FEATURED - Director of Development

The Nature Conservancy, MN-ND-SD Chapter | Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range: $160,000-$175,000

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Like the Conservancy worldwide, the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Chapter is focused on tackling climate change, protecting lands and waters, and providing food and water sustainably. With a 60+ year history, an energized and passionate staff, and 23,000 committed members, the Chapter is a hub of innovation to address these challenges with comprehensive solutions.

We have protected 921,000 acres of prairies, wetlands, forests and other natural areas across the three states. These lands and related projects help clean our waters, mitigate the effects of a changing climate, provide habitat for wildlife, boost nature-based tourism, and preserve our quality of life. We use a science-based approach and collaborate with academia, communities, policymakers, businesses and other nonprofits to achieve success. And we strive to make our donors proud and excited to be a part of forward-thinking efforts to benefit people and nature by protecting the gifts nature has given us. To learn more, visit www.nature.org and search Tri-State.
Although you’ll see requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Passion, innovation, and diversity are all key components to advancing our Mission and we encourage you to apply.

The Director of Development plays a critical role in helping further this impactful work by leading the Chapter’s philanthropy staff, developing new and existing donors, forming partnerships, working with the Chapter’s Board of Trustees and serving as a key member of the staff Leadership Team. The Director of Development is accountable for the Chapter’s success in implementing TNC’s global conservation approach, producing measurable results and maintaining and strengthening organizational values.

The Nature Conservancy in MN-ND-SD seeks a strong Director of Development (DOD) as we execute on our ambitious conservation goals. Our Chapter has a talented and experienced staff of 100, a diverse and engaged Board of Trustees comprised of 26 members, 1 main office in Minneapolis and approximately 10 offices across the three states, and a successful, robust program in place with a budget of approximately $17 million. The DOP role offers a unique opportunity to design and implement a strategic fundraising approach to support the Chapter’s conservation priorities—and to be involved with conservation programs at regional, national, and global levels. The DOP reports directly to the Chapter Director and will be based at our Minneapolis office. The anticipated salary range for this position is $160,000-$175,000.

  • Works with Tri-State Chapter staff and colleagues around the world to recommend and implement donor-driven fundraising strategies that maximize overall giving to the Conservancy.
  • Secures annual Chapter fundraising goal of $8.8 million as well as planned gifts to fund the Chapter’s conservation priorities. Plans and implements a comprehensive fundraising and development program that raises significant philanthropic resources from individuals, foundations and corporations for local, regional and global priorities.
  • Recruits, develops, inspires, and manages a team of seven high-performing fundraising and support professionals to achieve relationship-building and funding objectives. Sets and meets fundraising objectives, evaluates results and develops effective strategies as needed. Nurtures effective team collaboration and directly manages a portfolio of high-level donors and fundraising volunteers.
  • Establishes, implements and tracks measures and indicators of fundraising progress and success, and reinforces compliance and consistency with relevant organizational policies and procedures.
  • Leads diverse activities and process to achieve project outcomes, and initiates solutions to improve the effectiveness of the Chapter’s fundraising.
  • Provides senior leadership to establish fundraising campaigns and works with Board members and staff to establish and execute annual and multi-year fundraising goals and plans for the Chapter.
  • Ensures the philanthropy work is a collaborative and well-integrated effort across the Chapter. Works closely with Finance, Conservation and Marketing/Communications in developing fundraising, messaging and marketing strategies as well as funding proposals and related materials.
  • Informs chapter budget planning to align with market potential and funding opportunities.
  • Revises/updates the chapter’s multi-year development plan and revisits it with the philanthropy staff and Board throughout the year to ensure goals and objectives are met.
  • Provides staff leadership for the Chapter Board of Trustees Philanthropy Committee to maximize the Board’s role in major gift fundraising.
  • Keeps the Board’s Executive Committee members apprised of the fundraising program by attending Executive Committee meetings.
  • Collaborates with the Chapter Director and Board by attending the Board’s Committee on Trustees to help identify, recruit, onboard and develop new volunteer leaders.
  • Shares best practices and collaborates on cross-chapter activities as a member of TNC’s Great Plains regional philanthropy committee.
  • Actively fosters collaboration with The Nature Conservancy’s Worldwide Office and with fundraising programs of other chapters, countries and global programs to achieve the Conservancy’s goals.

