Flexible (ideally NYC, DC, or San Francisco)

Vice President, Institutional Giving, Environmental Defense Fund

The Organization


With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions to the world’s most serious environmental problems. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships, and market-based approaches, EDF tackles urgent threats with practical solutions. EDF is one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than 2.5 million members and activists, operations in 28 countries, and a staff of approximately 750 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals.

EDF works to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet and focuses on areas that span the biosphere: climate, oceans, ecosystems and health. Since these topics are intertwined, EDF’s solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. This work is done in concert with other organizations—as well as with business, government and communities—and avoids duplicating work already being done effectively by others.

With the belief that meaningful and durable solutions arise from communities whose lives and livelihoods are at stake, EDF embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to its mission, excellence, and success. EDF is striving to better understand, cultivate, and support a diversity of perspectives in its work.


The Vice President, Institutional Giving will oversee the Institutional Giving (IG) team at EDF. This team consists of frontline fundraisers and administrative staff, with 19 people in total including six direct reports: the Associate Vice President, Institutional Giving; four Directors, Institutional Giving; and an Executive Assistant.

The VP will lead the strategic planning and implementation for a comprehensive development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from foundations and institutions in support of EDF’s priorities around the world. Currently, the IG team generates about $40M to $60M annually, depending on the renewal cycle of multiyear grants. This leader will partner closely with the Senior Vice President, Development on developing a forward-thinking plan for codifying current relationships with foundation funders as well as strengthening the capacity for establishing new foundation partnerships going forward. They will serve as empowering, visionary leader for the IG department, guiding staff to engage in high-level strategic thinking and advocating for the IG team with the organization’s senior-most executives.

This position is ideally based in New York City or Washington, DC and reports to the Senior Vice President, Development. The team reporting to this position is located in New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC.


Within the first 12 to 18 months, the Vice President, Institutional Giving will achieve the following major objectives:

  • Work closely with the Development Leadership Team to effectively manage the department as a whole in its interactions within the organization (particularly the Executive Team, Programs, and Finance) and with the Board of Trustees (particularly, the Leadership Gifts Committee).
  • Evaluate current capacity of the Institutional Giving department and develop and implement a comprehensive, visionary strategy that ensures high performance, includes attainable goals for each member, and promotes sustainable institutional fundraising growth.
  • Coordinate and work closely with the Senior EVP, Chief Development Officer, and Development VPs on information sharing, problem solving, and decision making across the department. Set performance expectations across the team and operate as strong collaborators across the organization, and cultivate and facilitate strong working relationships.
  • Hire, develop, and retain an Associate Vice President who provides oversight of day-to-day operations and personnel management for the Institutional Giving team.


The Vice President, Institutional Giving will have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Lead the Institutional Giving (IG) team to raise about $40M of the Development department’s goal (dependent upon giving potential). Lead the process with the IG team to set revenue projections from institutional donors, primarily professional and independent foundations, on an annual basis.
  • Work as a thought partner with program leadership and the Executive Team, as well as IG team members, to develop compelling strategies, narratives, and budgets that resonate with high-potential donors, and, where possible, influence their grantmaking and how they think about the issues EDF works on.
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.
  • Explore and define opportunities for continued growth for institutional funding of the organization, including providing ongoing strategic engagement for EDF’s most complex and highest priority foundation donors.
  • Ensure communication with donors and prospective donors is of the highest quality and is compelling, specific to the donor (meeting them where they are), and, where possible, generates partnerships and revenue for EDF.
  • Work closely with IG team management to ensure success in meeting individual performance goals, fundraising and growth targets, cultivating new donors, stewarding existing donors, and nurturing relationships with the donor community.
  • Manage and motivate a growing team, notably providing strategic guidance and leadership to ensure the team meets organizational expectations, including proactive management of donors and high-quality, compelling written materials for donors.
  • Possess strong leadership skills to guide entire IG department, including both direct reports and indirect reports. Ensure effectiveness in meeting goals, provide strategic advice on donor strategies, nurture leadership skills, and develop growth opportunities for team members.
  • Facilitate team structure/restructure as needed given new staff recruitment/growth and ensure the highest quality staff are recruited and retained.
  • Ensure smooth operations of the IG unit, including accurate financial information, budget management, and successful achievement of annual fundraising goals.
  • Cultivate relationships with select high-level donors, time permitting.
  • Serve on the Leadership Council and appropriate committees and working groups (e.g., ad hoc groups related to public funding, corporate giving, policy review, etc.) to represent Development and IG perspectives.


The ideal candidate will possess most of the following qualifications:

  • A passionate, enthusiastic commitment to EDF’s mission and work.
  • A minimum of 10 years of demonstrated success and increasing responsibilities in non-profit fundraising leadership, including a strong track record of securing large gifts from foundations and leading a team of fundraisers.
  • Experience as a foundation giving officer would be an advantage.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills; capable of problem solving within a complex structure.
  • A high degree of intellectual curiosity, with the capacity to quickly understand a wide breadth and depth of programs.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Ability to be proactive and operational, and initiate new ideas and relationships while keeping a fast-moving train on the tracks.
  • Strong, motivational people management skills with an ability to guide and mentor staff, promote cross-collaboration with inter-dependent development groups, and work effectively across geographies and cultures.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to speak publicly, project a high level of personal and professional confidence, and engage with all people at every level (including the CEO).
  • The ability to serve as a leader and bridge builder who presents complex and opposing points of view in a clear, professional, and compelling manner.
  • Experience managing complex multi-million-dollar budgets.
  • Familiarity with environmental issues is ideal; an understanding of the environmental sector and the major funders that support work in this space.
  • Adept at working as both a collaborative team player and independently as a self-starter.
  • The ability to travel as needed.
  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, or equivalent relevant work experience.

How To Apply

EDF has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to: abigail.husain@campbellcompany.com


EDF has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to: abigail.husain@campbellcompany.com

The full position guide may be viewed here: https://bit.ly/37gCvPn

Sign up