Durham, NC

Senior Development Associate, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

The Organization

Created in 1989 through an endowment from the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) opened its doors as a support corporation of Duke University in January 1990, in a historic art deco office building in Durham, North Carolina. It was the first institution in the United States dedicated solely to the rich legacy and continuing practice of the documentary tradition in the American experience.

Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South and Literacy Through Photography were the signature projects in the early years, though CDS maintained an active and diverse curriculum of programs and initiatives throughout the early 1990s, including innovative coursework, several generous documentary awards, a migrant farmworker project, and a South Africa Initiative.

In the winter of 1994 CDS moved into the newly renovated and relocated Kreps-Satterfield House and dubbed it the Lyndhurst House. Work began the following year on a large three-story wing, known as the Bridges Building. These buildings currently house the main activities of CDS on the edge of Duke University’s campus.

More than a traditional educational center, CDS has a broad mission: to bridge university and off-campus communities and experiences through the pursuit of the documentary arts, with an emphasis on the role of individual artistic expression in advancing broader societal goals. That thrust has encouraged the growth of undergraduate and continuing education course offerings alongside numerous wide-ranging public arts endeavors.

CDS began publishing DoubleTake magazine in April 1995. The publication won great critical acclaim, but did not succeed financially and left CDS in 1999. With seed money from CDS, the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival started in 1998. Now known as the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, it continues today as a CDS program and is one of the premiere documentary gatherings in North America.

Other signature programs and projects over the years have included Indivisible: Stories of American Community, a national photography and audio initiative funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts; The Jazz Loft Project, based on photographs and tapes made by W. Eugene Smith in New York City; Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life, a public mural project; the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize, supporting writers and photographers in fieldwork projects; the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, for accomplished American and Canadian photographers who have not yet published a book; and Five Farms: Stories from American Farm Families, a national public radio and photography project.

At CDS, we continue to teach the documentary arts of photography, film/video, audio, narrative writing, and other creative media; to produce and promote documentary work; and to present the documentary arts to audiences at home and abroad.

Position Overview

The Senior Development Associate at the Center for Documentary Studies will help to plan, organize, and implement a multifaceted and comprehensive fundraising program to support identified CDS priorities. The Senior Development Associate will work with the senior leadership team at CDS to ensure that these activities are coordinated with staff, faculty, Board of Directors and other supporters of CDS, and Duke University Development. The Senior Development Associate works under the supervision of the Associate Director for Programs and Development.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Help to establish long- and short-term goals and work plans for a comprehensive fundraising program, including evaluating, planning, and implementing major gift cultivation and solicitations; and coordinating individual solicitations, annual letters, planned giving, foundation and corporate grant proposal writing, and fundraising events.
  2. Develop and maintain contact with prospective donors to support a variety of needs, including unrestricted giving for operations and for existing and new programs and projects; this work would include building a prospective and active donor list through phone and in-person visits, direct mail campaigns, presentations, events, and other means for cultivating both major gifts and Friends of CDS.
  3. Identify, research, cultivate, and solicit foundation involvement in CDS resource development; work with other staff to coordinate grant activity with regional and national foundations and government and corporate sources; provide assistance for and at times take the lead on writing and preparing proposals for submission; assist with meeting grant reporting requirements.
  4. Represent CDS before a diverse range of individuals and groups, providing information about CDS programs and CDS fundraising activities in order to enhance CDS development efforts.
  5. Implement and manage information systems and ensure accurate donor data, campaign processes, and administrative information necessary to support a complex, dynamic fundraising program.
  6. Help to lead, inspire, and support CDS staff and supporters to successfully reach fundraising goals.

Work requires communications, analytical, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.

Work requires five years of experience in fundraising or a related field (alumni affairs, marketing, public relations). Prefer candidates with major donor, grant writing, direct mail, and capital campaign experience. Familiarity with and appreciation of the arts and fundraising in higher education a plus. Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse range of people also desired. Demonstrated ability to work with and motivate staff and supporters essential.


In addition the successful candidate will possess the following qualities/attributes:

Preferred technical skills:

  • Proficiency with Excel and Powerpoint (and other presentation programs)
  • Proficiency with FileMaker or similar database management program

Other preferred skills:

  • Detail oriented
  • Ability to interact professionally with diverse range of internal and external contacts and communities
  • Ability to handle several projects simultaneously
  • Ability to manage conflicting deadlines
  • Excellent verbal and written communications
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Team player
  • Self-motivated and goal oriented
  • Project management

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

How To Apply

Two steps are necessary. Please note applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

1) Send cover letter, resume, and three references to docstudies@duke.edu or to the mailing address below. (References will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge).

Senior Development Associate Search
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 West Pettigrew
Durham, NC 27705

2) Go to the Duke University jobs site http://www.hr.duke.edu/jobs/apply/index.php and follow the instructions to submit an application for the following requisition number: 400873474.

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