About Us


Director of Development

This important leadership position reports directly to the President & CEO and includes but is not limited to the following responsibilities:

General Fundraising Expectations:

  • Oversee the successful completion of the current capital campaign (launched in 2014) and work with President & CEO, Board of Directors and possibly outside consultants to plan and execute future capital campaigns to fund key organizational priorities;
  • Develop and produce updated list of detailed funding priorities;
  • Work closely with Board’s Development Committee and President & CEO to gain consensus on fundraising initiatives, especially as it relates to strategic planning and goal setting;
  • Oversee Annual Fund initiatives with assistance from Annual Fund Manager; establish and track yearly goals for Annual Fund, including total dollars raised, new donor acquisition, mailings and other fundraising related events;
  • Provide donor and fundraising content for printed bi-annual newsletter, monthly e-newsletters and other internal and external marketing materials in coordination with marketing team (currently working with outside consultants);
  • Develop and produce annual fundraising plan in close consultation with specific, measurable goals and objectives for all facets of fundraising operation, including major and planned giving, annual gifts, corporate and foundation and public support; and
  • Research and implement planned giving initiatives.

Donor and Prospect Cultivation:

  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit donations and pledged gifts from individual, corporate and foundation donors;
  • Manage and solicit a targeted portfolio of major and planned giving donors and prospects;
  • Focus time on personal visits (locally, regionally and nationally) with top donors and prospects;
  • Direct and manage Poplar Forest’s annual donor recognition events, President’s Retreat Weekend (to include a seated dinner and lunch/brunch the following day); and,
  • Coordinate and execute major donor and prospect visits, as well as private tours and special events involving the President & CEO, Board members and other department heads as appropriate.

Leadership and Management Responsibilities:

  • Manage team of two Development staff members: Annual Fund Manager and Development Coordinator;
  • Oversee all general administrative and operational aspects of fundraising office including but not limited to: gift accounting, acknowledgements, stewardship, budget, personnel, and staff performance reviews;
  • Encourage teamwork and foster a collaborative, collegial relationship between Development staff and other Department Heads and staff and the Board of Directors;
  • Lead monthly conference calls with the Development Committee (comprised of approximately ½ of the current Board, approximately 12 members); and,
  • Be available for weekend, overnight and other extraordinary duties related to fundraising and operational needs of Poplar Forest;


  • Bachelor’s degree required and five to seven years of experience in fundraising or a related field; knowledge of fundraising principles and practices;
  • Experience with direct mail and managing a complex database;
  • Advanced working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge (Blackbaud) – proficient in running queries and exporting data, segmenting based on donor giving patterns, etc.;
  • Ability to maintain a professional, polished demeanor;
  • Detail-oriented, with strong organizational, analytical, and planning skills;
  • Initiative and independence in carrying out responsibilities;
  • Excellent organization skills with an ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and a variety of demands;
  • Strong self-motivation and the ability to work as a team member; and,
  • Commitment to maintain confidentiality and a high degree of accuracy in donor records.

Salary & Benefits:

Poplar Forest offers a competitive benefits package to include employer contributions toward a 401(k) and medical and dental insurance, paid vacation and a life insurance benefit.

How to Apply:

Please send resume, cover letter, salary requirements and contact information for three references to job@poplarforest.org. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2020. While email is preferred, if you would like to send your application package by mail, please mail to:

Alyson M. Ramsey, President & CEO

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

P.O. Box 419

Forest, VA 24551

No phone calls please.

Interpretation Assistant

The Interpretation Assistant plays an integral role in the interpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. Working with the Manager of Programs and Education, the Programs and Events Coordinator, and the Coordinator of Themed Tours and Historical Information, Interpretation Assistants will lead regularly scheduled guided tours of the historic house and will act as duty officer of the property as needed.

Essential DutieS:

  • Lead house tours to the general public
  • Learn and be prepared to give specialty tours: i.e. Enslaved Community Tours, Women of Poplar Forest tour, Candlelight Tours, etc.
  • Assist in the set-up, break-down and execution of programs and events on the property
  • Act as duty officer as needed: Open and close the property; provide timely, relevant, and accurate information to docents through pre-shift talks; provide docents with effective and responsive support and supervision throughout shifts; operate golf cart and handicapped lift as needed
  • Attend Interpretation Department trainings
  • Learn all activities in Hands on History to be able to step in as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Time CommitmenT:

  • Approximately 15 hours per week, weekend availability is a must.
  • Attendance at all training sessions throughout the year
  • Some evening and holiday work required

How to apply:

Application deadline: March 15th, 2020. Please send resume and 3 references to Mary Massie, Manager of Programs and Education. Mary@poplarforest.org. No Phone Calls please. If you prefer to mail in your application, please use: P.O. Box 419 Forest, VA 24551



Interested in Volunteering?

We are recruiting volunteers to give tours of the house and grounds, assist in the Museum Shop and help with educational programming for children.

Learn More