Director of Philanthropy (NC)

The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 70 countries and all 50 United States. 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 Virginia Director of Philanthropy (DOP) leads a comprehensive, best-in-class development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, foundations, and corporations to support The Nature Conservancy’s priorities in Virginia and around the world. They must be a proven strategic leader, a successful major and principal gifts fundraiser, and have successful experience in program management and in designing and executing complex donor strategies. The DOP is responsible for all fundraising, which may include multi-year fundraising campaigns, planned giving, major and principal (7-figure) gift fundraising, donor prospecting and research, stewardship, and assisting in recruiting board members. The DOP recruits, develops, and inspires a staff of high-performing philanthropy professionals, works closely with the Virginia Board of Trustees and other volunteer leaders, and builds a culture of philanthropy throughout the Virginia Chapter. This person will also successfully manage a small portfolio of high-level donors and prospects.

The DOP will build on the Virginia 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 a variety of stakeholders and partners including conservation experts, philanthropy staff, 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 Virginia Chapter Leadership Team and plays a significant role in building the Chapter as a hub of conservation innovation and success.


The Director of Philanthropy is charged with:

  • Management responsibility for a 13-person philanthropy team, which encompasses major and principal gift functions, planned giving, stewardship, 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 develop the capability to fundraise in excess of $10 million annually in outright gifts and pledges in support of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia chapter as well as regional and global conservation priorities.
  • Executing the current 5-year, $80M comprehensive campaign for Virginia and global priorities, currently entering year 3 at 47% of goal (as of December 2017).
  • Working closely with the State Director, the Virginia Leadership Team, the Virginia 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 Virginia Leadership Team and contributing to the overall strategy and direction of the Chapter. This includes working with the Leadership Team to develop a chapter-wide Culture of Philanthropy and achieving fundraising goals for which the DOP is accountable.
  • Leading, inspiring, and managing the Virginia Philanthropy Team to build long-term relationships and achieve team goals by:
    • Establishing and achieving fundraising objectives, evaluating results and developing effective strategies as needed.
    • Recruiting, developing, and retaining high-performing philanthropy staff and nurturing effective team collaboration.
  • Actively fostering deep collaboration within the Chapter, with the Worldwide Office and other Conservancy programs, with external partners as necessary, and with trustees and donors to achieve Conservancy goals.

To achieve these objectives, the DOP works with Virginia senior staff and philanthropy staff to develop and communicate a philanthropy vision and multi-year fundraising goals and is accountable to achieve these goals. The DOP encourages collaborative state and organization-wide philanthropy efforts and communicates a broad vision focused 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 Virginia staff and volunteer leaders in collaborative fundraising efforts, including major and principal gift donor strategy development, cultivation, and solicitation. The DOP directly manages 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 of Fundraising Professionals. 


Level of Position: The DOP is an executive leadership position for the Virginia Chapter, with significant strategic, management, and financial responsibilities.

  • Lead, inspire, and develop a team of 13 staff, with direct supervision of 6 direct reports. The DOP is also responsible for recruiting and retaining staff, establishing a clear direction, inspiring “stretch” objectives, and providing opportunities for training and professional development.
  • Direct an ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign, including oversight of the volunteer Philanthropy and Marketing / Campaign Committee to ensure Board participation in achieving campaign goals.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make sound strategic decisions which may affect the public image of The Nature Conservancy, 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 that the philanthropy 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 the philanthropy 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 40%) 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 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
  • Track record of cultivating and closing major or planned gifts of $1,000,000 or more.
  • Experience recruiting, training, and engaging board members and other volunteer leaders and ensuring that they are well prepared to engage in effective fundraising efforts.
  • 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.
  • Supervisory and management experience in the context 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.
  • Effective communication skills 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.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate colleagues, donors, and
  • Experience supervising a major and principal gifts program.
  • Experience overseeing a philanthropic campaign with an overall goal greater than $25 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 #46161 or apply directly hereAll resumes and required cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system.  The application deadline is February 25, 2018 at 11:59PM 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

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

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