Mountain State Spotlight seeks an entrepreneurial, mission-oriented development manager to manage fundraising for a growing, nationally recognized startup investigative, civic news organization serving West Virginia. The broad mandate of the role is to galvanize funding for journalism that is more crucial than ever for West Virginians. 

As commercial newsrooms in the state struggle with diminishing resources, a growing number of West Virginians are deprived of the information they need and the journalism to keep government, business and other institutions accountable. Mountain State Spotlight was created to address this crisis and now has one of the largest news reporting staffs in the state, with a team of talented reporters and seasoned editors focused on issues including public health threats, economic development, environmental degradation and government accountability.

You will partner with the Executive Director to design and implement an annual development plan. Key priorities include supporting fundraising efforts by overseeing the planning and management of strategic cultivation and helping to identify civic-minded donors who care about democracy in West Virginia. The development manager will be expected to work and live in or near Charleston, West Virginia.

Job responsibilities

Fundraising strategy and management:

  • Supervise fundraising, as well as the communication strategies that support growth and Mountain State Spotlight’s mission and vision.
  • Design and implement an annual development plan, with a focus on foundation support and major, individual gifts.
  • Work alongside our Audience Manager, who focuses on increasing readership and attracting online donations, to coordinate messaging and develop a plan to cultivate support from all West Virginians.
  • Skillfully manage the Salesforce platform to cultivate and steward donor relationships. 
  • Maintain accurate records of progress and activity reports for the Executive Director, leadership team and the Board of Directors.
  • Oversee the planning and management of strategic cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Work with the Managing Editor to maintain working knowledge of state public affairs, including major news stories and issues that are of interest to our supporters and significant investigations by Mountain State Spotlight that drive policy changes.
  • Work with the Executive Director to implement a communication plan, including development of messages, materials and explanations of our work used in strategic donor communications, annual reports, newsletters and other communications that advance Mountain State Spotlight’s mission and visibility.

Donor management:

  • Support the Executive Director and co-founder’s donor engagement as well as conduct face-to-face solicitations and other direct engagement with donors and prospects.
  • Work with the Executive Director to develop goals and strategies and cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring that each one receives appropriate personal contact.
  • Identify new prospects for major gifts and opportunities for increased giving by current donors. 
  • Manage donor communication, including thank you letters, emails and responses to requests for information.
  • Oversee gift processing and swift acknowledgement of contributions.
  • Maintain accurate records in Salesforce and use capabilities effectively to support donor development.

Grant development and management:

  • Develop and manage the annual fundraising calendar.
  • Work with Executive Director to draft grant applications and track/meet deadlines for submissions and reports.

You’re a good fit if:

  • You have a strong interest in local accountability journalism and First Amendment values.
  • You can articulate Mountain State Spotlight’s mission and vision with passion and persuasion.
  • You have at least three years of nonprofit development experience.
  • You have excellent verbal, written, interpersonal communication, organizational and time management skills.
  • You have experience writing grant applications and/or responding to requests for proposals.
  • You have strong research and analytical skills, are familiar with internet research tools and data tracking and performance management software and pay careful attention to details.
  • You are proficient in Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, Microsoft Excel, GSuite, Google Analytics, Mailchimp and/or project planning tools or are familiar with similar tools and can learn quickly.
  • You are organized, can manage multiple projects under tight deadlines and stay calm under pressure.
  • You are committed to collaboration in a team environment.
  • You value personal and professional integrity and are committed to ethical fundraising.

Experience working in nonprofits in West Virginia or other rural Appalachian states is a plus. 

We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. 

We also encourage applicants who are ready to take on an ambitious role but don’t meet 100% of our requirements. We’re growing, so if you’re not right for this job, you might be right for the next one.

Compensation and benefits

Full-time, competitive salary. Our range for this position is $45,000 to $65,000 and is based on relevant professional experience. Benefits include health, vision and dental insurance, 401K. Three weeks of paid time off in addition to 19 holidays, which includes the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Flexible work schedule. Some weekend and evening hours will be required.

Application process

To apply or to ask questions, email Your application should include:

  • Your resume.
  • A cover letter telling us why you are the right person for Mountain State Spotlight’s team. Describe your vision for the initial set of priorities for this role. 

Application review will begin Nov. 15 and continue until the position is filled.