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Development Director


Development Director

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is seeking to hire an experienced Development Director to help us deepen our impact and transform the criminal legal system. The Development Director will play a critical role in advancing SCHR’s mission.

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-five-year history, SCHR has forced county, state, and federal 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 United States 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. Our advocacy has advanced significant decarceration reforms in the Georgia General Assembly. Today, SCHR embraces multifaceted strategies in its fight for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.  For more information about SCHR, visit

About the Position

The Development Director is responsible for setting and implementing SCHR’s development plan and creating strategy to achieve the annual budget. This includes managing development activities (including special events, 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 $4.2 million annual budget supports a 40-person staff and the cost of investigation, litigation, and organizing against the abuses of the criminal justice 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 has a significant base of foundation support, many of whom have been supporting our work for years, and we have continued to cultivate new foundation donors to help us build upon our work. 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 Deputy 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.

Key Responsibilities

Individual/Major Donor Cultivation

  • Identify, cultivate, and grow individual donor base
  • Direct major donor program(s)
  • Supervise direct mail solicitations, annual appeals, acknowledgements, and other donor communications
  • Manage and expand monthly donor, planned giving, and other giving programs
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications Directors on donor recognition;
  • Coordinate with SCHR Ambassadors on donor stewardship activities and activities designed to diversify SCHR’s donor base


  • Supervise grant writing, research, budgeting, 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.

Board Fundraising

  • Convene and co-chair 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

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, communicate well with others, have strong writing skills, and have a deep commitment to SCHR’s work. The candidate should be both a strong team player and able to work independently. The ideal candidate is someone who has prior employment or volunteer experience with under-served communities. The candidate should also have a willingness to venture into new situations and tenacity in seeking new opportunities for donor engagement. People with direct personal or familial experience with the criminal legal system are deeply encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Minimum five years of professional fundraising experience
  • 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 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, mission, and commitment to antiracism
  • Familiarity with legal work and law firms a plus

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 $70,000 – $90,000. 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).

COVID-19 Logistics

SCHR’s office, located in downtown Atlanta, remains closed for business at this time due to COVID-19. We hope to reopen in the late summer or early fall of 2021. All staff members are working remotely, though some fieldwork is currently being conducted by staff members who opt-in to participate. SCHR provides PPE for employees and has a safety protocol that staff members must abide by.


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;
  • Writing sample (could be 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)
  • Contact information for three references.

The Southern Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative-action employer, which welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender-identities, and sexual orientations, as well as those who have been system-involved.