JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Development Coordinator (Full-Time, Salaried, Exempt)

 The Highlander Research and Education Center seeks a full-time Development Coordinator to support and lead the staff that is responsible for cultivating and stewarding foundation and individual gifts and relationships, creatively building and nurturing an organizational culture of power-building through fund- and friend-raising, and educating donors about Highlander’s storied work and current priorities.

With everyone in Highlander’s staff and broader ecosystem, this role will contribute to Highlander’s educational and accompaniment work as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia, across US South, and beyond. 

Learn more about Highlander’s current and past work here: 


The Development Coordinator will be primarily responsible for supervising a growing department, to meet the organization’s funding needs and goals, coordinating the work to build and maintain income through strong relationships with a large number of long-standing and new funders, donors, and constituents. Specific responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

  • Onboarding and orientation for new departmental members
  • Lead Development staff in development of individual and team-wide work plans, goals, and strategies; track progress and take lead on team goal attainment
  • Conduct staff evaluations of direct reports and support professional growth
  • Ensure compliance with policies through time and accountability reports
  • Help facilitate departmental budget development and track spending
  • Provide contributed revenue forecasting and track revenue targets relative to fundraising goals
  • Lead implementation of annual development plans and long-term strategies that are grounded in Community-Centric Fundraising practices
  • Collaborate with Development staff to track moves management for fundraising portfolios
  • Collaborate with Co-EDs, Development staff, and Board to clarify long-term fundraising goals
  • Work directly with the Chair of the Highlander Board’s Resource Committee and all Board members to coordinate community-building events all over the country
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of appeal campaigns
  • Create strategies to help Highlander diversify our donor base racially, geographically, and multi-generationally. (We especially value candidates that will help Highlander establish new levels of support and engagement in the South and Appalachia)
  • Collaborate with the Education team coordinator so that development staff can provide support for the work of other staff members
  • Supervise the work of Development staff use of Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT.
  • Direct and support donor/prospect cultivation meetings with the co- Executive Directors and Development staff
  • Help lead creation of influencer strategy so that Highlander can activate its relationships with high-profile support for the sake of power-building, narrative interventions, and public outreach
  • Help lead strategy for securing grant funding from foundations
  • Help develop creative alternative revenue generation strategies
  • Collaborate with Communications staff members and Co-EDs to support development and ongoing refinement of organizational narrative strategy and creation of communications materials related to fundraising



 Applicants invited to an initial interview will show evidence of a majority of the following:

  • Supervision and staff support in a highly collaborative, participatory team setting
  • Strong track record of effective, creative development planning
  • Strong track record of being part of an organization and/or team’s effort to meet (and even exceed) fundraising goals and communications efforts
  • Ability to think and act organizationally when setting and achieving fundraising and communications goals
  • Proficiency in Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT
  • Experience in grant-writing and reporting for multi-million dollar budgets
  • Familiarity with community-centered fundraising strategies and tactics
  • Familiarity with alternative revenue generating strategies
  • Familiarity with participatory budgeting processes and the role of development planning in supporting & informing those processes
  • Familiarity with large gift and stock gift procedures (proceeds from sale of)
  • Familiarity with movement work in the South and Appalachia preferred
  • Excellent communication skills, listening skills, and organizational skills
  • Commitment to working in a multi-racial, cross-class, multi-gendered work place that centers the leadership of people most directly impacted by systems of oppression
  • A desire and capacity to learn the work (and keep up with the fast-pace changes to that work) of the various departments that fulfill Highlander’s mission
  • Ability to meet multiple deadlines effectively



  • Familiarity with highly participatory models of organizational development, governance, and budgeting
  • Comfort working in a rural setting
  • Bi-lingual speaking/writing abilities in English & Spanish



 The Development Coordinator supervises staff and reports directly to the Co-Executive Directors. All coordinators are part of the Organizational Leadership Team. Members of Highlander’s staff are expected to be prepared to participate in regular departmental meetings, staff & Board committee meetings, three weekend-long Board meetings per year, and our annual Homecoming weekend. Highlander is a highly participatory and collaborative work place, and full-time staff are expected to serve on committees for hiring and other organizational projects. Working at Highlander provides ample opportunity for staff members to work both autonomously and interdependently across departments.


Highlander is located on 186 acres of land in rural East Tennessee (near Knoxville) and is considered a “movement home” by thousands of people from all over the world. Based on the nature of the position’s responsibilities, we anticipate that the Development & Communications Coordinator can work remotely; however, final requests for occasional remote work and support for home office set-up will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Highlander offers up to $1,500.00 in relocation reimbursements and, when available, temporary transitional housing on-site.


 This position’s salary is set at $69,098.38 (before taxes and other withholdings), which is Highlander’s current annual Level 3 salary. This position is currently a full-time, salaried position (35 hours a week with an additional 5 hours of paid breaks), with occasional evening and weekend work and travel required. This position is Exempt, which means it does not qualify for overtime pay.

The position has a people-centric benefits package which includes an employer-paid medical (BCBS), dental, and vision plans for the employee as well as their spouse/domestic partner, and/or dependents. Highlander also provides an employer-paid Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) which helps employees and their families cover eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental, and vision expenses. We also offer a traditional 403(b) retirement plan (TIAA-CREF) with significant employer-paid annual retirement contributions after a year of employment.

In addition to 11 paid holidays a year, this position will accrue up to 24 days (192 hours) of vacation time a year and up to 12 days (96 hours) of sick time a year. Employees can also take advantage of a generous staff development stipend and other opportunities for professional development on a case-by-case basis. Highlander staff are highly encouraged to take advantage of our existing benefits to promote their own holistic growth and well-being as both individuals and employees. A more detailed summary of benefits can be provided upon request.

This position is included in the bargaining unit of Highlander Workers United, Highlander’s staff union.


 Highlander is an equal opportunity employer, and we especially encourage applications from Black, brown, and indigenous people, women, LGBTQ+ and gender variant/non-conforming folks, and working-class/cash poor people. Folks directly impacted by the criminal justice system are also encouraged to apply.


Step 1: In one PDF document, compile:

  • cover letter,
  • resume/CV,
  • name & contact information for 3 references


Step 2: Email that PDF document to Write “Development Coordinator” in the Subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Optional: In addition to the required information above, you can send other application content that showcases your skills, interests, and experiences. Make sure to include any explanation needed to best interpret the content you include. The content can come in any form of media, which can include but is not limited to:

  • A Timeline of your work, life or experiences
  • A Video
  • A PowerPoint or other form of presentation
  • A graphic design, collage or sets of pictures and photographs
  • A Song, poem, or other writing samples


Timeline: The application process will be open until the position is filled. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible. Select applicants will receive an initial invitation to interview via Zoom with a hiring committee, and the final candidate(s) will be invited to a final interview with the full Highlander staff.



If you have a question about the position before applying, please send it to and someone from the hiring committee will reply as soon as possible.