Director of Development

Writers & Books

This post is expired. Click here to search for more listings.

The Director of Development plays a key role in designing and implementing a comprehensive development strategy to drive income growth and ensure a robust future for Writers & Books. They bring expert networking, fund development, and strategic planning skills to the position to engage and manage current donors and funders and identify and cultivate relationships with new prospects. A motivated self-starter with development leadership experience, the Director of Development is based in Rochester, NY, reports to the Executive Director, and works closely with a committed group of colleagues.

  • Major Gifts: Work with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of high net worth individuals, with a focus on major gifts; develop a pipeline of new donors to fulfill fundraising goals.

  • Individual Giving: Inspire, manage, and acknowledge individual giving throughout the year, with a focus on a year-end appeal.

  • Institutional Giving: Research and prepare grant and sponsorship proposals; administer contracts and report on awards. Spearhead and manage face-to-face solicitation efforts for the leadership team.

  • Planned Giving: Spearhead designing, implementing, and shepherding Writers & Books’ first Planned Giving Program.

  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant and progressive development experience, including 3 years of leadership experience.

  • An attitude of creativity, innovation, confidence, and entrepreneurship, with an ability to inspire and motivate donors and colleagues.

  • Comprehensive grasp of fundraising strategies, methods, and best practices, as well as a keen understanding of the nature of philanthropy and motivations for giving.

  • Proven track record in the solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of individual donors, foundation and government funders, and corporate sponsors in an organization with an operating budget of at least $750,000.

  • Familiarity with federal, state, and local government funding processes, including registration, administration, and proposal and budget development.

  • Demonstrated experience writing successful grant proposals, managing grant contracts, and reporting on grant awards.

  • Experience in designing and implementing successful capital campaigns and planned giving programs.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong interpersonal skills.

  • Ability to communicate effectively across all media platforms; savvy about online fundraising tactics, social media, and database management/maximization.

  • Comfortable working in a team-oriented, fast-paced environment, and with diverse groups.

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, with Master’s degree preferred.


Founded in 1981 with a mission to foster and promote reading and writing as lifelong activities for people of all ages and backgrounds, Writers & Books (WAB) is one of the oldest and largest community-based literary arts centers in the nation and the only one of its kind in a regional eight-county area. WAB moved to its permanent three-story home in the Neighborhood of the Arts in downtown Rochester in 1985. Since inception, WAB has engaged youth and adults with the literary arts through workshops, readings, and presentations.

Today, the organization delivers a robust calendar of public programming, including Rochester Reads, a community-wide one-book initiative; SummerWrite, a reading and writing camp for K-12; readings, talks and presentations; performances; and year-round writing workshops for adults. WAB also owns and operates Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat, a 24-acre site in Naples, NY. Together, WAB’s urban and rural programs serve a direct audience of 10,000 and an indirect reading, radio, and television audience of 15,000.

How to Apply


This is a full-time position located in Rochester, NY. Competitive salary.


Email cover letter and résumé to Alison Meyers at, with “Director of Development” in the subject line. Preference will be given to applications received by February 5, 2020; the position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please.

Writers & Books is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply. Persons with mental or physical disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are eligible for this position as long as they can perform the essential functions of the job after reasonable accommodation is made to their known limitations.

Posted on January 30