DEADLINE EXTENDED! SDF is Seeking a New Executive Director

SDF is excited to announce our search for new leadership. We have heard from a number of potential applicants asking that we extend the deadline for the Executive Director search, because of the Sundance festival and recent snow and ice storms across the South and East Coast. We now will accept applications through Friday, February 5, 2016 via We are seeking to have a new Executive Director in place no later than May 2016.


SDF Executive Director Position Summary:

The Executive Director (ED) provides leadership to the organization, including but not limited to cultivating and supporting our community of project directors, program development, staff and fiscal management, fundraising, public relations, and business development. The ED works closely with the Board of Directors, reporting to the chair and serving on all committees and other work groups. This is a full time position (40 hours per week) that will begin no later than May 1, 2016; the job requires some evening and weekend commitments.

We are looking for an ED who is interested not only in filling our immediate need for strong leadership, but also in developing innovative ways to continue the tremendous growth that SDF has seen in the last several years. The ideal candidate will have at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree with at least ten years of professional work experience, and a proven track record leading an arts non-profit.  Our ED must share our commitment to and understanding of the importance of cultivating documentary storytelling (film, photography, writing, radio, etc.) in and about the Southern Untied States.

The ideal candidate should possess

  • Experience leading an arts nonprofit (preferably in film/media, but we will consider other arts, too);

  • A proven track record in fundraising (including major institutional grants and awards, and major individual donors);

  • A passion for documentary storytelling and a willingness to work with filmmakers, radio producers, photographers, writers, and other documentary artists at various career and project stages;

  • Dynamic public speaking skills and excellent written and oral communication;

  • Networking skills to build relationships with local, regional, and national leaders;

  • Sensibilities as a highly collaborative team player with a positive attitude who is able to work with diverse collaborators;

  • Cultural sensitivity, strong ethics, and social maturity in relating to people from diverse backgrounds; and

  • Flexibility and enthusiasm for working in the documentary field.

Principal responsibilities include

  • Serving as our primary spokesperson, interpreting and promoting SDF to project directors, media, donors, and the general public. This includes supervising monthly newsletters, website updates, press releases, social media presence and campaigns, film festival and industry presentations, and private and public events. We want our ED to be a visible presence for SDF in the documentary world.

  • Direct fundraising, including development plans and their execution; leading the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual and organizational donors; securing institutional support via grants and awards; and developing effective and user-friendly fundraising materials.

  • Serving as the primary liaison to our Board of Directors, reporting to the chair and working closely with all appropriate committees and workgroups, helping to inform and facilitate our board and committee meetings.

  • Providing supervision and evaluation of our staff and volunteers, including but not limited to the Program Manager (PM), interns, and event volunteers.

  • Providing fiscal management for the organization in collaboration with the board and PM, including budget development, execution ,and monitoring; approving expenditures as appropriate; developing and implementing related financial policies.

  • Conducting business development, including recruiting new project directors, supporting and promoting current project directors, and developing new revenue-producing events and activities.

  • Directing public relations strategies to raise awareness of, involvement with, and support for SDF; continuing to build our network of affiliated colleagues and partners; representing SDF at key relevant events; and expanding our regional and national reach.

  • In collaboration with PM and board, informing, periodically updating, and ensuring adherence to the SDF Policies and Procedures Manual and Fiscal Sponsorship Handbook.

  • All other duties as assigned by the board.

Other Details:

Total compensation package: $55,000 – $60,000  Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2016 through February 1, 2016 The position is based at the Southern Documentary Fund’s office located in downtown Durham, NC, and will begin no later than May 1, 2016

SDF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. 

Click here to register with and begin the application process.