Director of Individual Giving


The Director of Individual Giving directs the major gifts fundraising efforts of the chapter, with the focus on individual donor/prospects. S/he oversees the development, implementation and effective management of high-level multi-year strategies, contributing to a strong, high-level fundraising program. S/he manages a portfolio of 50-75 donors/prospects leading to gifts at the mid-six figure level and above.  The Director of Individual Giving serves as a fundraising leader in Illinois and representing the global organization, and collaborates with the development team to set and achieve chapter fundraising goals.

Essential Functions

The Director of Individual Giving (DIG) manages a team of major gifts fundraisers and directs the out-the-door activity necessary to meet fundraising goals and metrics as defined in the annual development plan. S/he manages a portfolio of 50-75 qualified major donors (as defined as ability to give $100,000 or more but focused on those capable of giving seven-figure gifts). S/he will be expected to build his/her portfolio to expected level. S/he creates and implements strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of high level donors/prospects, and understands and applies complex principles of developing donor strategies. S/he will be responsible for direct asks to both global and local priorities to meet funding needs. S/he discusses assets and listens for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts and trade lands. The DIG provides opportunities for donors to receive recognition and increase future giving. S/he involves and engages appropriate partners in the field and at the Worldwide Office, keeping them apprised of interactions, issues and/or concerns, and addresses questions as needed. S/he is capable of featuring the programs of the Conservancy in detailed terms and can confidently discuss legacy giving opportunities. S/he understands project budgets and may build proposal budgets utilizing this knowledge and is responsible for both creating/submitting proposals to donors/prospects and managing the grant administration process once a gift is received.

S/he actively engages appropriate internal and external partners to successfully drive all fundraising strategies. S/he leads the process of building and maintaining a strategic focus on major and principal level fundraising and works closely with the development team to drive pipeline building, portfolio management and monitoring progress toward annual and long-term goals. The DIG is a development leader who helps to create an annual fundraising plan, support fundraising and activity goals and foster a collaborative and supportive team environment to position the program for long-term success.  S/he participates in messaging and case-development activities as appropriate. S/he also may serve on task forces for other regional whole-system priorities. S/he assists Director of Philanthropy in managing chapter and TNC leadership involvement with high-level donors and prospects. 

S/he will develop a referral network as needed and may manage formal and/or informal networks of volunteers. S/he is required to use the Conservancy’s donor database to track progress and update activity with his/her portfolio. S/he understands and complies with all TNC gift-related policies and procedures. Ensure ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals. 


Responsibilities and Scope

  • Persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Act independently and in supervisor’s stead as needed, exercise independent judgment to identify and solve problems.
  • Manage a portfolio of 50-75 donors/prospect with $100,000+ capacity, achieving activity measures set accordingly and in alignment with development team goals.
  • Annual fundraising goal of $2,000,000 or more.
  • Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Financial responsibility for setting and meeting fundraising objectives, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies.
  • Implement and lead multiple collaborative and complex projects, directing work of staff, managing budget, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Decisions may have program-wide impact and bind the organization financially or legally.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity in handling confidential information.
  • Ensure compliance with TNC policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements.
  • Maintains confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Maximum opportunity to act independently, resolves complex issues within scope.
  • May  supervise professional or administrative staff.
  • Financial responsibility includes working within a budget, and recommending and meeting fundraising goals.
  • May supervise support or administrative staff.
  • Travel frequently and on short notice, work long and flexible hours as needed.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 years related experience or an equivalent combination.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents.
  • Experience in asking for and closing gifts of $100,000 or more.
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience working with cross-functional teams, preferably in a large non-profit.
  • Experience working with fundraising principles and practices.
  • Experience managing staff.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current trends in charitable giving in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts or planned giving.
  • Experience working across generational and other difference and communicating with varied audiences.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Ability to design and manage fundraising plans, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition plans.
  • Ability to determine an individual’s interests, capacity and potential for helping the Conservancy meet its goals, and act appropriately to tie those interests with the Conservancy’s work.
  • Ability to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors and volunteers.
  • Proven ability to negotiate complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Working knowledge of charitable gift planning.
  • Experience working across generational and other differences and communicating with varied audiences.

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 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.


Interested parties must apply online at and search Job ID #43695.  All applications must be received by 11:59pm on December 4, 2015