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Director of Philanthropy


Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS) is seeking a full-time Development of Philanthropy. 

SMRLS provides free, high-quality legal help in critical civil matters to low-income people in southern Minnesota, along with agricultural workers throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. For more than 100 years, SMRLS has helped individuals and families secure and protect their basic needs, maintaining freedom from hunger, homelessness, sickness, and abuse.  SMRLS has an experienced, dynamic staff of 60 attorneys and 45 additional staff and values, welcomes and promotes diversity in all aspects of its work.  

PURPOSE: The Director of Philanthropy will be the primary fundraising partner with the CEO and its Campaign for Legal Aid (CLA), responsible for creating and driving all development and annual fundraising plans, maintaining and expanding a robust, diverse grant portfolio; and developing a donor cultivation strategy which includes a fundraising, cultivation and special events calendar.

CLASSIFICATION:  The Director of Philanthropy is a salaried exempt position.

Development Plan:

  • Collaborate with CLA and CEO to create annual Development Plan.
  • Engage key stakeholders in development planning where appropriate.

Donor Cultivation:

  • Create plan for donor cultivation; present plan to CLA for approval.
  • Act as liaison between Board, CLA and donors and potential donors to keep cultivation efforts moving forward.
  • Actively cultivate donors and potential donors.
  • Maintain accurate records in donor database of donor history and cultivation efforts.

Event Planning:

  • Create annual event calendar; present event calendar to CLA for approval.
  • Execute details of event calendar, including timeline; event budget; external communications: print, social networking and media; and engage subcontractors and oversee project execution where necessary.
  • Communicate regularly with CLA and Event Sub-Committee.

Grant Writing:

  • Maintain diverse grant portfolio consisting of public and private foundation funding. Research new funding opportunities.
  • Create grant calendar of due dates for proposals and compliance reports.
  • Responsible for all grant proposal writing, the timely submission of complete grant proposals and compliance as required by funder.
  • Collaborate with Controller on budget reports for funders.
  • Cultivate relationships with current and potential funders.


  • Utilize multiple platforms in communications strategy (e.g. print, electronic, social media, etc.)
  • Prepare all organizational publications (e.g. Annual report, quarterly e-newsletters, press releases, where appropriate, etc.)
  • Maintain CLA email list.
  • Maintain consistency in all areas of organizational branding.

Legislative Relations:

  • Cultivate relationships with key legislators.
  • Advocate for funding for SMRLS programs at the state level.

Supervise Philanthropy Staff:

  • Assign and monitor progress on initiatives.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development.
  • Conduct six-month and annual performance reviews.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This job description is provided to illustrate the general nature and level of work to be performed. It is not comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required. Other duties may be assigned. 




  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively with and under the direction of the CEO
  • Ability to set clear priorities and delegate
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Strong organizational skills; deadline driven
  • Ability to work independently without close oversight
  • Excellent team player open to working in a fluid, fast paced environment
  • Commitment to SMRLS’ mission is essential


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred
  • 5 years experience in the development field
  • Track record of success in non-profit development and fundraising with measurable outcomes
  • Valid driver’s license and available personal vehicle

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Primarily office environment, with periodic in-state travel to courts or events and occasional out-of-state travel;
  • Duties require regular standing; sitting; walking; using hands to finger, handle, feel; reaching with hands and arms; stooping or kneeling; occasional lifting or moving of up to 30 pounds; periodically driving.
  • Duties also require talking, hearing and vision.
To Apply: 

Please send a cover letter, resume and three references to:

  Or apply online at   




Submission Deadline: 
January 16, 2019
Organization Information: 
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
55 East 5th St Suite 1000
St Paul, MN 55101
United States
Phone: 651-894-6930