FEATURED - Development Director

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center | Twin Cities
Salary Range: $60 - $70,000, at 30hr/week

Our Organization:
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center was founded on earth day nearly 50 years ago. We remain the largest Residential Environmental Learning Center in the country. Our 2,000+-acre outdoor classroom is on the north shore and overlooks Lake Superior. The land includes rivers, creeks, lakes, high peaks, 18 miles of trail, and our own organic farm. Our mission is “to develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, motivation, and commitment to work together for a quality environment.” We welcome students, families, and adults to join us in learning and exploring and we are proud to celebrate our legacy of teaching countless Minnesotans and inspiring their understanding of conservation, sustainability and appreciation for our natural world. Embracing an innovative approach to learning, Wolf Ridge has nearly completed the first fully certified Living Building Challenge building in the United States, the highest international standard for sustainability, where we teach sustainability by enabling overnight guests to live net zero in a fully renewable building during their stay. A main piece of programming is school overnight trips and summer camps. Foundations and individual donors have been a critical aspect of our success since the founding of Wolf Ridge.

A strong reputation, deep roots across Minnesota and loyal funders and donors allowed Wolf Ridge in 2016 to engage in a $10.5M capital campaign, Making Waves. Now coming out of Making Waves, we have the infrastructure and resources to cement our impact in the realm of environmental education at local, national and international levels. Aside from our significant capital support, we have broadened our commitment to operations including a base of individual donors by over 100% and expanded our support from institutional funders by 42%. We started a planned giving program called Leaders of the Pack, raised from $300,000 to over $1.7M in dedicated bequests, which allows individuals to support Wolf Ridge now and into the future. In typical years, we raise 82% of our budget from program fees. In COVID, our income from program fees plummeted to just 1%. But, with strong support from our donor base, we weathered the storm and raised more from individuals and foundations than we budgeted. Now, we are looking for a Development Director to take the helm and help us deepen current relationships, expand to new supporters and partners, all while maintaining best practices of acquisition, cultivation and upgrading.

Candidate Profile:
Experience: A four year college degree (or equivalent credentials) is required. The candidate will have a minimum of five years of proven experience in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors and volunteers. A minimum of two years of experience managing staff or volunteers is necessary for the position as is project management experience. In addition, preference is given for a candidate experienced in:
  • Planned giving and/or building an endowment.
  • Special events planning.
  • Experience marketing products and services.
  • Building a sponsorship program.
  • Developing digital strategies to cultivate and acquire support.
  • Experience successfully working remotely.

For full job description

A cover letter is requested when applying for this position. Please submit a resume and cover letter which outlines your credentials and vision for the position as well as salary requirements to: pete.smerud@wolf-ridge.org.

Questions are welcome. Contact Pete Smerud, Executive Director, at 218-220-0626 or by email at pete.smerud@wolf-ridge.org.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.