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Urban Green Lab

Director of Development

Urban Green Lab


Job Summary

Director of Development
Help us inspire support for our cause.


Urban Green Lab is searching for a full-time Director of Development to help us grow our mission of teaching communities how to live sustainably. 

Urban Green Lab

We teach communities how to live sustainably. Founded in 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee, Urban Green Lab envisions a city where learning how to protect our planet, people, and prosperity is just a part of everyday life. To do this, we organize, train, and connect Nashvillians in classrooms, households, and workplaces so they’re within better reach of solutions – and each other – for making a difference. 

Our Values

  • Sustainability is for all of us.
    Sustainability is a human right, and our work is for everyone regardless of race, place, and identity. To us, living more sustainably is a journey rooted in compassion, inclusion, and justice.
  • Education leads to action.
    We believe education is the first step toward taking meaningful action, and that learning to live sustainably can be simple and fun. We empower people to try little changes that make a big difference.
  • Collaboration makes us stronger.
    Nothing is achieved alone. Our diverse partnerships allow us to work creatively, accountably, and in harmony. We believe we go further together.
  • We are good stewards of our organization.
    Taking good care of what we have is at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are committed to using your gifts of support responsibly and transparently to deliver credible work toward our shared goals.

Job Summary

Urban Green Lab’s Director of Development is a position designed to help inspire support for our mission of teaching communities how to live sustainably. Supervised by the Senior Director of Operations, and in collaboration with a team of passionate staff and board colleagues, the Director of Development is responsible for driving Urban Green Lab’s annual development plan so we can achieve our short and long-term goals. The position is full-time exempt and based in Nashville with a flexible work-life balance (Read more below).   

The Director of Development crafts and executes the annual development plan, and is directly responsible day-to-day for a specific portfolio of donors across revenue categories (such as foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships, and individual donations) and giving levels, which will evolve and grow over time. The Director works closely with both the Executive Director and the Senior Director of Operations, who together form the core development team, and leads the development-related work of the entire team, including the rest of the Board of Directors and staff, who each have a unique hand in achieving Urban Green Lab’s short and long-term development goals. 

The Director of Development joins Urban Green Lab at a pivotal moment in the organization’s evolution. The current five-year strategic plan will end in 2025, and a new plan taking us through 2030 will come into focus over the next 18 months. Urban Green Lab has experienced significant growth over the past five years, tripling revenue from 2019-2024, and aims to cross the one million dollar revenue threshold by 2025. The administrative staff and board have grown to comprise larger teams, allowing the programs to bloom and reach more Nashvillians. Our dynamic team is well-versed and prepared to support an organization-wide culture of philanthropy, which is primed for an energetic, creative, and entrepreneurial director of development to helm our next chapter of fundraising. 

Our Development Philosophy

At Urban Green Lab, relationships are everything. That’s how we grow our mission and inspire long-term investment in our cause. Each person and community institution that gives to us is a partner in our work, so it’s important they understand how their gifts are stewarded internally, used effectively to help the community, and leveraged creatively to encourage fellow donors to do the same. Development isn’t about asking for money: It’s about nourishing a lifetime commitment to our shared values, feeling a bond with our organization’s culture, and recognizing each donor’s unique role in helping us achieve our vision.  

Company Culture

Urban Green Lab takes pride in being a human-centric organization, and we’ve designed our policies to reflect that principle. We believe people work best when they’re treated best and are growing both personally and professionally. Examples of this include our flexible hybrid-work schedule (two days in the office plus three days working from any location); collaboratively-created goals, metrics, and performance expectations; up to 15 “silent retreat” days in which staff have permission to focus on uninterrupted work time; separate goals and budgets just for professional development; regular one-on-one check-ins with supervisors for guidance and planning; a staff-led green team; free coffee, frequent team lunches, onsite composting; and an overall collaborative and inquiry-friendly culture. We’re always learning from each other.

