Hybrid – New York, New York or San Francisco, California

Director, Donor Stewardship, The Environmental Defense Fund

The Organization

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 1,000 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

Our culturevalues and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Position Overview

Overall Responsibility

The Director of Donor Stewardship serves as a leader within the Development Department and EDF overall on the communications and stewardship strategy for current managed donors, with a focus on donors who, over a lifetime of giving, have donated $10 million or more to EDF and its affiliates. The director partners with institutional, major and principal gift officers, program leadership and other members of the executive team to ensure that the organization is engaging and retaining its most generous donors. The director will also collaborate across multiple teams and departments (development, marketing, conservation, and finance) to define best stewardship practices and establish benchmarks and measures to track progress and success.

Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Development Communications, the director manages a team of 3-5 experienced donor stewardship professionals to ensure the delivery of high quality general and customized donor stewardship materials. The director mentors and provides advice to direct reports and others within the larger Development Communications team, and identifies and implements new ways to improve quality, efficiency and productivity. They will strengthen gift acceptance, acknowledgement and reporting procedures to ensure timely expenditure of and reporting on outcomes related to private grants. The Director also serves as the Development liaison to our colleagues in Marketing and Communications, and produces a variety of high priority deliverables as needed.

The Director of Stewardship will report to the Senior Director of Development Communications. The ideal candidate will be able to work on a hybrid schedule out of EDF’s New York or San Francisco office. Fully remote candidates will also be considered.

Key Responsibilities

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and implement overall stewardship strategy for current $10M+ donors in partnership with the gift officers in Major and Institutional Giving
  • Partner with Institutional, Major and Principal Gift Officers to develop customized stewardship plans and deliverables for high-capacity donors in their portfolios
  • Develop a stewardship program for former board trustees.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Director of Donor Engagement to provide communications support for donor events and trips, including talking points, invitation copy, pre-reading and trip materials.
  • Identify needs for new or revised materials, graphics, photos; create new ways to steward high-capacity donors
  • Manage, coach and mentor a team of 3-5 Donor Stewardship team members
  • Manage workload and distribution of assignments to team members in partnership with Senior Director
  • Maintain a working knowledge of current best practices in donor stewardship
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the philanthropic priorities and activities of the organization’s top donors
  • Develop and maintain productive working relationships with program leadership to ensure clear understanding of the organization’s most pressing organizational priorities
  • Carry out special projects that will add value for the department or the organization
  • Participate 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


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of donor relations/communications experience
  • Experience managing a multidisciplinary team
  • Experience in the environmental or nonprofit field; or on a science and policy-heavy topic/campaign
  • Experience working in a matrixed organization with multiple internal/external stakeholders, teams and consultants spanning the globe
  • Proven ability to use communications as a tool to achieve goals
  • Strong team management and mentoring skills
  • Superb strategy, writing, editing and communications skills
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds

Please include a Cover Letter with your submission.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 130,000 – 142,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

How to Apply

Please submit your Resume and Cover Letter on our careers site at: https://www.edf.org/jobs/director-donor-stewardship

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