Director of Development, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures seeks a Director of Development to plan and implement its overall fundraising (i.e., grants, individuals, family and community foundations) to support our program work. BAV’s mission is to help grow the regional food economy by providing flexible financing and technical assistance for farms and food businesses in Berkshire County, MA, Columbia and Dutchess Counties, NY and Litchfield County, CT.

Most of the money we raise supports on the ground projects and impactful program work. To date, we have supported over 100 farms and food businesses in our three states, four county service area. BAV has been acknowledged for its unique and flexible impact investing role by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Next Street Capital. BAV is also the designated lead organization in implementing the food and agriculture component of the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 with 1Berkshire. In fall 2018 BAV received a 1Berkshire Trendsetter Award for “Growing and Advancing the Berkshire Economy.”

Our current donor cultivation and stewardship of donors occurs through face to face conversations, personalized appeals, monthly newsletters, and occasional events. The Executive Director and Office Manager, as well as the two field program staff, contribute to donor stewardship and the development of government and national and regional foundation grant proposals.

At this time in BAV’s organizational history, we need to both be more strategic and engage the larger community more effectively through our outreach and stewardship efforts in our development work. This is critical to building our role as a strong and vital community-engaged and rooted organization.

The Director of Development would have principal responsibility for donor cultivation, engagement and stewardship. The Director of Development will report to the Executive Director and would support and guide organizational development efforts and a yet to be established board development committee. The work expected in this role is both conceptual and strategic as well as hands on execution. It is our aim to raise $1 million toward our Revolving Loan Fund, a major driver of organizational sustainability, within five years.


Overall: Develop strategy, calendar and operational plans for a professionalized approach to annual individual giving activities; establish professional systems for tracking and acknowledging gifts; maintain a pipeline for new prospects through a program for identification, engagement, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and donor recognition; manage day to day operations of BAV’s development work; develop and manage the development budget. Provide staff training, implement procedures and reporting, and own the management of software applications such as DonorPerfect; become familiar with BAV’s programs and staff to communicate their value to donors; maintain development messaging for the newsletters and annual report, as well as with ideas for Facebook and the website to enhance donor support. Develop working relationships with the Board to support fundraising efforts. Include donor stories wherever possible in the newsletter, on the website, on social media and in the press.

Annual Giving: Strategize how best to grow the success of the current annual giving program and grow to meet or exceed budgeted goals; draft letters to different tiers of prospects. Write appeal letters and update acknowledgement letters and engage the Board and staff.

Major gifts: Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board, develop a potential list of major donors and new prospects creating individual cultivation strategies for each. These gifts are $5,000 and higher.

Planned gifts: Seek opportunities to include planned giving in mailings, announcements, website and brochures. Identify and meet with potential donors.

Special Events: Provide direction and strategy for inaugural special events and farm tours.

Comprehensive Campaign: Work with Executive Director and board to incrementally prepare for a $1 million campaign that includes a possible endowment and possible program/project financing reserves.

Key Qualifications

The Director of Development will have:

  • 5 years of development experience with a demonstrated record of success, ideally within the New England or larger Northeast regional food system.
  • Strategic, creative team leader who can be a good mentor.
  • Excellent project management skills with a proven ability to achieve results.
  • Staff management background with a track record of measuring and motivating growth and individual and team progress against goals.
  • Proven ability to work with board and volunteers to advance a philanthropic mission.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to influence donors and volunteers through written and verbal presentations.
  • Experience in special event planning and/or hands-on coordination.
  • Facility with at least one donor management software program and preferably DonorPerfect.
  • Highly proficient in Google Workspace (Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Sheets).
  • Experience using Asana or other project management platform for team collaboration, and/or willingness to learn.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills.
  • High attention to the important details of development work.
  • Experience in food and agriculture preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please submit a resume and cover letter to This is a salaried position, salary dependent upon experience. Statutory benefits included.


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2021-06-16T11:47:28-04:00June 11th, 2021|Categories: Careers, Food/Agriculture, Fundraising/Advancement, Remote/Work From Home, Senior-Level|