Position Open: Development and Communications Director

CI_HiringDevelopmentCommsDirector_2The Cornucopia Institute is seeking a full-time employee to join our team.  The Development and Communications Director will oversee Cornucopia’s development efforts and be intimately involved in its communications strategies and execution.

This individual will oversee the organization’s revenue development (including proposal writing and grants administration, fundraising mailings, occasional fundraising events, etc).  This person will also be involved with Cornucopia’s many communications vehicles (research reports, electronic and print newsletters, infographics, etc.).

A heartfelt passion for protecting the environment, the good food movement, human health, humane livestock husbandry, and social/economic justice for family farmers is essential. 

The Cornucopia Institute has become one of the most preeminent and effective public interest groups, focusing on regulatory and market-based implications of agroecology in the United States.  The organization acts as an organic industry watchdog protecting organics and alternative marketing mechanisms for farmers and consumers to connect.  We seek to defend the integrity of the organic food label from governmental regulatory indifference as well as from agribusinesses profiteering from unethical and questionable food and agricultural practices.

Primary responsibilities for this position include:

  • Develop, implement and monitor an annual fundraising plan
  • Write funding proposals and grant reports to foundation and corporate funders
  • Research foundation, corporate, major donor, prospects
  • Carry out regular direct mail campaigns
  • Work closely with Cornucopia’s Codirectors and Board members to identify and cultivate major gift prospects and communication strategies
  • Coordinate online giving strategies
  • Help plan networking and fundraising events, solicit in-kind donations
  • Write content as necessary for quarterly newsletter, enews, website, and other communication vehicles, coordinate with other staff as needed in on newsletter production
  • Coordinate research report publication
  • Oversee the Communications and Development staff assistant to help expand fundraising and communications opportunities
  • Other duties as assigned

The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications and skills:

  • Commitment to the mission of The Cornucopia Institute
  • Understanding of (and preferably involvement with) organic food and farming issues
  • Demonstrated fundraising ability
  • Self-starter and ability to work independently
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects in an exciting and fast-paced environment
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
  • Ability to interact effectively with co-workers, members, and the general public
  • Superior work ethic and careful attention to detail
  • Highest degree of personal and professional ethics
  • Competency with the Microsoft Office suite
  • Proficiency with social media and Internet research
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in humanities or scientific field and/or a directly applicable professional resume


Commensurate with experience.

The outline of job responsibilities above is obviously ambitious and it is unlikely that a single candidate will possess the skillset, or time, to accomplish them all. However, the ideal candidate will be in a position to supervise their execution by working with in-house subordinates and dedicated contractors.


The Cornucopia Institute is formally based in Cornucopia, Wisconsin but is “virtually officed,” and thus has no central location.  Staff members telecommute from home offices around the country.  Because of this, applicants must be highly motivated and able to work independently. We have a dozen staff members and additional support from a number of part-time employees and dedicated contractors.

The Development and Communications Director is expected to provide his or her own dedicated worksite.  Because of this, work with Cornucopia is possible anywhere in the U.S.  Candidates residing in, or relocating to, the Upper Midwest are encouraged to apply — facilitating periodic face-to-face meetings.  But ultimate hiring decisions will be made based on the credentials of the candidates and their ability to be successfully self-directed.

Several core-staff and contractors are located in or near Vernon County, Wisconsin (thought to have more organic farmers than any other County in the nation).  Candidates open to relocation might find this gorgeous and rugged environment, and its unique agrarian/arts community, a wonderful option.

The Cornucopia Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

How to contact The Cornucopia Institute:

If you have an interest in exploring the opportunity to merge your background and skills with the chance to fight for something you believe in, please forward a letter of inquiry, including salary history/expectations, and résumé to [email protected].

Stay Engaged

Sign up for The Cornucopia Institute’s eNews and action alerts to stay informed about organic food and farm issues.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.