Director of Philanthropy (TNC)


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.


The Director of Philanthropy leads a comprehensive, ambitious development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support The Nature Conservancy’s conservation goals in Iowa, 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. This position serves as a member of the Iowa Chapter’s senior staff which helps set the strategic direction for the chapter, works closely with the Iowa Board of Trustees, and will report to the State Director.


The Director of Philanthropy oversees all major gifts functions, including major- and principal- gift fundraising, managing multi-year fundraising campaigns, planned giving, donor prospecting and research, and stewardship. They will supervise philanthropy staff members and will be responsible for a select group of prospects and donors. They will be responsible for volunteer engagement and managing selected trustee relationships.

The Director of Philanthropy will meet the strategic priorities of the Iowa Chapter by developing and managing plans and strategies, working collaboratively across the organization, coordinating with program staff on needs and budget, and engaging with donors/partners. They will lead diverse philanthropy activities, develop and document complex processes, and constantly seek to improve results. The Director of Philanthropy must work constructively with all levels of staff, trustees, donors, volunteers, public and private sector colleagues, and partners including financial/legal advisors.

The Director of Philanthropy oversees marketing efforts for the Iowa chapter to increase awareness and engagement for our work to create a broad constituency for conservation. They will collaborate with team members to develop and shape the messaging of conservation activities to donors and the public. They will work in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy’s global marketing department to oversee the implementation of marketing and membership initiatives within Iowa.

The ideal candidate will be relationship focused and build authentic and meaningful connections with both donors and staff with clear follow through. They will be strategic and ensure that fundraising plans help meet not only the immediate needs of the chapter but help ensure sustainability for the future. In addition, they will develop their team and empower other staff to actively participate in the philanthropic process. We seek a team player with strong communication skills. They will understand and comply with all TNC gift-related policies and procedures and ensure ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.


  • Accountable for Iowa Chapter’s fundraising goals.
  • Broad management responsibility for philanthropy, including training, professional development, establishing clear directions, setting objectives, and overseeing the execution of day-to-day work.
  • Extensive management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage performance of a multi-disciplinary team. Ability to foster an environment of creativity and professional growth.
  • Commit actions and resources in a way that affects public image and binds the organization financially or legally.
  • Develop and administer a fundraising strategic plan, and budget and fundraising objectives. Establish measures, evaluate results and develop corrective strategies as needed.
  • Ensure that programmatic commitments, TNC policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements are met and managed for ethical compliance.
  • Lead new programs/initiatives that will ensure department and organization-wide goals and strategies are achieved.
  • Implement and direct multiple projects, directing work of staff, managing budget, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Maintain record keeping and confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Manage strategic initiatives through collaboration with stakeholders to enhance performance in accordance with short and long-term objectives.
  • Maximum opportunity to act independently, resolves complex issues within program area.
  • May direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Responsibility and accountability for meeting strategic goals and objectives.
  • Travel frequently and on short notice, work long hours and weekends.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 7 years related experience.
  • Experience asking for and closing major gifts.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents such as major donors, foundations and corporations.
  • Experience in planning and delivering budgetary responsibilities.
  • Experience managing and supervising a multidisciplinary team.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current trends in principles, practices, and procedures of charitable giving, particularly in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.


  • Understanding of and passion for conservation.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in major gifts giving and solicitation.
  • Knowledge and experience with messaging and marketing.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Effective training skills.
  • Effectively communicates via presentations, conversations, and documents.
  • Knowledge of advanced gift planning concepts.
  • Proficiency in synthesizing materials from multiple sources into a coherent and accurate summary.
  • Understanding of best practices in non-profit management.


Builds Relationships

Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.

Collaboration & Teamwork

Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.

Communicates Authentically

Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.



Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.

Leverages Difference

Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholder. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives.



Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.

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


Application Deadline: Monday, May 24, 2019

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system at All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 24, 2019.  If you are having technical problems with the site or application process, contact [email protected] and include the job opening ID. Any questions related to this specific position may be directed to [email protected].

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.