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Ladew Topiary Gardens seeks Director of Development


Ladew Topiary Gardens (Ladew), located in Monkton Maryland, encompasses 22 acres of gardens, an historic manor house, a mile-long nature walk and one of the first native butterfly houses in the region. Ladew welcomes close to 50,000 visitors and members annually for tours as well as a variety of programming. Featured in national magazines for its “creativity” and “playfulness,” Ladew has been recognized as “the most outstanding topiary garden in America” by the Garden Club of America. Highly skilled gardeners, professional staff and dedicated volunteers maintain and promote this natural treasure as a significant cultural, educational and historical resource for the community.

Engaging public programs provide visitors with learning opportunities including practical, hands-on gardening education; lectures featuring experts in environmental stewardship, horticulture, garden design and the decorative arts. Annual events such as the Garden Festival in the spring, and the popular Garden Glow during the fall provide visitors of all ages with cultural enrichment in a beautiful setting.

Ladew partners with schools across central Maryland to provide environmental science based programming to thousands of school-age children. Popular offerings include the Children’s Environmental Education Program which is designed to ensure that children from Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and all over Maryland are able to experience hands-on environmental education that relates directly to the classroom science curriculum. Field trip offerings for pre-K-8th grade, scout programs, nature camps and an array of family programming provide an abundance of learning opportunities for children at Ladew throughout the year.

Ladew prioritizes wellness and emotional enrichment through nature-informed mental health and wellbeing programming such as Tai Chi Mondays. Wellness in the Gardens is a 6-week program that integrates nature connection with mindfulness and other resiliency practices to assist people in regulating stress, anxiety, depression and pain. Participants learn techniques such as guided relaxation, breathing exercises and forest bathing that can become lifelong practices for wellness. Ladew also offers Tai Chi in the gardens each Monday.

The Board of Trustees is committed to fulfilling the mission of Ladew to maintain and promote the gardens, house and facilities in keeping with the creative spirit of Harvey S. Ladew for the public benefit and for educational, scientific and cultural pursuits by continuing to grow its financial viability and the community of friends that are interested in, inspired by and equipped to support the myriad of programs that Ladew offers each year to the public.

To ensure the sustainability of this mission, Ladew Gardens seeks a Director of Development to continue to build on the fundraising program’s success in recent years. Working closely with the Executive Director and reporting to the Senior Director, Development and Communications, the Director of Development will nurture positive relationships with all stakeholders, including current and prospective individual, corporate and foundation donors, a highly engaged Board of Directors, and a collegial staff.

The Director of Development will be a collaborative and outcomes-oriented professional who will build on the strengths of the existing fundraising strategy. The Director of Development will have a deep and demonstrated passion for the mission and vision of Ladew Gardens and an understanding of and dedication to fundraising best-practices.


  • Manage and continue to grow a donor-centric major gifts program, with attention to both annual and long-term strategies and goals, that positions Ladew Gardens for financial stability and long-term success.
  • Manage and own a personal portfolio of major donors/prospects through frequent and personalized engagement.
  • Direct and manage the Executive Director’s portfolio of major donors/prospects by creating tailored cultivation strategies, drafted correspondence and written proposals as needed for the Executive Director to consistently engage her assigned donors.
  • Manage and own a portfolio of institutional donors and write foundation and corporate grant proposals and reports as assigned.
  • Consistently input moves management updates and information into the fundraising database, including meeting debriefs, donor notes and research.
  • Strategically partner with the annual fund officer to identify and cultivate new major gift prospects.
  • Develop compelling messaging around organizational vision and goals and develop strategies for consistent, clear communication with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Leverage existing strategic events, such as the Garden Festival, to maximize fundraising impact through engagement and follow-up with major gift donors and prospects.
  • In collaboration with the development team, identify opportunities to organize and host targeted major donor prospecting and cultivation events and devise and implement timely follow-up strategies for guests.
  • Build a major gift stewardship program that adheres to best practices for non-profit fundraising.
  • Work with donors to leverage the full array of giving methods including current and
  • deferred/planned giving.
  • Ensure consistent, clear communication of fundraising strategy and messaging to the
  • Development Committee in order to maximize volunteer engagement and participation in
  • fundraising.
  • Leverage best practices and follow appropriate fundraising policies and procedures.
  • Utilize and make recommendations for optimization of existing donor software to track all
  • aspects of the giving cycle for major gift donors and prospects. Ensure that all gifts and pledges are tracked and provide regular reporting on the status of fundraising initiatives.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Minimum of five-years’ experience in successfully cultivating and personally soliciting major and
  • planned gifts from individuals, family foundations and corporations.
  • Experience managing portfolios of senior staff members and successfully directing them to drive
  • prospects through the moves management process and complete assigned tasks in a timely manner.
  • Background and proven success working with board members related to personal giving and engagement with fundraising.
  • Willingness to input information into the fundraising database for all personally assigned donors and the Executive Director’s assigned donors.
  • Embodies an all-hands-on-deck working style to support the development team’s success as needed.
  • Experience using fundraising CRMs, membership software or other database management software; specific experience with Altru a plus.
  • Ability to proactively solve and approach problems and issues with the utmost professional demeanor.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a track record of successful relationship building.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong knowledge of development operations processes and best practices.
  • Proficiency in MS Office with strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word.
  • Ability to work independently with limited administrative support, and as a member of a highly collaborative team.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks effectively and efficiently.
Salary Range
$90,000 - $100,000 $100,000 +
Employer Name:
Ladew Topiary Gardens
Job Title:
Director of Development
Employer Contact Information:
[email protected]
Job Submission Requirements:
Please submit a cover letter including salary requirements (salary range is $90K- $110K), resume and list of three professional references to Derek Rogers at [email protected] The search will remain open until the position is filled.
Benefit Package
Ladew offers a competitive benefits package including Health Care coverage and a 401(k) plan. The position has the opportunity to be partially remote. Free onsite parking is available.

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