Director of Development, The Alice Waters Institute

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Location: Berkeley, CA / Hybrid
Who We Are

The Alice Waters Institute (AWI) is dedicated to advancing regenerative agriculture through the power of food procurement – specifically in our nation’s public schools – where the values of community, nourishment, equity, and stewardship can be conveyed to the next generation through food.

AWI builds on Alice Waters’ more than 50 years of impact at Chez Panisse and over 25 years of developing curricula for the Edible Schoolyard Project and its worldwide network of more than 6,700-schools. AWI is already partnering with a diverse group of education institutions to demonstrate that shifting to a local, seasonal, regenerative organic menu is achievable at scale, developing guides that can be used by schools and universities across the world and later adapted by food professionals across myriad settings. Multiple pilots across California are already underway, including with a major metropolitan K-12 school district and multiple campuses in the UC system. 

The AWI start-up is being incubated at the Edible Schoolyard Project with plans to spin it out as a separate 501c3. A founding CEO, with deep experience in building successful nonprofits, has recently been hired to lead the organization. 

Position Description

The Alice Waters Institute is seeking a strategic, dynamic Director of Development with a proven track record of achieving ambitious fundraising goals and managing high performing fundraising teams. The Director of Development will play a pivotal role in helping to build this pioneering new initiative. This is a full-time position providing management and execution of the fundraising and development  communications goals of the Alice Waters Institute. This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer of the Alice Waters Institute and manages 2 - 3 direct reports. 

The Development Director will be responsible for achieving annual fundraising goals of $5M growing to $10M+ over the next 3-5 years through a variety of revenue streams including individual cultivation and solicitation, foundation grants, planning and executing events, and recruiting corporate support. The Director is responsible for spearheading the development and implementation of the annual fundraising plan and periodic campaigns. The Director will work closely with the CEO and Founder Alice Waters to cultivate and solicit 6- and 7-figure leadership gifts and foundation grants, track actual revenue against budget forecasts, and generate reports for the management team and Board of Directors. 

The Director will concurrently be responsible for developing and executing an annual communications calendar for both online, direct mail, and printed promotional materials throughout the year. In addition, the Director will produce an annual report and quarterly updates for the public pertaining to the work of the organization. All communications will help to engage the AWI vision on a national and international platform across a broad group of constituents and stakeholders.

We are seeking a person with a strategic mindset and great interpersonal skills who can engage with a wide audience and is highly skilled in team management. This is an exciting opportunity for a social-impact minded candidate with a passion for transforming our food and agriculture system for the health of people and the planet. 

Key Responsibilities:

Development / Fundraising

  • Work with management staff, CEO, and Board of Directors to implement an annual development plan that achieves an annual fundraising goal of $5M growing to $10M+ in 3-5 years.
  • Research, identify and prioritize new individual donors, foundations, and corporate and other funding opportunities.
  • Develop strategies for individual donor cultivation, set up/hold donor meetings, write letter proposals, and execute successful solicitations.
  • Build relationships with foundation program officers and manage a collaborative grant writing process involving multiple team members, including writing proposals, grant reports, and communicating with grantors.
  • Plan and execute AWI’s cultivation and annual fundraising events, including defining program, recruiting committee hosts, and gaining corporate and family foundation sponsorships.
  • Manage an organization-wide fundraising calendar with deadlines for proposals, reports, activities, and events.
  • Provide detailed reports about the fundraising progress on a regular basis and evaluate effectiveness of fundraising activities.
  • Oversee development operations and collaborate with Finance Department on gift processing, ensuring that records are maintained and that funders are acknowledged in a timely fashion.

Development Communications

  • Develop and maintain an annual communications strategy, calendar, and work-plan in partnership with the CEO, Linda Burch, and office of the Founder, Alice Waters.
  • Lead the execution and dissemination of content and messaging including regular donor communications, social media, newsletters, and website content.
  • Manage deadlines, schedules, and assets for all communications projects including website content, newsletters, direct mail appeals, and the annual report.
  • Direct the process for designed printed collateral and promotional materials annually.
The Strongest Candidate Will Have:
  • Minimum of 8 years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising/development and communications, including online marketing or a demonstrated track record that matches this experience.
  • Successful track record of overseeing a leadership and major gifts program. Success in identifying, cultivating, and directly soliciting major gifts of $100,000 and more.
  • Success writing and winning grants from significant national foundations.
  • Experience working with the Bay Area’s philanthropic community with knowledge of climate, education, and food system funders a significant plus. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to effectively work with and within a donor database in order to track donor “moves” and history. Experience with Salesforce strongly preferred.  
  • Excellent computer skills, direct experience working with website development, social media, and newsletter services.
  • Excellent time-management skills with the ability to plan, organize, and prioritize workload and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Experience with content management systems and proficiency in Google Suite and Microsoft tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Adobe Creative Cloud tools (Photoshop, Dreamweaver). This is a Mac environment.
  • Enthusiasm for regenerative organic agriculture and food systems that address climate change, children’s health, and education.
  • Ability to motivate and reward a team of colleagues in pursuit of stated objectives.
  • An innovative mindset and ability to dream big, while being mindful of executing day-to-day tasks.
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What We Offer

The Alice Waters Institute offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefit package. The Alice Waters Institute is an equal opportunity employer and consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, disability or protected veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

Salary Range

$110,000-$130,000, depending on experience

To Apply

If you are interested in applying to this position, please send a cover letter and resume via email to with “Director of Development, AWI” in the subject line by Jan 31, 2024