Foundation Writer

Charlottesville, Virginia
Sep 29, 2017
Oct 15, 2017
Full Time

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking an experienced professional with excellent writing and project management skills to join our successful fundraising program. Located in SELC’s Charlottesville headquarters, the foundation writer works in close partnership with our founder/CEO and our team of 70 lawyers and policy experts. He/she helps shape and articulate SELC’s law and policy goals, action plans, and benchmarks in the course of producing polished proposal and report packages. The foundation writer also works closely with SELC’s development officers, program leaders, and managing attorneys to help them build long-term relationships with leading funders throughout the South and nationwide.

About the Southern Environmental Law Center

The Southern Environmental Law Center just celebrated its 30th anniversary. With nine offices across six states (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental advocate and leader. This organization addresses a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and all the people who depend on them for their health and wellbeing. Although regional in focus, much of SELC’s work has much broader national and global impact. SELC’s development and marketing team is similarly talented, dedicated, and successful. All of our grant writing, event planning, development research, graphics and publications, and internet communications happen in-house, which makes us consistent, accurate, and nimble across our array of relationship-building and solicitation activities. Learn more at

A Crucial Position at a Pivotal Point in Our History

Because the Southern Environmental Law Center is not a membership organization, every one of our donors really matters, and the way we pursue our development activities reflects this. SELC’s stellar 30-year track record has helped us secure significant grants from premier national and regional foundations, as well as generous charitable gifts from individuals, family foundations, and state-based foundations throughout the Southeast. The foundation writer is responsible for producing persuasive proposal and report packages that meet the specific grant-making requirements of our major funders. He/she is charged with writing other customized materials for engaging, educating, and inspiring our current supporters and prospective donors who approach their philanthropy in a results-oriented manner.

This position is fundamental to the current and future success of SELC. Duties include:

  • For each assignment, reviewing files and online information to gain a firm grounding in SELC’s relationship history and in the target funder’s interests and requirements;
  • Scheduling and leading concept meetings/calls with individual SELC attorneys or with attorney teams;
  • Reading, researching, and contacting others by phone or email to gather necessary information;
  • Drafting copy for review and editing by SELC attorneys and fundraisers (multiple drafts are sometimes required);
  • Coordinating as needed with other colleagues (e.g. finance, graphics, geospatial, IT);
  • Collaborating with SELC’s foundations manager to complete proposal and report packages, always on or before the deadline, via online submission or mail.  

At this critical moment for our environment, SELC is seeking a gifted writer with proven experience in a professional fundraising environment. The writer must have:  

  • A bachelor’s degree (preferably in a related discipline like English, communications, marketing, or public relations) and at least five years of relevant professional experience
  • Proven research, writing, editing, and proofreading skills
  • Excellent organization and time management skills, and be able to juggle multiple projects, keep track of short- and long-term priorities, and meet deadlines  
  • Strong people skills and a high level of comfort with interviewing and other direct interactions, both in person and by phone
  • A collaborative attitude and comfort level with back-and-forth interaction and feedback to produce top-quality products   

What to Expect from SELC

The Southern Environmental Law Center enjoys a reputation for professionalism, impact, and accountability, as evidenced by our 100% rating from Charity Navigator.

SELC offers its employees a competitive benefits package and an enjoyable work environment. We expect hard work, strategic thinking, peak performance, and teamwork from ourselves and each other, but we value the climate of mutual respect, collaboration, and collegiality that we have established among our staff, board members, and supporters.

We seek to bring these same values to our partnerships with other organizations, communities, and people of all backgrounds who share our mission. The South has a rich natural diversity and an equally rich cultural diversity. SELC is committed to broadening the diversity of its staff in order to strengthen our organization and its effectiveness in responding to the many environmental challenges affecting the South and its people. The Southern Environmental Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we encourage applications from persons of all backgrounds.

If you are interested and qualified, send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to Let’s take the time to talk, review your portfolio, and explore the possibilities together.