  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 years related experience, including experience working at a senior level.
  • Experience asking for and closing major gifts including gifts of complex assets.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents including major donors, foundations, and corporations.
  • Experience in developing and delivering budgetary responsibilities.
  • Experience in developing accurate fundraising projections.
  • Experience managing and supervising a multidisciplinary team.
  • Experience working in a large, complex, not-for-profit organization.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, and procedures of private gift fundraising or relevant field.

  • Extensive management experience including the ability to inspire, lead, set objectives, and manage performance of a mid-size, multi-disciplinary team. Ability to foster an environment of collaboration, creativity, and professional growth while delivering on fundraising goals.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in major gift giving and solicitation and strategic funding campaigns.
  • Proven success in asking for and closing major gifts and building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents, including major donors, foundations, and corporations.
  • Working knowledge and effective understanding of the basics of charitable gift planning. Knowledge of more advanced gift planning concepts is desired.
  • Possesses or can acquire necessary skills to access, interpret, and inform specialized software used by the Conservancy to capture donor information.

  • Ability to design, implement and direct multiple projects, setting deadlines and ensuring program accountability.
  • Ability to think strategically, creating competitive, breakthrough strategies and plans for local and organization-wide philanthropy.
  • Ability to communicate a compelling and inspired vision and sense of core purpose. Ability to inspire, motivate, and marshal resources throughout the entire organization.
  • Ability to cultivate the creative ideas of others, make connections between ideas, and project potential outcomes.
  • Ability to experiment to find creative solutions. Accepts the challenge of unfamiliar opportunities.

  • Ability to make strategic decisions based on analysis, wisdom, experience and judgment.
  • As a senior leader, acts independently.
  • Ability to guide actions and resources in a way that honors the organization’s values and reputation.
  • Maintains confidentiality of sensitive and emotionally charged information.

  • Broad management responsibility for a team of administrative and professional staff, including recruitment, retaining, professional development, establishing clear directions, setting “stretch” objectives, coaching, performance management, and overseeing the execution of day-to-day work.
  • Broad financial responsibility including setting and meeting fundraising objectives, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies as needed.
  • Develops and administers the annual Tri-State Chapter Philanthropy Program budget.
  • Provides timely and accurate fundraising reports, analysis, and recommendations to Trustees, senior staff, and project managers.

  • Exposure to various cultures, geographies, nationalities, ethnicities and points of view, appreciating the basis of each person’s worldview.
  • Exposure to various economic sectors in order to appreciate the vastness of experience and expertise of others outside their field of interest, such as financial, health, manufacturing, technology, government, bioscience, education, etc.
  • Demonstrated respect for committing to local, on-the-ground involvement with people, communities and cultures, with awareness and sensitivity to their economic realities.
  • Understanding of Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area philanthropy and culture; aptitude and capability to work with donors from other communities in the Chapter, large or small, rural or urban, etc.

  • Excellent writing with superb communications and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of The Nature Conservancy to diverse groups including major donors, corporate executives, Trustees, and others who are critical to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Directs Chapter Board of Trustees’ engagement relating to philanthropy, including the presentation of strategic fundraising information at Board meetings and Executive Committee meetings and provides staff leadership for the Philanthropy Committee.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with influential people. Commands attention. Can change tactics midstream and manage group processes during presentations and discussions.
  • Leverages constructive and effective relationships with a wide range of people, including leaders within the organization, internal and external senior management, donors, volunteers, public and private sector colleagues, and partners including financial and legal advisors.
  • Ability to diffuse high-tension situations comfortably and maintains composure under pressure.

  • Work requires occasional physical exertion and/or physical strain, including accompanying supporters on hikes to conservation projects. Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.
  • Flexibility to work occasional weekends and extended hours. Willingness to travel up to 20% time.

Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received and the position will remain open until filled. To apply for job ID #50289, submit your cover letter and resume online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Cover letter is required. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of all genders with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.