Senior Director of Development & Communications

Literacy Center of West Michigan  |  

Grand Rapids, MI

On behalf of our client, the Literacy Center of West Michigan, we are leading a search for a Senior Director of Development & Communications. Be a part of a diverse and mission-driven team serving the largest community-based organization providing adult education services in the state of Michigan. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is in a dynamic season of growth and looking for a leader eager to collaborate with an ambitious team focused on impact and innovation.

The Senior Director of Development and Communications will partner with the Executive Director and staff to create, drive, and execute the fundraising and communications efforts for the organization. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is looking for someone who is passionate about elevating the stories of those they serve and the impact of their mission, someone who understands the connection between these stories and a dedicated community of donors and volunteers.  The Senior Director of Development and Communications will be key to advancing our growth and our goal to be nationally recognized for our excellence in adult literacy.  


Essential Duties + Responsibilities

Donor Development:

  • Work closely with the Executive Director to plan and implement fundraising strategies across all funding sources, with a particular focus on unrestricted funding 
  • Lead annual fund and campaign efforts toward the goal of doubling our impact, including donor acquisition, cultivation, and retention
  • Lead established and committed campaign committees, including meeting preparation and follow-up, and ongoing support whenever appropriate
  • Maintain accurate reporting of all donations
  • Support efforts to retain and increase higher-level donors
  • Manage annual appeal process for Holiday and Spring appeals
  • Establish and maintain planned giving program
  • Report monthly to Board of Directors on development results and activities


Grant Management:

  • Partner with Executive Director in approaching foundations and governmental entities and building partnerships/collaborations with other organizations as it relates to grant applications
  • Partner with the Executive Director to research opportunities and seek support of foundations and governmental agencies
  • Project manage the grant writing process including, agency collaborations, contributors, budgets, and timelines
  • Write, edit, and submit all private and governmental grant applications and reports on behalf of the Literacy Center and (if applicable) its partners
  • Research and assess new private and governmental grant opportunities 
  • Manage appropriate staff and partners in preparing, writing, and reporting on grants
  • Manage freelance grant writer contracts


Event Management:

  • Lead high-level strategy for two mission-forward events annually: Wine & Words and Spellebration 
  • Work with the Executive Director, Finance Director, and Executive Assistant to set event revenue goals and expense budget
  • Ensure that events stay within budget and raise projected fund
  • Manage the event team to plan and execute events, including staff management on event day


Communications and Marketing

  • Provide leadership for overall Communications Strategy for the visibility and brand awareness of the Literacy Center
  • Partner with the Communications team and Tutoring team for tutor recruitment strategy
  • Develop strategy for donor communication
  • Partner with the Communications team and Executive director on the development & maintenance of a new website
  • Partner with the Communications team PR Firms for earned media opportunities.
  • Share the Literacy Center’s mission through networking, speaking engagements, and professional development
  • Provide supervision to the Communications team



  • In partnership with the administrative team, ensure the organization effectively maintains  its donor database: gift entry, reporting, and donor acknowledgements  
  • Prepare and maintain annual development general/event budgets 
  • Establish annual revenue and fundraising goals in relation to organizational goals
  • Support positive organizational culture and values and support the Literacy Center’s value of cultural competency


Qualifications + Requirements

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, communications, or a related degree
  • 7+ years of fundraising experience building donor base, annual fund, campaigns, event planning, project management, and grant writing
  • 2+ years of managing fundraising or related staff
  • Experience with a fundraising annual goal over $1million
  • Alignment to mission, vision, and values of The Literacy Center of West Michigan
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal


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