Director of Development

The River Food Pantry

What is The River Food Pantry?

The River Food Pantry is Dane County’s busiest food pantry, offering free groceries, meals and mobile lunches to anyone who comes for help. Located in a warehouse just off Northport Drive and Packers Avenue, The River is surrounded by low-income neighborhoods and subsidized senior housing—exactly where we’re needed the most. We also provide a mobile lunch program for children and teens in low-income neighborhoods surrounding the food pantry. Nutritious packed lunches are distributed in the neighborhoods on weekends and other non-school days.

More than just meals, The River provides a warm and welcoming family atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect, encouraged to find the support they need, and given the opportunity to share what they can with others.

The River serves over 1,000 Dane County families per week, sharing over 50 thousand pounds of food every seven days, or about 2.7 million pounds of food each year. Over $1 million worth of clothing, furniture and household items are distributed annually. We also serve nearly 800 hot meals each week and currently distribute over 400 mobile packed lunches on each non-school day.

In 2019, The River received 31,794 family visits. Approximately 33% of those served by The River are children and 14% are seniors. In 2019, The River provided 66,048 packed lunches to children and teens with MUNCH, The River’s mobile lunch program.

Position Details

Director of Development
Southwest Wisconsin
Madison, WI

The Director of Development will work closely with the Executive Director, an experienced leadership team, and an engaged Board of Directors to ensure that the organization has enough resources to carry out its mission and advance its vision.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Prepare and implement an annual development plan to achieve the charitable giving objectives and strategic plan goals of the organization. 
  • Steward a multi-channel approach to individual giving, including corporate gifts, major donors, individual donors and planned giving. 
  • Organize and implement an ongoing major and planned giving program to include engaging the Executive Director, key staff and Board members in the solicitation process and securing major gifts from a portfolio of top prospects. 
  • Oversee grant solicitations and foundation relations. 
  • Establish and oversee policies and procedures needed to conduct an effective fund development program and campaign infrastructure. 
  • Develop and manage timelines for direct mail campaigns, written appeals and all ongoing cultivation campaigns. 
  • Serve as the principal architect for comprehensive campaign efforts. 
  • Manage and oversee the budget for the development program. 
  • Work with the Executive Director and other organizational leaders in planning for the successful future of the organization. 
  • Authentically reflect and portray the mission and core values of The River. 
  • Develop a comprehensive communication plan with the Communications Manager to promote The River to its donors, volunteers, and external partners. 
  • Ensure timely appropriate donor acknowledgement occurs. 
  • Provide direct supervision and direction to the Development staff.


  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • Minimum of three years of effective fundraising experience and development leadership, preferably with organizations involved in substantial growth. 
  • History of success in soliciting and securing major gifts is required, with preference given to candidates with experience in planning and managing comprehensive and/or capital campaigns.
  • Local travel, some evenings and weekends, and participation in a variety of constituent events is expected. 

Skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of all areas of development, including annual, major, and planned gifts, donor relations, development services, and communications 
  • Persuasive oral and written communication skills 
  • High level of personal and professional integrity 
  • Passion for the mission of The River

Salary and benefits:

Salary DOE, paid time off, health, dental, vision and life insurance; retirement savings.

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