AACF Seeks Northwest Arkansas Development Director

Position Overview

This is a full-time position in the Northwest Arkansas office of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF). This position will lead fundraising efforts in Northwest Arkansas to raise unrestricted funds to support AACF’s mission to ensure all children and their families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives and to realize their full potential. Fundraising efforts will not only support AACF’s current work, but also the long-term stability of AACF. Specific job duties include stewardship of individual donors and corporate donors along with coordinating fundraising events such as AACF’s annual Soup Sunday event in Northwest Arkansas. The person who holds this position must support AACF’s equity statement and be committed to supporting equity in all areas of the work. 

Salary range is $80,000 to $100,000 depending on qualifications and experience. We value diversity and equity in our work and in our workplace and strongly encourage BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, members of other historically disenfranchised populations, and applicants with lived experience to apply. 


Bachelor’s degree with five or more years of experience in fundraising. Candidates who have more years of related fundraising experience and experience with fundraising in Northwest Arkansas, especially with stewardship of major donors, will be eligible for the higher salary range.

Skills Required

  • Ability to work as a self-starter
  • Ability to do a variety of fundraising tasks in a small office
  • Strong ability to multi-task and stay organized
  • High level of energy and enthusiasm
  • Proven oral and written communication skills
  • Proven ability to obtain major individual and corporate gifts in Northwest Arkansas
  • Is a resident of Northwest Arkansas or is a past resident of Northwest Arkansas and still has significant ties to Northwest Arkansas
  • Committed to improving the lives of all children and families


  • Oversee all development work in NWA including: fundraising for major gift cultivation and solicitation, Soup Sunday and other special events, annual giving, online giving, direct mail, management of donor information database, and other tasks related to development.
  • Develop and implement a strategic comprehensive development plan to include major donor campaign, Soup Sunday and other special events, annual giving, individual and corporate donor strategies, donor recognition, donor involvement in the organization, social media, online giving, and direct mail.
  • Work with the executive director, Deputy Director, Northwest Arkansas Director, Development Director in Little Rock and the board of directors in establishing fundraising goals for the organization, and develop and implement a plan to meet, track, and report on the goals.
  • Steward existing and potential donors, keeping them informed on AACF’s work and progress through face-to-face visits, follow up, and invitations to events most meaningful to the donor.
  • Communicate regularly with donors and supporters about AACF’s mission, results, and opportunities for giving.
  • Research possible major donors and incorporate those potential donors into the fundraising plans.
  • Provide oversight and direction to the part-time NWA Office Coordinator, who provides administrative support for fundraising activities.
  • Work closely with the Northwest Arkansas Director, who assists in cultivating new and current major donors and sponsors of events.
  • Work closely with the Development Director in Little Rock to coordinate development activities and keep each other informed of activities.
  • Work with the Deputy Director and Development Director in Little Rock to develop policies and guidelines that support our fundraising efforts.
  • Develop and implement a planned giving program with the Development Director in Little Rock.
  • Participate in AACF’s national peer networks of development staff. Typically, this includes travel outside the state once a year to attend national meetings.
  • Must be able to travel daily throughout the Northwest Arkansas area.
  • Must be able to travel to Little Rock as requested (typically 6 to 8 times a year) to participate in team building activities, trainings, staff and board retreats, fundraising activities, and other special meetings and events.

About Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

AACF was founded in 1977 by a group of prominent Arkansans who believed that children needed an “independent force to provide information and education to parents and citizens about our state’s policies toward children and families.” For 45 years, AACF has provided leadership, research, and advocacy to promote wide-ranging reforms that have improved the lives of Arkansas’s children. 

The mission of AACF is to ensure that all children and their families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives and to realize their full potential. To carry out its mission, AACF serves as a voice for children at the Arkansas State Capitol and in Washington, D.C., gathers and analyzes data to support public policy that serves all children and families, and organizes coalitions of diverse groups to drive change across the state.

Equity at AACF

AACF has been a dynamic and effective voice for Arkansas’s children and families, guided by a vision calling for equity for all children. AACF’s work spans all policy areas impacting Arkansas’s children and families, including child welfare, economic security, COVID-19 response, early childhood, education, health, hunger, immigrant children and families, juvenile justice, tax and budget, and racial equity. Learn more about these policy areas at www.aradvocates.org/issues

In all of this work, AACF’s racial equity focus strives to align mission and stated values with organizational practices and programs. It recognizes that structural inequity has been embedded in our national and state culture and policies and has had a lasting effect, as seen today in disparities in children’s outcomes across race and many other identities. AACF believes in intentionally engaging diverse perspectives throughout its work and is committed to amplifying the voices and wisdom of those most directly affected by systemic oppression, with a focus on building a more equitable and inclusive Arkansas to truly serve every child and family.

Read more about AACF’s history and work at www.aradvocates.org.


Salary: The salary range for this role is $80,000 to $100,000 depending on qualifications and experience. 

Location: Northwest Arkansas, with the flexibility to work from home up to 50% of the time based on job responsibilities.

Benefits: AACF’s benefits include health and dental coverage, a 6% employer 401K contribution, an optional HSA with employer contribution, life insurance, long-term disability, annual leave of 15 for the first three years of employment, sick leave, flex time, 10 holidays, and sabbatical leave after 6 years of service. 

Apply Now

Please send cover letter and resume to Cara Neal, cneal@aradvocates.org.

Interview Process

  • Stage 1*: From the time the position is advertised, AACF collects resumes for three to four weeks before interviews begin. 
  • Stage 2: Up to 8 candidates may be asked to participate in an initial screening call/Zoom with the Northwest Arkansas Director. 
  • Stage 3: Up to 6 candidates will be asked to participate in an in-person interview with the Northwest Arkansas Director. 
  • Stage 4**: Up to 3 candidates will be asked to participate in a Zoom interview with staff and/or AACF board member. The candidates will also be asked to complete an exercise on their own time. The candidate should spend no more than two to three hours to complete.
  • Stage 5: Final candidate will be asked to do one final interview with the Executive Director. 

*Candidates can continue to apply after the interviews begin. AACF accepts applications until the position is filled. Once interviews begin, the process can take up to 4 months before a final decision is made depending on number of candidates and scheduling availability of candidates and staff.

**Candidates who make it to stage 4 will receive a one-time payment of $100 to participate in interview(s) and complete the exercise to compensate them for their time.