Vice President of Institutional Advancement, American Rivers


American Rivers is championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. Healthy rivers provide people and nature with clean, abundant water and natural habitat. For 50 years, American Rivers staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on Rivers.

American Rivers centers the ongoing work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that everyone brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.


The Vice President of Institutional Advancement provides strategic guidance and leadership for American Rivers’ foundation and corporate fundraising and public sector grants program, all of which accounts for a significant portion of the organization’s $20+ million in annual revenue. This externally facing role requires demonstrated expertise in foundation and public sector grant and contract proposal development, coupled with exceptional collaboration, communication, grant writing, and project management skills.  A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and effectiveness in an impact-oriented and highly collaborative environment are central to the position. The ideal candidate will be a team player and innovative thinker who will serve as a thought partner for the Senior Vice President for Advancement, an inspiring leader for the Institutional Advancement team, a productive member of the cross-divisional Advancement Leadership team, as well as a close collaborator with the Conservation program team.


  • Lead a Foundations and Grants team that will strategically build the volume of prospective donors/funders/government grants for American Rivers’ priorities in support of key campaigns and fundraising initiatives. Promote innovation, collaboration, and enhanced outcomes and national recognition of American Rivers.
  • Provide critical leadership, strategy, management, and coordination of American Rivers’ fundraising program from foundations and corporate philanthropy, and public sector grants. This includes overseeing strategic advancement efforts as well as operational planning, budgeting, and reporting for these areas.
  • Carry a personal portfolio of donors and prospects in the 6-figure or more range. Partner closely with team members on strategic relationship management for current and prospective donors, interfacing with AR programs and departments to ensure smooth and timely information flow, and collaborating closely with the Finance team.
  • Employ a data driven approach, analyzing and interpreting data, to set the institutional advancement strategic direction.
  • Advise the SVP of Advancement on matters related to institutional advancement, including appropriate policy recommendations and strategic planning actions for growth and sustainability.
  • Project fundraising goals, implement fundraising plans and strategies, measure and report on progress, and adjust work plans as needed to meet ambitious goals.
  • Work collaboratively with other development staff to utilize board members, donors, regional advisory board members and others to maximize opportunities for foundation and corporate fundraising.
  • Carry out special projects that add value for the department or the organization.
  • Participate in advancing AR’s DEJ goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with AR’s values.
  • Ensure professional development, training and mentoring for a highly effective team.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred; minimum of twelve years of development experience in one or more of the following areas: institutional giving, major gifts, government fundraising, or operational/business planning.
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, analytic and people/project management skills.
  • Ability to oversee and execute a complex set of projects with time-sensitive deliverables.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to manage individuals and teams, inspiring strong performance and professional growth.
  • Demonstrate commitment to a high level of confidentiality, attention to detail, thoroughness, and accuracy.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across a diverse team.
  • Solid computer skills, particularly with Word, Excel and donor database software packages.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues a plus.

Please include a Cover Letter with your submission.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Salary range: $130,600 to $195,800. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, vision, and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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