Job Responsibilities

  • Annual Development Plan
    Lead creation and delivery of Urban Green Lab’s annual and long-term development plans and related campaigns, including all fundraising areas, from grants and sponsorships to fees-for-service, legacy giving, and individual donations. Work closely with the Executive Director, Senior Director of Operations, and the Finance and Development Committee of the Board to realize the plan and report on the monthly status of its goals with the team. Collaborate with education staff to connect program participants with fundraising opportunities and vice versa. Present monthly status updates to the Finance and Development Committee and periodically to the full Board.
  • Relationship Stewardship
    Serve as the primary relationship manager for donors, donor organizations, and their staff within a defined and growing portfolio and collaboratively determine which staff member should lead on specific major donor relationships. Lead the delegation of all responsibilities related to stewardship, grant activities, meetings, and correspondence. Alongside the Executive Director, serve as Urban Green Lab’s primary driver of new philanthropic relationships. Track data and status of relationships, transactions, and giving history in Salesforce, and help other staff do the same. Create and execute detailed stewardship plans for each donor and/or donor level. Partner with the Executive Director and appropriate staff to schedule donor meetings and help steward those relationships throughout the year. Identify and prepare appropriate staff to join donor meetings when needed. In most cases, lead agenda development, presentations, and facilitation of meetings with donors when other staff are involved.
  • Writing Grants & Sponsorship Proposals
    Lead the writing of all grants (continued and new), applications, sponsorships, and awards in the Director’s portfolio, and lead task delegation to ensure timely submission of all grants. Coordinate grant applications and reporting with appropriate education staff. Create an annual grant submission calendar that supports the strategic revenue goals for the organization. Communicate directly with donor staff to clarify their interests and technical requirements. Facilitate strategic planning talks with community partners around joint submissions and keep them abreast of proposal developments. Create and keep updated a library of boilerplate text appropriate for grants supporting various programs and initiatives.
  • Individual Recruitment & Enrollment
    Lead the effort to recruit new individual and household donors. Drive individuals to become donors through collaborative efforts with the communication and program team. Help understand what individuals want and need from their engagement with Urban Green Lab and the possible roles they may play in advancing our mission with us. Plan and execute donor events and giving campaigns that support individual giving (e.g., Earth Day, Giving Tuesday, and end of year). Lead and execute a detailed stewardship and recognition plan for each donor.
  • Research & Data Management
    Research new revenue streams, prospective donors, and other opportunities, and keep highly organized records of relationships, fundraising procedures, and the status of applications year-round through Salesforce and other methods. Manage data on the Finance and Development Dashboard and create monthly reports on development activities for the Finance and Development Committee. Forecast giving years down the road and pitch scenarios that may affect it. Keep abreast of development trends in the Nashville area and beyond, especially around our mission of teaching communities how to live sustainably. Partner with the education staff on fee-for-service and other fundraising opportunities and support the execution of those efforts. Create, manage, and maintain a submission calendar for all grants, proposals, asks, and contracts. Keep track of prospects, determining a replicable qualification system for each that will generate the required revenue to support the budget. Periodically update the donor lists for annual reports, webpages, and other internal or external reporting needs.
  • Other Duties
    Respond to development inquiries and share with relevant Urban Green Lab teammates. Assist the Senior Director of Operations with monthly financial reporting and the annual budgeting process, including the annual report. Evaluate and report performance toward annual goals and assign long-term strategic plan tasks monthly with the team. Participate in all regular team meetings, retreats, and functions. Regularly collaborate with the Communications Manager so that we have development messaging in our public-facing communications architecture and create collateral and communications plans for all annual fundraising and awareness campaigns. Lead the professional development of the staff and Board on our “culture of philanthropy” and how everyone contributes to the development goals. Serve as a member of the operations team along with the Senior Director of Operations, Executive Director, and Communications Manager. Regularly communicate with the Executive Director and Senior Director of Operations about the capacity of the fundraising effort to support the organization, including planning for when the organization should next expand to augment staffing (data, grant writing, etc.). Other duties as assigned. 


Personal Attributes

The successful candidate is the following:

  • Passionately committed to Urban Green Lab’s mission and values
  • Entrepreneurial and goal-orientated with a keen sense for innovation
  • An authentic relationship builder – someone who derives satisfaction from interactions with people who will deliver a philanthropic outcome
  • Proactive, dependable, and on-time – a team player to the core
  • Diplomatic with excellent community relations and listening skills
  • Positive and flexible with intellectual curiosity and ability to adjust to change
  • Inclusive and empathetic with an understanding of what it means to be equitable
  • Humble and gracious under pressure with a high sense of integrity and humor  

Experience & Knowledge

The successful candidate is someone who can understand and demonstrate the following:

  • Advanced knowledge and demonstrated experience in fundraising and development with diverse supporters (a must)
  • Expertise in grant writing, including strategic/project planning with partners and award stewardship (a must)
  • Knowledge of gift stewardship regulations, laws, and best practices
  • Interests, trends, and technical requirements of various community donor types
  • How to connect with individuals to learn what they want from their contributions
  • Experience leading cross-functional teams, working with program leaders and operations staff for successful development work. 
  • Collecting, analyzing, reporting, and presenting meaningful data 
  • The basics of sustainable living or related issues (ideal)

Additional Information


This is a full-time, exempt position with a starting salary in the $65,000-$70,000 range. Exactly where a prospective employee will be paid within this range will depend on, among other factors, the candidate’s depth of experience and qualifications and the level of specialization the candidate has. Urban Green Lab reserves the right to adjust the title and salary range depending on the candidate’s level of expertise. Benefits include health insurance allowance (medical, dental, and vision), 408p Simple IRA match, cell phone stipend, team volunteering and service hours, 27 days of paid time off (which includes holidays of your choice and excludes sick leave), and 90 days of parental leave for new parents.

Work Environment

Urban Green Lab enjoys a flexible work-life balance, and all staff are responsible for managing their own schedules during the week. Staff are expected to spend reasonable time with the team at our Marathon Village office and with partners in the community. Reasonable accommodations may be made for individuals with disabilities. Occasional evening and weekend event attendance may be required. The employee is regularly required to sit, stand, walk, talk, listen and feel, reach hands above the shoulder, occasionally stoop or crouch, and lift or move items weighing 10-25 pounds.

Equal Opportunity

Urban Green Lab is fully committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and to attracting, retaining, developing, and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by state or local law. Urban Green Lab welcomes applicants from a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and ideas.


This job description is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, requirements, or conditions. While intended to be accurate, it is not meant to exclude that other, different tasks may be required when circumstances change (such as during emergencies, personnel changes, workload alterations, rush jobs, or technological developments or advancements).

How to Apply

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to Noah Spiegel, Senior Director of Operations, at careers@urbangreenlab.org. Combine all documents into one PDF file with your full name as the file name and write “Director of Development” in the email subject line. Incomplete submissions and follow-up inquiries will not be considered. Only applicants selected for consideration will be contacted. Applications are accepted until the position is filled. When a decision is made, all applicants will be notified. All correspondence is confidential. Background check required.


  • Date Posted: January 27, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Administrative
  • Service Area: Education
  • Salary Range: $65,000-$70,000
  • Working Hours: M-F 9:00am-5:00pm