Director of Development


The 2Blades Foundation ( is seeking exceptional candidates for an exciting opportunity as Director of Development to help the organization make a positive impact on global agriculture and a secure and stable food supply.


2Blades is a 501(c)(3) charitable research translation/product development organization based in Evanston, Illinois that focuses on developing crops that are resilient to crop diseases, an under-recognized threat to global food production that causes losses of $220 billion every year. 2Blades establishes and manages programs to solve the major unmanaged crop diseases, advancing lab-based solutions from collaborators at leading research institutions around the world and at the 2Blades Group in The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK, through to international agriculture agencies and seed companies, to deliver broad impact.

Director of Development position:

2Blades Foundation is seeking an entrepreneurial development professional to update and lead 2Blades fundraising program. The organization has supported itself successfully for 15 years on grant funding, commercial partnerships, and license income, and over the past year has begun to expand support with philanthropic fundraising.  A Sustainability Council, whose purpose is to give advice and promote philanthropy toward the mission of 2Blades, was recently launched.  The Director of Development position is new, following an initial predecessor External Affairs position, and the individual filling the role will have the opportunity to use their vision and creativity to build a successful program.


Job Title:                     Director of Development

Reports To:                 President


Job Function:              The primary responsibility of the position is to refine and implement the plan to meet the funding objectives of the 2Blades Foundation. The DoD is responsible for the internal management of grant submissions and fund-raising programs, including major gifts, annual fund, special events, planned gifts.  The target groups will be individuals, corporations, and foundations.  The DoD will work with the President, Board, and Sustainability Council to implement the program. 



Develop and execute major gift and annual fund-raising plan.

Seek grant opportunities for projects and oversee submissions.

Work together with President and key staff on corporate and foundation fund-raising.

Manage prospect cultivation and tracking, curate accurate and complete donor database.

Motivate staff, Board, and Sustainability Council.

Oversee donor acknowledgment and recognition programs. 

Work with Director of Administration and Finance to produce financial reports.

Work with Communications Officer on timely communications, web content, and newsletters.

Plan and coordinate occasional special events (though not a primary fundraising activity).

Prepare and manage the development budget.

Produce fund-raising reports.

Analyze results and evaluate effectiveness of fund-raising programs.



  • A minimum of five years broad fund-raising experience, including annual, corporate, and foundation, major gifts, and grants.
  • CFRE a plus.
  • Experience with science-based organizations a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with research staff. BA degree minimum.
  • Some major gift fund raising experience required.



  • Proven track record
  • Broad experience in a variety of fund-raising techniques and skills.
  • Ability to produce materials for board meetings and other events, including development updates, informational packages, and board engagement in fund development activities.
  • Present reports and updates to the management team, Board of Directors.
  • Experience with maintenance and accuracy of donor database.
  • Develop annual report and other promotional materials.
  • Strong commitment to ethical practices.
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Able to set priorities and manage multiple projects.
  • Able to engage and motivate staff.
  • Excellent communication skills including, writing, editing, and public speaking.
  • Good analytical skills.
  • Strong computer skills.
  • Detail oriented with excellent follow-up.
  • Willing to work flexible hours as needed.
  • Ability to work as part of a dynamic, mission-oriented organization, and as a member of the executive team, contributing to strategy development and management.
  • Ability to manage and prioritize diverse responsibilities including donor cultivation and management, events, public relations, marketing activities and communications plans.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • A commitment to embracing science to solve real-world problems and to contributing to a safe, nutritious food supply for all.



A highly competitive compensation package including base salary, generous 401k program, and complete benefits is available.


Interested candidates should submit a one page cover letter and resume via email to Diana Horvath at No calls please.


The position will remain open until filled.