Director of Development

For more than 45 years, enduring changes in its programs, leadership, and even its name, Literacy Mid-South has stayed true to the vision that inspired its creation in 1974: to bring the gift of literacy to the people of the Mid-South.

The rich history of Literacy Mid-South began with a call to help low-literate adults gain the reading skills needed to reach personal, educational, and professional goals in order to effectively participate in their community. Later, LMS broadened its mission to include learners of all backgrounds and ages. Today, in addition to continuing its work with adult and student readers, Literacy Mid-South serves as a convener and core collaborator for the broad community of organizations working to improve literacy outcomes in the region. As we approach our 50th anniversary, Literacy Mid-South is positioned to become a regional literacy intermediary, bridging the literacy goals of its cross-sector partners. 

Literacy Mid-South seeks a dynamic, passionate Director of Development to provide high-level strategic leadership, day-to-day management, and implementation of all donor-based fundraising efforts with Literacy Mid-South program directors. The Director of Development will be a critical member of the Literacy Mid-South team, leading all direct solicitations and donor engagement. The Director of Development will work closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to design and implement donor-based fundraising strategies, but a high degree of creativity and independence is necessary.

While Literacy Mid-South will consider a broad range of backgrounds, an ideal candidate will have many of the following qualifications/experience:

  • Commitment to the mission of Literacy Mid-South. Ability to communicate this mission and impact to the broader community with passion.

  • 6-8 years of directly related nonprofit experience, inclusive of individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations, communications, and special events, as well as leadership in a major fundraising campaign.

  • Strong record of providing strategic and operational leadership, including creating and managing a budget while ensuring efficient processes and resource allocation. Demonstrated ability to recruit, manage, coach, motivate, and ensure ongoing professional development of staff; foster a transparent and collegial work environment with best-in-class industry and philanthropic standards.

  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of how to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in advancement functions; culturally and historically competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, ableism, and gender identity. Skilled at delivering solutions in evolving, multi-cultural environments.

  • Experience in developing the case for support and strategic fundraising plans, and then executing plans to achieve goals and objectives. Demonstrated experience cultivating, training, and working collaboratively with peer-level colleagues, board members, and other volunteer leaders on successful development-related activities.

  • Successful track record of leading the cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding of major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six figures or greater.

  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic marketing and communications in support of achieving brand awareness, fundraising, event, programmatic, or other organizational goals. Experience identifying and coaching project spokespeople. A functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact.

  • The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about strategy and process. Competence in leveraging data to communicate to donors, board members, and senior colleagues. Working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations, as well as experience with Microsoft Office and Google Drive.

  • A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing advancement best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends, as required, consistent with public health guidelines.

  • Work with the Development Associate to manage campaign gift correspondence in the database, including timely acknowledgments, pledge payment reminders, pledge agreements.

  • Assist program directors with preparing and submitting reports to donors and those required by granting foundations and institutions.

  • Other duties as assigned


  • This position will manage a Development Associate.

  • This position will report to the Executive Director.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred

  • CFRE certification preferred

  • Self-motivated, organized, and able to meet deadlines

  • Familiarity with Memphis community, preferred

  • Takes initiative 


New hires are typically brought into the organization at a salary between the range minimum and the salary range midpoint depending on qualifications, internal equity, and the budgeted amount for the role. The salary range for this position is between $70,000 and $80,000 annually. 

This is a full-time position, with generous paid time off (PTO), competitive benefits (health/dental/vision), and hybrid work opportunities.

To apply:

Please send a resume and a cover letter to careers [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org.

Papa, you saved me...

You taught me to read

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief