Development Director (Grand Rapids)

On behalf of our client, the Conductive Learning Center (CLC), we are seeking a Director of Development who will be responsible for the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the annual and long-range fundraising plans. In collaboration with the CLC Director and the Board of Directors, the Director of Development will coordinate and oversee all the fundraising activities including the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events, and campaigns. If this sounds like your expertise, we’d love to speak with you.

The Mission of the Conductive Learning Center is to provide opportunities for individuals with motor challenges to achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence through the application and promotion of conductive education principles. Conductive education (CE) is an intensive, educational rehabilitation approach for those living with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other motor challenges. The Conductive Learning Center of North America (CLC) is recognized as a national leader for conductive education.  We provide a model CE program, a lab school for the training of conductor teachers, and a resource for other conductive education programs.  CLC is the only conductive education center in North America that is affiliated with and supervised by the Semmelweis University Andras Peto Faculty in Budapest, Hungary. CLC is recognized by its values: Compassion, Respect, Excellence, Openness, Wholeness

Position Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive fund development plan to meet strategic objectives and financial goals, including annual revenue and long-range strategic plan goals.
  • Coordinate and oversee all fundraising activities of the organization including appeals, events, grants, peer to peer fundraising, corporate sponsorship, individual solicitation, special fundraising, and major gift campaigns.
  • Grow major gifts program including identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors.
  • Oversee grant seeking including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements.
  • Build a planned giving program with a focus on deferred gifts such as bequest expectancies.
  • Direct the annual fund program, including mailings and annual fundraising drives.
  • Provide leadership, creativity, and energy in identifying prospects and cultivating former, current, and potential donors by following up after events, open houses, and initiating new exchanges with individuals and/or organizations.
  • Ensure regular and ongoing communications with prospects and donors.
  • Engage and direct board members, staff, and volunteers in the fundraising process, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Work with the CLC board to ensure appropriate fund development policies and training are in place.
  • Prepare team members with researched and vetted donor details to meet with appropriate funding prospects.
  • Prepare and manage development budget, including projecting and achieving goals for both revenue and expenses.
  • Establish performance metrics and prepare periodic analyses of the progress, effectiveness, and efficiency of development program and systems, identifying potential challenges and recommending solutions.
  • Manage day-to-day activities, workflow, and processes of the development department.
  • Develop appropriate donor recognition and stewardship strategies.
  • Maintain organizational awareness of ethical and legal issues related to fundraising.
  • Work with program staff and board to identify areas of need to be funded and develop a case and strategies for support.
  • Oversee the development and project management of all donor communication and appropriate fundraising materials, including the creation and maintenance of an annual communication calendar.
  • Oversee donor database (CRM) and ensure complete and accurate constituent records, accurate gift entry, personalized acknowledgment recorded, and regular donation reports.
  • Work with Media Coordinator, vendors, and administrative staff to execute fund development materials including newsletters, appeals, proposals invitations, email, social media posts and Evening of Celebration and River Bank Run events.
  • Attend regularly scheduled Board meetings, committee and task force meetings as needed, and other Board-related meetings from time to time by request.
  • Supervise and evaluate the performance of the Administrative Assistant.


  • 5 years’ experience in professional fundraising, including demonstrated development leadership experience.
  • Proven track record of building successful development programs and raising funds from diverse sources, including major gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
  • Proven track record of managing people, developing high-performance teams, managing budgets, and achieving goals.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree an asset.
  • Knowledge of financial management to allocate resources, prepare and manage budgets, analyze financial data, donor analysis, and project fundraising income.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills – ability to translate complex content to key decision-makers and stakeholders, adapting framing and messaging based upon the audience.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to motivate and inspire staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  • Excellent organizational skills, time management efficiency, and an exhibited ability to follow through on tasks and goals.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and strategically prioritize time and competing initiatives, focusing on those that will have the greatest impact.
  • Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, and good listening ability.
  • Be a “self-starter” and goal driven with the desire to get out of the office and build relationships.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs.
  • Competency with CRM (donor databases) and research applications.

If this sounds like an excellent fit for you, please contact Carly Smyly at [email protected].