Associate Director of Philanthropy, Westchester & Hudson Valley


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters. It has established a tremendous record of achievements since its founding in 1951 which includes the protection of more than 119 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide. With the support of 1+ million members, the Nature Conservancy works in all 50 states and more than 35 countries — protecting habitats from grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia.

The Position:

The Nature Conservancy (“Conservancy”) seeks a strong and experienced Associate Director of Philanthropy, Westchester & Hudson Valley (“Associate Director”) to build support for the Conservancy’s conservation priorities locally and globally. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Philanthropy and working closely with a development team in the Manhattan office, the Associate Director plans and implements a comprehensive philanthropy program that secures significant financial resources from individuals, foundations, and corporations in the lower Hudson Valley and Westchester market. S/he manages major gifts for this region, which total $650,000 in the current fiscal year with the expectation for significant growth from planned giving, principal gifts, donor prospecting and research, and special multi-year fundraising campaigns.

The Associate Director is an enthusiastic, external-facing representative of the Conservancy devoted to building strong relationships with a portfolio of 125-150 donors who are capable of giving at five-, six-, and seven-figure levels. The Associate Director is an active listener and creative developer of partnerships who is able to identify meaningful giving opportunities that are appropriately tied to the Conservancy’s work. S/he starts and builds strong relationships, determines an individual’s interests and capacity, discusses Conservancy programs in detailed terms, and presents creative ways a prospective donor can help the Conservancy meet its goals. The Associate Director coordinates solicitation and cultivation strategies including the development of proposals and budgets, and develops meaningful donor engagement and recognition opportunities intended to increase future giving. Gifts may involve cash, planned gifts, real estate, and more; qualified candidates must have demonstrated experience in applying sophisticated  donor development strategies including legacy giving opportunities, and must understand and be capable of writing proposals and building project budgets.

The right candidate is a strategic thinker, and energetic and motivated fundraiser who possesses exceptional communications skills as well as an intellectual curiosity and a passion for the Conservancy’s core work.


  • Design and lead a fundraising program for the Lower Hudson Valley and Westchester regions that includes corporate, foundation, and individual contributions
  • Work toward an annual fundraising goal of $750,000+ plus bequest notifications
  • Develop and manage a portfolio of donors with the capacity to give five- figure gifts, and develop strategies to move a subset to give at the $250,000+ level.
  • Persuasively convey The Conservancy’s mission and programs to diverse groups who are important to the organization’s overall prosperity
  • Implement multiple projects, manage budgets, and set mileposts and deadlines
  • Supervise a philanthropy coordinator who provides administrative and fundraising support
  • Direct and/or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile, or sensitive agreements
  • Work within a budget, recommending and meeting fundraising goals
  • Ensure compliance with The Conservancy’s policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements
  • Travel frequently and on short notice, work flexible hours as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years related experience or an equivalent combination
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with donors and in asking for and closing gifts of $25,000+ gifts, including legacy gifts
  • Ability to design, manage and implement fundraising plans, including individualized cultivation, solicitation, and recognition plans
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors using sophisticated database software
  • Demonstrated experience listening and using diplomacy and tact to engage and motivate donors and volunteers
  • A proven ability to negotiate complex, high profile, or sensitive agreements and demonstrated sensitivity in handling confidential information
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current trends in capital campaigns, major gifts or planned giving
  • Experience working with cross-functional teams, preferably in a large non-profit setting

Compensation commensurate with experience. For more information on The Nature Conservancy see:

To Apply:

The Nature Conservancy has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, President & CEO


Debbie Farrell, Director – Leadership and Development

Harris Rand Lusk

122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605

New York, NY 10168

[email protected]

Please include “Nature Conservancy” in the subject line of the email

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