in support of their clients’ charitable plans.
• Under the direction of the Foundation President, oversees the effective management of charitable trusts, bequests and other charitable gift instruments, in conjunction with the Director of Business & Finance, including thorough review of investment performance of charitable gift funds and production of periodic reports on the performance of the program.
• Other duties as assigned.

Relationship Responsibilities:

Supervision Received: Reports to the Foundation President and the Foundation Board to set and execute Poynter’s development strategy. Extensive latitude to manage the Foundation Office and to pursue the coordination of the department, its donor database, research and analysis in matters that affect the efficient management of prospecting, cultivating, involving and organizing gift solicitations.

Supervision Exercised:  Oversees database coordination and Foundation volunteers for events and major gift solicitation. Sets standards of performance, organizes programs, establishes objectives, shapes and interprets policy and sees that policies are carried out.

Internal & External Relationships:

Internal: Regular contacts concerning matters of major importance to the welfare and success of the Foundation. Very high requirement for tact, timing and persuasion.

Close collaboration with the Foundation President, the Foundation staff, and frequent contact with Poynter’s President, Director of Business & Finance, Assistant to the President, department heads and faculty. Frequent contact with the accounting staff regarding gifts, grants and event registrations, including credit card processing. Contact with Trustees for identification and solicitation of donations.

External:  Regular contact with alumni, visiting faculty, media leaders, and community leaders. Frequent contact with financial planners, trust officers, accountants, bankers, and attorneys to educate them about Poynter and to provide service in support of their clients’ charitable plans.

Position Specifications:

Knowledge & Skills:  Bachelor’s degree required. Eight years minimum progressively responsible for work experience as an advancement professional; demonstrated successful experience in developing and managing comprehensive fundraising programs, including direct personal involvement in major gift solicitation and capital campaigns. Demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills; written and oral communication skills appropriate to interaction with key volunteers, administrators and donors; demonstrated successful experience managing volunteers, professional staff, and support staff. Demonstrated successful experience in developing and managing budgets with working knowledge of current legal and tax implications of soliciting, giving, accepting, and accounting for charitable gifts.  Strong organizational skills sufficient to handle many complex projects, details, and deadlines simultaneously.  A demonstrated ability to create a successful interface between Poynter and its constituents that leads to successful fundraising results.  Proficient with commonly used office software and development software.

Problem Solving/Decision Making: Involved work carrying responsibility for consideration and analysis of fundraising planning, strategies and solicitations. Calls for a high degree of judgment preliminary to making important visits, appeals and solicitations and advising the Foundation President, Poynter President, Director of Business & Finance, faculty and trustees in cultivation and solicitation of prospects for donations.

Business Measures: Responsible for working with the Foundation President in raising an agreed-upon amount of funds as well as enhancing community and external relations for Poynter.

Working Conditions:

Physical Demands:  Position requires sitting for extended periods, while at the computer and answering and placing telephone calls. Requires moving throughout the building and outside business offices. Requires ability to communicate with other individuals (written and verbal) both inside and outside the company.

Work Environment:  Position duties are performed primarily in a general office environment, with local travel (to bank, professional offices, etc.) Routine deadlines, disruptive work schedule and unpredictable events. Position requires frequent travel on behalf of the Institute.

Salary depends on qualifications.  No phone calls, please.

Email resume and cover letter to or mail to: Poynter., Attn:  HR, 801 3rd Street S., St. Petersburg, FL  33701.