Seattle, WA

Director of Philanthropy, Washington Chapter, The Nature Conservancy

The Organization

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 70 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity therefore we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 70 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity, therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

Position Overview


The Washington Director of Philanthropy (DOP) leads a comprehensive, top-in-class development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support The Nature Conservancy’s priorities in Washington and around the world. They must be a proven strong and inspiring leader, a successful major and principal gifts fundraiser, and experienced in program management and in designing and executing complex donor strategies. The DOP manages all major gifts functions, which may include multi-year fundraising campaigns, board recruitment and development, planned giving, principal (7-figure) gift fundraising, donor prospecting and research, and stewardship. The DOP recruits, develops, and inspires a staff of high-performing philanthropy professionals, works closely with the Washington Board of Trustees and other volunteer leaders, and builds a culture of philanthropy throughout the Washington Chapter.

The DOP will build on the Washington Chapter’s significant contributions to the Conservancy’s domestic and global priorities. To that end, the DOP must be motivated to learn and able to work in collaboration with conservation experts, philanthropy staff organization-wide, donors and volunteers across a dispersed and complex organization to integrate philanthropy with sophisticated conservation and policy initiatives. The DOP is a member of the Washington Executive Team and plays a leadership role in building the Chapter’s role as a hub of conservation innovation and success.


The Director of Philanthropy is charged with:

  • Management responsibility for a 15-person philanthropy team, which encompasses major and principal gift functions, planned giving, philanthropy operational and support functions, and the responsibility to implement an ambitious strategic fundraising initiative as part of the current global campaign.
  • Leading Chapter philanthropy efforts to fundraise in excess of $15 million annually in outright gifts and pledges in support of The Nature Conservancy’s Washington chapter as well as regional and global conservation priorities.
  • Executing the current 5-year, $160M comprehensive campaign for Washington and global priorities, currently entering year 3 at 50% of goal (as of July 2017).
  • Working closely with the State Director, the Executive Team, the Washington Board Chair and Philanthropy Campaign Committee Co-Chairs to strengthen and engage the Board of Trustees in fundraising, trustee recruitment and board management.
  • Serving on the Washington Executive Team to develop fundraising goals for the Chapter, for which the DOP is accountable, and contributing to the overall strategy and direction of the Chapter.
  • Leading, inspiring, and managing the Washington Philanthropy Team to achieve relationship-building and funding objectives:
  • Sets and meets fundraising objectives, evaluates results, and develops effective strategies as needed.
  • Recruits, develops, and retains high-performing Philanthropy staff and nurtures effective team collaboration.
  • Actively fosters deep collaboration within the Chapter, with Worldwide Office and other Conservancy programs, and with trustees and donors to achieve Conservancy goals.

To achieve these objectives, the DOP works with Washington senior staff and philanthropy staff to develop and communicate a philanthropy vision and multi-year fundraising goals, and is accountable to achieve these goals. They encourage collaborative state and organization-wide philanthropy efforts, communicate a broad vision and focus on highest return activities aimed at achieving long-range strategic priorities that advance the Conservancy’s global mission.

The DOP plays a leadership role in motivating and coordinating the multi-disciplinary Washington staff and volunteer leaders in collaborative fundraising efforts, including major and principal gift donor strategy development, cultivation and solicitation. They are directly responsible for managing a select group of principal and major donor prospects. The DOP understands and complies with all Conservancy gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.


  • Level of Position: The DOP is an executive leadership position for the Washington Chapter, with significant strategic, management and financial responsibilities.
  • Lead, inspire and develop a team of 15 administrative, professional, and volunteer staff, with direct supervision of 4-5 staff, with responsibility including recruitment, retaining, training, professional development, establishing clear direction, and inspiring “stretch” objectives.
  • Direct ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign, including oversight of the volunteer Philanthropy Campaign Committee to ensure Board participation in campaign goals.
  • Strategic decisions may affect public image, impact multiple programs, and bind the organization financially or legally.

Within the scope of the position, the DOP will:

  • Conceive, design and direct high-level and interdepartmental projects, coordinating the work of other professionals, managing budget, and ensuring program accountability.
  • Conceive, design, and lead strategic initiatives and goals through collaboration with senior-level stakeholders in order to enhance overall performance in accordance with short and long-term objectives.
  • Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Ensure functional program meets commitments and is managed for ethical compliance with TNC policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements.
  • Exercise leadership in strategic and tactical manners, work with fellow leaders to establish and evaluate policies and/or long-term programs.
  • Oversee financial management of program; set budget and fundraising objectives, analyze and report results, and take corrective actions.
  • Maintain confidentiality of frequently sensitive information.

Work Environment and Schedule

  • Travel as needed (up to 20%) and on short notice occasionally. May require working extended and/or varied work hours, including on weekends.
  • Work is generally performed in a professional office environment and involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.


  • In your resume and cover letter, please address how you meet the following minimum qualifications and preferred qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree and 9 years related experience, including 3 years working at a senior level.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with high net worth constituents such as individual major donors, private foundations and corporations.
  • Track record of cultivating and closing major or planned gifts of $1,000,000 or more.
  • Experience working with trustees and/or volunteer committees to drive philanthropic efforts.
  • Experience building and successfully executing fundraising plans for a program or an organization.
  • Management experience of a large multidisciplinary department, including planning and delivering budgetary responsibilities.
  • Experience working in a large, complex, not-for-profit environment.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, and procedures of non-profit fundraising.


  • Master’s degree and 12+ years related experience, including 5+ years working at a senior level preferred.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross cultural experience appreciated.
  • Experience recruiting, training and engaging board members and other volunteer leaders and ensuring that they are well prepared to engage in effective fundraising efforts.
  • Effectively communicate via presentations, conversations, and documents.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of campaigns, major gifts and planned giving. Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate colleagues, donors and volunteers.
  • Experience supervising a major and principal gifts program.
  • Experience overseeing a philanthropic campaign with an overall goal greater than $10 million.
  • Experience fundraising for multiple strategies or programs that are deployed at a local, regional and global scale.
  • Expert understanding of best practices in non-profit management.
  • Experience in managing a geographically dispersed team.

How To Apply

Visit and apply online with cover letter and resume to job #45592 or apply directly here. All resumes and required cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system. The application deadline is August 6, 2017 at 8:59 PM PST. If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact and include the job opening ID.

Please contact:

Carol Hodge, Executive Recruiter
The Nature Conservancy
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 841-5384 | Fax: (703) 528-4829 | Skype: carol.hodge703


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