Job opening: Advancement Director



Founded in Minneapolis in 1980, Milkweed Editions is one of the nation’s leading independent publishers. Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it. Operating as a nonprofit organization empowers us to acquire and develop manuscripts based on artistic excellence and transformative potential, and to engage readers in increasingly innovative ways. Our books and authors have been winners of or finalists for the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Our authors currently include four MacArthur Fellows and the 2022 United States Poet Laureate. We publish 25-30 titles each year, reaching millions of readers with books and events of various kinds. We believe that literature changes the way readers see and live in the world, and that bringing new voices to essential conversations helps ensure a vibrant, empowered future.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Publisher & CEO, the Advancement Director develops and implements strategies designed to increase philanthropic support from current and prospective donors at all levels. The Advancement Director oversees all fundraising and special events, and will be responsible for meeting the goals of our current capacity-building and endowment campaign, Taking Flight, the largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by an independent press. Currently in a quiet phase, the campaign is projected to go public in the fall of 2023. 

This is a full-time, in-person, exempt position with benefits. Salary is expected to be in the $125-150K range, determined based on experience. Please submit a resume, three references, and a cover letter addressed to Daniel Slager in one combined PDF via Submittable, by March 15th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.



  • Plan and strategize toward broad organizational goals
  • Work collaboratively as a member of the organization’s leadership team
  • Foster a culture of generous and optimistic philanthropy around the organization
  • Lead, inspire, and mentor staff, including the Senior Advancement Officer

Fundraising and Stewardship

  • Develop and implement the organization’s fundraising goals and priorities
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations 
  • Build and maintain a portfolio of 50–75+ major donors and prospects.
  • Oversee and continuously improve systems and processes for donor identification, outreach, cultivation, and stewardship as well as for gift management, reporting, and advancement policies generally
  • Monitor and report on fundraising to the Publisher & CEO and the Board of Directors, and collaborate with the Board’s Advancement Committee 
  • Improve operational systems, processes, and advancement policies 
  • Improve communication within the organization and with external partners
  • Support the solicitation activities of the Publisher & CEO and the campaign committee
  • Manage and grow the organization’s Annual Fund, including Kaleidoscope, a leadership member program
  • Create a program to cultivate and inspire planned gifts; oversee the stewardship and benefit of these commitments.
  • Oversee the execution of all fundraising events, including the annual Book Lovers Ball.
  • Oversee advancement communications and correspondence including community facing donor news, campaign progress reports, institutional briefings and reports, donor-facing proposals, and stewardship materials
  • Provide oversight and manage grant writing activities, final submissions, and calendar of obligations


  • Passion for the mission of Milkweed Editions
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 7–10 years’ progressively challenging experience with successful fundraising 
  • A proven track record for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and closing gifts at multiple levels
  • Advanced knowledge of all aspects of fundraising and donor relations
  • Knowledge and experience with the Twin-Cities philanthropy landscape is preferred 
  • Experience building and meeting metrics-based goals
  • Self-motivated, ambitious, optimistic, creative, goal-oriented
  • Evidence of innovation in developing strategies and programs for cultivation and stewardship
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and problem-solve, and balance working independently and collaboratively in a cross-functional, small team environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a life-long learner’s approach to engaging with individuals and groups of varied backgrounds, identities, and experiences
  • Excellent communication skills, with an ability to convey messages clearly and concisely
  • Demonstrated ability to implement various fundraising strategies simultaneously 
  • Demonstrated networking and relationship-building skills
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Knowledge of donor databases, Salesforce preferred