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Development Director

Development Director


Development Director

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) seeks an experienced Development Director to help deepen our impact. The Development Director will play a critical role in advancing SCHR’s mission by developing and implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies, cultivating relationships with donors and partners, and ensuring financial sustainability. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in nonprofit fundraising, excellent communication skills, and a deep commitment to social justice.

About SCHR

The Southern Center for Human Rights is working for equality, dignity, and justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system in the Deep South. SCHR fights for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.

Over our forty-six-year history, SCHR has litigated precedent-setting cases in the South, in hostile climates, against all odds. SCHR has forced county and state governments to make significant improvements in prisons and jails to reduce overcrowding, provide adequate medical and mental health care, and abate violence and abuse. We have argued and won five death penalty cases at the US Supreme Court, four of which challenged profound race discrimination in capital trials. Our combined litigation and policy advocacy helped bring about the creation of a statewide public defender system in Georgia. For more information about SCHR, see our website at

About the Position

The Development Director is a leader in the organization whose work is critical to ensuring that we have the resources necessary to be impactful. The Development Director is responsible for setting and implementing SCHR’s development plan and creating strategy to achieve our annual budget. This includes managing development activities (including special events, our donor database, and donor cultivation and stewardship); engaging the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers in fundraising efforts; and identifying new sources of funding. Our $4.9 million annual budget supports a 35-person staff and the cost of investigation, litigation, and organizing against the abuses of the criminal legal system in the South. SCHR neither solicits nor receives government funding.

SCHR’s revenue stream comes from a mix of foundation grants, individual and corporate contributions, special events, fellowships, and investment income. SCHR employs a variety of fundraising strategies to ensure we have the financial resources necessary to fulfill our mission. SCHR typically hosts four in-person fundraisers per year, which take place in Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.

The Development Director reports to the Executive Director and supervises and partners with the Foundation Relations Manager and Development Associate to carry out the development plan, and works closely with the Administrative Team, in particular, the Marketing, Communications, and Finance Directors as well as SCHR’s receptionist.

We seek someone with a deep and authentic commitment to the inherent dignity of our clients and our mission to create a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice. This is an opportunity to create systemic change working in an organization where we all give 100% in an environment that tends to be high stakes, high energy and does not conform to traditional 9 to 5 schedules. Achieving our bold mission often requires weeknight or weekend hours and a can-do attitude while we also strive to support our staff in maintaining their resiliency through our benefits package and positive, passionate work environment.

Key Responsibilities

Fundraising Strategy

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy to support SCHR’s programs
  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities through grants, individual donations, corporate donations, planned giving, and special events
  • Work with Board Development Committee to create 50th Anniversary endowment campaign

Individual/Major Donor Cultivation and Stewardship

  • Identify, cultivate, and grow individual donor base
  • Cultivate corporate relationships
  • Direct major donor program(s)
  • Supervise direct mail solicitations, annual appeals, acknowledgements, and other donor communications
  • Create personalized and compelling communication materials to engage donors and supporters
  • Manage and expand monthly donor, planned giving, matching gift, and other giving programs
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications Directors on donor recognition initiatives
  • Coordinate with SCHR Ambassadors on donor stewardship activities and activities designed to diversify SCHR’s donor base


  • Supervise grant writing, research, budgeting, compliance, and reporting in coordination with the Foundation Relations Manager

Special Events

  • Plan and manage two major annual regional fundraising events in Washington D.C. and Atlanta
  • Plan and manage receptions as determined annually in areas of concentrated support, such as San Francisco and New York
  • Identify other opportunities for special event-based fundraising
  • Work with the Marketing Director to organize other campaigns and initiatives to engage current and potential supporters

Board Fundraising

  • Convene and co-chair the Board Development Committee
  • Engage Board members in fundraising to support SCHR’s mission
  • Support the Executive Director in facilitating regular Board communication and in planning two annual Board meetings

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Collaborate with program staff to gather information about programs and outcomes for grant applications and donor reports
  • Build partnerships with other organizations, community groups, and stakeholders to expand fundraising opportunities and reach new donors

Financial and Administrative

  • Perform financial reconciliation and reporting
  • Prepare income projections and budgeting
  • Conduct annual charitable registration and reporting
  • Manage donor database
  • Control and maintain donor files

Qualifications & Experience

SCHR seeks applicants who are highly motivated, detail-oriented, well-organized, excellent communicators and collaborators, strong writers, effective managers, and deeply committed to SCHR’s mission. The candidate should be both a strong team player and able to work independently. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with prior employment or volunteer experience with under-served communities and tenacity and creativity in seeking new opportunities for donor engagement. Prior experience working in a legal setting is preferred. People with direct personal or familial experience with the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A proven track record of fundraising success for nonprofit organizations of similar size and budget
  • Experience effectively supervising, mentoring, and training staff
  • Dedication to uprooting anti-Black racism and working to advance SCHR’s commitment to antiracism
  • Demonstrated success in cultivating major donors, developing fundraising campaigns, and a passion for special event planning
  • High level knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite; donor databases (Salsa preferred); and web, social media, and email communications
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and interest and ability to successfully interact with donors, allies, and the public
  • Engagement in social justice community, familiarity with issues in the criminal legal system, and a passion to embrace SCHR’s work and mission

Commitment and Compensation

SCHR seeks a commitment of at least three years. Start date is negotiable. Salary is commensurate with experience, within SCHR’s public interest salary range of $90,000 – $115,000. SCHR offers an excellent, 100% premium paid benefit package including medical, dental, vision care, and life insurance. Additional benefits include modest stipends for transportation and wellness, access to a flexible spending account, and childcare assistance (if eligible).

This position is in-person at our Atlanta office. Our office maintains a hybrid schedule, with staff required to be in-person three days of the week (absent travel, illness, or other excused absences), and flexibility to work remotely the remaining two days. Accordingly, all applicants should be willing to live in the Atlanta area.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Those who are interested are encouraged to apply immediately. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Email [email protected] with the following:

  • Subject line of the e-mail: “Development Director position _ [First Name Last Name, Pronouns)”;
  • Letter of Interest;
  • Resume; and
  • Writing sample (e.g., the narrative portion of a grant proposal, a solicitation letter, an article for a blog, academic paper, policy brief, or whatever shows your style and voice).

The Southern Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, nationalities, and military status, as well as those who have personal experience with the criminal legal system.