The Trace is looking for a director of development to help sustain and expand our reporting on gun violence. This is a full-time, remote-friendly position.

The Trace is a nonprofit media organization building the only team of journalists dedicated to reporting on gun violence. Our stories are making a difference and our financial support has remained steady during these uncertain times. As we enter a period of critical growth, we are looking for a talented director of development to accelerate our fundraising.

We hope you’ll consider applying if:

  • You believe in the power of journalism and storytelling to drive positive change
  • You enjoy building relationships to support organizations you’re passionate about
  • You love spotting new opportunities — and making them happen

In this new role, you’ll collaborate with The Trace’s managing director in establishing and expanding revenue programs essential to our long-term sustainability and impact, with an emphasis on major giving and reader donations. Ideally, you have both a track record of raising funds for mission-driven organizations and a familiarity and comfort with the logistics of nonprofit development work — we’re a small shop, and this is definitely a hands-on role.

The position

As The Trace’s director of development, your core responsibilities will include:

Launching and directing a major giving program. To date, The Trace has been funded mostly by grants from institutional donors. In partnership with the managing director, you’ll develop a strategy for steadily increasing the share of our operating budget funded by major and mid-level gifts.

Expanding our membership program. Hundreds of The Trace’s most loyal readers help to sustain our journalism by making one-time or recurring donations. You’ll organize the digital marketing and email campaigns that lead to new members (some of whom may turn out to be major giving prospects) and renewals and ensure every gift is promptly and warmly acknowledged.

Building our donor database and tracking key development metrics. We use Salesforce as our CRM for reader-donors and Airtable for grant prospects, so familiarity with each or an ability to learn those platforms quickly will be key. You’ll also create systems for regularly tracking our progress toward key fundraising metrics and revenue goals.

Coordinating with our successful grants program. Over the past two years, The Trace’s grants team has helped us earn the support of dozens of major national and regional funders. You’ll contribute to the continued growth of our grant revenues by working with the managing director to integrate institutional fundraising into our overall development strategy and priorities.

Maintaining the master fundraising calendar. By integrating deadlines and key dates for grant writing, major giving, membership drives, conferences, donor correspondence, board meetings, and other relevant events, you’ll ensure we never miss an opportunity and focus our capacity on the highest priorities.


  • Excellent communication and writing skills, with an ability to connect with people virtually, in person (once safe to do so), and in deftly composed letters and emails.
  • An understanding of the public benefits that journalism provides, a commitment to The Trace’s unique mission, and a talent for conveying the importance of nonprofit media to new stakeholders and audiences.
  • An ability to adapt to respond to new opportunities or needs while remaining organized.
  • Project management, data management, basic spreadsheet, and online research skills .
  • 7+ years of related experience and success. (We’re defining these broadly — if your work has involved helping organizations grow, cultivating business relationships, using your communications skills to achieve your goals, and fruitful collaboration, we encourage you to apply.)

Compensation and benefits

The salary range is $100,000 to $125,000, depending on the candidate’s experience, past fundraising achievements, and location. This full-time position includes no-cost medical, dental, and vision insurance; 12 weeks of fully paid family leave; a 401(k) with employer matching; four weeks of vacation time, plus 10 sick days and a holiday week in December; professional development resources such as funding to attend conferences; and wellness initiatives such as early summer Fridays.

The Trace has a main office in Brooklyn, a small bureau in Chicago, and additional staff in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Seattle, San Diego, and Charlottesville, Virginia. The Trace’s 20 employees have been working from home during the pandemic, with some teams planning to return to in-person collaboration on a hybrid schedule in mid-September. This position can be based anywhere in the continental U.S.

The Trace is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and strongly encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people.

We know that all of the attributes and interests listed here won’t apply to all candidates. If you think you’d be a great fit and have skills and qualifications not mentioned in this listing, we encourage you to apply and tell us why you’d thrive in the role.

How to apply

This search is being led by Development Resources, inc. For more on the position and instructions on applying, please visit