Director of Development - Michigan (TNC)


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 Michigan Director of Development (DOD) 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 Michigan, in North America and around the world. They must be a proven strong and inspiring leader, a successful major and principal gifts fundraiser with skill in designing and executing complex donor strategies, and experienced in program management. The DOD oversees all major gifts functions, which includes managing multi-year fundraising campaigns, planned giving, major- and principal- gift fundraising, donor prospecting and research, and stewardship. The DOD recruits, develops, and inspires a staff of high-performing philanthropy professionals, works closely with the Michigan Board of Trustees and other volunteer leaders, and builds a culture of philanthropy throughout the Michigan Chapter.


The DOD will build on the Michigan Chapter’s significant contributions to the Conservancy’s domestic and global priorities. To that end, the DOD 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 DOD is a member of the Michigan Management Team, responsible for bringing donor perspective to organizational decisions, and plays a leadership role in building the Chapter’s role as a hub of conservation innovation and success with a strategic focus healthy waters, thriving coasts, resilient forests, and science and policy.



Reporting to the State Director, DOD will lead a comprehensive major gifts program, including the continuation of the Our World, Our Michigan Campaign ($90M) in alignment with the Conservancy's Shared Conservation Agenda. The Director will build on existing fundraising activities to create and implement strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of a portfolio of major gift prospects, including individual, foundation and corporate donors. The Director will be responsible for cultivating a solid working relationship with our Board of Trustees, demonstrated by the Board's continued involvement in fundraising efforts. In addition to working with the Board, the State Director and the Michigan Management team, the Director will meaningfully engage a range of constituents in the Conservancy's work.


The Director of Development is charged with:


  • Managing a 7-person philanthropy team, which encompasses major and principal gift functions, planned giving, loyal donors, philanthropy operational and support. 
  • Leading Chapter philanthropy efforts to fundraise more than $4.0 million annually in outright private gifts and pledges in support of The Nature Conservancy’s Michigan Chapter’s overall $11.5M annual budget as well as regional and global conservation priorities. 
  • Completing a 5-year, $90M comprehensive campaign for Michigan and global priorities.
  • Working closely with the State Director, the Management Team, the Michigan Board Chair and Campaign Planning Committee Chair to strengthen and engage the Board of Trustees in fundraising, trustee recruitment and board management.
  • Serving on the Michigan Management Team to develop fundraising goals for the Chapter, for which the DOD is accountable, and contributing to the overall strategy and direction of the Chapter.
  • Leading, inspiring, and managing the Michigan Philanthropy Team to achieve relationship-building and funding objectives:
      • Sets and meets fundraising objectives, evaluates results, and develops effective strategies as needed.
      • Recruits, develops, coaches and retains high-performing philanthropy staff and nurtures effective team collaboration.
  • Actively fostering a deep collaboration within the Chapter, with Worldwide Office and other Conservancy programs, and with trustees and donors to achieve Conservancy goals.
  • Successfully and strategically managing a select portfolio of approximately 50 accounts aimed at securing 7- and 8-figure gifts; orchestrating the work of staff and leadership to maximize these key relationships for the long term.


To achieve these objectives, the DOD works with Michigan 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 DOD plays a leadership role in motivating and coordinating the multi-disciplinary Michigan staff and volunteer leaders in collaborative fundraising efforts, including major and principal gift donor strategy development, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. They are directly responsible for managing a select group of principal and major donor prospects.  The DOD 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 DOD is an executive leadership position for the Michigan Chapter, with significant strategic, management and financial responsibilities.

  • Lead, supervise, inspire and develop a team of 7 administrative, professional, and volunteer staff, with responsibility including recruitment, retaining, training, professional development, establishing clear direction, and inspiring “stretch” objectives.
  • Direct an ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign, including oversight of the volunteer Campaign Planning Committee to ensure Board participation in campaign goals.
  • Implement strategic decisions that may affect public image, impact multiple programs, and bind the organization financially or legally.


Within the scope of the position, the DOD will:

  • Conceive, design and direct high-level and interdepartmental projects, coordinating the work of other professionals, managing budget, and ensuring program accountability.
  • Build 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.
  • Help to coordinate the financial management and planning for the chapter; set budget and fundraising objectives, analyze and report results, and take corrective actions.
  • Maintain confidentiality of frequently sensitive information.
  • Understand and passionately support the chapter and organization’s conservation mission and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s goals, strategies and outcomes.


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 8 years related experience, including experience 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 conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.



  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s degree and 12+ years related experience, including 5+ years working at a senior level preferred.
  • 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 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.



Visit and apply online with cover letter and resume to Job # 46828 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 September 24, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.  If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact [email protected] 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

Email: [email protected]


This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.


The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.

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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-09-11 23:39:18 -0400