Development Director (826M)

About the Organization

826michigan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring school-aged students to write with skill and confidence in collaboration with adult volunteers in their communities. We operate two writing centers in Ann Arbor and Detroit and offer off-­site programs in schools and libraries in Ypsilanti.

826michigan’s work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to students’ future success, and that great leaps in learning can be made through one-on-one attention. We offer students unique learning opportunities by providing a combination of drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-school programming, and opportunities for students to publish their work.

Through the efforts of over 500 active volunteers, 826michigan serves 4,000 students annually.  Since opening in 2005, we have delivered free youth writing and tutoring programs to over 11,000 students total.

826michigan is part of 826 National, an award-winning national network of youth writing centers, founded by author Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, McSweeney’s). In addition to being a leading member of the 826 National network, 826michigan is also a vital part of the local community. The Ann Arbor Book Festival honored 826michigan as a “Leader in the Literary Arts” in 2012; Crain’s Detroit Business named 826michigan one of its Best-Managed Nonprofits in 2013; and 826 National was named in GOOD Magazine’s “30 Places We Want to Work.”

826michigan programs are completely free and open to the public, in keeping with our conviction that educational enrichment opportunities are vital for all. For more information about our programs, please visit

Inclusion Statement

As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826 National and its chapters recognize the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order for us to serve students in a manner that is respectful, culturally sensitive, and effective, we must collectively and intentionally invest in building a diverse and inclusive organization where all are safe and welcomed. 826michigan prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, citizenship, military service, or disability of any person employed by or seeking employment with 826michigan. 826michigan is an equal opportunity employer.

About the Position

The Development Director is committed to the long-term financial sustainability and advancement of 826michigan. This role is responsible for visioning, designing, and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy to meet organizational revenue goals and to ensure that 826michigan has the resources needed to thrive. Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director, the Development Director oversees all aspects of fundraising campaigns and external communications for annual and major gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, endowments, and special events.

After major growth in recent years, including the launch of a second writing center in Detroit, 826michigan is in a steady position with a strong strategic plan, a talented staff, an engaged board, and well-established funding and community relationships.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead, develop, and execute an annual fundraising plan to maximize contributed revenue, in collaboration with the Executive Director, Board, and volunteer-based Development Committee
  • Serve as principal fundraising strategist on the full development program, including individual and corporate giving, and foundation and government grants
  • Supervise development staff, contractors, and volunteers in supporting the development department with grant applications, databases, and events
  • Prepare and oversee the research, completion, and submission of high-quality grant proposals and reports
  • Cultivate effective, meaningful relationships with donors and make funding solicitations that produce desired results
  • Build development operations and oversee systems that allow for greater efficiency and productivity and foster best practices.
  • Oversee the donor database and ensure the accuracy of donor records, in partnership with the Development Associate utilizing technological platforms like Salesforce, Google Applications and Microsoft Excel
  • Direct the creation and execution of major campaigns (Year End and Spring Appeals) and fundraising events, including but not limited to annual signature dinners (Storymakers and Eat Your Words), benefit shows (Mittenfest), peer-to-peer fundraisers, and cocktail parties
  • Provide assistance and leadership to the Executive Director and Board to build and maintain long-term relationships with donors and to cultivate effective, meaningful relationships with prospects that result in measurable results
  • Coordinate the development and production of collateral materials related to fundraising campaigns, events, programs, and activities (Annual Report, Direct Mail Campaigns, etc.)
  • Evaluate and analyze the existing development program and implement effective changes to increase overall fundraising program performance
  • Participate as part of the organization’s leadership team in the development and management of the strategic direction for 826michigan and integrate the team’s work to support the organizational vision and mission
  • Participate as part of the 826 Development network, collaborating with the National office and other sites to identify and pursue larger partnership opportunities, share best practices, and strengthen resource development efforts across the network


  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree
  • At least five years of progressive responsibility in philanthropic fundraising
  • Minimum two years of experience leading a team and managing staff
  • Demonstrated ability to solicit and close major gifts, especially those in the five- to six-figure range
  • Proven experience and proficiency at developing and maintaining a large number and wide range of relationships, both externally and internally in an organization
  • Experience leading development programs at comparable non-profit organizations, preferred
  • Proficient with computer applications—a thorough understanding of the Microsoft Office Excel, Google Applications and donor development software (Salesforce and basic data analysis experience preferred)
  • Ability to travel between 826michigan’s primary offices in Detroit’s Eastern Market and downtown Ann Arbor as well as program and community sites for donor meetings and events

Core Competencies

  • SYSTEMS THINKING: Identifies and communicates connections and implications of work/decisions across departments.
  • PLANNING & EXECUTION: Ensures day-to-day operations within purview are having maximum impact toward organizational strategy. Advanced ability to assess situations to determine the importance, urgency, and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
  • MANAGEMENT: Makes sound decisions that drive the organization forward and marshals the appropriate resources to execute. Proven organizational and project management skills, including a strong ability to multi-task, with a focus on being proactive and results-oriented.
  • COMMUNICATION: Ability to understand and passionately advocate for the mission, vision, and values of 826michigan. Excellent command of the English language and grammar, both verbal and written. Advanced interpersonal skills. Develops and implements systems to take down silos with department, creating formal/informal structures for collaboration.
  • COLLABORATION: Creates processes for productive communication.  Works effectively independently and cooperatively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • CULTURAL COMPETENCE: Models expectations for an inclusive environment where staff, volunteers, stakeholders and students from all backgrounds thrive. Commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all stakeholders. Advanced ability to work with culturally diverse staff and populations and a variety of education audiences. 

Compensation & Benefits

  • This is a full-time position. Our hours of operation are generally 10-6 Monday through Friday. Some evenings and weekends will be required for special events. Interested applicants should expect to spend approximately 20 hours per week in Washtenaw County and 20 hours per week in Detroit.
  • The starting salary range for this position is $60,000 to $65,000 annually. Salary offer will be dependent on experience.
  • Employees working more than 24 hours per week are eligible for medical and dental insurance with 826michigan contributing $500 per month to the cost of premiums.
  • It is our policy, when an employee is eligible for benefits, to provide the opportunity to purchase benefits for spouses, children, and domestic partners.
  • We provide two weeks of vacation time and one week of sick time per fiscal year (July-June) as well as a summer break week in August and limited office hours the last week of December. After two years of service, employees earn three weeks of vacation time.


The Development Director reports to Executive Director and is a member of the Leadership Team. The Development Director is supported by the development team, comprised of one AmeriCorps VISTA member (Development and Events Associate), a volunteer development committee, and the Marketing and Community Engagement Manager. 


Please complete our application form, including uploading the following materials, by December 7, 2018:

  • Resume
  • Detailed cover letter answering the following questions:
    • What in particular about 826michigan interests you?
    • What special skills do you possess that would help you in this job?
    • Tell us one thing about you that we can’t learn from your resume.

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